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Chicago education workers strike for their students

June 15, 2021 | By admin | No Comments | Filed in: ercinbyyl.

first_imgChicago, Oct. 17.On Oct. 17, the Chicago Teachers Union – 25,000 strong – struck their school district, which is the third largest in the U.S. They were joined by 7,500 education workers from Service Employees Union (SEIU) Local 73. By Oct. 21, the CTU strike had entered its third day. These education workers are advocating for their students and going on the offensive against school privatization and austerity measures. Since 2012, the CTU has prioritized rank-and-file activism, a tactic that influenced Red for Ed education actions that have rocked the U.S. and Puerto Rico since 2018. The launch of the strike is covered in this Oct. 18 article reprinted from Fightback News! (fightbacknews.org)Chicago — Picket lines went up at hundreds of schools across Chicago at 6:30 a.m. Oct. 17. The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) walked out for their third strike since 2012. For the more than 7,000 members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73 [joining them], this is an historic first strike, and the first against Chicago’s new mayor, Lori Lightfoot.In the afternoon, the strikers went downtown in a river of red — the color of CTU — and purple — the color of SEIU. For over two hours, more than 20,000 marched back and forth, surrounding the Board of Education and City Hall buildings. They chanted, “When education is under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!”Sarah Chambers, a special education teacher at Alcott College Prep in the Roscoe Village neighborhood, helped lead picketing at her school. She is an area captain, so she then visited the other picket lines in the nearby schools. As a member of the 40-person bargaining committee for CTU, she then sat in on the bargaining, and finally joined with her co-workers at the massive rally in the Loop, Chicago’s central business district.Talking to Fight Back!, Chambers explained, “This strike of more than 30,000 teachers, teacher assistants, clinicians, and special ed classroom assistants with CTU and SEIU is about justice for Black and brown students in the city of Chicago. They deserve all the support in their schools, [and] support to deal with the trauma they experience living in the oppressive, racist system in Chicago means full-time social workers, nurses and restorative justice coordinators.“Our students deserve class-size caps, with special education support, more resources, and fully funded schools.“Lori Lightfoot has made it clear that she is choosing to support the rich people in Chicago by giving them $2.4 billion in TIF [Tax Increment Financing] money, instead of putting money into our schools.”When asked about the outcome of this strike, Chambers didn’t pause. “We are united and strong. We know we will win.”Chicago, Oct. 17.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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Montana issues COVID death sentence to prisoners

June 15, 2021 | By admin | No Comments | Filed in: nibtjzsrs.

first_imgMontana State Prison reported Nov. 6 that Robert Gonzalez, 70, died Oct. 24 of COVID and that “underlying health conditions contributed to his death.” MSP reported another prisoner Jeffory Alan Lafield died of COVID the same day. (tinyurl.com/y4ay7e5f) According to NBC Montana, this prisoner, also in his 70s, had underlying conditions. (Nov. 2)In October, Montana families turned out in Missoula to support incarcerated people. PHOTO: Sara DigginsAge, in itself, is an underlying condition. At 17.6%, Montana ranks No. 1 in U.S. states for its percentage of older (55+) prisoners. (tinyurl.com/y52wjkph) Additionally, according to 2015 Bureau of Justice statistics, 32% of people in prisons and 40% in local and county jails are disabled, making them more susceptible to COVID. (tinyurl.com/yydu9df7)In April, Disability Rights Montana and ACLU sought the release of all prisoners with disabilities, older people and those with underlying health conditions. The state’s Supreme Court unanimously denied the claim. (tinyurl.com/y4yj7kt8) COVID-19 deaths and infections are increasing in Montana prisons. Of some 3,600 prisoners that the Montana Department of Corrections listed in the state system at the end of 2019, percentages of infections have been reported variously, from 12% of the population at MSP to 43% at privately run CoreCivic’s Crossroads in Shelby (tinyurl.com/yyh2bwur).  Numbers are also rising in the women’s prison in Billings; Indigenous women make up a disproportionate 34% of the state’s female prison population. (tinyurl.com/y94mkgdn)  The numbers issued by state reports may also hide COVID deaths inside overall death statistics.The state reports no racial/ethnic statistics for COVID infections and deaths among incarcerated people. While Indigenous people comprise 6% of the state’s population, overall they make up 22% of those in prisons and 26% of jail populations. (tinyurl.com/y94mkgdn) While the state’s Black population is 1%, 3% of prisoners are Black and are incarcerated at 5.7 times the rate of whites. The Latinx population is 3% and makes up 5% of prisoners. (prisonpolicy.org/profiles)  The MSP warden has said that unless people in the prison show COVID symptoms, none of the 1,400 inside are tested. No PPE is distributed. No social distancing protocols are in place. All prisoners are locked down 23.5 hours per day. All are assumed positive for the coronavirus.COVID among guards and staff in all Montana prisons and jails is rampant.  (tinyurl.com/y3lwtgns) National Guard military police and battlefield medical units — some veterans of U.S. wars on Iraq and Afghanistan — have been deployed to 17 prisons and jails across the state, ostensibly to assist prison staff with distribution of meals and mail, laundry and inmate counts. (tinyurl.com/yxnz3g7l)But the pandemic death threat and repressive prison conditions raise the possibility that military forces have been brought in to put down any possible uprising by incarcerated people.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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