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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.”

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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.”

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.

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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.”

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

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Officer won’t face charges after killing black man who didn’t have bicycle light

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A Wisconsin police officer will not face charges after he chased and killed a black man who did not have a bicycle light.

According to WITI, Police Sgt. Eric Giese of Mount Pleasant will not be charged in the killing of 18-year-old Ty'Rese West.

Racine County District Attorney Patricia Hanson said that she determined that Giese actions "fall under the privilege of self-defense."

Dwight Person, West's father, father demanded to see a "thorough investigation done, and also to see Eric Giese locked up."

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Activism

‘Better wages, more toys’: Watch an adorable 3-year-old girl lead chant at General Motors strike

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A 3-year-old girl was caught on video leading a chant of "better wages, more toys" at a the General Motors strike in Ohio.

Video of the girl was posted by Mike Elk of The Payday Report.

WATCH: 3 year old girl leads chant of "Better Wages, More Toys" #gmstrike pic.twitter.com/JRmG7er6Ry

— Mike Elk (@MikeElk) September 18, 2019

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Activism

WATCH: 16-year-old Greta Thunberg rebukes GOPer who thinks other countries must solve climate change

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Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, faced off with members of Congress on Wednesday.

In a hearing before the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, Thunberg declined to submit a written opening statement.

"I don’t want you to listen to me, I want you to listen to the scientists and I want you to unite behind the science,” she said.

Republican Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana tried to make the point that the U.S. should not curb its carbon emissions until other countries agreed to do so.

"Let me ask you a question," Graves said. "If you were sailing across the ocean and you were picking up trash along the way and for every one piece of trash you pick up, there's a boat right next to you dumping out five pieces, how would that make you feel?"

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