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Chicago: America's Epicenter of Resistance

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Xian Barrett teaches history and social studies. He runs the Teacher X blog site. On September 9, he headlined why he's striking.

America's labor movement has roots in Chicago. It's more than about wages and benefits. It helped stop child labor so kids could attend school.

It contested unsafe workplace conditions. It "fought so that workers could have some tiny measure of time with our families rather than spending all waking hours working for the enrichment of their bosses."

At issue now is whether to "help or hurt our kids." Overcrowded classrooms left too hot in summer and too cold in winter hurts plenty.

"When you lock down our schools with metal detectors and arrest brothers for play fighting in the halls, that hurts our kids."

"When you spend millions on your pet programs, but there's no money for school level repairs, so the roof leaks on my students at their desks when it rains, that hurts our kids."

"When you unilaterally institute a longer school day, insult us by calling it a 'full school day' and then provide no implementation support, throwing our schools into chaos, that hurts our kids."

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When you scavenge school budgets to enrich corporate favorites, that hurts plenty. Somebody ought to go to jail, said Barrett.

When you close schools, privatize others, fire teachers, disrupt the lives of kids, leave thousands without classrooms, prioritize bureaucracy and corporate interests over education, that not only hurts kids, "it basically ruins the whole idea of why we have a (school) district at all."

When you bargain in bad faith, you prove you want force-fed diktat authority, not equitable resolution.

Barrett says he's "willing to sacrifice an awful lot to protect the students I serve every day." Striking isn't hurting them. Teachers walked out "to restore some semblance of reasonable care for students to this system."

"I ask anyone who does remotely care about the kids we teach and learn from and triumph and cheer and cry and grow with., to stand with us and fight for a better future for our kids."

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"See you on the picket line, my friend."

Retired teacher Mike Klonsky 's Small Talk Blog headlined "Romney, Ryan Support Rahm." What else from a corporate predator and wannabe. Both blame victims. According to Romney:

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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With stats like these:   Source of these ra... by Bill Johnson on Thursday, Sep 13, 2012 at 10:30:03 AM