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Teacher on strike in Chicago: It is all about the students

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The Chicago Teachers Union went on strike Monday, shutting down the nation’s third largest school system. The teachers insist the strike is about helping their students.

“We are out here just trying to make sure that everybody knows that the real reason we are here is for the students,” a female teacher picketing outside Steinmetz High School told Labor Beat. “We want to make sure that our students are well taken care of. They need to have the best education possible. This is for them, it is not about us.”

The unidentified teacher said the school had about 1800 students and a little over 100 teachers.

“I’m advocating for my students until the very end,” she continued. “I am a teacher who is working for smaller classrooms, better and properly maintained facilities, we need to expand our libraries, we need to get more textbooks and up-to-date textbooks — my economics textbook last year was 12-years-old. We need to make sure we have more nurses, we need to make sure we have more social workers — our school has one social worker for 1800 students.”

“We are trying to make sure our students are properly taken care of, so that they can have the education they deserve.”

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CTU president Karen Lewis said the 26,000-member union went on strike because the city insisted on implementing a new evaluation system and planned to cut some health benefits for teachers. The city also refused to install additional air-conditioning units in classrooms, limit class size, and hire more social workers, Lewis said.

But Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) has decried the action as a “strike of choice.” Emanuel and Chicago aldermen claimed the city and the teachers’ union had agreed on everything except the process for re-hiring laid off teachers and the new evaluation system.

“When you hear that they have agreed on the salary, the other two issues are not strikable issues,” Alderman Latasha Thomas told the Chicago Sun-Times. “You’ve got collateral damage: the children. The children are pawns in this, and it was too close to strike.”

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Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by Labor Beat, below:


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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez chokes up responding to Trump: ‘Time to move on from his conception of America’

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Monday fired back at President Donald Trump after he told her to "go back" to her country of origin -- even though she was born in the U.S.

"It's unfortunate that he feels the way he feels about people of color," Ocasio-Cortez explained to NBC News. "It's unfortunate the way he feels about immigrants, naturalized citizens or not."

"What I would tell him is that it's time to move on from him," she continued as she seemed to choke up. "And it's time to move on from his conception of an America that we tried to move past for a long time."

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Activism

Schumer: If Trump can’t handle a little criticism from Fox News then ‘he doesn’t deserve to be president’

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Tuesday suggested that Donald Trump "doesn't deserve to be president" if he can't handle criticism from Fox News.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Schumer noted that Trump recently lashed out at Fox News soon after the conservative network aired World Cup viewers chanting "f*ck Trump."

"I just felt it was important to point President Trump amazingly attacked Fox News in the last few days in a series of Tweets for coverage he viewed as unfavorable to his administration," Schumer said. "This is Fox News, a news outlet that frankly is 90% or more on the president’s side. Their most popular shows seem to just be cheerleaders for President Trump."

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Activism

Marine Corps band forced to perform in pouring rain before sparse crowd prior to Trump’s July 4th party

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In a video posted to Twitter several hours before Donald Trump is scheduled to launch his "Salute to America" Fourth of July party, the Marine Corps band was compelled to perform in the pouring rain before a sparse crowd of early attendees and media awaiting the main event.

According to Jim Spellman of CTGN, the sky opened with a deluge of rain that had people running for cover -- only for the military musicians to be paraded out for either a rehearsal or a time-consuming filler until the big show begins.

Earlier in the day, the National Park Service warned that the event could be rained out, with thundershowers moving swiftly into the area.

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