MINNEAPOLIS TEACHERS AND SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS STRIKE ENTERS WEEK TWO
Above photo: Screenshot from ABC News.
Minneapolis MN – Teachers and education support professionals at Minneapolis Public Schools began a strike on March 8, shutting down the Minneapolis school system. Today, March 14, the strike continues as the schools remain closed for a second week.
Over the weekend a series of events were held by the striking educators; there we also several actions called by community and labor supporters in the area.
On Saturday, March 12, a car caravan called by the Minnesota Immigrants’ Rights Committee (MIRAC) wound its way through Minneapolis streets to end at the Davis Center where the Minneapolis Public Schools office is located. The car caravan began on Lake Street in a predominantly Latino working-class neighborhood of South Minneapolis. From there the caravan made its way to the Davis Center honking and chanting with signs and banners decorating cars. When they arrived, the caravan gave its support to the strike, to the cheers of striking educators.
On Sunday afternoon, March 13, Minnesota Workers United led a march on the house of Josh Pauly, a member of the Minneapolis Board of Education. The march was through a wealthy neighborhood on the outskirts of Southwest Minneapolis that borders on Edina, one of Minnesota’s richest cities. The march was co-hosted by Twin Cities Coalition For Justice for Jamar (TCC4J), Climate Justice Committee (CJC), Students for a Democratic Society at University of Minnesota (SDS), MIRAC, and AFSCME Local 3800, which represents clerical workers at the University of Minnesota, along with AFSCME Local 2822, which represents workers in the Hennepin County system. Speeches demanded that Josh Pauly work to settle the contract with the striking teachers by meeting their demands for safe and stable schools.
On March 14, at 10 a.m., Minnesota Workers United led a delegation on Siad Ali’s office. Ali is a member of the school board who also works in a role doing community outreach for Senator Amy Klobuchar. The delegation entered Klobuchar’s office and demanded that Ali work to settle the contract with the educators and meet their demands. The delegation was cohosted by TCC4J, CJC, SDS, MIRAC, AFSCME 3800, and AFSCME 2822, along with AFSCME 3937 who represents technical workers at the University of Minnesota.
Throughout this whole time, picket lines remain strong. On Saturday the striking educators held pickets at the Davis Center from noon until 6 p.m. on Saturday as well as 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday which were well attended. Monday picket lines are back up at the schools and the strike appears to be continuing to be strong and well attended.
In coming days the educators will continue to picket in the mornings and hold unity actions around mid-day or early afternoon until their demands are met.
More community support events are appearing every day. A large direct action training will take place at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Minneapolis the evening of March 14. On Wednesday, March 16, Minnesota Workers United will hold its fourth and community strike support committee meeting to make further plans.
On Thursday at 5 p.m. educators from around the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area will meet at South High School in South Minneapolis to hold a solidarity rally on behalf of the striking educators.
While it is unclear how and when this strike will end, what is very apparent is that the educators’ resolve is solid, the picket lines are full, and the community supports the educators.