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Chicago Teachers Union President Says There is ‘One Party’ in This Country, the ‘Party of Money’

At Illinois Labor History Society’s “Salute to Labor’s Historic Heroes from the History Makers of Today” conference, Karen Lewis, karen lewispresident of the Chicago Teachers Union,  aptly described how past generations of labor leaders believed that they had no choice but to resolve disputes with violence. Lewis drew a few chuckles from the crowd when she discussed  beheading the rich as the preferred agency of change for labor leaders from a different era.

“At this very moment I still believe there is one party in this country – that is, the party of money, with two branches,” Lewis said.

Lewis then continued:

Do not think for a minute that the wealthy are ever going to allow you to legislate their riches away from them. Please understand that. However, we are in a moment where the wealth disparity in this country is very reminiscent of the robber baron ages. The labor leaders of that time, though, were ready to k*ll. They were. They were just – off with their heads. They were seriously talking about that.

“I don’t think we’re at that point,” Lewis added.

“The key is that they think nothing of killing us,” Lewis added. “They think nothing about putting us in harm’s way. They think nothing about lethal working conditions.”

Lewis is certainly correct in how she depicts labor activists of years gone by. Bill Haywood, known as “Big Bill” Haywood, founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World, was never one to run from a violent altercation. He was even put on trial for murder in 1907, a crime for which he was acquitted. Back then, labor activists were willing to put their lives on the line for fair wages and descent treatment from employers.

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7 comments

  1. SHE’S A BIG JOKE….What would you do if 50% of your kids died in the neighborhood hospital or 50% of your cars exploded when you drove them home from the dealer…You’d run them out of town…Yet the teachers unions in all the big cities act as if they are the victims instead of the perpetrators of bad education in their communities… By protecting the incompetents & marginal teachers, they are squeezing the spirit out of whole generations of kids who could have had a future…The District of Columbia spends more per pupil than any other comparable school district & is dead last in tests & graduation rates…When are we going to wake up to the fake interest by the Teachers Unions in our kids…Look at their contracts…IT’S ALL ABOUT THEM!!!

  2. She proved her point! Move on…..cause that’s the way it is in AMERICKA! PEACE!!!

  3. She proved her point!Will we ever enjoy the gift of life? or will we spend forever trying to change the unchangeable..MOVE ON cause that’s how it is in AMERICKA!

  4. The left does appear to be moving toward the right…

  5. There are no easy fixes for our dilapidated school system. Money alone won’t do it. Many countries produce better students with less money.

  6. As a mother of two former chicago public schools students and two current ones, let me say this: this lady led the teachers on a strike that only helped the teachers. I hope people are paying attention to what she is saying. She is all about the workers. Yet she was able to convince SOME parents she cared about their kids. She used our kids as collateral damage to get the teachers what they wanted. Our kids received NOTHING AT ALL. Some of these teachers are so awful it brings tears to your eyes and thanks to her we still can’t get rid of these people. I can go on and on but I won’t. Just let me end this by saying we must think for ourselves, just because someone says something is good for us does not make it so. Most of the time we are left holding the bag and guess what? Its empty

  7. Fed up yet?

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