On day two of the Chicago Teachers Union strikes, thousands of the highest-paid teachers in the country once again occupied the streets, causing a traffic nightmare for the taxpaying—and working—residents of Chicago.
Teachers proudly marched in solidarity with the International Socialists Organization, Occupy Chicago, and dozens of other far left-wing radical organizations. When asked how helpful Occupy Chicago has been in organizing the protests, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis told EAGNews, “…I haven’t really been working with the organizing side…but I’m sure it’s been good.”
As with Monday, the protest demonstrations seemed part grand bazaar, part Occupy march, equipped with bongo and banjo musicians, silly wigs, and the typical protest placards.
Most of all, it seemed to be about the “fun.” One teacher after another exclaimed about the great time they were having at the protest. One teacher went so far as to say she was having “the best time in her entire teaching career.”
On-camera, several teachers proudly asserted their solidarity in marching with members of the International Socialist Organization. Another teacher, wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt, proclaimed that “he is a great roll model for the people” as she held up her iron fist of solidarity.
While they may not have been in school, children nevertheless were with their teachers as the protest had no lack of student participation. Many students, like their teachers, said they were having a great time at the protest. One student said she might like to be in the union when she grows up.
As for the hang-ups remaining in the stalled-out negotiations with the Chicago Public Schools, teachers are demanding that all Chicago schools be fitted with air conditioning and opposing the ability of school principals to have the power to hire and fire teachers. After Rahm Emanuel claimed that the strike may be illegal due to the supposed resolution over teachers pay, the CTU quickly changed its tune. Apparently there is still a dispute over pay, after all.