“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx
Aug 31, 2009
In Detroit in early August, there was an upsurge of demonstrations against cutbacks in the city and attacks on city workers and teachers. The success of one demonstration helped build spirit for the next. Some cutbacks were put off for a while!
But while spirit was building, teachers' union officials gave up the moment. They cut a deal with the city to extend their contract – until October 31.
Not only did this deal fail to build on the rising spirits of the teachers and the community, it gave up the teachers' biggest weapon: initial enrollment. A strike at the start of the school year could reduce the schools' state funding – a big threat!
But by October 31 this lever for the teachers will disappear. The city meanwhile keeps all its weapons!
We won't defend ourselves by accepting such a "compromise," which only serves the bosses' and the school board's interests. Teachers and all other workers under attack need to use all the weapons available.