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Hey Rahm we’re no fools we won’t let you ruin our schools'... Marshall High School rally

Thousands of teachers — the final estimate was as many as 10,000 — were still pouring into the grass behind Marshall High School as Tara Stamps, from the Jenner Academy of the Arts, led the crowd in rousing chants and cheers. Despite the third day of picketing from 6:30 a.m. til 10:30 a.m. and marches downtown on Monday and Tuesday, the crowd of teachers, parents and community members from the north and west sides was boisterous. They danced and sang along “Ain’t no stopping us now" and "R E S P E C T”. The rally, organized by the CTU, included strikers from the following so-called "Networks" (the latest CPS version of what everywhere else is a subdistrict): Northwest HS, Ravenswood-Ridge, O'Hare, Fullerton, Austin-Lawndale, Fulton, Garfield-Humboldt, and West Side HS were these. Elsewhere two other rallies were being held, with almost equally large turnouts.

Striking Chicago teachers begin to assemble on September 12, 2012 for what later became a rally and march of around 10,000 people at Chicago's Marshall High School (building in the background). The teachers and supporters held a rally, then marched through the West Side "ghetto" of Chicago, where thousands of parents, students and citizens cheered them. Substance photo by Kati Gilson.Drums beat, bells rang and fists soared as the crowd change “Hey hey ho, ho, Rahm Emmanuel’s got to go”.

Ms. Stamps said “Because of us SEIU some of the engineers and maintenance guys in our buildings refuse to cross picket lines and will join us on the picket line”. Another popular song was “Rahm Rahm, Rahm, Rahm, Rahm, Rahm, Rahm, Rahm, hey hey, goodbye”.

“Hey Rahm we’re no fools we won’t let you ruin our schools” was chanted by the thousands in the crowed.

Other chants led by Ms. Stamps included “Students and Teachers under attack, what do we do stand up fight back! Parents and teachers under attack, what do we do stand up fight back!”, “Education is a right! That’s why we have to fight! “We are the Union, the mighty mighty union!” “1, 2, 3, 4 Rahm Emmanuel Close the door, 5, 6, 7, 8 education cannot wait”

Earlean Green, Marshall High School LSC has this to say, “Some questions I’d like to know: Why is the public schools paying for private schools? When our students go to Charter Schools and, they don’t come up to par the first thing they do is put them out they send them back to the public schools but they don’t send the money with them they keep the money. When they come back to the public schools and they don’t come up to par we going to teach them no matter what. And when they don’t come up to par they put the teachers out. Does that make sense? NO!” She also asked about why the lottery money wasn’t going to the schools."

Reverend Paul Jakes told the crowd “I represent neglected, abused and totally looked over children, I come to give the teachers a red apple today”. He told them they’ve done well in standing up for the students and they were receiving encouragement from the faith community. He told the crowd “Believe in yourselves. If you keep faith you can overcome. Never let temporary situations have a permanent affect on your destiny. You are commended for helping children all around Chicago.”

He talked about the need to have smaller class sizes, better text books, art as well as brining back wood shop, electrical shop and home economics. “Bring it back two help our children” he said. He then told the crowd to “Hold on, keep fighting, stay fired up! Keep marching and keep telling the story. Tell Rahm you won’t give up!”

The next stop was a march through the neighborhood, north on Kedzie, west on Madison, south to Jackson and back to Marshall, which is at Adams and Kedzie in the heart of Chicago's "West Side".

Parents and children waved from doorways and windows cheering as the parade marched by. Chants and songs filled the air as the group wound its way through the neighborhood with a parade of dogs, babies in strollers, children on bicycles, children holding signs supporting their teachers, families marching with teachers, cars honking and police offering their support. There were endless signs and banners with school names, slogans representing nurses, teachers, parents and students, each one more colorful and creative than the last. When the parade returned to Marshall the crowd milled around chatting with each other.

Despite the rapid pace of the past three days and more to come, the crowd continued to gather and gradually trickled away as folks went home to rest up for tomorrow. A crowd that should have been exhausted was ready to take on the next event. And the story continues…..

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Comments:

September 13, 2012 at 6:44 AM

By: Anthony Smith

Rahm, Rahm, Rahm, Rahm,Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye!

After marching at Armstrong elementary school with Armstrong teachers as well as teachers from Rogers and Kilmer elementary, and Sullivan High School, many of us marched on to Marshall High School I have to say I am so proud of my fellow teachers!

Having been in a number of marches, including our last strike in 1987, I would say the 10,000 estimate is accurate, if not a little low, and that was just one of three venues!

We are reinvigorated as we meet new teachers, parents and their children, new first responders, all of whom are showering us with support. For the majority it is out of the shared vision of our true Democratic values and basic human rights. For many it is because they have a stake in this outcome of ours. And for a fair number it is because they feel that our Mayor and his school board, not ours since we didn't elect those people, act as a DICTATORSHIP and they truly want to see our Mayor, Rahm Emanuel go away.

Indeed if he were up for re-election today, he would lose, hands-down, and it would be a big loss for him.

Signs that read: Tifs are for kids, and Your Mom would be disappointed with your report card Rahm: #1. Does not play well with others, and many more home-made signs were visible as the chants were loud and clear in their disdain for the Mayor who would be King.

Everyone we came into contact with loved our chants and joined in, except for the police who were very professional and kept their distance, wink, wink.

Seriously, is there a city worker who still supports Rahm? I'd think it is a very low number at this point.

Tired! Exhausted!

Nonsense!!

We are just getting started.

And the best is yet to come.

As this drags on Rahm looks a fool.

He can't get a handle on the violence.

He can't get a handle on the teachers of

Chicago.

And he can't get a handle on public opinion no matter how much money he and his friends put in to spin it their way. Nor can he get a handle on the reality of the situation on the ground. Yes he can exert influence on the Chicago media, as his friends already do at the Trib and Times, WTTW and other local stations, BUT the truth comes out anyway.

The tweets and texts and FaceBook are alive (and well) with vastly overwhelming positive approval of what we are doing, standing up for workers rights across America, demonstrating the Democratic process in a peaceful, organized, and large and in charge way, standing up for the needs of our children, WHO ELSE IS BETTER SUITED FOR KNOWING THE NEEDS OF OUR CHILDREN THAN THE PARENTS AND TEACHERS WHO SPEND MOST OF OUR TIME WITH THEM. Not Rahm in a publicity shot handing out high 5's (and Rahm it is now fist bumps not high 5's that are in style buddy, just thought you should know since your boss made that a whole lot more popular!) not other politicians who claim they care while increasing their pensions and their benefits, and their pay, quietly on a Friday midnight when we won't be watching, and certainly not the Corporate 1% (hello friends of Rahm, and of course all of the SELECTED by Rahm Board of Education know it alls who want to take the power Rahm gave them and shove it down our throats.

So you can stop telling us that the public was not with us,is not with us, will turn against us, because we know better! We feel it, see it, and experience it everyday.

If you are counting on our public support to wain, it won't. With each passing day, the people in their cars that honk their support, the people who wave, give us the thumbs up, a fist held high in the air, who bring us food and water and music, GROWS!

It is a groundswell of grass-roots WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF BEING BULLIED AND PUSHED AROUND AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE.

And their is talk of term limits for politicians, you listening public servants who get rich off or our taxes, hello TIF money!

So, keep up your spin on the media, but keep an eye on the Arab Spring. Because the more you try to keep the poor down, break the middle class, and crush unions, a gateway into the middle class, the more likely you will end up with a wave of something you do not want! Keep it up, please, because I'd like to see you get what you so richly deserve!

In solidarity!

Standing Proud and standing Strong!

Day 4 here we come!

Anthony

September 13, 2012 at 10:12 AM

By: Rhea Escudero

Anti-teacher commercial

On WGN channel 9 at 9:00am a commercial came on that quoted The Suntimes and Tribune's anti-union rhetoric. The sponsor was listed as Education Reform Now Advocacy. Astroturfs are scared of us!! I take this as a positive sign that the teacher's position is being heard and we gain more supporters with each day we are out.

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