Since the early days of the Occupy movement in October 2011, the ties between the radical institutional left and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) were becoming very clear. EAG News documented the relationship between the CTU and radical anarchist organizer Lisa Fithian, who trained the teachers in “non-violent direct action,” and more specifically, how to stage and coordinate their arrests with the Chicago Police Department.
In 2012, the CTU began to set the stage for the now infamous Chicago Teachers Strike, by conducting several massive protest actions, shutting down Chicago’s loop on several occasions, under the leadership of their President Karen Lewis and Vice President Jesse Sharkey. I captured Sharkey on film, leading the teachers, in actions that directly emulated those of the Occupy Movement.
For days in the fall of 2012, during the strike, the educators of Chicago’s youth marched side by side with revolutionary Marxist organizations, black bloc anarchists, and open communist organizations. One thing missing through it all, however, was any coverage of these facts in the Chicago media.
In fact, after I informed NBC Chicago’s Charlie Wojciechowski during another CTU protest action, that CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey participated in the Midwest Marxism Conference at Northwestern University, and asked him if he address the question, “why?” to Mr. Sharkey, Wojciechowski told me, “Breitbart was full of sh*t,” and refused. The conference was loaded with Chicago teachers, and break out sessions featured discussions on the successful collaboration between the CTU and ISO in coordinating the CTU Strike.
A few weeks later, another NBC “reporter” Christian Farr, behaved in similar fashion, when I asked him why he would not cover International Socialist Organization members and organizers right in front of him, playing an organizational roll for the CTU demonstration. Farr snapped at me, “No! I’m not going to cover that! That’s a judgement.” Farr claimed to be “objective” and rejected any reason to cover the facts regarding the involvement of the ISO in the protest, and accused me of being opinionated for stating the fact that there were in deed open socialists running the protest.
Recently, Lisa Fithian was back on the scene, working with the teachers again,coordinating more fake arrests between the CTU and the Chicago Police.
The Chicago Teachers Union presence on the cover the Socialism 2013 program does not mean all Chicago teachers are socialists, and it would be next to impossible to figure how many actually are. However, this, yet again, highlights the close relationship between the CTU and the ISO that is very real. More over, this presents an alarming lack of respect on behalf of the Chicago media, for whom they fail to inform, the Chicago taxpayers and more importantly parents whose children are placed in the daily care of the CTU’s rank and file, that willfully follow these radical organizations.