Workers World Party’s 2016 Presidential Election Campaign released the following statement on April 1.
On April 1, 25,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union alongside over 50 community and union organizations will launch a massive strike against the status quo, against the racist capitalist ruling class of Chicago.
This strike promises to spread the power of solidarity like wildfire across this country. Not only are Chicago teachers fighting for working conditions and students’ learning conditions, they are fighting for all of the demands that impact working-class and oppressed people. Strikers will be marching on the Cook County prison to demand an end to the school-to-prison pipeline. Strikers will be marching with the Fight for $15 campaign, demanding an immediate rise in the minimum wage for all workers. Parents will be demanding an end to racist standardized testing schemes. Still more will be demanding an end to charter schools, the privatization of education and the death grip of cutbacks, which have destroyed public education.
In the past few months, Chicago has been on fire with struggle. The rebellion against the Chicago Police Department’s killing of Laquan McDonald, a student at Sullivan House High School in Chicago, was supported by the CTU. McDonald was a student with special needs, much like thousands of the people of color who languish in the prisons across this country and never receive the mental health care they need.
Chicago’s Black Lives Matter movement has rightfully called for the removal of “Mayor 1%” Rahm Emanuel. This energy spilled onto the national scene as, months later, thousands of Chicagoans shut down racist presidential candidate Donald Trump’s rally. In this context, the strike of the Chicago teachers promises to be an important moment in a growing tide of people’s struggle.
By going on strike, the Chicago teachers and their allies show the power of unity and solidarity as the main weapons to fight back against endless austerity, mass incarceration, racist police brutality and union busting. We know this social justice union model will spread to cities across this country that are under assault by Wall Street.
The CTU is leading the way towards a better world, a world in which youth of color, immigrants, Black people, LGBTQ people, and all working-class people are valued and whose needs are put first. We stand in total solidarity with and admiration for this fighting organization and its allies.
Workers World Party’s 2016 Presidential Election Campaign, including presidential candidate (and former public school teacher) Monica Moorehead and vice presidential candidate Lamont Lilly, encourage all progressive people to build solidarity with the struggle in Chicago by escalating the struggle against racism, austerity and injustice in their cities.
We fight for revolutionary socialism, a system in which unions, community organizations and the people run society for their own needs, not to serve the profit goals of billionaires and Wall Street.