New video adds musical background to the school closings Fight Back... and adds to a growing musical tradition being born out of Chicago's struggles

Throughout US history, every new struggle of working people has given rise to cultural expressions, both in song and in art. Chicago's struggle to prevent the destruction of public education by the "one percent" plutocrats and their front man, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has begun to give an old tradition new life. A new music video, "It's time to fight back"," released by Chicago parent and populist musician Matt Farmer has the chorus "You've got to stand up, show 'em who you are. You've got to fight back, Rahm has gone too far..." and includes dramatic photographs of the latest protests against Rahm Emanuel's closing of more than 54 Chicago public schools.

One of the aesthetic features of the protests against Rahm Emanuel's policies destroying the public schools of Chicago has been an outpouring of individual "signange" (banned from the Board of Education building) expressing peoples' understanding of Rahm's realities. This photo was taken in Daley Plaza in Chicago on March 27, 2013. Substance photo by Susan Zupan. The words to the song are available.

“It’s Time to Fight Back”

Nine times six


Schools gettin’ closed

Like never before

It’s the most school closings

In history

But it ain’t no

Scooby-Doo mystery

Gonna clear out

The neighborhood

Keep people movin' out

To Harvey and Maywood

Rippin’ out

Community anchors

Push out the poor kids

Bring on the bankers

Where was Rahm

When the deal got done?

Out skiing

In the Utah sun

These are your schools, Chicago

And it’s time to stand up


You’ve got to stand up

And show him who you are

It’s time to fight back

Rahm has gone too far

Progressive poseur

Walkin’ bulldozer

Union bustin’

Grade school closer


Landed a quick jab

South Side, West Side

It’s a land grab

Lookin’ for a tax base

Maybe a white face

All-out crisis

That he won't let go to waste

Runnin’ schools

With the help of the fat cats

Treatin’ poor kids

Like they were lab rats

These are your schools, Chicago

Tell ‘em what to do, G


You’ve got to stand up

And show him who you are

It’s time to fight back

Rahm has gone too far

Mad about the strike

So now he’s strikin’ back

Bully with a big stick

Hittin’ the brown and black

Movin’ kids

Like Monopoly pieces

Same old games

Class size increases

When you fight back

Rahm’s like a rich dad

Tryin’ to buy you off

With a brand new iPad

Air conditioning

For when you get hot

Got his fingers crossed

That you don’t get shot

These are your schools, Chicago

Tell ‘em what to do, G


You’ve got to stand up

And show him who you are

It’s time to fight back

Rahm has gone too far


This isn't the first time on a similar subject for the group making this video. Before the 2011 mayoral election, they produced a song about Rahm Emanuel's plans called "Too Big To Fail." More than a year before the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 it had the memorable line... "send a dead fish to the union teachers."

Thus the latest video and music are reminiscent of Matt Farmer's previous "Too Big to Fail" effort, "Too Big To Fail". "Too Big to Fail" was widely appreciated as a satirical warning to Chicago about Rahm Emanuel during the 2011 mayoral election.

The URL for "You've got to stand up..." is:

The URL for "Too Big To Fail," still available on You Tube, is:

"it's time to fight back" includes dozens of photographs, most of them from the March 27, 2013 rally, march and civil disobedience, showing the latest round of protests and ties in the current attacks on the city's public schools with the mayor's attack on the Chicago Teachers Union because of the successful strike of September 2012.

Since we're tagging music today, it may be time for teachers and others struggling to save Chicago's public schools to give another nod to "Chicago Teacher" by Rebel Diaz, the rap song of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012. The URL for the 2012 strike song is:

And last but never least, the song that is sung at the beginning of every meeting of CORE, the Caucus Of Rank and file Educators -- Solidarity Forever -- as sung by Pete Seeger and with a video of union strikes from the past 150 years. The URL for the song is:


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