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Thousands of CPS teachers rallied outside on Clark Street between Madison and Adams.
The teachers walked off the job Monday morning after months of negotiations failed to resolve a contract dispute with CPS officials by the midnight deadline.
Negotiations continue between CPS and CTU officials at Jackson and Wacker.
Drivers were urged to avoid the Loop as many streets were closed or jammed with marchers; areas that were gridlocked included Randolph to Monroe, Dearborn to Wells and LaSalle to Michigan.