Student drum-line will lead parents, teachers, allies on feeder march that targets some of city’s most predatory financial outfits – and call out mayor’s racist school policies.
CHICAGO —(ENEWSPF)—February 22, 2018
By: Chris Geovanis
With the Supreme Court poised to hear arguments in the Janus case (Janus v. AFSCME Council 31), union workers from across the state are rallying for labor rights this Saturday. The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is joining that mobilization with a drum-line – and making a few stops on the way.
The CTU kicks off our rally and feeder march at 11 a.m. at the Federal Plaza at Dearborn and Adams in downtown Chicago with the Fulton elementary school drum-line. From there, we’ll make stops at some of the city’s biggest proponents of school privatization and attacks on workers. Participants will be using the hashtags #CTUJustice and #UnrigTheSystem. Stops include:
- JPMorgan Chase Bank, one of CPS’ biggest lendors;
- Hedge fund Citadel, run by billionaire school privatizer Ken Griffin, one of Mayor Emanuel’s biggest donors;
- The Chicago Board of Education, a rubber stamp for a mayor who has closed dozens of schools, shortchanged special education students and fomented disruption and neglect in neighborhood public schools that educate Chicago’s overwhelmingly low-income Black and Brown students.
Speakers and marchers will include students and union teachers from Hope, Robeson and other Englewood schools targeted for closure; Elisabeth Greer, the local school council chair of NTA – also slated for closure by Emanuel in a takeover bid by wealthy south Loop interests; Amisha Patel, executive director of the Grassroots Collaborative; Tony Johnson, president of Cook County Colleges Teachers Union Local 1600; and allies, including members of GEM – the Grassroots Education Movement.
The goal of the action is to connect the dots between Emanuel’s racist school closings, predatory lending that undercuts the solvency of public agencies like CPS; and the pivotal role that hedge funds and big finance play in promoting – and bankrolling – attacks on working people and their unions, including the Janus case.
Saturday’s feeder march and rally – part of a nationwide day of action– come just days before the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, a case initiated by right-wing billionaire Governor Bruce Rauner that’s designed to intensify a rigged system that undercuts working people’s freedom to organize and sustain strong unions. Some of the nation’s wealthiest dark money think tanks, right-wing foundations and conservative mega-donors are bankrolling Janus and parallel initiatives, part of their sustained assault on workers’ rights, labor unions and living wage work.
The Chicago Teachers Union represents nearly 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctunet.com.