On-scene pics: Chicago teachers and supporters take to streets, force closing of Chicago Loop


As Twitchy reported earlier, Occupiers were quick to pledge their solidarity with the Chicago Teachers Union in its strike, and now the strike has taken on an Occupy-like dimension as hundreds if not thousands of teachers and supporters have taken to the streets, shutting down the Chicago Loop this afternoon.



Some students had tweeted that their teachers had encouraged them to join in on the strike. Workers Independent News is reporting that teachers have brought in a drum line. Are these students?

Another source identifies the drum line as students from Thomas Kelly High School in Chicago.

We realize poster board doesn’t come with a built-in spell checker, but speaking of Kelly High School…

Occupy Chicago is using the opportunity to distribute copies of its Occupied Chicago Tribune newspaper.

While labor organizations are thrilled with the turnout, a downtown traffic stoppage isn’t winning sympathy from everyone.

No official crowd estimates have been given, but the Chicago Sun-Times reported “thousands,” while supporters are claiming up to 30,000.

  • TroyGates

    Hey Ho, we want more of the taxpayer’s dough

  • grais

    Emanuel has got to go? Didn’t they all just vote for him?

    • nc

      Maybe they just figured out he’s Jewish.

      • Orangeone

        He is?

  • weRbroke

    Don’t cave. GO CHARTER and tell the CTU to pound sand. If taxpayers don’t take a stand now, you might as well give your whole paycheck to the government, they are going to get it anyway, and you will get CRUMBS.

  • J.N. Ashby

    “Emmanuel has got to go”…Now I don’t know which side to take!

    • Julie

      Me either. Mayeb they are right- they need a nice steady responsible Republican to whip them in shape!

      • $22639970

        Yeah, THAT’LL happen…right after we all learn to whistle “Dixie” through our bungholes.

    • http://twitter.com/DaffJtap jtap


  • 101st Airborne

    While they protesting for more money, I spent the day working paying for all those pension promises:(

    • Orangeone

      I’m sure the doctors are around to give them sick notes so they collect full pay.

    • Ima Patriot

      A Chicago Public Schools spokesperson said average pay for teachers, without benefits, is $76,000.Man that’s pretty darn good,I wonder how much they make with benefits?

  • BorderLine Guy

    You know Rahm still has their unending endorsement for the future.

  • Botzilla

    Our students graduate at an 8th grade reading level, only 60% graduate, we are the highest paid in the country, we demand a raise!!!

    • dawn

      When you say, “we”…is that a literal “we” or a “mocking” we? I had to ask, considering the grammatical errors in your comment. …and the pride in such horrible statistics is mortifying. …but then again, the errors speak volumes.

      • Ralph Moore

        my favorite quote from one of the union leaders “If they start rating teachers based on students test scores,as many as 60% of teachers could lose their jobs”….so rather than do a better job their solution is to not allow teacher evaluations based on whether or not their students actually LEARN.

  • Kevin Miller

    Chicago needs a Ronald Reagan to give them 3 days- return to work or be terminated. See how beholden to the union the teachers are then.

    • $22639970

      Chicago would first need a moral compass in order to recognize and support a Reagan type. Hell, if they had that we wouldn’t be dealing with the Muslim gangsta now, would we?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7BG44DBU5IHJQ5ZAYWNT3RSPBM Jack Offelday

    It doesn’t appear as though the Chicago Teachers Union is heeding Michelle Obama’s Healthy Food Initiative.

    • allenbarr

      for REAL Jack.

    • Michael D. Fay

      Some serious poundage pounding the pavement for sure.

    • flyoverangel

      Talk about feeding from the public trough! Apparently the trough is filled with freakin’ gravy!

    • Orangeone

      Sorry Jack, didn’t see your post before posting mine :)

  • GDMace

    These people were offered a 16% raise over four years and are striking, in part, over an attempt to tie teacher ratings to student grades. Screw them!

    • Darth Vengeance

      Actually, I did the math and at 3% then 2%/year for 3 years they get 9.32% total. Still not bad but a far cry from 16%. I don’t agree with the teachers actions. Don’t get me wrong…I just understand how they feel about being evaluated based on how the kids perform on a test that the teachers have no control over. It’s like telling you that you’ll get a raise or be fired based on a coworker’s job performance.

      • Terry

        There are other incentives to increase it up to 16%, like attending a seminar.

      • bakerman1444

        Or, a co-worker getting the same raise you got, but the co-worker didn’t do anything.

      • http://twitter.com/fooltyme Becky Pensky

        private sector has been getting squat for past 3 years, everyones on a freeze. They should be happy they have a job

      • http://www.facebook.com/cranman7 Bill Crandall

        No, they ARE supposed to be teaching them, not working next to them as a equal coworker. They actually meed to be held acountable for the results of their work.

      • jetch

        too bad, that’s the job. does a janitor complain that he’s gotta take out the trash? he could say it’s not fair his job performance is affected by how much trash other people throw out. but it is what it is.
        if you know of another way to evaluate a teacher, i’d like to hear it. if you truly think it’s unfair, get another job!

        • LitCoach

          Hi Jetch…As a teacher, the way to evaluate them is to measure student gains over the year, not if they are on some ideal standard. All kids (people) are different and learn at different rates. Parents aren’t leaving the “smart” kids at home….trust me.

      • http://www.facebook.com/james.minard.3 James Minard

        “Coworker” is not a good analogy. A coworker is an equal in job description. Obviously students are not teachers. A good analogy would be a manager and the people the manager is responsible for managing. If the worker’s performance is exceptional, or getting better year over year, the manager should receive a bonus. This is how the private sector works….sounds outstanding to me!

      • strattus

        Bull.! A student is the teachers responsible, nothing like a coworker….

      • DocScience

        I agree that teachers have no control over the students’ home life….we need to force parents to hold their children accountable in school. But Dems no longer believe in accountability for anyone….not that I’ve seen. But, teachers need to do the best they can, and not all do…way too many slackers in the world. I know many fine, excellent teachers…but the slackers pull them down, and don’t like being shown up by the good ones.

      • Ken Alan Draper

        but you are forgetting that they are not being held accountable for their performance. any other job out there if you don’t perform satisfactory, you are held accountable. but teachers, in most cases are almost impossible to fire, & get pay increases while underperforming. they already make a rediculous salary, look at your child’s school schedule count theyour teachers days they are in class, add teacher days and devide your teacher’s salary by that number, that will give you how much the teacher averages per day. you’ll be shocked, on a per hour basis they make near as much as a high level executive. now they want pay for their summer vacation. let’s not forget that they constantly graduate kids who can’t spell, do basic math, & know no history.

        • Ronlo

          Dont agree with teachers striking, but if you think the teachers day ENDS WHEN THE KIDS LEAVE, you are seriously mistaking. Wife is a teacher in Texas, has put in 30+ hrs “OT” in 2 weeks with Kindergarten.

      • George Murrey

        Testing students on what they know for all schools shows that teachers are or are not doing their jobs. Many states are now implementing teacher evaluations as it relates to student progress. But they should not be the whole proces, they should also be evaluated by a principal during class time. This will give a better understanding that teachers are or aren’t doing their jobs. Most teachers are evaluated twice or three times a year. If a teacher cannot show they are improving on their teaching techniques, by all means release those teachers.

      • Annie O

        Chris when you belong to a public union you are just one of many and your raises are based on contracts not on individual merit.

      • Orangeone

        Don’t forget to include the benefits they will receive with the pay increases (additional retirement contributions, etc.) that take the total to 16%.

  • http://twitter.com/BLeFonque Buckshot LeFonque

    CTU’s got the right color tee shirts…Soviet Red…

    • http://pennyrobinsonfanclub.net/ PennyRobinsonFanClub

      Yeah you noticed that too, huh?

    • BeeKaaay

      da komrade. very obvious of them :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/mickey.byrd.12 Mickey Byrd

    Rahm was helping Obama make a plan for the America… looks as if he took the same plan back to Chicago. How’s that working out for you so far, Rahm?

  • http://www.facebook.com/madelyn.martine Madelyn Martine

    Hope Rahm fires them all. Hah.

    • http://twitter.com/fooltyme Becky Pensky

      yeah do what Reagan did when the FAA workers went on strike….no more job

  • http://pennyrobinsonfanclub.net/ PennyRobinsonFanClub

    Was in Chicago yesterday for the first time in my life. Don’t think I was anywhere near the Loop, about 15 minutes from airport, but sure glad now I was in and out the same day!

    • nc

      That was a close call.

  • $8591

    The heart and soul of the Communist Party was and is the unions.

  • omicron123

    Protesting Seedy Rahm? Sounds nerdy. (Say it out loud if you don’t get it)

    • [email protected]

      laughing….had to say it out loud

  • allenbarr

    that is some of the ugliest looking teachers i have ever seen.

  • http://twitter.com/Droguta Anna

    Cue Obama to the rescue to make himself look like a savior in 3..2..1..

    • DocScience

      Obama’s from Chicago…cut his political teeth there…he would support this.

  • BeeKaaay

    “Kris Habermehl in Chopper 780 says a sea of red is marching in the Loop in #Chicago.”

    Red is an appropriate color, since we’re dealing with Marxists.

    • jetch

      kris in chopper 780 should have dropped frozen turkeys on the crowd…

      • SAndrews

        WKRP reference? +1

  • nc

    Rahm, do something right for once in your miserable life. Fire these spoiled, incompetent babysitters, and hire some new teachers. New contract: good pay for good teachers, no tenure, no fancy pensions.

    Politicians talk talk talk about “investing” in education. This usually is code for lining union pockets and spoiling overpaid babysitters. Real investment would mean making sure teachers are doing their job and actually imparting an education to our youth. Too many kids aren’t graduating, and many of those that do don’t know much.

    • Orangeone

      To add, economics is on your side Rahm. Supply and demand, you know that basic economics 101 concept. You have the demand and with 23 million unemployed supply is on your side. Result? Lower wages and better talent!

  • Terry

    They will tick off the taxpaying workers in a heartbeat with this crap. Same thing happened in WI. IL needs to do an Act 10 and be done with it. I would be livid if my kid had been taken to a strike.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rafael.penariosribero Rafael Eduardo Peña-Rios Riber

    reminds me to what happened in Bogota the last week… god i hate those commies

  • http://twitter.com/fooltyme Becky Pensky

    This is exactly what is wrong with public sector unions, they have to go! My guess is this is a setup for Obama to fly in on AirForce 1 and come to the rescue.

  • reshas1

    Looks more like SEIUers, just changed their shirts..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Simmons/1682117904 Scott Simmons

    Fire them all… start from scratch.

    • dawn

      This action needs to be done in DC! …all the way across the board! NO former politicians or lobbyists allowed!

    • DocScience

      can’t fire anyone in Chicago…unions made sure of that in the contracts. can’t hire anyone to take their place…against the law.

      • Ken Alan Draper

        sure you can, if you have the testicular fortitude to. of course Rahm (who names their kid rahm?) Immanual does not. Deadfish rahm doesn’t have the guts to go against the unions, he knows who the real mobsters are.

      • Orangeone

        And why would the law stop Rahmy?

  • Marilyn Agan

    I guess they do not want to be accountable for actually teaching kids. They do not wanting anyone giving them a score card, while they make almost double what most family’s make. kick them all out and get some teachers who actually want to teach our kids.

  • http://www.facebook.com/big.mel.barras Mel Barras

    looks like a very white crowd, not very diverse

  • jetch

    yeah, i’m sorry but this whole thing about it being about the union and not the teachers, is bull! those teachers are out there striking for more money and less accountability. the union leadership may be leading this, but the teachers are there and no one’s forcing them.
    those teachers are greedy, and self serving. there is nothing honorable about what they are doing. it’s a job, some kids learn, and most don’t. fire them all!

    • [email protected]


    • Ken Alan Draper

      Yes, but the unions foster the attitude. in every industry union workers do less, & expect more perks then nonunion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mickey.byrd.12 Mickey Byrd

    Gotta’ love the sign
    “Would you be where you are today without teachers?”
    Of course not, the working people would be home by now if you weren’t blocking the streets. The emergency services and people they are trying to assist must be loving you also. Good job teachers.


    Teacher strikes say one thing:

    “What’s best for kids is more money for teachers!”

    This is why I will never join in a teacher strike.

  • david geren

    its not they are really teaching…baddest test scores in the country

  • flyoverangel

    I think it’s called Wisconsin Part 2. Get ready for some serious wackiness down there, we lived through it to your north. Get used to the sound of vuvuzelas and empty pickle bucket drumbeats. I hope it works just as well for them as it did for the whiners in Wisconsin.

  • david geren

    they have the worse test scores in the country

  • flyoverangel

    How DARE these people put me in the position of supporting Rahm “Dead Fish” Emmanuel. That is just…. too much.

  • Logical Me

    So this is what these teachers call an acceptable example to set for the
    kiddos that they teach life’s lessons to. Don’t believe for one moment that the kids
    aren’t watching what their teachers are doing.

    It’s all about the UNIONS. Mark my words, the UNIONS
    decided that they wanted more money. Therefore they instigated a
    strike for more pay and benefits. More pay means more union dues and
    wage assessments.

    Who really wins?

    The UNIONS.

    Who loses?

    The KIDDOS. And do not think for one moment that the UNION cares.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/K2LBROILULSM5O73HNBC62L6XE NullF

    The fact the teachers can’t even spell neighborhood
    kind of make the point that there needs to be teacher reviews and
    accountability, that one fact is indefensible, but I’m sure some liberal nutcases
    who blanket support unions won’t see how that’s detrimental to children.

    • Cathy

      I saw that too and wondered if anyone else caught that. The teachers need to go back to school.

    • http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.timm1 Cheryl Timm

      That may, or may not, have been a typographical error, much like the one in your post that reads “kind of make the point that there needs to be teacher….” To correct: “kind of makes the point there (that is not needed grammatically)……

      But to the point: Teachers need to be evaluated and a portion of that evaluation must be the performance of the students.

  • http://twitter.com/DaffJtap jtap

    Sounds like Rahm,is reaping what he has sown.

  • http://yeehee.com/ Yeeheecom

    I would bet more than half of them wouldn’t be there if Illinois were a right to work state. They are forced to belong to a union in fear the union thugs would harm their families or property.

  • Jeff Patterson

    Before you know it — Obama will be riding in on a white horse saying, “We must bail out the Chicago school system. We can’t afford to have the educational system fail.” Can’t afford to let a good crises go to waste. Right out of the Alinsky playbook.

    • stuckinIL4now

      I agree Obama and his trust white steed will make an appearance, but hasn’t that ed system already failed?

  • http://twitter.com/DaffJtap jtap

    Luv how Rahm ask Romney to not make cuts to Education like it goes to the kids and schools. Hell,most does not even go to teachers. I am for cutting education spending for Union leaders, depart of Edu and all the social crap they brainwash them with. How about they actually teach Reading, writing, arithmetic and science.

  • Linda

    Wonder how much they paid to have all of their “cute” matching t-shirts printed? Could’ve gone to the schools instead.

  • LDM

    It looks more like a Socialist Workers’ March to me. Too much red for my taste.

  • stuckinIL4now

    If these teachers are so smart, knowing that the city is broke can they tell us who’s payin’ for all this? Chicago teachers and Rahmbo need to go back to their neverland cuz they’re not ready for this reality.

  • WJGBalderama

    Fire these teachers and hire new ones. That’s the logical thing to do.

  • Lisa LeDoux

    Are they getting paid to do this? It starts there.

  • lana ward

    The shoe is on Dead fish now instead of Scott Walker. It was funny to him then, I wonder how funny it is to him now?

  • JonnyD

    I don’t support the strike but teachers today are faced with more challenges than ever before. I don’t think you’d want your job based on how well a inner city 16 year old does on a test that he could care less about.

  • DocScience

    Shame on those teachers…they turned down a great raise! They should be fired…but wait…Chicago has laws that you can’t hire others over unions…so the kids suffer. Way to go, Dems! THIS is favoring educators over the educated…guess those students don’t matter that much…

  • John P. Sullivan

    Check the sign the dude wearing the sunglass is carrying. “Neiborhood Schools”?
    Eye gess thuuh teecheers waaant moore muny fur aul thuuh werk thaie dunn.

  • tjp77

    As much as I wish this was a real strike with real negative implications for the Obama campaign, I’m afraid this is all a big ploy, courtesy of Rahm ‘never let a crisis go to waste’ Emmanuael.

    It goes something like this:

    He gets the union bosses to publicly ask for something they all know is unrealistic in order to justify a strike. The strike goes on for a few days… long enough to get plenty of national media attention and to get Romney on the record talking about how awful the unions are, etc.

    Rahm generally keeps quiet but plays the hardass, because thats what people expect from him. He and the union bosses keep up the ‘deadlock’ kabuki dance long enough really maximize dramatic effect.

    Just when all hope seems lost, Obama swoops in and enters the discussion — but only at Rahm’s request as mayor — in order to help resolve the talks. Magically everything is fixed overnight. Obama convinces the unions to take less than what they were asking for, the teachers return to work, and Obama is the hero of the story.

    At that point, Obama is painted in the media as the great mediator; someone who knows how to handle the unions but still keep the working people happy, while Romney would have done something heartless and brash like fire them all or let the strike continue indefinitely while the children suffer. Obama then goes on the offensive, talking about how the unions aren’t anything to be afraid of as long as you deal with them in good faith (as he has done), while Romney is out of touch with what the ‘middle class’ needs.

    You just watch. This is how it will play out.

  • mkreider

    This is kind of sad. I guess I am showing my age but I remember when teacher’s actually taught without an agenda. Now it is all political. Me Me Me and to heck with everyone else.

  • George Murrey

    I could understand bad working conditions and the possibility of not having materials to help students learn and succeed. Plus the fact they have great benefits many would trade for. But these over paid, and to think I was a teacher, loons should not complain. They need to be accountable for their teaching with what the administration is requiring. I’m sure there’s plenty of out of work teachers that would be willing to take over in a heart beat.

  • http://twitter.com/MawMaw4Romney Donna

    This is what you get when you worship Unions. And Obama loves the Unions, especially
    SEIU, which is a seriously dangerous entity.
    These people are made to march & riot, vote how the Union tells them to, do what the Union tells them to. This is the America Obama wants.

  • madashellnow

    These teachers don’t deserve a raise. Many signs have misspelled words and lack good grammar. Sadly, these folks should be in school themselves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.jefferies.96 Richard Jefferies

    Wow, the union sure put their dues money to good use, buying them all those uniformed red t-shirts.

  • azjazzlady

    Greedy, petulant children (I’m talking about these teachers)! Fire them all! At almost $75,000. 00(starting salary) a year and a Cadillac benefit package, there are millions who would step in and replace them. Are you aware that 85% of Chicago’s 4th grade public school students read below that level? Teachers’ unions are destroying public education!

  • marcellucci

    In response to the sign “Whose Schools, Our Schools”, I’d like to clarify something…..
    They are NOT the Union’s schools…..
    They are NOT the teacher’s schools….
    They are NOT the student’s schools…..
    They are the TAXPAYER’S schools……
    Now……GET BACK TO WORK !!!!

  • Michael E Rupp

    Whatever will Mr. “Never let a crisis go to waste” do now?

  • Orangeone

    Did I miss something or are they trying to say they are Republicans on strike by wearing red? Looking at the protesters, Moochier should go to Chicago and sign them all up for the Let’s Move.gov program.

  • Mom2Ian03

    Too funny, I am sure being as they are union they voted for Rahm. So glad they care about the kids.

  • Patrick L

    Battle cry of the the unions is “We don’t care about city or state budgets we want more more & more give us more!” Where the cops? Why weren’t they ordered to clear the streets or let them march orderly on the sidewalk did Emanuel order them to let teachers block the loop? Just proves that $71k a year isn’t enough for anyone.

  • http://twitter.com/MoueLaMoue Moue La Moue (D)

    This is just one of the many examples as to why my child will NOT be attending a public schrewl. (Yep, that’s an error)! You can’t fire the bad teachers, and you can’t give the good one’s a raise. I know of two retired teachers who are making at least 4k a month for simply having entered into teaching at the right time here in Colorado. Newer teachers? They won’t receive that same pension. Why? Because Colorado can not afford it! It’s as simple as basic math, which seems to be quite the challenge, along with spelling and grammatical errors for the people pictured above. RI isn’t going to do anything. And everyone hopes that OBummer will swoop in and save the day. HA! Go Charter, Go Small! Heck … go Home School! There are some fantastic programs and actual TEACHERS with some of the On Line Programs.

  • Tom Tweney

    Indeed there are some awfully wide posteriors. Well fed , I must say

  • Tom Tweney

    Here in Canada the teachers are about as militant as you can get and as well, well fed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.hanover.35 John Hanover

    Mmmm can you smell the hypocrisy? Most places you can’t get a 19% raise on anything except the price. Pathetic and will be very short lived.