Karen Lewis, 1953-2021

The City of Chicago lost a powerful voice for teachers, and for workers in general, with the death of Karen Lewis, former President of the Chicago Teachers Union.

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Pandemic prompts rethinking education

January 31, 2021

The pandemic challenges assumptions about the purpose of schooling, creating an opportunity to address basic issues, including ways to help students reflect and build on what they have learned, in school or out, and to figure out how to allow those experiences to “count.”

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Pandemic changes education

January 14, 2021

The pandemic challenges assumptions about the purpose of schooling, creating an opportunity to address basic issues, including ways to help students reflect and build on what they have learned, in school or out, and to figure out how to allow those experiences to “count.”

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Chicago charter school teachers strike!

March 14, 2019

Chicago Teachers Union paraprofessionals and teachers won a nearly two-week strike against charter school company CICS on Feb. 18, 2019. Teachers will achieve pay parity with Chicago Public School teachers by the end of the four-year contract, while paraprofessionals gain parity immediately.

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Chicago hotel workers on strike

September 27, 2018

Striking hotel workers by the thousands traded their picket line duties for a rally and march through downtown Chicago on Sept. 13, 2018. They were striking over health insurance among other demands.

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Widespread solidarity with Chicago Teachers Union strike

April 29, 2016

Black Lives Matter activists, low-wage workers, disability rights group ADAPT, students and many other people solidarize with striking Chicago Teachers Union members by participating in the “Shut It Down” day of action, which exposed the Chicago Public Schools making Chicago’s public school system broke on purpose.

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Readers’ Views, Sept.-Oct. 2015, Part 1

August 31, 2015

Readers’ thoughts on “Srebrenica, Bosnia, 1995; Europe and the World, 2015”; “Struggles against Racism”; “After Cecil, People Are Next”; “Teachers and Children”; “Workers, Customers Pay.”

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Chicago teachers prepare to strike

June 29, 2015

Over 1,000 teachers and labor supporters rallied three weeks before the Chicago Teachers Union contract expires. The Thompson Center plaza was a sea of red T-shirts with teachers and other unionists chanting “This means war!” about the contract battle ahead.

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CTU strike frames vote

March 8, 2015

Election Day in Chicago, Feb. 24, made the historic nine-day Chicago Teachers Union strike in 2012 a pivotal issue again as the candidate supported by the CTU forced Mayor Rahm Emanuel into a runoff.

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Chicago teachers’ strike reviewed

January 29, 2015

Review of “Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity” by Micah Uetricht and “How to Jump-Start Your Union: Lessons from the Chicago Teachers” from Labor Notes.

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Teachers and parents talk education

February 9, 2013

Editor’s note: Below we print excerpts from the News and Letters Committees panel discussion of teachers and education activists on the September strike by members of the Chicago Teachers Union. Daily mass demonstrations and solidarity from teachers and city residents extracted some concessions from the previously intransigent Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago–While [=>]

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Chicago city workers defy new thug mayor

December 13, 2011

From the November-December 2011 issue of News & Letters:

Chicago—Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made no se­cret of his contempt for City workers and his desire to weaken their unions. His attitude was perfectly cap­tured in early September when he screamed “F—k you, Lewis!” at Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Karen Lewis during a meeting [=>]

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Latinas re-occupy La Casita

September 1, 2011

Chicago–On June 22 the police, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) security and construction crews showed up at La Casita, the field house on the grounds of Whittier Dual Language Academy in Pilsen (see “Chicago Latinas demand a library,” Nov.-Dec. 2010 N&L). As the construction workers set up fencing that blocked access to La Casita from three sides, [=>]

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Stand up, Chicago!

August 16, 2011

Chicago–Thousands of people rallied on June 14 under the banner, “Give It Back!” Three separate marches downtown, each led by a 12-foot-tall “corporate welfare king” puppet, met up outside a Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce summit. Then 24 people sat down in the street and were arrested. There were contingents of teachers, healthcare workers, janitors, anti-eviction [=>]

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Midwest against war

November 16, 2010

From the Nov.-Dec. 2010 issue of News & Letters: Midwest Regional March for Peace and Justice
Midwest against war

 

Part of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign contingent at the Midwest Regional March for Peace and Justice, Oct. 16

 

Chicago–Over 1,000 people marched in the Midwest Regional March for Peace and Justice on Oct. 16. It was truly regional, [=>]

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