10+ Ways YOU Can Help Chicago Teachers Win Their Strike #CTU

by The North Star on September 12, 2012

  • Walk daily picket lines in Chicago. Take a day off, a sick day, or a vacation day; do outreach to college student groups as students have more flexible schedules; and come to Chicago to walk picket lines. There will be morning picket lines at hundreds of schools from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. each weekday. Plan to come to CPS, 125 S. Clark Street, for daily all-day picketing with Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) members. You may want to stop in at the CTU Strike Headquarters at 328 South Marshfield (near Ashland and Van Buren) to volunteer for support tasks. Finally, join the daily mass actions from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. Details on each day’s afternoon action will be at ctunet.com, at the strike headquarters, or email the Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign. Be sure to wear your union, student group, or community groups’ shirts, and make or bring placards and banners that show you are from another city.
  • Attend a Saturday rally in Chicago. If the strike lasts a week, there will be a Saturday rally in downtown Chicago with many thousands of teachers and supporters. We need to show the Mayor that the CTU has broad support. Be sure to wear your union or community groups’ shirts, and bring placards and banners that show you are from another city. Organize your union or group to bring carloads or buses to show your solidarity. Make Chicago in September 2012 look like Madison in February 2011!
  • Order T-shirts. Wear your solidarity with the Chicago Teachers Union. You can buy T-shirts at the CTU Strike Headquarters. Or, you can order Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign T-shirts with a minimum order of 24 at $11.50 each. To order union-made, union-printed CTSC shirts contact American Campaigns Co. at (773) 261-6800 or email Gigi [email protected] Unfortunately, CTSC is not able to ship individual orders; we ask that you order directly from American Campaigns.
  • Donate. Support the CTU’s outreach efforts by donating to the Solidarity Fund at https://afl.salsalabs.com/o/4013/c/468/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=7204 Widely email and distribute this donation link. Encourage all CTU supporters to donate, even if it’s only a small amount.
  • You can also show your solidarity with striking Chicago teachers by donating to pay for their lunch. For however long the strike lasts, striking Chicago Teachers Union activists and supporters will maintain a strike headquarters after morning picket lines and before a mass picket downtown in the afternoon. The Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign (CTSC) has made arrangements with Primo’s Pizza, a locally owned and teacher-friendly restaurant near the strike HQ, to deliver pizza, pasta, and salads. You can help defer the up to $1,000 a day cost by calling Primo’s and asking them to take a donation with your credit card. At the conclusion of the strike, any unused funds will go toward the ongoing campaign to defend public education and fight for an elected school board in Chicago. (Consider pooling donations with others and making just one phone call.) Call Gus or Daisy at Primo’s Pizza at (312) 243-1052. Primo’s is at 816 W. Van Buren Street, Chicago. It is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, but try not to call during lunch rush 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
  • Hold a forum in your town. Hold a forum in your town to discuss how the CTU is fighting for the schools that students deserve, how their fight relates to the issues working people face in your town, and how you can organize solidarity with the CTU. During a strike it may not be possible to send CTU activists on the road to speak in other cities, but the union can have teachers speak to your forum via Skype.
  • Pass a solidarity resolution. Talk in your union, student group, congregation, or community group about the CTU campaign to defend public education and workers’ rights. Get your union (or your union president if no meeting is scheduled soon) to pass a CTU solidarity resolution. Get your student or community group to pass a resolution. Email for language: [email protected]

Union Square, NYC CTU solidarity rally. Sponsored by the Movement of Rank-and-File Educators (MORE) and the Occupy Wall Street Labor Outreach Committee.

  • Hold your own solidarity action! If you cannot attend a rally or picket in Chicago, organize your own public action in support of the CTU. This could include informational pickets, marches, or rallies. Be creative and use it as an opportunity to relate the CTU’s struggle to those facing working people in your own city.
  • Raise funds for the CTU Solidarity Fund (click here to donate). Hold fundraising parties, canvass sympathetic businesses for in-kind donations and/or matching donations, hold solidarity garage sales, concerts, etc. Checks can be made payable to: Chicago Teachers Union Solidarity Fund.
  • Share your solidarity. Blog about the CTU’s struggle. Write letters to the editor of your city or campus newspapers. When you read online articles about teachers or the CTU, post your solidarity in the comments section. Tweet in solidarity with CTU. Share your solidarity on your Facebook page. Urge teachers you know to wear a red shirt to school to show solidarity with the CTU during the strike. Take photos of people wearing red in solidarity and send them to CTSC at: [email protected]
  • Learn the issues. Educate yourself on the issues so you can educate others. Sign up to get email updates from the CTU at their website at www.ctunet.com (Look for “Get email updates.”) Go to the website and click on the image to read the union’s report “The Schools Chicago’s Students Deserve.” Add the CTU and CTSC on their Facebook pages.
    Email: [email protected]
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChicagoTeachersSolidarity
    Twitter: @CTSCampaign
    CTSC Web site: ctscampaign.weebly.com

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