Chicago: America’s Epicenter of Resistance

Published on The People’s Voice, by Stephen Lendman, September 13th, 2012. Stephen Lendman on World People’s Blog.

Public education is on the chopping block for elimination. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants it commodified into another business profit center. At issue is saving it.

Education isn’t a product. It’s a fundamental right. It’s a societal bedrock. In Chicago and across America, it’s being handed over to corporate predators. Their scheme is exploiting it for a buck. 

Money making is all they care about. Educating kids doesn’t matter. Federal, state, and local politicians are in league with corporate profiteers. The future for millions of children is up for grabs. It’s disappearing in plain sight.

On September 10, Chicago teachers walked out for more than better pay, vital benefits, job security, and other headline reasons. Media scoundrels twist truth their way. Readers are betrayed. Issues aren’t explained. What’s at stake isn’t discussed.

Chicago streets are ablaze with red. It’s the color of Chicago resistance. Thousands of red-shirted picketers took to the streets.

Perhaps two signs said it all: “On strike for better schools.” “Enough is enough.”

Substance News is a leading source of information on Chicago schools. For over 30 years, it’s defended public education. It publishes daily articles and updates on city schools and issues related to them.

It takes dead aim at corporate news, union busting, and efforts to marginalize public education and destroy it. It’s abreast of unfolding strike action and events leading to it … //

… Key also is a draconian evaluation process able to sack around 28% of teachers within two years if not stopped. It’s part of Obama’s pro-corporate Race to the Top initiative. It’s tied to privatizing public schools for profit.

Teachers are facing off against corrupt politicians allied with corporate predators. They want education prioritized over profit. They agree “public education in Chicago isn’t working and Mayor Emanuel is making things worse.”

English teacher Keith Plum says he’s sick and tired about what’s going on. He’s forced to comply with what hurts kids or be fired. When are we going to prioritize teaching and learning, he asks?

Strike action has been “a long time coming.” Unresolved core issues fester. Teachers, parents, and children are harmed. They’re fed up and fighting back.

They’re angry that Emanuel “continued (Mayor) Daley’s tornado of closures and privatizations….The fight against school closures” got harder. The onslaught promises to get worse if not stopped.

History teacher Jen Johnson said people are fed up and want change. “We’re organizationally, mentally, and emotionally prepared” to go to the wall and fight.

On August 29, the Chicago Teacher Solidarity Campaign met to discuss fighting for fully funded education. Parents, teachers, students, and community members were involved.

Organizing for action was urged. City schools are in crisis after years of budget cuts.

“So why are Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the billionaires on the Board of Education blaming the teachers for our schools’ problems?”

“How dare they threaten to bankrupt our public schools with more spending on charters and magnets, but no money for small class sizes or a full curriculum?”

If they can find millions for corporate scoundrels, why not for kids? Fighting back in solidarity is key.

Laura Clawson headlined “Chicago teachers are facing down big money and political power to fight for better schools,” saying:

At issue is education or corporate power. Well-funded anti-populists want harmful to kids proposals “jam(med) down the” throats of teachers.

Big money, corrupt politicians, and media scoundrels “are stacked against Chicago teachers as they fight for the working conditions they need to effectively” teach. Dark force destructive tactics target them.

Teachers, parents, students, and concerned residents are in this fight together. “If you’re in Chicago, you can rally or wear red in solidarity.”

Wherever you are, get involved for justice. It’s our nation, our future, and our choice.

(full long text).

(Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached here. His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War).


The conditions for students are horrible: SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer speaks to Chicago teachers, on WSWS, by an SEP campaign team, September 13, 2012.

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