Chicago Teachers Educate a Nation

People’s World

It was nine days that shook Chicago – and the nation. Twenty-five thousand public school teachers, guidance counselors, speech-language pathologists, social workers, nurses and other professionals, members of Chicago Teachers Union Local 1, stood up and said with one voice, “Enough!”

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Left with no other choice by an intransigent Board of Education and a politically ambitious mayor, teachers took to the picket line, declaring that the strike was for the kids, the profession and public education everywhere. This was a strike that changed the city.

This red sea would not be parted

For those nine days, the city went red, symbolizing solidarity with the union. Mass protests felt like festivals with clever, and often funny signs (Rahm likes Nickelback), musicians – teachers and high school marching bands -playing drums, brass and woodwinds through the streets of downtown Chicago, chants and singing, passionate speeches describing the corporate-created problems in detail – and offering realistic alternatives, generations marching together from kids in strollers to elders with canes or in wheelchairs, banners from other unions, community organizations, parent and student groups waving to show solidarity. This was a red sea would not be parted. Continue reading

Quebec’s Bill 78 Shifts the Struggle to a Battle for Democracy and the Right to Dissent

Rebel Youth Montreal Bureau

Last night the Charest Liberal government tabled its repressive Duplessis-style legislation while thousands of protesters marched well past mid-night in the streets of Quebec City and Montreal, waving flags, chanting and even burning a draft of the repressive law.

Bill 78 passed this afternoon with the right-wing CAQ party voting in favour, propping-up the precarous posistion of the Charest Liberals who are currently holding onto a majority of only one vote (following the resignation of the Minister of Education last week).  Links to the law in English are below.

The vote passed 68-48 at about 5:30 p.m. Continue reading

Students-Labour-Environmentalists Unite for “Quebec Spring”

by Marianne Breton Fontaine and Johan Boyden, based on a presentation given by Marianne, leader of the YCL in Quebec, to YCL student activists

After almost eighty days of protest, the Québec student strike is entering a record 11 weeks. After 250,000 students and their allies from community and labour groups flooded downtown Montreal with a river of people on March 22, another enormous demonstration was held on Earth Day, April 22.

Close to 300,000 people were in the street ‑ students, environmentalists, labour activists and others from diverse backgrounds. The rally, linked explicitly with the student struggle, showed the unprecedented mounting public anger against with the Charest Liberals and strong support for pro‑people and pro‑nature policies and a “Québec spring.”

Making History

The Québec student strike is one of the longest student protests in North American history and has seen some of the biggest mobilizations in Canadian history. Continue reading

Brock University Strike Enters Second Week

by Siobhan Morris, 610 CKTB News

A strike at Brock University is in its 2nd week with no end in sight.

The school’s 38 unionized English as a Second Language Instructors have been walking picket lines since last Monday.

The labour dispute is over a contract reached by CUPE Local 4207 & the university in February.  The union membership ratified it, but Brock won’t do the same until what it calls “an error” in the deal is fixed.

The agreement would block the university from contracting out work.  Brock says they’d never agree to that.

CUPE has filed a charge of bargaining in bad faith with the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

The dispute has cancelled hundred of classes & created a traffic nightmare around the university.

Niagara Regional Police & Brock are asking the public for patience & to try car-pooling or public transit to get to campus.  Buses aren’t stopping at Brock during the strike,  but picking up & dropping along Glenridge Ave instead.

With only a few weeks left in the term, many ESL students are worried they may not be able to make up the missed classes up because they’re studying on short-term visas.

*note: Original article here.