Red Star Strike Update: Day 6

Red Star Strike Update: Day 6

Educators and staff headed back to the picket lines for day six. Although it’s getting colder, spirits remain high. One benefit to spending so many days on the line is that it provides time to nail down the choreography for a unique rendition of “Thriller,” if one is so inclined. Answering Mayor Lightfoot’s call to treat contract negotiations with urgency, 400 special education teachers showed up to bargain with the city. The mayor, once again, did not.

CTU also prepared to ratchet up their solidarity and strike tactics, holding a civil disobedience training today at the union office.

The strike has left the city’s power-holders shaken. Lori Lightfoot has continued to make mealy-mouthed, patronizing statements. Such behavior from the mayor demonstrates that, in addition to being out of touch with the needs of the city, her campaign promises were, to put it kindly, insincere.

There were reports by multiple attendees of Wednesday’s rally that they were spat upon by people inside the Board of Trade. This is sad and infuriating, but should also serve as a stark reminder of the stakes of this strike. It would be difficult to imagine a more perfect metaphor for our class struggle than finance capitalists literally spitting on teachers, support staff, and community members who were fighting for a better future for Chicago’s children and the city itself.


  • The CPS board said it is proposing a full-time nurse and social worker in every school, support for homeless students, and to lower some class sizes. They continue, however, to refuse to #PutItInWriting.

  • In the week that 7,500 SEIU Local 73 workers have been on strike, the city’s bargaining team has met with them just once, on Monday. The city’s team was present for a total of 12 minutes before walking out.


The two main things you can do to offer physical support, if you can, are to walk the picket line and to volunteer with Bread for Ed. If you’re unable to join us early in the morning, there are other solidarity events taking place throughout the day.

Picket Lines

Picket lines will run from 7am to 10:30am every day the strike continues. Check out to learn more. And make sure to wear red!

The DSA has established pickets, led by Labor Branch strike captains, at these 11 schools:

  • Eugene Field Elementary School (7019 N Ashland Blvd, Rogers Park)

  • Hibbard Elementary School (3244 W Ainslie St, Albany Park)

  • Hyde Park Academy High School (6220 S Stony Island Ave, Hyde Park)

  • John A Walsh Public School (2015 S Peoria St, Pilsen)

  • Jones College Prep (700 S State St, Loop)

  • Linne Elementary School (3221 N Sacramento Ave, Avondale)

  • McClellan Elementary School (3527 S Wallace St, Bridgeport)

  • Ogden International School of Chicago (1250 W Erie St, West Town)

  • Richard Yates Elementary School (1839 N Richmond St, Logan Square)

  • Swift Elementary Specialty School (5900 N Winthrop Ave, Edgewater)

  • Willa Cather Elementary School (2908 W Washington Blvd, East Garfield Park)



  • CTU Rally at Buckingham Fountain: Friday at 2pm

  • Chicago Labor & Community Solidarity Rally: Saturday 10am-12pm (Union Park). More info here



Bread for Ed will be making and distributing food at various areas around the city, so if you have time and resources to help with preparation and/or distribution, please email Please consider donating if you can, and if you have time and resources to help with preparation and/or distribution, please email The material needs of students and striking workers will only escalate the longer it continues.

Locations that will be distributing food tomorrow include:

  • DuBois Elementary School, 330 E 133rd St – 6:30am-10am

  • Hyde Park Academy, 6220 S Stony Island – 6:30am-10am

  • Alderman Carlos Rosa’s Office, 2934 N Milwaukee, Unit C – 11am-2pm

  • Holden Elementary School, 1104 W 31st St – 7am-10:30am


On the campaign trail, many voters were encouraged by Lori Lightfoot’s progressive platform, much of which seemed drawn directly from CTU’s contract demands. The mayor was elected, in large part, due to those promises. It is becoming increasingly clear that, as we all suspected, Lori Lightfoot is yet another neoliberal pretending at progressivism. As the strike continues to play out, one positive development is that Mayor Lightfoot has shown her true face. We must never let the working-class of the city forget it.

Mayor Lightfoot and her team seem both unaware of and unconcerned with how their rhetoric comes off to the city’s working-class residents. This happened again in her budget address, where she said that the striking teachers must “live within their means, whatever those means are, and they can’t exceed that, and look to the city to bail them out.”

It speaks volumes that, as the mayor backed into a corner by the strike, she seized on that particular buzzword to call back to a deeply unpopular move to save irresponsible financial firms. But schools are not banks and teachers are not financiers. To refer to funding public services as a “bailout” is insulting and demeaning.

The Chicago Board of Education is responsible for oversight of CPS. If there has been financial mismanagement with CPS, the Board is to blame for allowing it to continue. Further, the Board is appointed by the mayor. So, if CPS is mismanaging its funding, and the Board of Education has failed to hold them accountable, that blame, too, falls onto the mayor. The simplest way to ensure that funding is spent appropriately is to enshrine in the CTU contract how those resources will be allocated.

Finally, Red Star would like to give a special shout-out to CTU teacher and comrade Kenzo Shibata’s seasonally appropriate Twitter thread on the Ghoul of the Day, Michael Frisch, a corporate lawyer on the city’s negotiating team.

The Red Star Bulletin was conceived by Ramsin Canon and is a project of the Political Education & Policy Committee. This update was drafted by CDSA members. Special contributions were made by Devin Schiff and Nick Hussong. Graphics were contributed by Patrick O’Connell. If you would like to contribute to the Red Star Bulletin or have any feedback, email