01 April, the Chicago Teachers’ Union will lead a one-day strike against Rahm and Rauner’s program of austerity for public education. The CTU will be joined by the faculty and students of public universities facing cuts and even total closure– as well as the members of over 30+ community organizations from all over Chicago who have signed on to show their solidarity. We invite you to join DePaul students, faculty, and staff for a short speak-out & rally on the main quad of the Lincoln park campus at 2pm— after which we’ll head downtown for the CTU’s mass rally at 4pm with a banner and placards displaying the DePaul community’s support for Chicago’s teachers.
Why should students at a private university like DePaul stand with public school teachers and with the faculty of public universities?
As the recent fight against cuts to MAP grants shows us, cuts to public education also affect students at private universities. State-funded grants make it possible for institutions like DePaul to serve Chicago’s working-class students— and cuts to MAP grants are a product of the same neoliberal political ideology that underwrites the austerity-driven attack on Chicago’s public school system. In fighting alongside the CTU to demand that the state’s budget gap be closed by taxing the rich, we also fight to stop cuts which threaten DePaul’s diverse and inclusive community.
But even where defending against the attacks on teachers and public universities isn’t directly tied to defending the DePaul community, we invoke the old slogan of the militant labor movement: “an injury to one is an injury to all.” As students, as faculty, and as future workers, we enjoy weekends, social security, unemployment benefits, and the right to form unions because millions of workers of generations past engaged in militant struggle at great risk to their lives and livelihoods based on the simple idea of solidarity: when one group of working people come under attack, all must stand united with them, in hopes of ourselves being afforded the same support, if and when we are similarly attacked. If we organize according to the principle of solidairty, when we fight, we fight not just for ourselves and our own interests, but to advance the interests of all. April 1st is an opportunity to put the principle of solidairty into practice in the context of a strike that stands to make history.