Tag Archives: Rahm Emanuel

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.

DOCUMENTS:

  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

 

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Report from “Black Lives Matter” Demo at City Hall, Chicago 31 December 2015

About 150 demonstrators from Black Lives Matter, Revolutionary Communist Party, Socialist Alternative, Independent Workers Party of Chicago and other worker-activists occupy the ground floor of Chicago's City Hall on 31 December 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

About 150 demonstrators from Black Lives Matter, Revolutionary Communist Party, Socialist Alternative, Progressive Labor Party, Independent Workers Party of Chicago and other worker-activists occupy the ground floor of Chicago’s City Hall on 31 December 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Chicago, IL, USA (31 December 2015):  About 150 activists in Chicago (IL, USA) held a spirited and righteous – if politically naive – demonstration at City Hall on the final day of 2015, calling on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to resign.

Activist Addresses "Black Lives Matter" Demo at City Hall Chicago (IL, USA) 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Activist Addresses “Black Lives Matter” Demo at City Hall Chicago (IL, USA) 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Led – apparently – by “Black Lives Matter” activists (we were never able to confirm it), the crowd assembled on the first floor of Chicago’s City Hall and was addressed by speakers from – probably – BLM.  A dozen or so police monitored the demonstration and basically let it occupy the ground floor in front of the elevators for 45 minutes, at which time the entire demonstration boarded the elevators and headed to the 5th floor, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office is located.  There the crowd reassembled in the hallway just outside his office; various speakers addressed the crowd and led it in chants calling for Emanuel to step down.

Activists Address "Black Lives Matter" Demo at City Hall Chicago (IL, USA) 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Activists Address “Black Lives Matter” Demo at City Hall Chicago (IL, USA) 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Outrageously, there was no sign of any trade union members in attendance, and only a couple of the city’s main revolutionary socialist groups had a presence there, including the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) – who brought an excellent banner along.  Socialist Alternative was there as well, as was the Progressive Labor Party.  The International Socialist Organization and the Spartacist League were nowhere to be found, though they may have been at the earlier Democratic Party-led demo featuring Jesse Jackson and Father Michael Pfleger.  Unfortunately, we don’t have enough members to cover both demonstrations! Those larger parties do, though, so it’s odd that they missed the demo we attended.

"A Fish Rots From the Head - Impeach Rahm" protest sign at Black Lives Matter demo at Chicago (IL, USA) City Hall, 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

“A Fish Rots From the Head – Impeach Rahm” protest sign at Black Lives Matter demo at Chicago (IL, USA) City Hall, 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

After about a half an hour in front of the (apparently empty) Mayor’s office, the demonstration headed to the street and began a march from City Hall to the site on Michigan Avenue near the Tribune Tower (where the city is to have its “Chicago Rising” New Year’s Eve soiree), marching right down the middle of the street as the cops frantically tried to keep the traffic disruption to a minimum.

Chicago Cops on Bicycles Vainly Attempt to Corral Black Lives Matter Protest in Chicago 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Chicago Cops on Bicycles Vainly Attempt to Corral Black Lives Matter Protest in Chicago 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

The “Chicago Rising” New Year’s Eve event was  originally supposed to be free of charge to the public – but out of alleged concern for “public safety” the city fathers chose instead to sell tickets to the event for the “low, low price” of $90 or $150 per person!  In order to get to the Hyatt Hotel on East Wacker Drive where the giant LED star symbolizing Chicago’s “Rising” was to ascend the building, citizens had to pay $150 at ticket booths that were set up behind barricades blocking off the street.  This is in keeping with the Democrats’ apparent desire that only the rich be allowed to participate fully in the cultural life of Chicago while the poor and working class citizens can all just go to hell.

Black Lives Matter demonstrators advance on Trump Tower from Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL (USA) on 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Black Lives Matter demonstrators advance on Trump Tower from Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL (USA) on 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

The police, on bicycles, had apparently been ordered to keep their bloody “hands off” the demonstration; they made a futile attempt to block the protestors from marching from Trump Tower to Michigan Avenue – but after the protestors, urged on by a young woman activist, quickly were re-routed around the police daisy chain, the cops otherwise left the protestors to their own ad-hoc devices. This may have been due to previous arrangements with the organizers of the demonstration: we observed one of the men leading the chants “fist bumping” a number of bicycle cops in a far too friendly manner.

The marchers briefly blocked the intersection at Wacker and Michigan Avenues just south of the bridge over the Chicago River.  It looked to us as if they’d be there for a while, so we took a break at a local pastry shop for less than 10 minutes. By this time the crowd had dwindled to about 50 people or less.  When we emerged from the coffee shop, the demonstration had disappeared.  We overheard the police on their radios saying the demo was at Washington and Michigan, but even though we immediately headed to that location and arrived in 5 minutes, the demo had vanished without a trace and we were unable to relocate it!

Revolutionary Communist Party banner: "Murdered by Police" at Black Lives Matter demo in Chicago, IL (USA) 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Revolutionary Communist Party’s excellent banner: “Murdered by Police” at Black Lives Matter demo in Chicago, IL (USA) 31 Dec 2015. Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones presente! (at top of banner L and R encircled in red)  Photo by IWPCHI

There seemed to have been very little in the way of planning for this march; no one was informed as to where it was headed or if there would be any events later on.

The primary political demands of the protest leaders were for the resignations of Emanuel and Alvarez and for an elected civilian police review board to be created to “oversee” the cops.  The protest leaders also urged the demonstrators to register to vote, although it was not clear who they intended us all to vote “for”!  Seeing that they do not even call for a new political party to be formed we can only conclude that they intend to vote for the Democrats again, since the Republicans are so convinced that it would be futile to run candidates for Mayor in this heavily Democratic city, they don’t bother to do so.

The “Black Lives Matter” movement has done an excellent job of organizing powerful demonstrations against police murder which has exposed to the entire world the deep racism that remains at the heart of the US capitalist system.  But their demands fall far short of what is necessary to end the endless series of killings of black workers by the racist cops.  Nothing short of workers socialist revolution is necessary to put and end once and for all to racism and racist killer cops here in the USA and throughout the entire capitalist world.  We see racist cops attacking workers in EVERY capitalist state, from the US to France to South Korea, Egypt and Israel.  The killer kops of kapitalism are the enemies of the working class!

The idea that an elected civilian police review board would give the workers “control” over the police department is a popular one. Unfortunately it is our duty as revolutionary Trotskyists to tell you, sisters and brothers, that it is completely impossible for the working class to exert “control” over the police in a capitalist state!  The police exist to protect the private property rights of the capitalist class – the wealthiest 10% of the population. The capitalist state is not “neutral” when it comes to adjudicating the endless conflict between the workers and the capitalist bosses.   The cops, courts and the military in every capitalist state are owned and operated by – and exert their power in the interests of – the capitalist class.  The only way that the working class can truly “control” the police is if the workers overthrow the capitalist state itself and replace it with a revolutionary socialist workers state. THEN – and only then! – can we have complete control over the killer kops of kapitalism – and put them in jail where they belong!  Those who tell you, sister and brother workers, that you can “control” the cops without first overthrowing the capitalist system are either naively misleading you… or are consciously telling you lies – plain and simple.  We believe that when it comes to the majority of Black Lives Matter activists it is naivete rather than deliberate lying going on; although some of the BLM leaders are definitely in the camp of the Democratic Party and therefore are deliberately trying to keep the protests well within the boundaries of what is “acceptable” to the capitalist class enemy.

We spoke with a number of activists from different groups, emphasising the vital necessity of organizing a revolutionary socialist working-class political party to break the stranglehold enjoyed by the twin parties of capital in the US’ completely undemocratic political system.

Socialist Alternative's Leaflet Pushes Pro-Capitalist Democrat Sanders for President! Leaflet acquired from Socialist Alternative activist at "Black Lives Matter" demo, City Hall, Chicago 31dec2015. Pro-Sanders meeting to be held at Chicago Democratic Party hangout "Manny's Deli" on near south side! Photo by IWPCHI

Socialist Alternative’s Leaflet Pushes Pro-Capitalist Democrat Sanders for President! Leaflet acquired by IWPCHI from Socialist Alternative activist at “Black Lives Matter” demo, City Hall, Chicago 31 Dec 2015. Pro-Sanders meeting to be held at Chicago Democratic Party hangout “Manny’s Deli” on near south side! Photo by IWPCHI

The self-described “Trotskyists” of Socialist Alternative were handing out leaflets pushing the candidacy of the phony-socialist Democrat Bernie Sanders!  We criticised this policy as basically being an outright betrayal of the working class.  SA defended their support of Sanders by claiming that since the workers were naively supporting him, and because, in SA’s analysis, Sanders is a social-democratic improvement over Hillary Clinton, SA should not discourage workers from supporting Sanders.  This is not revolutionary Trotskyism at all, but tailing after the naive political backwardness of US workers instead of leading them away from pro-capitalist candidates and in the direction of revolutionary socialism.  Sanders is a pro-capitalist candidate who has garnered financial support from the National Association of Realtors – among other sections of the US bourgeoisie.  Sanders has also come out side-by-side with Hillary in support of the US’ murderous war against the workers of Afghanistan, as well as the US’ cynical and fraudulent “War on Terror”.  Encouraging workers to vote for such a pro-capitalist, pro-war cretin as Sanders amounts to a complete betrayal of the working class and is the opposite of revolutionary Trotskyism.

The other extreme pole of the revolutionary working class party vis a vis electoral politics was represented by the RCP, whose rep stated to us that it was pointless to participate in bourgeois elections at all!  Workers should simply join the RCP and organize demonstrations.  Eventually- according to the RCP – the demonstrations will become so large that we can immediately overthrow the capitalist system!  The only problem with this concept is that it has never succeeded in the history of the world.  The revolutionary workers party must prove it will fight intransigently for the interests of the working class by leading strikes and by producing honest and self-sacrificing leaders who always uphold the highest principles of the revolutionary socialist movement – including as elected representatives of the working class in legislative bodies.

We say that a revolutionary workers party needs to utilize all methods at its disposal to organize the working class and to prepare them to overthrow capitalism.  We should participate in bourgeois elections while it is legal for us to do so, seeking non-executive elective offices only.  At the same time we must never stop pointing out to workers that revolutionary change will require more than simply electing a “socialist President”, as it has time and time again been PROVEN that the machinery of the capitalist state can not be seized and forced to work in the interests of the working class; it must be completely overhauled from top to bottom and a workers state created to completely replace it.  Marx and Lenin taught that trying to use the capitalist state machinery to defend the rights of the working class would be like trying to force a steel mill to produce baby clothing; it’s impossible!  The capitalist state was designed to defend the private property rights of the capitalist class and it cannot be reformed to promote and defend workers’ rights; the capitalist state must be “smashed” or broken up to its foundations and an entirely new workers state created in its place.  Every fake-socialist party that has ever tried to use the capitalist state machinery to defend the workers’ rights has failed and usually ends up being overthrown in a military coup and its party leaders and many of the best leaders of the trade unions executed.  One of the most tragic examples of this occurred in Chile with the fake-socialist Allende government in 1973.  The Venezuelan working class, betrayed by the “Bolivarian” fake-revolutionaries known as the “Chavistas” are today heading down the same disastrous road to defeat taken by Allende and his fake-socialist party. “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it”.  We in the Independent Workers Party of Chicago study history so that hopefully we can prevent such a disaster from occurring to the workers of the United States and the rest of the world in the future.

To refuse to participate in bourgeois elections is to render the revolutionary workers party utterly useless to the working class from now until the time of the workers revolution.  The Bolsheviks of Lenin demonstrated very clearly how a revolutionary socialist party could utilize the bourgeois democratic system to effectively and in a principled way put forward a revolutionary socialist program.  In this way they were able to continually expose to the eyes of the workers and peasants of Russia the utter political bankruptcy of the capitalist system and its hired politicians of all stripes.

What’s the point of organizing a political party if you’re not going to participate at all in any political process except the revolution itself?  How do we get from where we are today to where we want to go?  Revolutions can’t just be pulled out of the air.  It takes years for a revolutionary party to prove to the working class that it means exactly what it says and that it will not sell out the workers in exchange for government offices.  The example set by the Bolsheviks of Lenin in the period leading up the the great Russian Revolution of 1917 is the model upon which the Independent Workers Party of Chicago is based.  We encourage all workers to read “The History of the Russian Revolution” by Leon Trotsky (who became Lenin’s right-hand man during the Russian Revolution) to see how Lenin’s Bolsheviks masterfully used bourgeois democratic processes to lead the Russian working class to understand the absolute necessity to overthrow the capitalist system – not just in Russia but throughout the entire world.  The Bolsheviks’ revolutionary socialist program never led them to present frauds like Bernie Sanders and the Democrats as “friends of the working class”, nor did it lead them into the dead end of refusing to participate in bourgeois elections.  A truly revolutionary socialist party with a truly revolutionary socialist program avoids both of these extremes easily.  That’s the kind of program Marx, Engels and Lenin created; it’s the kind of program Trotsky defended; and it’s the kind of program we aspire to base our revolutionary Trotskyist party on.  They were the best leaders the working class ever had and we’d be betraying your trust if we urged you, our working class brothers and sisters, to follow any example besides theirs!

Workers of the World, Unite!

—- IWPCHI

 

Democrat Rahm Emanuel’s Injunction Against CTU is an Expose of Systematic Abuse of Chicago Children at Hands of Democratic Party

The City of Chicago, in its lying, hypocritical and disgusting attempt to prove to a Cook County judge what a terribly dangerous situation the CTU has placed the 355,000 CPS students in by going on strike has produced a searing indictment of the capitalist system itself, and a graphic description of the horrible poverty that the youth of Chicago are suffering in this most Democratic of all Democratic-Party-run cities!  The text of this union-busting court injunction, aimed at the membership of the Chicago Teachers Union comprises a scathing denunciation of the capitalist system and its brutal administration by the Democratic Party in all the major US cities. It exposes the terrible living conditions faced by 84% of the students who attend the Chicago Public Schools: conditions created and enforced by the Democratic Party of which Rahm Emanuel is one of the top leaders!

Here is how Democratic Party Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel describes the conditions under which Chicago’s schoolchildren suffer in a city that has been run by HIS OWN POLITICAL PARTY FOR THE PAST 81 YEARS!:

“The strike has affected nearly 355,000 students in the Chicago Public School System… characterized by a student population strongly dependent upon a broad range of services [which he and his Democratic Party intend to cut to ribbons!] extending far beyond the education they receive… 84% of these students come from low income families [!]… they receive free or reduced price meals when school is in session [what about when school is NOT in session!]…For many if not most of these students, the meals they receive at school are the only nutritious meals they receive on a regular school day.”

This is positively amazing!  In their utter desperation to paint the CTU as the biggest threat to the safety and well-being of Chicago’s student population, the Democratic Party Mayor has indicted his own party’s administration for the way they have imposed below-subsistence-level conditions on more than 3/4 of the schoolchildren of this city – which his party runs and which conditions they are planning to make even worse by slashing social spending across the board!  In order to smash the union, the Democrats have produced a searing indictment of themselves and the capitalist system they are dedicated to defending!

There’s more:

“Additionally, while the City of Chicago makes every effort to reduce violence in our neighborhoods, the fact is that CPS students, like students in many urban areas [nearly all of which have long been administered by… the Democratic Party!] are at risk of violence when they are not in school… 50,000 of these students qualify for special education services because of a range of conditions, including autism and other profound disabilities… all of these students now face the all too real prospect of prolonged hunger, increased risk of violence, and disruption of critical social educational services, and all because of decisions not of their making, in which they did not have a voice or a vote”!

This is truly astounding anti-capitalist propaganda!  The most strident communist propagandist could not have done a better job of exposing the brutal conditions in which children in America’s major cities are forced to live, the vast majority of which cities the Democratic Party has been running the show without interruption for well over half a century!  How desperate must Rahm Emanuel be – not to mention how embarrassingly stupid – in order to present to the entire world this documentary proof of the utter bankruptcy and brutality of life in capitalist America in the cities run by his own party!  Thank you Rahm Emanuel!  You have exposed your party’s contempt for the working class more effectively than all the communist propaganda of the past 40 years in this one brilliantly misguided attempt to make the Chicago Teachers Union the scapegoat for your own party’s vast inhumanity!

How stupid the Chicago Democrats are!  This imbecile Emanuel who has just exposed the Democrats abject fealty to an economic system that impoverishes the vast majority of Chicago’s children was Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff!  What a monumentally bankrupt party the Democratic Party must be in terms of qualified human material in order that these kinds of utterly stupid people would be placed at the head of the government of the United States of America!  The whole world will read this document and shudder to think that this is the level of intelligence of the political class that runs the most powerful government on Earth, and which has placed at the fingertips of the leader of the Democratic Party the power to blow the entire planet to kingdom come!

This fool Emanuel apparently wants the world to believe that it is the Chicago Teachers Union which is to blame for the abject poverty under which the vast majority of Chicago’s schoolchildren and their families live!  Apparently, we are supposed to believe that until the CTU went on strike, life for these young people was idyllic – only in the last week since the CTU went on strike have the conditions of life for Chicago’s youth precipitously plunged to levels so hideously low that it is nothing short of an international disgrace.  Blame the Chicago Teachers Union for these conditions, he says; not his party, the Democratic Party, who have run Chicago since the 1930s without interruption, creating the ghettos, earning for Chicago the sobriquet “Segregation City”, unleashing the racist Chicago Police against the black and Hispanic population in order to maintain the hideous status quo which Emanuel’s party is entirely responsible for, conditions which he, in his desperation to smear the CTU, has so brilliantly exposed to a stunned world!  Bravo, Mayor! Bravo!

Let’s hear more from Rahm Emanuel about the great job his Democrats have done “caring for the children of Chicago” ‘lo these many years:
“At a critical time in their lives, a vulnerable population has been cast adrift by [the capitalist class?  The Democrats running the city? No!] the CTU’s decision to close down the schools”!!

Can you believe this effrontery!  This scumbag and his Democratic Party have already announced to the world that THEY – not the Chicago Teachers Union – intend to close [hundreds of] schools in Chicago over the next several years!  Even as part of the rotten contract they are trying to shove down the CTU’s throat, the Democrats have openly asserted – in just the past week! – that they intend to close “80 to 120” public schools over the next few years.  But of course, the Emanuel administration denies this, while even the anti-union Chicago Tribune was able to find several sources inside the Democratic Party administration as well as CPS who admit it’s true:

“Emanuel spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton called the idea of up to 120 school closings in the near term ‘completely untrue,’ as did CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll.

“But several sources said that while details of the closings and the time frame remain fluid, there are plans to launch a targeted outreach program to broach the topic with community groups as soon as a teachers contract is settled [our emphasis – IWPCHI]. Communities expected to see the greatest share of school closings include Bronzeville, North Lawndale, Garfield Park and Englewood. Many of the affected neighborhoods have seen dramatic population declines in the past decade.

“An administration source said there is not a final number or list of schools for closing but that both underperforming and low-enrollment schools will be considered. ‘That’s for after’ contract negotiations are completed, the source said” [our emphasis again – IWPCHI].  [Source: Chicago Tribune: “Mayor’s plan to close schools fuels union fears during teachers strike” by Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, John Chase and Jeff Coen, 11 September, 2012]

Yet this arrogant lapdog of the capitalist class has the chutzpah to attempt, before the eyes of the entire world, to place the onus for school closings on – not the capitalist class whose toady he is; not his Democratic Party who are keeping their plan to gut the public school system secret from the working class – but the Chicago Teachers Union!  We’d call him a pig for saying this, but that wouldn’t be fair to actual pigs!  What a scumbag.  And – believe it or not – we’re only up to page 2 of Emanuel’s 43-page indictment of Democratic Party rule in Chicago!

The document will go down in history as one of the most amazing acts of self-immolation, self-denunciation and self-humiliation ever committed by a capitalist politician.  Here is an interesting usage of the English language by this graduate of elite Sarah Lawrence College – which “is known for its rigorous academic standards, low student-to-faculty ratio, and highly individualized course of study. The school models its approach to education after the Oxford-Cambridge system of one-on-one student-faculty tutorials, which are a key component in all areas of study – and his hilarious law department in which the words “final” and “tentative” become synonyms!: “Following commencement of the CTU strike on Monday, September 10, 2012, the parties continued negotiations for a final labor agreement to resolve the strike, with the result that on Friday, September 14, 2012, both sides reported reaching a framework for an agreement to end the strike.  The parties finalized language on a tentative agreement [!] over the weekend, and on Sunday, September 16, 2012, a final, tentative agreement [!!] was presented by the CTU senior bargaining committee to the CTU House of Delegates for a vote to end the strike and return students to school on Monday, September 17, 2012.”

This gang of Democratic Party criminals in Chicago’s City Hall need to go back to school themselves.  What kind of Law Department can not only write such a piece of absolute nonsense but have the complete lack of self-respect necessary to present this internally contradictory and hastily put together jumble to a judge in a court of law?  But we are not surprised that the lawyers for the City of Chicago would do such a thing: Cook County isn’t internationally infamous for its thoroughly corrupt legal system for nothing.  This is the Democratic Party-run county that produced the legendary  “Operation Greylord” scandal after all, and whose law department signed off on the prosecution of scores of innocent men who were railroaded onto Illinois’ Death Row after they confessed to crimes they never committed after being tortured at the hands of the racist Democratic Party-administered Chicago Police Department – tortured in police stations while the Cook County District Attorneys like former mayor Richard Daley and his assistant DAs stood outside in the hall waiting for the “confession” to be written up by the torturer-cops and signed by the victims!  This gang of Democratic Party “legal eagles” has no moral compass at all.  The standards of evidence they subscribe to were codified by their ideological forebears during the Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s.  For them, lying in court to obtain a politically desired outcome in a case comes as easily as breathing.

The hideously misnamed “Democratic” Party, in this document shows its utter contempt for the democratic process admirably adhered to by the CTU leadership [so far] in the following passage [we are only up to page 3 of this astounding document, sisters and brothers!]:
“Notwithstanding the tentative agreement reached at the bargaining table, on the evening of September 16, 2012, the CTU failed to vote on the parties’ agreement, [sic] failed to vote to end the strike,[sic] and scheduled another meeting on the subject of the strike for Tuesday, September 18, 2012.  As a result, the CTU has advised that its strike will continue for an unknown duration while the House of Delegates reviews the agreement, notwithstanding the above described clear and present danger that continuation of the strike poses to the health and safety of the public.”

What, the Democratic Party hack Emanuel asks, is wrong with the CTU?  We cut a deal with them in classic, time-honored Chicago backroom politics style; they’re supposed to shove this abhorrent tentative agreement down the throats of their membership like all the other AFL-CIO unions always do!  That’s the way the Democratic Party works!  If any members of the CTU’s House of Delegates try to vote against the “deal” worked out between the union leadership and the capitalist class’ bought-and-paid-for Democratic Party administration, they are supposed to be bounced down the stairs of the meeting hall like basketballs by the union’s loyal Democratic Party operatives!  That’s the “Chicago Way” perfected by the old Daley machine!  Karen Lewis has betrayed Rahm Emanuel by not following this time-honored Democratic Party tradition! What’s wrong with her? Doesn’t she have “control over her union”? That the CTU’s House of Delegates have done exactly what decent trade union representatives are supposed to do – make an honest attempt to represent the will of the union members who elected them – is anathema to Democratic Party principles; and Rahm Emanuel and his henchmen have done the working class of the United States a major favor by putting this fact down in writing for all of us and the future historians of the labor movement to marvel at.  THIS is how the Democratic Party seeks to prove its’ counterfeit credentials as the “friends of labor”!  Pay attention, union sisters and brothers!  How can you ever again donate your hard earned money to elect Democrats to public office?  What better example could be given to show that the Democratic Party is inherently, fundamentally hostile to anything even remotely resembling honest trade union democracy?  What better example could be given of the vital necessity of the formation of a workers party completely independent of the capitalist class and their twin puppet political parties, the Democrats and Republicans?

We can’t stomach reading to you any more of this repulsive documentary proof that the Democratic Party is no less a sworn enemy of organized labor than the Republican Party.  In fact, their pretence to being the “friends of labor” is what makes them far more dangerous to the working class than the Republicans, who at least have the decency to tell the unionized workers to their faces that they hate their guts.  The Republicans are at least honest in that one solitary sense: they honestly hate the unions and  don’t even think of pretending that they love the working class.  The Democrats are wolves in sheeps’ clothing.  Read this document, brothers and sisters, and see if you can find any evidence here of even the slightest shadow of the friendship the Democrats are supposed to have for the working class.  And then ask yourselves: why have we waited so long to build our very own working class political party?  What are we waiting for?

Democratic Party Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Injunction Against Chicago Teachers Union 17sep12

[Additional sources: Mother Jones, Wikipedia, The Chicago Reader]

IWPCHI

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]

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.

IWPCHI

UPDATED: Bourgeois Press Reporting that “Tentative Agreement” has been reached in Chicago Teachers Strike

In the last hour [@3pm Chicago time] , the capitalist press has been reporting that a “tentative agreement” between the Chicago Teachers Union and the union-busting Democratic Party administration of Rahm Emanuel has been reached.  We have no way to confirm the reports; the CTU website has not published an update on the talks since this morning.   The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

“Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said negotiators for the union and the Chicago Public Schools are trying to work out the language on a framework for a deal that she can present to the union’s House of Delegates on Sunday…

“ ‘We don’t have a contract yet,’ Lewis said shortly after 4 p.m. ‘We have a framework for an agreement.’

“[Lewis] said the union had no plans to give members an advance look at the highlights before the Sunday meeting [but that] the deal on the table ‘looks like something we can figure a way to work out’ and that she was ‘very comfortable’ with the provisions dealing with teacher evaluations, which earlier had been a main point of contention.”

“Overall, Lewis said the union ‘made compromises,’ but she refused to detail what they were.

“A Chicago Teachers Union official said the union negotiators will recommend a contract proposal to its House of Delegates on Sunday.”

[Source: Chicago Sun-Times: “Teachers’ strike over? Won’t know until Sunday” by Rosalind Rossi, Fran Spielman, Maudlyne Ihejirika and Lauren Fitzpatrick, 14 September, 2012]

It is a long-standing union principle that until a contract agreement is finalized and ratified, the strike continues.  Taking down the picket lines before the membership gets to review and vote on the final agreement is a sellout of the union membership and would be a clear sign that the Democratic-Party-friendly CTU leadership intends to ram the “tentative agreement” through whether the membership agrees to it or not.  Now is the time for CTU members to pay very close attention to the way the CTU leadership proceeds.  If they ask to to accept an offer without reviewing it first, vote it down.  And don’t accept what the bourgeois press prints as the truth: contact your union representatives and find out what’s going on.  The capitalist press will spread lies that an agreement has been reached in order to force the union to come to an agreement before a contract is approved by the union membership.

NO CONTRACT, NO WORK!

IWPCHI

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.

IWPCHI

Victory to the Chicago Teachers Strike!

The Chicago Teachers Union went on strike today – if you didn’t know that, you must have spent the day on a deserted island!  It was the top news story in the United States and had massive international coverage as well.  We’re throwing our 2 cents in to say: “Victory to the Chicago Teachers Strike!”   A victory for the Chicago Teachers Union against the union-busting Democratic Party henchman Rahm Emanuel and his sock-puppet City Council will be a victory for every worker in Chicago and across the United States.  It’ll also send a message to Washington that the working class has had enough of wage cuts, benefit slashing and cuts to social services.  It is the duty of every class-conscious worker to give their support to the Chicago Teachers Union in this struggle.

We thought we might do our friends in the CTU a bit of a favor by going over the news for them, briefly, so that they could have some idea who was busy trying to stab them in the back while they were out walking the picket lines today.  And it will come as no surprise to them that not only did the usual suspects – the Republicans – trip all over themselves rushing to the microphones to denounce the teachers, but the Democrats had to do so, too, pretending to be standing up for the children while giving nothing but backhanded “support” to the teachers.

The Teachers hit the picket lines in excellent spirits and determined to win.  The capitalist press, as usual, went all out to discredit the teachers by presenting their demands as unreasonable and the teachers as overpaid.  The capitalists’ pet politicians of both of their wholly owned parties bent over backwards to lick the boots of their capitalist masters, giving their strong support to “poor little” Rahm Emanuel, self-appointed Emperor of Chicago, who tried unsuccessfully to portray himself as the victim in this case.  His utter lack of diplomatic skill has won him well-deserved contempt of the Chicago Teachers Union President, the members of the CTU and the working class population of the city of Chicago.

The teachers are in an excellent position to win this strike and simultaneously humiliate the little would-be Napoleon Emanuel, who goes around acting as if he actually runs the City of Chicago.  Emanuel is held in such low regard by the citizenry that when he recently ran in a triathlon in Chicago, he was largely ignored by the crowd as he passed, and then the crowd urged on the triathletes running behind the Mayor: “ ‘I was running the last leg of the race and people started shouting, “Rahm’s right ahead of you! Catch up! Beat Rahm!” ‘ said Rich Mallahan, who started and finished the Sprint Triathlon (swim 0.75k, bike 22k, run 5k) nearly abreast of Emanuel.”  [Source: Chicago Sun-Times, “Rahm sets pace for some tri-athletes” by Mitch Dudek, 26 August 2012]

The supposed friend-of-labor US Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) showed his true colors by coming out in support of Emanuel’s union-busting efforts:   “I understand what the mayor is trying to do, he’s trying to say to [Chicago Teachers Union President] Karen Lewis … ‘Roll up your sleeves, let’s sit down and get it done.’ And that’s exactly what needs to occur… the sooner [the strike] ends, the better it is for Chicago”.  [Source: The Hill, “Durbin tells teachers, Chicago schools to ‘get back to the table’ ” by Daniel Strauss, 9 September, 2012].  Durbin and his friends in Congress are still trying to pretend that they matter to the working class, after it having recently been announced that the number of citizens in the United States who think that the Congress is doing a good job has fallen to ten percent!

We think those approval numbers look suspiciously high!  How did they find even 10% to support Congress?  Even Senator John McCain tells people that the 10% number doesn’t matter because those numbers represent “only blood relatives and family pets”! [Source: CNN]

The Obama administration was given a sweet present by the CTU leadership, who made sure that the strike didn’t get underway until the Democratic Party’s coronation of the banker’s best friend and war criminal and defender of torture Barack Obama was completed at the Dems convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Obama has been laying low, refusing to make a statement on the teachers strike, knowing that whatever he says will hurt him in his much-dreaded (by the working class) re-election bid.

In today’s formulaic insulting of the nation via what is called a “press briefing”, White House mouthpiece Jay Carney was ready for the first question lobbed his way by the softball tossers of the bourgeois press.   The AP’s Ben Feller led off with the following ceremonial first pitch:  “I’m wondering what the President’s reaction is to the teacher strike in Chicago, assuming he’s had a chance to follow that story, and whether he has any reaction to both the strike and how his former Chief of Staff is handling it.”

Carney’s response was: “Well, I’m sure he’s aware of it — I know he’s aware of it, but I haven’t spoken with him about it, so I can’t speak for his reaction.  I can tell you that as a — more broadly, that our principal concern is for the students, and his principal concern is for the students and families who are affected by the situation.  And we hope that both sides are able to come together to settle this quickly and in the best interest of Chicago’s students.  But beyond that, I haven’t got a specific reaction from the President.”  [Source: whitehouse.gov, “Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 09/10/2012”]

What a load of baloney!  A major teacher’s strike erupts in Chicago, the President’s political “hometown” and his Press Secretary hasn’t spoken with him about it?  What did they talk about this morning at the White House?  Snooki’s new baby?  “Our principal concern is for the students”, yeah, right.  The United States ranked 14th in reading, 25th in math and 17th in science in a 2009 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

It was reported today that more than 80% of Chicago’s public school students qualify for the free school lunch program!  And we know how much the American capitalists and their politicians care about the children, with more than 1 out of 5 living below the poverty level nationally – and much higher rates of poverty in every single Democratic-Party-run US city among black and Hispanic workers.  And let’s not even talk about how Barack Obama “cares” for the children of immigrants, whose parents without citizenship papers are routinely seized and torn from their families and summarily deported, while their kids are tossed into the hellish conditions of massively underfunded state-run foster homes and homeless shelters.

With the Democrats and Republicans “taking care of the children”, our children have plenty to worry about.

[To be continued]