Intelligence Report: Teachers 'solidarity rally' to focus on larger labor issues

September 14, 2012 (CHICAGO)

In this Intelligence Report: why the rally will still be held even with teachers looking at a return to work.

Just as protesting teachers have been joined this week by members of other union and by demonstrators from the Occupy movement, Saturday's noontime "solidarity rally" is intended to focus on larger labor issues.

Even though union negotiators appear to have wrapped up talks, the protest event will take place here in union park tomorrow. CTU officials are expected to frame it as a victory rally, but nationally it is being promoted as a "Wisconsin-style" protest, referring to what happened last year when collective bargaining right were curtailed for teachers and other public workers.

A Chicago Teachers Union map pinpoints where their strike has received support and if their website pictures of unions across the country backing the effort is an indication, Saturday's turnout could be sizeable with labor representatives from other cities and other interest groups.

A contingent from Madison, Wisc., is rallying there Friday night and then heading to Chicago.

It seems no coincidence that Friday this artistically-produced Chicago Teachers Union film has debuted. The 16-minute film called "The Truth in Black and White" is on CTU's YouTube channel and features teachers, parents and students talking about education issues that dog most districts.

The film - and this week's teacher protests - have made it clear that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is the new anti-labor poster child for unions, even displacing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who was the whipping boy.

Despite Emanuel's name being misspelled in the CTU production, there is no mistaking the union's ire: "I think it would be beneficial for the mayor when he decides to roll out a new program for Chicago Public School kids, to ask whether this is something that would fly at the University of Chicago Lab School where he sends his kids. Is this the type of reform that parents at the Lab School would accept?"

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