Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chicago Teachers' Strike Day 4 #photo feature #marches



ChiIL Mama's original pixs from the picket lines



Day 4 Actions:

The kids and I donned our red shirts and hit the picket lines with the teachers early this morning.   



Many of our area teachers have banded together at Goethe--one of the schools the city has kept open mornings as a holding pen for kids without other options.   Parents who support the strike are encouraged not to send their kids, as this involved crossing the picket lines.  


We heard the city had prepared thousands of breakfasts and lunches for the few open schools where no teaching is slated to occur--just mass babysitting.

As of Monday at Goethe, only 3 children showed up there for "school alternative".   In our area, teachers were picketing outside of Alderman Moreno's office and marching on Western-Milwaukee-Rockwell late morning.


Parents brought the teachers a plethora of breakfast food and snacks including giant chocolate muffins, tables full of doughnuts, and even hard boiled eggs with salt n pepper shakers.   There were also Tic Tacs, homemade baked goods, and boxes and boxes of coffee.



The crowd of picketers on Fullerton got loads of reaffirming, supportive honking from the high traffic artery.   They enthusiastically waved back and cheered every time the light changed and a surge of cars laid on their horns in solidarity.


Despite frustration that the negotiations are dragging on, and an eagerness to get back into the classrooms and back to their kids, the teachers are in good spirits.    We met one pregnant teacher whose baby is due within 3 weeks and she was hanging in there on the picket lines with everyone else.


Another CPS teacher who is a single mom of two and a good friend of ours spoke candidly.

     "Times are so uncertain, and let me tell you, the last thing I want to do is walk up and down a picket line every day - I'd rather teach!!! - but a stand simply needed to be taken!!!!  I am so hoping there is a resolution soon - I can't survive too long without a paycheck - it's already a stress as it is. But I know of others that are a hell of lot worse off, and then even worse, there are kids "learning" in terrible conditions across the system."




One CPS art teacher made a fabulous DIY T-shirt with the Chicago flag, apples & a heart.   She was joined by other knitters who were making red, protest ribbons for the trees, red paper chains, and other projects to pass the time.







Thursday March/Rally Plans:

Thursday: Start the day as we have Tuesday and Wednesday—6:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. at the holding center to which your school is assigned. At 3:30 p.m. meet at the Hyatt Regency at 151 East Wacker Drive to picket the first billionaire Board of Education member, Penny Pritzker. Her Hotel in Hyde Park has received over $5 million in TIF dollars, which could’ve been used to help parks, libraries and schools. Penny also appeals her property taxes (which goes to the schools) every year despite her wealth.

Friday: Please report to your home neighborhood school from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and canvass the neighborhood from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

Saturday: 12 noon rally with all of our allies at Union Park off Lake and Ashland, bring families and friends. This will likely be our biggest mobilization to date!


NOTE:
The union is not on strike over matters governed exclusively by IELRA Section 4.5 and 12(b).
CTU Strike Headquarters is located at Teamster City.
On Van Buren between Ashland and Paulina on the north side of I-290 - the Eisenhower Expressway.
Use Ashland Avenue exits from I-290 in either direction. 


The CTU Strike Hotline (with regularly updated recorded message) is 312-329-6209! 
Sign up for text messaging:
Send a text to 69238 (MYAFT) with "CTU1" as the body of the message.
Post pictures at Flickr.com/groups/strike2012


If there's a day 5 Friday:

Logan Square Neighborhood Association has organized a We Love Teachers
rally tomorrow (Friday) morning at 9:45 AM at the Logan Square monument. 
Parents, kids, and teachers from at least 8 Logan Square schools will be
there. They are asking that kids bring heart-shaped valentines to give to
teachers.

Wear your red and see you out there!



Resources

Many schools have no playgrounds at all or crumbling infrastructure.   Many have no libraries and sweltering classrooms where kids are so hot they not only can't concentrate on learning, some have actually passed out.


The quantity of required, standardized tests is ever increasing and spiraling out of control.   This is stressful for the students and prevents teachers from creatively teaching and engaging the kids in an interesting, fun way.

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