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Yahoo NewsOct 19, 2019
The Chicago teachers' strike shows how to go on offense against neoliberalism
Chicago teachers led the battle against destructive reforms seven years ago - now they're showing all working people left behind by cuts how to fight‘Together, the coordinated strikes have put more than 30,000 workers on the picket lines - more than 1% of the city's population.' Photograph: Xinhua/Barcroft MediaIn 2012, when Chicago teachers walked off the job in their first strike in 25 years, the cards were stacked against them, nationally and locally. Today, they're on strike again - and on the offense against austerity.Seven years ago, Rahm Emanuel had just been elected mayor and was looking to deal the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), who he saw as a barrier to privatizing the city's education system, a crushing defeat. That agenda was shared by both Republicans and Democrats across the country, with a barrage of attacks on teachers' unions, devastating budget cuts to schools and charter school networks - intended to undercut public schools and do an end run around their unions - rapidly multiplying.Yet after electing a new militant leadership in 2010 that pledged to fight not just for bread-and-butter issues like higher pay but a broad agenda of "educational justice" and opposition to austerity, Chicago teachers won that strike, inspiring educators and workers of all kinds across the country - and planting the seeds of future unrest in schools across West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Oakland, Denver and elsewhere, in the teachers' strike wave that kicked off last year.Chica
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