Chicago, IL - On May 23, 4000 Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) members gathered for a historic rally inside the Auditorium Theater. Outside, there was an overflow outdoor rally beneath the Bowman sculpture at Congress Drive and Michigan Avenue that included 1500 more, including parents, students and community members.
CTU presented a strong united front to make four key demands of the mayor and his appointed puppet Board of Education: smaller class sizes; better day, not a longer day; fair compensation and job protection for veteran educators.
The indoor and outdoor rallies came together on Michigan Avenue and marched through the streets in a sea of CTU red through the Loop, passing by Chicago Public Schools headquarters and eventually converging with Stand Up Chicago's mass rally to protest the Chicago Mercantile Exchange shareholders meeting. The mood throughout the rallies and the march was electric and raucous. Many cars, buses and trucks honked to show their support for the teachers and people on the sidewalks also clapped in support.
A recent poll by the Chicago Tribune shows that there is more public support for teachers than Rahm Emanuel may have calculated and it is clear that the teachers are ready to put up a fight against the mayor’s union busting tactics.