PSAT for 9-11-12: Stand up and fight for our democracy

It’s the 11th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. We fought back then (in a sort of convoluted way) because we felt that our freedom and way of life were threatened.

Of course, not all threats to our freedom and way of life come from terrorists dropping out of the skies.

One of the most insidious threats to our democracy, our freedom, and our way of life is coming from wealthy hedge funders and billionaire education hobbyists who are trying to break up public employee unions, “blow up” public schools, sell them to the private sector, and replace real learning with online test prep.

Who is powerful enough to stand up to those who are hip deep in school takeovers?

It is beginning to look as though the Chicago Teachers Union, allied with Chicago parents, students and community groups, are powerful enough to make a good start.

Here’s a Sun-Times quote to give us hope from the estimable political scholar Dick Simpson,

“Rahm didn’t have those unions the first time, and he didn’t need them. But, he may need them in future elections because money may not be enough to control the election, particularly under new state fund-raising rules and the $5,000 limit on contributions from PAC’s or individuals. You can’t run the city with just business support. You need unions and the public.” (emphasis added)

So, for Public Schools Action Tuesday today, do whatever you can to support the CTU. March with them. Send them a pizza. Call City Hall to demand a fair contract. Tell your friends in Chicago and around the nation why you support our teachers – why their fight is our fight.

Be a part of history.

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.