Tag Archives: Karen Lewis

Emanuel Emails Reveal Close Collaboration Between Democrats, Republicans to Destroy Unions, Rob Workers

We are pleased to publish the full set of the recently released emails from Chicago Democratic Party Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s private email server that were finally divulged after a lawsuit brought against the Emanuel Administration by the tepidly reformist “Better Government Association” (BGA – former Chicago TV newsman Andy Shaw’s hobbyhorse).  We’ve also added the court documents released by the BGA along with the emails, because you never know when the BGA’s website will “lose” the links to the emails and start producing the usual “404 error” page we see all the time with releases like this.


  1.   rahm-emanuel-personal-email-court-documents
  2. 122116-wls-bga-emanuel-emails settlement agreement
  3. BGA vs City of Chicago_Rahm Emanuel private email server emails (3276 pages. censored)

Like the infamous and insecure private email server of Hilary Rodham Clinton, Rahm Emanuel’s email server is purpose-built to help Democrat Emanuel to hide his behind-the-scenes close collaboration with the Dems’ Republican “opponents” as well as the allegedly pro-union Democrats’ secret collaboration with the anti-union capitalists who bankroll both the Democratic and Republican candidates for all the major political offices here in the “Land of the Free”(TM).  Under the toothless “government transparency” laws, all emails and other correspondence from and to government leaders is supposed to be carried out via official  communications channels where they can be archived and preserved as public records, reviewable by the citizenry via Freedom of Information Act requests.  Every communication of every President, Senator, Congressperson and on down through the government to local mayors is supposed to be subject to public scrutiny – if only after a number of years have passed.  The “secret” private servers of Clinton, Emanuel and other “public servants” are kept secret only from the supposedly supreme power in the US’ phony democracy: the citizens.  In fact, private, illegal communications networks set up by top US politicians and federal agency heads are constantly being revealed which prove to anyone paying attention that the only people who these bought-and-paid-for public servants “protect and serve” are the wealthiest people in the USA: the 10% of the US population who own 75% of the national wealth.  Billionaires like Penny Pritzker and Bruce Rauner have full access to the ears and eyes of politicians like Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emanuel via these “secret” email servers, where they can conspire against you behind your back while they publicly pretend to be at each others’ throats.  These repulsively wealthy people, who actually run the USA in their own selfish interests, have 24/7/365 access to the big-city mayors and all the top politicians who are in their turn busily stuffing their and their friends’ pockets with whatever they can filch from the hundreds of billions of dollars in tax money stolen every year from you, the struggling members of the working class.

Even the cursory examination of the emails which we’ve been able to do provides a rare glimpse into the backroom deals constantly being engineered by the phony “friends of labor” Democrats and their real friends among the capitalist 1%ers who actually run Chicago and the USA.  The billionaire who is now the Republican governor of Illinois – Bruce Rauner – whom the Democrats publicly pretend to be their enemy – turns out to be on a first-name basis with Rahm and is revealed to be actually a member of the (very small) Rahm Emanuel fan club.  “You’re a good politician” Rauner gushes at Rahm in an email in which he and the “friend of labor” Emanuel administration conspire to coordinate their attacks on perhaps the last popular and powerful bastion of union labor in Chicago, the Chicago Teacher’s Union.

Rauner conspires with Emanuel to Crush Chicago Teachers' Union

Emanuel and his Republican allies are seen in the emails conspiring to carefully engineer their attacks on the Teachers Union so as to justify smashing the union. They plan to take pains to minimize the “psychological shock” to the pro-teachers’ union majority of the working-class population of the city when they launch their final assault on the union’s ability to protect tenured teachers from summary dismissals based on their poverty-stricken students’ weak GPAs. In other words, the US capitalist class and their politicians are cutting funding to the very social and educational programs necessary for students to excel in school, and then they plan to use the low test scores generated by their cuts to justify the gutting of the seniority rights of “underperforming” teachers!

The emails were released in a single .pdf file of over 3200 pages, which makes searching the individual emails a chore to say the least.  The Chicago press corps and the BGA itself have bent over backwards to downplay the significance of the evidence of close collaboration between the two capitalist-owned-and-operated political parties of the USA when it comes to attacking the teachers’ union and shoving the greedy agenda of the Chicago capitalist elites  down the throats of the workers of Chicago and Illinois.  The head of the teachers union, Karen Lewis, is herself a close friend of her “opponent” Rahm Emanuel and spends her time in a pantomime of opposition to the union-busting operations of her own Democratic Party directed at “her” union.  As we have pointed out to the workers time and time again, the Democratic Party is not now and never has been composed of the “friends of labor” but is in fact owned and operated – just as the Republican Party is – by the mortal enemies of the workers of the US and the world: the US capitalist class.  So long as the leadership of the US trade union movement is politically shackled to the pro-capitalist dung-cart of the Democratic Party the union movement will not advance a single step but will continue on its downward trajectory into oblivion.  Only a class-struggle Trotskyist leadership of the union movement dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist system which systematically robs the working class of the fruits of its labor can lead a resurgence of the US labor movement.

The emails also reveal the careful massaging of the news media constantly being undertaken by the Democrats in order to get the most positive coverage possible for their never-ending attacks on the unions and the working class in general.  The masses must be kept blind and must always have pro-capitalist propaganda driven down their throats continuously lest they discover how badly they are being screwed by their political “friends”.   And of course the media – like the politicians themselves, wholly owned and operated by the 1%ers – dutifully obliges, covering up the actual collaboration between the anti-union capitalist class and the “friends of labor” in the Democratic Party.  “Everyone” wins – except the vast majority of the population in the working class, who see their standard of living being steadily eroded.

The close collaboration betwen the “friends of labor” Democrats and their murderous, racist police is also laid bare by the emails.  Emanuel and ex-Chicago police chief McCarthy fret over news media coverage of the latest atrocities committed by the police and desperately try to maintain the fiction that the police in a capitalist state are supposed “to protect and serve” the working class.  As every intelligent worker knows, the police are the mortal enemies of the workers, racist thugs who think nothing of shooting workers – especially black and Hispanic workers – who dare to stand up against racist police terror.  The cops in a capitalist state have one role to play: they defend the racist capitalist status quo, crushing any attempt of the working class to fight for their rights.  The cops defend capitalist private property and the “inalienable right” of the 1% to 75% of the national wealth!

Democrats have been running the murderous, racist police departments in almost every major US city for ever. Source: Rahm emails, page 220.

Democrats have been running the murderous, racist police departments in almost every major US city for ever.  Source: Rahm emails, page 220.

Democrats' killer cops ever-vigilant to protect citizenry from themselves.  Cop "intelligence" confused by "Guy Fox" masks.  Source: Rahm emails, page 269.

Democrats’ killer cops ever-vigilant to protect citizenry from themselves. Cop “intelligence” confused by “Guy Fox” masks.  Source: Rahm emails, page 269.

We wish we had the time to do a thorough dissection of these emails so we could present you with the juiciest evidence of how the Democrats are selling you out to their wealthy owners day in and day out, but we just don’t have the personnel to enable such a project.  We need honest, hard-working workers to put down their TV remotes and dedicate themselves to fighting for the rights of the working class by joining our party or at least helping us do this work on a regular basis.  Until you start to take your working class political responsibilities to yourselves and your families seriously you will continue to get pummeled by the endless assaults being launched against you by your mortal enemies: the capitalist greedheads and their political hatchetmen in both the Democratic and Republican parties.  The enemies of the vast majority of the population of every capitalist nation-state – the working class – needs the kind of 24/7/365 representation that the top 3% have.  Until you build that kind of organization you will be stuck impotently “speaking truth to power” to a ruling class that is so completely insulated from you that the desperate pleas of your hundreds of millions of workers sounds like a plaintive whisper they need not trouble themselves to notice.

Independent Workers Party of Chicago


SOLD OUT! Pro-Capitalist CTU Leadership Shoves Lousy Contract Down Teachers Throats in Bogus Voice Vote

Proving yet again that the working class can’t trust a Democrat any farther than you can throw one, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis took a page out of the old-school playbook of the AFL-CIO and used a bogus VOICE VOTE to drive the lousy contract she and her team negotiated with the Chicago Public Schools down the throats of the CTU membership last night.  Instead of giving capitalist puppet Rahm Emanuel and his student-bashing school board a hard lesson in working-class struggle, Karen Lewis and the CTU bureaucracy gave the entire working class of the world a lesson in the many ways workers can be robbed of almost certain victory when their organizations are led by people who are dedicated to the defense of the capitalist system.  It is impossible for any union to win a strike with a union leadership that defends capitalism, a system that is fundamentally based on the exploitation of the working class; and the Chicago Teachers Union was saddled with just such a leadership.  Even though this strike had every prospect of success: a united angry, dedicated union membership; tremendous support from the working class of Chicago and especially the parents and students; and a Democratic Party city administration that was widely despised and was doing everything it could to alienate public support for their union-busting schemes, the pro-capitalist cop-loving Democratic Party hacks at the top of the Chicago Teachers Union managed to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.  This is a lesson the members of the Chicago Teachers Union and the working class of Chicago – and the whole world – must never forget.

No one will ever know how many of the 800 CTU delegates voted down the rotten deal Lewis and her crew concocted over months of negotiations with the Chicago Public Schools because Lewis – who made a huge pretense at being dedicated to the principles of union democracy all these many months – used the time-dishonored bureaucratic technique of demanding a VOICE VOTE on this critically important decision.  This extremely undemocratic method of deciding an issue boils down to allowing the CTU bureaucrats to determine whether the “yeas” or the “nays” shouted the loudest.  This classic type of Chicago backroom political swindle is second nature to the worthless AFL-CIO leadership, pro-capitalist to the end, who are more interested in feathering their own nests than risking their cozy jobs in a battle to improve the lives of their union members, and by extension the lives of all working class people everywhere.  Lewis herself admitted as much last Saturday at the big CTU rally in Union Park, Chicago, where she feigned humility by tut-tutting the crowd’s chants of “Karen for President” and “Karen for Mayor”.  “How about ‘Karen for retirement?’ “, she quipped.  It seemed funny then, but now it seems all too clear that she is indeed looking forward to her own cushy retirement and had no intention of ever risking that important goal for the mere purpose of defending the rights of Chicago’s public school children to a quality public school education.

We warned the teachers this week that to expect a pro-cop, pro-capitalist Democrat like Karen Lewis to lead a militant strike was highly doubtful.  Yet we had not expected her to completely stab the membership in the back this blatantly.  After the House of Delegates voted not to end the strike on Sunday, we truly believed that, once they saw the details of this rotten “tentative framework”, the Delegates would vote to continue the strike.  But the allegiance to the capitalist class that is at the heart of every Democratic Party politician proved to be the deciding factor in the next maneuvers of Lewis and her gang of union piecards.  First, instead of presenting the members of the House of Delegates with a complete copy of the “tentative framework” it had taken her and her sellout “negotiating team” MONTHS to cultivate, she only gave them a crappy 23-page summary of the original 180-page-plus document to take back to the membership for discussion!  As a 17-year old high school senior stated to the press upon hearing of this treachery: “I’m only 17 years old and I know that I would not sign a contract that I had not fully read.” [Source: Chicago Tribune: “CPS fails to get immediate court order ending teachers strike” 17 September 2012]  Yet that’s exactly what Karen Lewis and her cabal “running” the CTU intended to force the House of Delegates to do.

For her next great betrayal, Lewis, at the House of Delegates meeting on Tuesday urged the delegates to vote to end the strike and then she used her trump card – the blunt instrument of a voice vote, the political equivalent of a 2×4, bludgeoning the opposition to her scheme into silence.  Having already harangued the delegates on her absolute certainty that the brutal deal she was trying to sell was the best the membership could get under the circumstances, and having prepared, no doubt, a claque of lickspittle bureaucrats to shout down any voice of opposition that someone dared to raise, she stuck the knife in with the voice vote.  Nicely done.  The same capitalist press that has been ripping her to shreds for weeks will now applaud her; her “guy” in the Oval Office will probably invite her to his house for dinner the next time he’s in town to congratulate her on her “labor statesmanlike” performance.

But any intelligent member of the CTU should know this truth: the crappy contract Lewis just saddled the union with isn’t the best the CTU members could get, or that a militant, class struggle, socialist workers leadership could get: it’s just the best KAREN LEWIS and her sellout team of pro-capitalist Democrats could get!

You see, Karen Lewis, being a pro-capitalist Democrat and friend of “her guy” Wall St. sock puppet Barack Obama and all, can only think wayyyyy inside the capitalist system’s box.  She would never dream of demanding anything that she knew would be considered “unreasonable” by her party bosses and their capitalist owners.  That means that the vast majority of what is necessary for the union to demand in order for it to remain an actual union and not a severely crippled company union was never “on the table” as far as Karen Lewis and her “negotiating team” were concerned.  They wouldn’t dream of alienating and embarrassing their “friends” in Washington – in a presidential election year, no less! – by actually leading a militant fight to completely smash the Emanuel administration’s privatization schemes, or their gutting of union seniority, or their intent to close over 100 schools in the next several years!  To Karen Lewis, all these things are “inevitable”; her Democratic Party’s leaders have already told her so!  Only the “unreasonable radicals” would deny that the privatizations and closing of schools and the gutting of social services being organized by the Democrats as you read this – are “in the bag”.  To the apologists for the capitalist class – which every Democratic Party leader, no matter how well they make “radical” or “militant” sounding speeches – workers MUST “make concessions so that the capitalist system’s weak economic recovery won’t be jeopardized”!  We workers must struggle, hand in hand with our exploiters, the capitalists and their politicians, TO SAVE THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM – AN ECONOMIC SYSTEM WHICH IS NOTHING BUT A CAREFULLY CONSTRUCTED AND PERFECTED MACHINE BUILT SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF ROBBING THE WORKERS BLIND!  For the working class to do anything else but defend the capitalist system which is destroying their living standards and throwing families homeless into the streets of the United States is “unthinkable” to people like Karen Lewis and the Democrats!

The working class – and make no mistake, by the way: the teachers are not “middle class” they are “working class”; the term “middle class” means “small businessman”, it is only empty flattery used by the capitalist politicians to blow smoke in the eyes of the unionized workers – must come to fully understand that so long as they remain pledged to supporting the capitalist system, so long as they continue to elect pro-capitalist politicians to power and pro-capitalist people to lead their unions, the workers will continue to lose every strike, and their standards of living will continue to be driven down, even to a level below that necessary to survive.  This is what capitalism is all about.  It’s about maximizing profits – and profits can only be increased if wages and benefits are DECREASED.  Every single compromise made by the workers – every pay cut, every giveback, every loss in benefits – goes directly into the bank accounts of the filthy rich capitalist class.  It’s a redistribution of wealth: from the poor to the rich.  We do not find it a bit ironic that on the very day that the cop-and-capitalism-loving Democratic Party leadership of the CTU was knifing its own membership in the back for the benefit of Chicago’s capitalist class, the Reuters news agency was running a headline that stated: “Richest 400 Americans’ Net Worth Jumps 13% to $1.7 Trillion”!

As a wise man once said: “American workers had better get their heads out of their asses and start paying attention to what’s happening around them – and how those “friends of labor” Democrats keep selling them out – before it’s too late – once again!”

If the well-educated teacher-members of the CTU can get their asses handed to them while they cheer and clap their hands, what hope is there for the rest of the working class, completely unorganized as it is?  As the revolutionary socialists have always said: there is a crisis of leadership among the workers.  Without leaders who are schooled in the lessons of history, who have studied the many ways that unionized workers have been taken to the cleaners by their own leaders over and over again – in other words, without revolutionary SOCIALIST leadership, the workers are going to find themselves in blind alley after blind alley getting robbed while the capitalist class drinks champagne toasts to the ignorance of the workers and the craftiness of the bought-and-paid-for pro-capitalist “leaders” of the working class.

Ever the optimists, we can still see a way that this strike could be won, but it will be a very difficult road to travel given the fact that at least 75% of the CTU leadership is both pro-capitalist and pro-Democrat.  Karen Lewis lied to the press last night when she claimed that “maybe 2%” of the members of the House of Delegates voted against her sellout deal; it was actually more like 10%.

As this 10% starts spreading the bad news about what’s actually in this rotten deal, and as cocksure Rahm Emanuel pushes his luck by crowing about how happy he is with it, the teachers may become so angry about how they’ve been had by the phony militant Karen Lewis that they’ll vote this piece of shit contract down by a large margin at their first opportunity.  If that happens – and it’s possible it could – then it would be absolutely necessary for the teachers to immediately elect a new strike leadership, jettisoning Lewis and sending her to retirement a bit earlier than she’d planned for – and organizing a new phase of the strike.  This would mean taking over – physically occupying 24/7 – the schools in order to prevent any attempt by the CPS to bring in scabs – and starting the whole strike over again.  This could be done.  In this phase of the struggle, a militant class-struggle leadership would have to come to the fore very quickly and prepare to be attacked far more vigorously than anything the CTU has seen so far, including mass arrests by those “friends of the CTU”, the Chicago Police.  The courts would undoubtedly issue injunctions against the CTU at that point – injunctions that would have to be completely ignored as the pieces of paper they are.

There’s more than that, but it remains to be seen if there is anyone in the CTU capable of leading such a major class battle as I’ve described here.  If anyone in the CTU would like to lead such a struggle and would like to discuss this further, you know where we are!  We’d love to hear from you – especially that stalwart group of CTU members who had the courage to vote against Karen Lewis’ ripoff deal at the House of Delegates meeting last night!


Rahm Emanuel Slapped Down By Judge as CPS Suffers Injunction FAIL

The would-be Emperor of Chicago, Democratic Party vulgarian Rahm Emanuel suffered a major disappointment today as a judge refused the City of Chicago and the Chicago Public Schools’ request for a court injunction to force the Chicago Teachers Union to go back to work.  This blatant effort at naked union-busting by the Democratic Party must be burned into the memories of the working class of Chicago.  As we have always said: the Democratic Party is just as much an enemy of the working class as their partners in crime, the Republicans.  The two parties once solely differed in their tactical approach to the union movement, but now it is all too clear as Democratic Party mayors and Governors from California to New York have torn off their “friends of labor” mask to reveal an organization fully in the pockets of the wealthy capitalists who bankroll both parties.  It is way past time for the working class to break away from the Democrats and Republicans and form an independent workers party dedicated to the abolition of the capitalist system.

The rebuff to Emanuel is only a temporary reprieve for the CTU; it does not indicate that the capitalist court system is going to prove to be a defender of the CTU.  What it DOES show is that Rahm Emanuel’s stock in the upper reaches of the Democratic Party in Cook County as well as on the national level is rapidly plunging into the abyss.  The full-on attacks by the Chicago Democrats against the union movement in a Presidential election year can only be described as political suicide.  Where there is only 5% difference in polls of voters asking which party they support, the Democrats can hardly afford to start attacking the base of their support among the working class – the AFL-CIO unions, who insanely donate hundreds of millions of dollars in every election to the labor-hating, war mongering Democratic Party, and also compose the majority of activists who go door-to-door in the major cities to get out the vote for the Democrats.  Emanuel has stupidly gone out on a limb, Wile E. Coyote-like, and is furiously sawing away at the branch he’s sitting on; the national Democrats are likely going to let him saw away and dump him at the first opportunity rather than lose their crucial union backing.

That this judge would not kowtow to Emanuel shows that Rahm’s support even among the Chicago capitalist class whose boots he is trying to lick is rapidly dwindling.  It does not indicate that the union has friends in the court system though.  It is highly likely that if the union members instruct their delegates to vote down the HORRIBLE SELLOUT “FRAMEWORK” negotiated by Karen Lewis’ team, this same judge will quickly issue the injunction.  The teachers need to prepare to stand tall against what will be a tornado of pressure from the capitalist courts, and their press and politicians.  The CTU had better have a plan to shut those schools down tight and keep scabs out, because the next stage of this fight could get very ugly indeed.

The agreement worked out between the CPS and the CTU leadership of Karen Lewis was so disgustingly bad, selling out the CTU at a time when they had every reason to win and win big, that it should never even have been brought to a vote in the first place.  We warned the CTU members about the dangers of having a cop-loving Democrat for a union president and it is clear from what has been divulged regarding the “framework” brokered by Lewis’ team that she is far too willing to compromise the future of the CTU members in order to ingratiate herself to “public opinion” and her “guy” in Washington, Wall St. puppet Barack Obama.  This proposed contract SUCKS and it should be voted down by a large margin.  The “raises” of 3, 2, 2 and 3 percent over 4 years are not raises at all: they are pay cuts disguised as raises.  The union-busting gutting of seniority rules would decimate the ranks of union teachers as schools are closed.  The proposed rules allowing principals to decide who gets to return to work allow the anti-union principals to undertake cherry-picking of those who suck up to the bosses and the firing of those who are the most politically active union members.  These proposals must be shot down in flames: the existence of the union is at stake here.

VOTE THIS ROTTEN DEAL DOWN!  GET READY FOR A LONG BATTLE, CTU MEMBERS!  Have no faith in the courts: whether this strike leads to a strengthening of the union or its decimation will be decided on the picket lines – one way or the other.

It is necessary to elect a class-struggle strike leadership that fights for a contract that includes real wages and benefits increases, the defense of union seniority and full funding for a quality free public school education for the children of Chicago!


[to be continued]





Photos from Chicago Teachers Union Rally and March, Union Park, Chicago IL, 15 September 2012

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis addresses CTU members and their supporters at rally in Union Park, Chicago, IL, 15 September 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

Fraternal Order of Police leader, Chicago Police Department Spokesman and professional liar Pat Camden addresses the Chicago Teachers Union rally at Union Park, Chicago, IL 15 September 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

Scene from behind the stage at Chicago Teachers Union rally in Union Park, Chicago, IL, 15 September, 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

The Chicago Teachers Union’s march to Garfield Park was led by a Chicago High School’s marching band. September 15, 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

As you would expect in a union rally of teachers, the protest signs were creative and in many cases, hilarious.

“Godfather”-themed and “You gave us NO Choice” signs at Chicago Teachers Union march to Garfield Park, Chicago, IL 15 September 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

“Hey Rahm: Your DNC Speech Sucked”. Chicago Teachers Union march to Garfield Park, Chicago, IL. 15 September 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

“How do you know when Rahm Emanuel is Lying?” Chicago Teachers Union march to Garfield Park, Chicago, IL, 15 September 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

This one refers to the way that the political career of Chicago Mayor Michael Bilandic ended prematurely due to his administration’s poor performance at snow removal during the blizzard of 1979.  There’s also another nice one that says: “Yes, We Are Working Right Now!  The [Lesson Is?] Democracy”:

Comparing the apparently similar trajectories of Mayor Emanuel’s and ex-Mayor Bilandic’s careers. Chicago Teachers Union march to Garfield Park, Chicago, IL, 15 September, 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

“What’s Your Super Power?” Chicago Teachers Union march to Garfield Park, Chicago, IL. 15 September 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

“Rahm Got Schooled”. Chicago Teachers Union march to Garfield Park, Chicago, IL. 15 September 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

A contingent of teacher drove all the way from Milwaukee to participate in the rally.  Others came from as far away as Minneapolis and there were some from downstate, other midwestern towns in neighboring states and we heard that there were teachers from Seattle and California in attendance as well.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin teachers in Chicago Teachers Union march to Garfield Park, Chicago, IL. 15 September 2012. Photo by IWPCHI.

Chicago High School marching band leads the Chicago Teachers Union march to Garfield Park, Chicago, IL. 15 September 2012. Photo by IWPCHI.

In a marvelous demonstration of the value of art in the public schools, the Little Village Lawndale High School’s union banner was magnificent!

The Little Village Lawndale High School shows the value of teaching art in the public schools with their awesome union banner. Chicago Teachers Union march to Garfield Park, Chicago, IL. 15 September 2012. Photo by IWPCHI


Chicago Teachers Union’s Indirect Vote on “Framework” by Union Delegates Threatens Yet Another Betrayal of the Workers by a pro-Capitalist Union Leadership

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis addresses striking Chicago Public School Teachers at rally in Union Park, Chicago, Illinois: “We don’t have an agreement… we’re on strike!” Saturday, September 15, 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

At a jam-packed rally of striking Chicago Public School teachers at Union Park in Chicago Saturday, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis threw cold water on the much-publicized statements of the capitalist news media to the effect that students would be back in class on Monday:  “ ‘A woman came up to me and said she got a text from her principal telling their faculty that they should report to work tomorrow and Monday to prepare their rooms.’ Lewis, displaying a flabbergasted look said, ‘What I want to tell you is[:] we’re on strike!’ ” [Source: “The Dissenter” [Firedoglake blog]: “At Rally, Chicago Teachers Union President Invites City Hall to Turn Off Air Conditioning”, by Kevin Gosztola, 15 September, 2012]

The bourgeois press, which, from coast-to-coast has been attacking the Chicago Teachers Union saw clearly that the teachers in Chicago have not been intimidated by their assaults on the rights of workers to strike in order to better their working conditions, and, in this case, to defend the children of every working-class family in Chicago to a quality public-school education.  The teachers turned out in the thousands – well over half of the membership was present at the rally – to show their support for the union negotiating team as it entered the second week of a strike that has shut down the Chicago Public School system, one of the largest in the United States.

Striking Chicago Teachers Union members applaud as CTU President Karen Lewis addresses rally at Union Park, Chicago, IL 15 September, 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

The fighting spirit of the members of the Chicago Teachers Union is unshaken by attacks led by the lying news media of capitalist class and the capitalists’ own bought-and-paid-for politicians, particularly those in the Chicago Democratic Party.  From Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former consigliere of the warmongering, immigrant-bashing, union-busting Democratic Barack Obama administration all the way down into the sewer of the Chicago City Council, whose lickspittle servants of the Chicago capitalist class have fallen all over themselves to attack the union that is defending Chicago’s children, the Democratic Party has led the assault on the public workers unions from California to New York.

The capitalist press all last week was trying to put pressure on the CTU to shove a tentative agreement down the throats of the CTU members before any of them had a chance to find out what was in the new “framework”.

“While details of the agreement had yet to be formally drafted and leaders in the Chicago Teachers Union still need to vote on whether to lift the strike, schools in the nation’s third-largest school district were expected to reopen as early as Monday.

“ ‘The heavy lifting is over and the framework is in place,” David J. Vitale, president of the Chicago Board of Education.” [Source: New York Times: “Chicago Forges Outline to End Teacher Strike”, 14 September, 2012]

The New York Times – the bourgeois “newspaper of record” for the United States – in its articles Friday, Saturday and Sunday, continuously fed the public the impression that Chicago’s schoolchildren would be going back to school on Monday.  This lie, spread by all the capitalist press in the US and Chicago is undoubtedly intended to cause tremendous pressure on the union to reach an agreement no matter what by Monday.  These lies will lead some parents to make plans to send their kids to school on Monday, only to find out that the strike is still underway; this too is intended to create anger against the teachers union.  This is what we socialists mean when we talk of the “capitalist press” or the “bourgeois press”.  It is not an “objective” source of news.  Owned and operated by some of the richest families in the United States, and in many cases by massive news media corporations, the capitalist press seeks to spread pro-capitalist propaganda among the workers, in order to cover up the crimes of the capitalist class and to drive into workers heads that “their” country is the best in the world,and that the capitalist system is “the best of all possible worlds”.  While it is valuable to the education of the workers to read the bourgeois press, which does have a lot of important information in it, we must always remember that every news story in the bourgeois press is heavily slanted in favor of the interests of the capitalist class of the nation in which that newspaper is printed.  Only by understanding this crucial fact, which is an elementary part of a Marxist education, can workers read the bourgeois press intelligently, quickly separating the nuggets of useful knowledge from the pro-capitalist propaganda.

To her credit, CTU President Karen Lewis made this point very clear in her remarks to the teachers union rally in Union Park on Saturday.  She warned the assembled workers that there was in fact no agreement in place, and no contract had yet been produced to vote on.  “We don’t have a contract.  We have a ‘framework’ for an agreement.  We’re on strike!” she told the crowd, which roared its approval.

This is critically important to watch right now – how the CTU leadership proceeds to present this ‘framework’ to its members.  It is at this juncture in the strike that the teachers could very easily get sold down the river by their leadership.  The CTU has a very undemocratic process for presenting this ‘tentative framework’ to its membership – in fact, it has NO PROCESS TO DO THIS AT ALL before the teachers’ delegates will get to review and possibly vote on the ‘framework’ today (Sunday, September 16).  The way the process is set up is this:  the teachers elect delegates from their membership.  There are approximately 18,000 teachers who elect 700-800 delegates who are supposed to carry out the will of the teachers who elected them.  Today, at 3 PM, these delegates will meet to get their first look at the actual language of the “framework for an agreement” that was hammered out between the CTU and its lawyers and the Chicago Public Schools.  From what we have been able to learn, it is then that some discussion may – or may not – be held for the delegates, and then they will proceed to vote on whether or not to end the strike WITHOUT EVER HAVING TO INFORM THE MEMBERSHIP ABOUT THE CONTENTS OF THE “FRAMEWORK”!  This is where the knife can easily get put into the backs of the teachers.  In fact, it is by utilizing completely undemocratic methods like this that the AFL-CIO unions have repeatedly knifed strikes in the back over the past 5 decades.  The delegates are presented with a fait accompli upon which they must vote immediately, up or down, without ever having the opportunity to bring the agreement up before those who elected them – only after which presentation would it even be possible for the will of the teachers to be known and carried out by their delegates!  There is really no reason at all for this indirect process at all – except that it allows the union leadership the secrecy and bureaucratic arm-twisting it needs to shove rotten contracts down the throats of the members.  If the CTU leadership wishes to demonstrate its much-ballyhooed commitment to “union democracy” it could do no better than to present this “tentative framework” to the union delegates, and then give them at least 24 hours to present this information to the members who elected them, at which time the membership could discuss the merits or lack thereof of the “framework” and instruct their delegates as to how they should vote on the matter.  Anything less than this isn’t union democracy at all, but an attempt to steamroll the “tentative agreement” through the union.  So we wait and watch carefully as the CTU leadership makes its next move to shepherd this process to an actual contract.

Among the slogans displayed by the Independent Workers Party of Chicago at the union rally on Saturday was the following demand: “No Contract, No Work!  Keep the Picket Lines UP Until a New Contract is Ratified by the Membership”.  If we were directing the process using the indirect method that is unfortunately probably part of the CTU’s constitution, we would call the meeting of delegates in order to present to them what we had negotiated so far, at which time we would give them 24-48 hours to call a meeting of the membership in order that they could inform everyone of what the “tentative framework” contains.  Then, the membership could discuss the “framework” and instruct their delegates as to how to vote.  Another delegates’ meeting would then be called to vote on whether or not to accept the “framework”.  THIS WOULD NOT BE A VOTE TO END THE STRIKE OR TAKE DOWN THE PICKET LINES.  The picket lines must not be taken down until the MEMBERSHIP – not a mere vote by delegates representing less than 4% of the union membership – votes to approve a new contract.

This unwieldy and bureaucratic method of the CTU should be replaced by a much more democratic system, in which every union member would be involved in a series of mass meetings at which the union members could openly discuss the CPS proposals and vote on whether to accept them and end the strike or vote them down. The membership should be kept informed on a daily basis as to what is happening in those negotiating sessions.  Only the capitalist class and its servants benefit from keeping these negotiations secret from the union members and the working class in general.open to the public This indirect method of voting strengthens the hands of the elements of the CTU bureaucracy who wish to further their careers by acting as the “responsible labor statesmen” inside the workers movement who keep the union membership in line and class struggle well within the limits of what is acceptable to the capitalist class.

Up to this point we have no real quarrel with how CTU President Karen Lewis has run this strike.  She seems to be a relatively straightforward pro-capitalist Democratic Pat Camden fop CTUParty-supporting trade union leader – with all the massive political limitations that implies.  She and her team seem to have done a masterful job in winning the support of the members for a strike and have also managed to win widespread support from the working class of Chicago, whose childrens’ welfare is at the heart of this union struggle.  But she is, after all, a Democrat.  She has repeatedly asserted her support for US war criminal Barack Obama, whose attacks on immigrant workers deeply affects an enormous percentage of the immigrant Hispanic families whose children attend the Chicago public schools. She also has a distinct fondness for the Fraternal Order of Police, whose members in the Chicago Police Department viciously attack black workers in Chicago at every opportunity, and who treat black schoolchildren – particularly teenagers – as if they were “the enemy”, beating, tasering, and imprisoning them by the thousands each year.  Every week black and Hispanic youths are assaulted and shot dead by the Chicago Police, who then plant guns on their victims and invariably claim that the youth “turned around and pointed a gun” at the cops.  Even at Saturday’s rally in Union Park, the CTU saw fit to have the disgusting, lying spokesman for the racist Chicago Police Department, Pat Camden address the crowd.  Support for the FOP, a vicious, racist Chicago Police “union” is an excellent way for the CTU to alienate itself from the largely black and Hispanic working class, who are daily made victims of this racist police gang.

Fraternal Order of Police “Union” leader, spokesman for the racist Chicago Police Department and professional liar Pat Camden addresses the members of the Chicago Teachers Union at their rally in Union Park, Chicago, IL, 15 September, 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

Once again, we wish to impress upon the workers of the world this indisputable fact, taught to the workers movement over the past centuries through literally millions of  experiences of bloody police attacks on the labor movement in every capitalist country in the world: the police – unionized or not – are not members of the working class: they are one of the “special bodies of armed men”

“special bodies of armed men” who the tiny minority capitalist class deploys to defend itself from the rage of the oppressed working class.  The police are the front rank of the repressive apparatus that every capitalist class puts in place in every capitalist country in order to protect itself from the threat of workers revolution.  This repressive apparatus includes the police, courts, prisons, and ultimately the secret police agencies and the military.  It is critically important for the workers to understand this basic tenet of revolutionary Marxism – workers lives depend on understanding this!  Mistaking the police and the US military for the “friends of the workers” sets up the workers movement for the murder of scores – or even millions – of workers.

The moment the order is given by the capitalist class of Chicago to Mayor Rahm Emanuel to smash the CTU strike by any means necessary, the members of the Fraternal Order of Police will be sent to attack the CTU picket lines, beating, macing, tasering and if necessary, shooting dead the teachers who dare to defend themselves from the police assault.  The cops are the front line of the capitalist class’ armed forces used to defend the capitalists’ bloody class rule by smashing the workers movement.  Believing that the cops are friends of the working class and accepting them into the workers movement – as the leaders of the Teamsters Union and the Chicago Teachers Union and the entire AFL-CIO leadership does –  is similar to placing rattlesnakes in your baby’s crib!  COPS OUT OF THE UNIONS!

We are watching Karen Lewis and the Chicago Teachers Union leadership very carefully at this point.  Any attempt by them to broker a new contract that includes even a single cut in teachers’ pensions, seniority rules, pay or any other benefits in the wake of this hugely popular and so far successful strike would be nothing less than a complete sellout of the union members.  Experience shows that you can only trust a Democrat as far as you can throw him – or her.  Their allegiance to the capitalist class and the continuance of the capitalist system of greed, exploitation, racism, unemployment and war in almost all cases far outstrips their allegiance to the working class.  What is needed is a class-struggle leadership in the unions that is dedicated to the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with a socialist workers government in which those who labor rule.  Any union led by a pro-capitalist leadership is destined to be sold out over and over again until the workers learn these basic lessons of history.  Wishing that, this time, the rattlesnakes will not bite the baby is an exercise in futility in which the workers will – once again – pay dearly for electing and trusting pro-capitalist union and political leaders.


Democrats, Republicans Find Common Ground in Union-Busting

The bourgeois press never stops bemoaning the supposed lack of “bipartisanship” in Washington these days.  They want the workers to believe that the twin parties that represent the capitalist class here in the United States – the Democrats and the Republicans – are at loggerheads over every important issue facing the nation today.

Well that’s a load of bull.  The truth is, the United States has a phony democracy in which two pro-capitalist parties pretend to oppose each other in order to fool the workers into believing that they represent a “choice” for the workers, between the “friends of labor”, the Democrats, and the “big business” Republicans.  It’s quite a game of charades they play, and the only people who are fooled are those who are not paying attention to how the capitalist class of the United States really runs things in this country.

The wealthy capitalists give generously to BOTH the Democrats and the Republicans, and only after receiving solemn assurances from the candidates of both parties that they will do nothing in the way of undertaking any kind of wealth redistribution scheme or any foolishness of that sort.  Before the capitalists give a penny to a candidate, they make certain that the prospective senator or congressman or Presidential hopeful is 100% in favor of the rule of the tiny capitalist class over the vast majority of the working class.  Only then do they cut a check for a candidate.  In this way, no matter who wins the election, the capitalists ALWAYS win and the workers ALWAYS lose.

Those who pay attention to these truths were treated to a prime example of the way that both parties can come together when it really matters and find that common ground which they usually pretend is impossible to locate.  And so the Democratic union-busting Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel, who has saddled up his hobby horse and ridden off to battle the Chicago Teachers Union received a fulsome endorsement from Mitt Romney and his little Sancho Panza, Paul Ryan in Emanuel’s quest to smash the CTU.

” ‘We stand with Mayor Rahm Emanuel,’ Ryan told a group of supporters at a fundraiser in Portland, Oregon. ‘If you turned on the TV this morning or sometime today, you probably saw something about the Chicago teacher’s union strike,’ he said, ‘I’ve known Rahm Emanuel for years. He’s a former colleague of mine. Rahm and I have not agreed on every issue or on a lot of issues, but Mayor Emanuel is right today in saying that this teacher’s union strike is unnecessary and wrong. We know that Rahm is not going to support our campaign, but on this issue and this day we stand with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.’ [Source: The Raw Story, “Talks Underway in Chicago teacher strike as Paul Ryan sides with Emanuel” by David Ferguson, 11 September, 2011]

You see, when it comes to union-busting, the masks come off and the unbridled fealty to the capitalist system which comes so naturally to the bought-and-paid-for pro-capitalist politicians of both parties wells up in them like so much ill-concealed kickback cash.

Barack Obama, who is afraid that no matter what he says it will adversely affect his razor-thin lead in the polls over his rival, vulture capitalist Mitt Romney, is laying low and allowing his mouthpiece Jay Carney handle all inquiries relating to the Teachers Strike in Obama’s political home town.

While the President disappears behind a wall of American Flags during the solemn commemorations of the 11 September attacks, the news media has nowhere to point their microphones to get pithy quotes on the Teachers strike.  Mitt Romney, too, is allowing his party’s scarecrows to run point on the issue, filling the webpages of the Romney campaign website with anti-union drivel.  But that is to be expected of these swine.  What about the Chicago Democrats?

Last week, according to the Chicago Tribune, “only” 33 out of 50 Chicago aldermen signed a letter they then sent to CTU President Karen Lewis urging her union to “keep students in the classroom during negotiations” – in other words, keep on working without a contract – something no intelligent capitalist would EVER do – while the Mayor and his cretins at the Board of Education try to wear down the CTU leadership in futile “’round-the-clock” negotiations.

These anti-union Democratic Party swine, who preside over some of the most impoverished neighborhoods in the industrialized world are so dependent on the crumbs from the table of the Chicago capitalist class that they do not hesitate to rush to show their allegiance to the capitalist system even in a situation where their “own constituents” support the striking teachers by a huge margin!  In this way the Democratic Chicago aldermen show that they do not represent the interests of working people at all but in fact support the capitalist class, who are seeking to slash spending on schools because, to them, it makes no sense to invest money in educating black and Hispanic youth who the capitalists have absolutely no intention of ever hiring for any job whatsoever! Aldermen and Democratic politicians know that if they want to move up in politics, they have to suck up to the rich scum who finance every politician in the land.  Failure to do this will result in a short political career – or none at all.  These Democrats are far more interested in furthering their own careers and feathering their own nests than they are in fighting for the rights of workers!  These people are, in the final analysis, the arch enemies of labor – even worse than the Republicans – because they PRETEND to be the “friends of labor”, only to stab workers in the back at their first opportunity in order to prove to their capitalist masters that they will defend the capitalist system which is solely responsible for the unemployment, poverty, homelessness, lack of decent schools and utter lack of health care for millions of American workers.  In this way these sold-out politicians of the Democratic Party seek to further their own careers – on the backs of the children of the poverty-stricken working class citizenry that makes up the vast majority of the population in every US city.

Listen to these “friends of labor” as they stab the teachers union in the back:

” ‘It’s disappointing that the decision was made to strike today,’ said Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd. ‘I think it would have been more productive to possibly extend the strike deadline for a few more days.’

“Ald. Carrie Austin, 34th, who last week said the blame for a strike would be shared by Emanuel and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, stood by that assessment while also questioning the need for the union to declare a strike.

“ ‘Are your demands such that you have to strike to get resolution?’ she asked. ‘That’s horrible that you say, “Well, we’re going to show you.’ ”

“Ald. Proco ‘Joe’ Moreno, 1st, noted that three charter schools, where teachers are not part of a union, were open in his ward Monday.

“ ‘It’s ridiculous that they’re striking,’ Moreno said. ‘In my opinion, they had a fair offer, there is a fair offer, and I just think some of the union leadership are hell bent on striking. It’s very unfortunate.’ ”  [Source: Chicago Tribune, “Chicago aldermen split on schools strike”, 10 September 2012]

Hopefully, it will turn out to have been “very unfortunate” for the future political careers of these union-hating Democrats that they ever tried to sign on to Emanuel’s union-busting drive.  These people should be driven out of office on a rail by Chicago’s working class at the earliest opportunity!

But how can we do that, fellow workers, when we do not have a political party of our own to turn to?  What good is it to turn a Democrat out of office if you only intend to put another one IN?  This is why the Independent Workers Party of Chicago seeks to get the ball rolling on the formation of a new workers party – of the workers, by the workers and for the workers, one committed to the goal of abolishing the capitalist system, which is the source of so much unnecessary human misery in this world!  The Democrats SUPPORT capitalism!  You can’t become a Democratic candidate unless you support capitalism – and this is the reason why it is political suicide for workers to vote in favor of the Democrats, whose support to the capitalist system means  more layoffs, more homelessness, more people being thrown out of their homes by the Cook County Sheriffs, more racist cops and more wars for our children to fight and die in!  The only way to put an end to human misery is to put an end to the greed-based capitalist system itself and replace it with a system in which those who labor rule.  “The Capitalist System Must Die so the Working Class May Live” is not merely a political slogan – it’s the demonstrable truth which will become clearer and clearer to everyone who opens their eyes and pays attention to what goes on every time the working class attempts to defend its rights against the capitalist class and its cops, courts and paid-off politicians.  Voting for the Democrats is equivalent to crossing a political picket line and siding with the capitalists against the workers.


Chicago Teachers: The Fraternal Order of Police are Not Friends of Labor or of the Working Class!

The IWP proudly  attended this Monday’s labor rally in support of the Chicago Teachers’ Union.  However, we were – how do we put this? – not at all surprised and quite disgusted at the fondness CTU President Karen Lewis displayed for the head honcho of the Chicago Police Union President, Mike Shields.  In fact, she was downright chummy with him, high-fiving the man who routinely defends all kinds of police brutality of working class citizens of Chicago.  President Lewis even gave FOP Boss Shields a great big hug in front of the 18,000 assembled representatives of Chicago’s working class!

We’ve stated before that we do not trust the pro-capitalist, pro-Democratic party trade union leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union to effectively lead the union in a strike against their own best friends.  And now we can add to our distrust the obvious fact that Karen Lewis can’t tell the difference between a friend of her own union and a mortal enemy!

Here we have seen that, on the very eve of what should be a major class battle between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Democratic Party leaders of Chicago – a battle on behalf of the rights of children of every member of the working class who lives in Chicago to a top-quality, free, public school education – not only does the “General” leading the working class into this battle not know the difference between her own forces and those of the enemy class – she actually embraces the leader of the very shock troops that the enemy intends to use to smash the picket lines of her own union soldiers!

By so fulsomely embracing the leader of the Chicago Police Union, Karen Lewis – has effectively attempted to spread the deadly lie that the Chicago Police can be counted on to defend the rights of the members of the Chicago Teachers Union to go on strike and to defend their picket lines.  By doing this, Karen Lewis shows that she is not the side of the workers, but on the side of the capitalist class, and in the final analysis can be expected to bow down to the dictates of that ruling class and its bought-and-paid-for Democratic politicians and judges who will do everything in their power to smash the Chicago Teachers Union if they go out on strike.  And on top of that, by expressing her confidence in the leadership of the racist Chicago Police Department to defend the rights of workers, Karen Lewis is leading her union’s membership into a deadly trap – because the Chicago Police are not friends of the working class, but constitute a “special body of armed men and women” who are dedicated to the defense of capitalist private property, and who take orders from the capitalist class – and no one else!

Karen Lewis has already betrayed her union by embracing a man who leads an organization that is responsible for the daily brutalization of black, Hispanic and all other workers and youth all over the city.  The Fraternal Order of Police has defended every single instance of police torture and every single police shooting of suspects, “armed” and unarmed.  Their members are going out daily and beating, humiliating and imprisoning people of color all over the city.  They routinely shoot to death suspects and then plant guns on them to cover up their crimes.  They have been recently charged with the widespread use of stun guns to torture unarmed suspects – the overwhelming majority of whom “happen to be black”.   They defend racist Chicago Police Department in all cases except when it comes to their pay and benefits.  The Fraternal Order of Police are no more a “workers union” because they pretend to be one than Hitler’s “National Socialists” were Marxists because they lied to the workers by including the word “Socialists” in their party’s name!

Every schoolchild who has read even just a few lines of the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels knows that the police are not the friends of the working class.  Every worker in the world who has ever walked a picket line knows this!  On a picket line, you will see the class line clearly delineated:  on the one side are the workers and their unions and the socialists who defend the unions; on the other side are the capitalist class, their lying news media, politicians, their courts and their  SPECIAL BODIES OF ARMED MEN AND WOMEN who will enforce the laws of the capitalist system – by any means necessary!  These special bodies of armed men and women can be expected to ALWAYS attack the workers and ALWAYS defend the capitalist system and its status quo, not because they are necessarily all depraved individuals, but because that is the role of the police in a capitalist society.

It is true that in the past 30 years, with a relative absence of class struggle in the United States – thanks in very large part to the sellout pro-capitalist trade and labor union bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO – the class lines have been blurred to such a degree that it is quite astounding to anyone familiar with the normal order of things.  It has been so long since the class line was clearly drawn in this country that people on both sides of the class divide are confused as to what the calss line is, where it is, and what their relationship to it is.  Workers who have never in their lives been beaten down by the cops on a picket line labor under the delusion that the cops are their friends.  likewise, there are some cops who have never had to attack a picket line, and so they are deluded into believing that they are part of the workers movement.  believe us, as soon as some serious class struggle takes place in this country, both groups will have their delusions cruelly destroyed in front of their very eyes. The so-called “decent” cops are going to have to choose between obeying orders and obeying their conscience.  The “decent” ones will have to quit the police force or will quickly find themselves kicked ass-backwards off the force for refusing to “do their job”.

No US trade union leader of the 1930s would be so foolish as to expect the police to defend union picket lines.  The history of the Chicago Police – like every other big city police department in the capitalist world –  is replete with instances of savage brutality against workers organizations.  The world-renowned Haymarket battle took place the day after the Chicago Police gunned down a number of workers picketing the McCormick Harvester plant in the city.   During the “Haymarket” battle, the police opened fire on the peaceably assembled workers and shot a dozen to death and wounded an unknown number of others, and in the next days and weeks attacked and destroyed the headquarters of every single trade union and pro-worker socialist and anarchist organization in Chicago and beat and arrested workers leaders on the flimsiest charges imaginable.  They howled for the blood or the workers leaders to be shed in retaliation for the killing of a handful of cops by a dynamite bomb that was hurled by an unknown assailant at the Haymarket, until they got their demands and 4 innocent men were murdered by the State of Illinois to assuage their blood-lust.

The Haymarket Martyrs’ Memorial

The Memorial Day Massacre, May 30, 1937, south side of Chicago. The “heroes” of the Chicago Police Department open fire on retreating steel workers, shooting them in the back at pointblank range.

The Chicago Police were once also infamous for the shooting down of unarmed men women and children during the Little Steel strike in 1937.  They opened fire on unarmed strikers who were fighting to unionize the Republic Steel plant on the south side.  Today’s labor sellouts don’t even bother to commemorate these police murders of unionists in Chicago – they are too busy making friends with them and trying to erase the memory of these notorious examples of the “impartiality” of the police from the memories of the working class!

It would make us look foolish to stand here and remind the black and Hispanic workers of Chicago about the brutality of these “friends of labor” in blue!  Cook County Jail is full of the victims of police frame-ups and police brutality.  That a so-called “labor leader” would dare to stand in a public square and declare the Chicago Police to be her friends gives a perfect example of why the union membership is on the decline even here in this proud union town of Chicago.  With workers “leaders” like this, who needs enemies?  Need we remind you of the involvement of the Chicago Police in the murder of Fred Hampton?

The scene of the murder of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, slaughtered by the Chicago Police. Democratic Party States Attorney Ed Hanrahan and the FBI and their friends on the Chicago Police had an informer drug Hampton and then they murdered him as he slept.

Must we go over again with Ms. Lewis the history of the Chicago Police Riot in 1968 at the Democratic National Convention, during which hundreds of protestors and news media representatives were brutally beaten by Mayor Daley’s racist cops?

Chicago Police “protecting the rights of demonstrators” in Grant Park, 1968.

Should we remind her that a popular T-shirt worn by Chicago Police officers during the Democratic Party National Convention in 1996 read: “We kicked your dad’s ass in 1968: wait ’til you see what we’ll do to you”.  The guy who printed them here in Chicago reportedly sold hundreds of them to Chicago cops – and Democratic Party politicians.

Shall we go into the story of the Chicago Police Department’s torture of African-American men into “confessing” to crimes they never committed?  Shall we describe how Jon Burge, a Chicago Police Commander, created a team of torturers who used electric shocks and suffocation techniques to extract false confessions?

Or that dozens of men were framed in that way and sent to prison for years, even decades, even to Death Row?

Perhaps Karen Lewis would like to  ask the members of Nurses United about the way the Chicago Police “defended their right to protest” just last year at the Occupy Chicago demonstration in Grant Park?

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis has shown everyone with eyes to see – her true colors by embracing the leader of the Fraternal Order of Police and by portraying the Chicago Police as “friends of labor”.   You don’t tell a lie this big by accident.  “By her friends shall ye know her”!