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CTUd'etat the Musical? -- Comedy, tragedy or... farce... A quote from history that may be about our current realities

After the revolutions of 1848 were viciously suppressed across Europe, many of the radical journalists of the time went into exile. One of those landed in England, where he continued to write, publishing articles on working class politics in American newspapers and during the U.S. Civil War helping organize the workers of England's cotton factories against slavery, a fact that helped stop the British liberal ruling class from siding with the "Confederate States of America" during those years. Thousands of other German revolutionaries moved to the USA, where among other things they became soldiers in the armies of the Union that ended slavery, among other things."Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Caussidière for Danton, Louis Blanc for Robespierre, the Montagne of 1848 to 1851 for the Montagne of 1793 to 1795, the nephew for the uncle. And the same caricature occurs in the circumstances of the second edition of the Eighteenth Brumaire..." (Karl Marx during his journalism days).

Having watched and studied the rush rush rush move of some of the leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union towards an effervescent endorsement of a politician who, among other things, has done some serious anti-union work at Cook County Hospital, I was told that "we" should line up in support of Jesus "Chuy" Garcia because once upon a time he (a) helped Harold Washington get a majority in the Chicago City Council and (b) voted against the Amendatory Act of 1995 in Springfield.

This, of course, poised against a guy (Bob Fioretti) who since 2010 has stood up for the Chicago Teachers Union dozens of times, only to be peed on from the stage at Plumbers Hall on Halloween 2014. From one of the two tables he had bought (at $500 apiece) as part of his long-term commitment to the Chicago Teachers Union.

As I've shared with many people, including our union's leadership, I was there "for Harold" back in 1983, when in many parts of Chicago (such as Steinmetz High School where I was teaching) it was very challenging to wear that famous blue "Washington" button. Then we elected Harold against "Epton Before It's Too Late!" and...

Within six months, Harold's school superintendent (Ruth Love at that point) forced us out on the longest strike in our history (October 1983, 13 days; I was teaching at Juarez by then).

then we were forced out on strike against in 1984 and 1985.

In September 2012, Aldermen Bob Fioretti and Nick Sposato walked the picket lines with the Chicago Teachers Union, and during the following year they organized and spoke out publicly against the massive school closings, charter expansions, and other privatization and union busting plans of the Chicago ruling class. On Halloween 2014, they got to sit in front of the stage while the leaders of the CTU disrespected them -- especially Fioretti -- in a back door rigged endorsement of a guy named Chuy Garcia, who was not with the teachers on the picket lines or at the fights over charters and against closings. Substance photos by Sharon Schmidt. And by 1987, we were forced out on the longest strike in CTU history -- 19 days. That was the fourth strike we had to do during the Harold Washington years. By then, Harold (he told me to call him "Harold" when I interviewed him for Substance in December 1982 at his old Congressional office on Cottage Grove) had his own superintendent, Manford Byrd. A few months later, "Harold" was dead.

"Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Caussidière for Danton, Louis Blanc for Robespierre, the Montagne of 1848 to 1851 for the Montagne of 1793 to 1795, the nephew for the uncle. And the same caricature occurs in the circumstances of the second edition of the Eighteenth Brumaire..." (Karl Marx during his journalism days).



Comments:

November 3, 2014 at 5:02 PM

By: Spike Nard

What a kick in the teeth

George,

I am with you. What a shame CTU is walking away from a known supporter for all of CPS, in Alderman Fioretti. He has visited my child's former school on a regular basis, and I can attest to his love and support for all teachers.

November 4, 2014 at 4:58 PM

By: Maureen Cullnan

voter

Did CTU toss their endorsement away? And with it the opportunity to support a better known candidate -- which a poll showed -- was more likely to win? Why?

November 4, 2014 at 6:06 PM

By: George N. Schmidt

The lies about the recent polls

One of the biggest questions raised in the past couple of days is the veracity of the recent supposed "polls." Actually, that is one of the places where the real challenge is to the honesty of those making the claims about the polls, and about the supposed "electability" of certain possible candidates. (Remember: nobody is a candidate for the February municipal election until after November 24, when the petitions are to be turned in). The "polls" are only as good as their details. Those who are claiming certain "polling results" without providing all the details of all the polls are just adding to the mountains of lies they have been heaping on us since the CTUd'etat.

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