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Upcoming movie 'Schoolidarity' reviews the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 and the Wisconsin protests against union busting of 2011...

Pickets at South Shore High School on April 1, 2016. South Shore was a "contingency" school established by the Board of Education for scabs. Despite all the efforts by Chicago's ruling class to encourage scabs, there were fewer than 250 across the city -- out of 25,000 active duty teachers and other CTU members. Substance photo by David Stone.As Chicago prepares for another teachers strike and the fight for improved revenue for schools and other public services moves to Springfield this week, a new movie will review some of the origins of the current organizing and provide a broad perspective on what's going on and what's at stake. The filmmakers pivot off the April 1, 2016 one-day Chicago Teachers Union strike and actios across the city. "In the wake of this day of action, the unreleased documentary film Schoolidarity, which tells the stories of the 2012 Chicago teachers strike and the 2011 Wisconsin capitol seizure by supporters of public unions, will premiere in Chicago as part of the (In)justice For All Film Festival on April 22 and 23, 2016," the organizers of the film's premiers have said in a press release.

PRESS RELEASE...

DOCUMENTARY FILM ABOUT 2012 CHICAGO TEACHERS STRIKE SCHEDULES LOCAL DEBUT AT UPCOMING APRIL FILM FESTIVAL

Online screener made available for local press and bloggers to review, link below.

What: doc film Schoolidarity at the Injustice For All Film Festival

Where and When:

April 22, 2016 at 7pm April 23, 2016 at 5:00 pm

Euclid United Methodist, 405 South Euclid Avenue • Oak Park, IL

Church Trinity United Church of Christ, 400 W. 95th St. Chicago, IL

More info: www.schoolidarity.com and www.injusticeforallff.com

Schoolidarity press contact:

Andrew Friend, Director, 312-316-4458, videoinsurgent@gmail.com

Film Festival contact:

Sonya Harper, 773-680-7953, SMHarper@trinitychicago.org CHICAGO – On April 1, thousands of Chicago Teachers and supporters went on a one-day strike to demand funding for public schools in Illinois. In the wake of this day of action, the unreleased documentary film Schoolidarity, which tells the stories of the 2012 Chicago teachers strike and the 2011 Wisconsin capitol seizure by supporters of public unions, will premiere in Chicago as part of the (In)justice For All Film Festival on April 22 and 23, 2016.

A silver prize winner in the 2015 Spotlight Documentary Film Awards, Schoolidarity documents the years leading up to the 2012 strike by members of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), including parent and community groups’ hard fights against school closings during the Mayor Richard M. Daley years. The ascent of the activist CTU caucus C.O.R.E., and their later election to lead the CTU, is framed as an important move away from a member-focused service model to a community-focused organizing model much more common during the dawn of unions a century ago.

The film also delves into the 2011 weeks long Capitol occupation in Madison, Wisconsin, as public union members tried to resist Gov. Scott Walker’s bill dismantling their bargaining rights. When the movement morphed into a failed gubernatorial recall campaign in 2012 only a month after Chicago teachers had voted to go on strike, Schoolidarity’s director Andrew Friend saw an opportunity to compare and contrast important themes in both struggles. “It was obvious to me that all the important living lessons that US labor unions needed to stop their long decline were all right there in those two Midwest struggles, Chicago and Madison,” said Friend.

“Schoolidarity is a very accurate portrayal of the 2012 strike,” said Sarah Chambers, a special education teacher in Chicago Public Schools who appears in the documentary. “(The film) articulates the multiple layers of the Chicago Public Schools system and the intense corruption that has plagued Chicago. It shows the privatization of the schools & social services & the extreme mistrust (we hold for) the politicians of this city.”

The film documents the widespread popularity of teachers striking for quality public schools, which was reflected in parent polls both in 2012 and during the recent April 1 day of action. Public school parents supported these actions by 2/3 majority margins.

Schoolidarity’s narrative ends with the 2013 closings of nearly 50 public schools by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Since then, the anti-union rhetoric from Illinois politicians has only intensified. Parents, students, and teachers alike are seeing that applying the lessons Schoolidarity captures can elevate the struggle to new levels of intensity and success.

The 3rd annual (In)justice For All Film Festival kicks off on April 21st at multiple venues in Chicago, showcasing films about America’s social ills and what people are doing to fix them.

Private online screeners are available for members of the press, bloggers, and education activists for purposes of review and publicity by following the link https://vimeo.com/89473914 and using the password esims2015.



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