Chicago Teachers Union’s Karen Lewis: Labor Can’t Win Without Community Solidarity In The Streets- 01/16/13
By Doug Cunningham
In Chicago labor activists who support single payer universal health care held their 2013 conference this week. Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis delivered the keynote speech. Lewis said the 2012 Chicago teachers strike demonstrated the power of community solidarity as firefighters welcomed striking teachers into their homes for meals and parents also supported them. She says labor must attract and energize young people if it is to have a future. Lewis says as workers everywhere face another year of struggles community coalitions and solidarity is crucial and workers need to take the fight to the streets of communities nationwide.
[Karen Lewis]: “We need to continue to build coalitions. Labor alone cannot win this fight. If we don’t have community with us, we will be irrelevant quickly. If we don’t continue to energize our ranks – to me the beauty of our strike was that there were so many people without a single strand of gray hair. (Applause) Regardless of where you are, you still have more to do, as do we all. It can’t be a bunch of phones calls, brothers and sisters. Face to face, one at a time, person to person. Stop preaching to the choir, take off those robes and get into the streets!”