Come out next Friday. We need your support...
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Here are some links related to the 9-20-2010 episode of Labor Express…
GET ON THE BUS! Come to D.C. for the One Nation Working Together March on
For more on the Siege of La Casita, you can check out my blog…
For more on the Chicago Teachers Union’s planned rally tomorrow, check out the CTU’s website…
For more on charter school teacher organizing in
Friday, September 17, 2010
The Siege of La Casita:
The war at
The struggle at
CPS contends that the field house is structurally unsound. But it is a case of the dueling building engineers. The firm hired by CPS has declared the building dangerous and recommended that it be placed off limits for any activity. The company hired by the parents and community groups found instead that the roof needed replacement but that otherwise the building was sound. Those currently occupying the building are aware that the outside of the building has seen better days, but given the overcrowded conditions at Whittier and the lack of investment in the school by CPS, they are not interested in conceding any space for demolition.
After 2 days of occupation it looked as if today the police were going to make their move. They surrounded the field house restricting any movement in or out. By mid day the perimeter of the siege had extended for a block around the school. Streets were cut off and even local residents found it nearly impossible to enter their neighborhood. Only a handful of press who we already inside when the police arrived were allowed near the field house. And most importantly, community members arriving with food for those inside were prevented from getting that food to those inside. Police commanders on the scene threatened arrest for anyone attempting to bring food to those occupying the field house. Even James Finnerty, the lawyer for those inside the field house, was prevented from entering the school grounds.
Calls to Alderman Danny Solis for his aid in lifting the siege fell on deaf years. Once again, the community was told Danny was out of town (man that guy takes a lot of vacations). This time it was to D.C. at least and not to
The parents and community members inside told the growing crowd of supporters outside that they had been told that at 2:45 pm, just as the school day was ending and children would be exiting the school building, the police would arrest anyone who persisted in refusing to leave. But the end of the school day just brought a fresh wave of solidarity. A large group of parents, school children and community supporters pushed past police lines with food for those inside. Some started to jump the low fence that had served as the perimeter closest to the field house all day. Frustrated police at first seemed to try to prevent this but were quickly overwhelmed and gave up the attempt to stem the tide. Shortly after that, for reasons that are not fully clear, the police left the area and removed the cordon they had created around the school. CPS security than opened the gate to the playground and all the supporters, many of whom had observed from the fence line all day, swarmed in for an informal pizza party.
It is not clear what CPS next move will be. Negotiations between CPS and those in the field house were inconclusive. CPS indicated perhaps some willingness to dialogue with the concerned parents and area residents, but only if those inside vacated the building and lock smith changed the locks. CPS also put up signs on the outside of the building declaring it condemned and off limits to the public. At least for now the police have been called off, and the
Bring food, bring drink, but most of all bring your solidarity...
Audio interviews from those occupying La Casita and supporters outside will air on this Monday’s Labor Express Radio program, 88.7 FM at 10:00 AM. Or live online at… www.wluw.org
You can find pics of the events described here…
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Yesterday’s celebration of
The protest involved the unfurling of 4 banners at strategic locations letting the Consul know he is no longer welcome in
Now that’s the way to celebrate a revolution.
You can find links to my pictures of the protest here…
Monday, September 13, 2010
This Monday’s episode of Labor Express Radio is a “don’t miss” episode. The entire program will be devoted to my Labor Day weekend visit with the locked out Steelworkers in Metropolis, Illinois, a small blue collar town in the Southernmost corner of the state. Metropolis maybe know as the home of Superman, but the danger to the residents of Metropolis isn’t kryptonite, it is the toxic substances handled at the Honeywell International Inc. plant located on the outskirts of town.
The only uranium conversion plant in the United States, members of Steelworkers Local 7-669 are uniquely skilled and trained to handle radioactive material and highly corrosive acids. But now, locked-out of the plant, the facility is being staffed by poorly trained scabs. There has already been one explosion at the plant on the Sunday
before Labor Day.
Hear more about how proposed cuts to health care and pension benefits lead to a contract impasse and the eventual lock-out. Hear how the town of 6,000 has rallied around the locked-out workers. And hear how a town lives in existential fear. On this Monday’s Labor Express Radio program – The Men of Steel Locked-Out in the Home of the Man of Steel.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
If you haven't already read this, you really must. It is absolutely hilarious as well as poignant, in true Michael Moore fashion. It is really disturbing to think that Rahm Emmanuel could very well be our next Mayor...