USPCN joins CTU’s call to #ShutDownChi on April 1st
The U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) has joined the call from the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) for a massive day of action April 1st across the city of Chicago. Far from being a strike simply about teachers’ salaries and benefits, and school funding, the CTU, as one of the most progressive unions in the country, has linked its fight to broader issues of social justice across Chicago, especially the fight against racism and national oppression. USPCN-Chicago is a steering committee member of the Chicago Alliance Against Racial and Political Repression (CAARPR), and CTU has also endorsed CAARPR’s call for an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) in response to the continuing police crimes against Black people and other communities of color here.
April 1st has become a call for a “general strike” across the entire city of Chicago, so the teachers will be joined by fast food workers, immigrant rights activists, organizations in the Black Liberation and Black Lives Matter movements, Palestinian and Arab community members, and many more. USPCN-Chicago calls on all our members and supporters to join us in the streets April 1st, as we stand with Chicago’s teachers and demand real solutions to the city’s problems.
This one-day strike comes in response to a full-fledged attack by Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois governor Bruce Rauner, respectively, which has resulted in school closings, layoffs, disastrous budget cuts, and a threat by the governor to put the Chicago public school system under Detroit-style “emergency management.” The CTU demands are very simple: renegotiate the toxic contracts with banks that have cost the school system millions of dollars in debt repayment, institute a progressive tax that ensures the 1% in Illinois is paying its fair share, and ensure a fair contract for its teachers.
This strike is also happening on the heels of a similar struggle in Palestine, where over 40,000 teachers across the West Bank struck for over a month demanding a fair contract and dignity in their work. Both the teachers in Palestine and the teachers in Chicago face the same challenges: a corrupt, undemocratic, entrenched establishment that doesn’t put the interests of students and community before the interests of private profits.
For these reasons, USPCN-Chicago will be joining a contingent from CAARPR in the mass rally at the Thompson Center—100 W. Randolph St. in downtown Chicago—at 4 PM TOMORROW, Friday, April 1st.
We call on all our members and supporters to take the streets with us and thousands more as we #ShutDownChi!
USPCN-Chicago, March 31st, 2016