Chicago

Chicago teachers vote to authorize strike action

By Kristina Betinis, 15 December 2015

While teachers have repeatedly demonstrated their determination to fight, the Chicago Teachers Union is opposed to any struggle against the Democratic Party.

Notes on police violence in America

Chicago police officer accused of jamming gun down throat of suspect acquitted

By Gabriel Black, 15 December 2015

A notorious Chicago judge acquitted a veteran police officer Monday of official misconduct and aggravated battery, despite DNA evidence on his gun.

Chi-Raq: A satire of social life in Chicago

By George Marlowe, 14 December 2015

In Spike Lee’s latest film, young women in Chicago seek to end gang violence and social breakdown by means of a sex strike.

Illinois state attorney not pressing charges in Ronald Johnson killing

By Gabriel Black, 9 December 2015

A video released Monday shows 25-year-old Ronald Johnson fleeing as he is gunned down by police.

Public meeting in Chicago

The way forward in the fight against police violence

9 December 2015

On December 13, the Socialist Equality Party will hold a public meeting in Chicago on the political lessons of the brutal police murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald and its cover-up.

Chicago police brutality and the Democratic Party

By Jerry White, 3 December 2015

The brutal police murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald and the subsequent orchestrated cover-up lift the veil on the reality of class relations and class rule in the United States.

Chicago police chief fired as anger mounts over cover-up of police killings

By Patrick Martin, 2 December 2015

Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy in an effort to prevent further damage to his own position.

The conspiracy to cover up the police murder of Laquan McDonald

By Christopher Davion and Kristina Betinis, 30 November 2015

The statements of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other officials are aimed at obscuring their own role in covering up for the criminal actions of police officer Jason Van Dyke.

A police killing and a criminal conspiracy in Chicago, Illinois

By Patrick Martin, 26 November 2015

The brutal police murder of Laquan McDonald was followed by a line-up of the police, the political authorities, the media and the “civil rights” establishment to cover up the crime under a barrage of lies.

Protests erupt in Chicago after release of video showing police murder of 17-year-old

By Nick Barrickman and Joseph Kishore, 25 November 2015

The video release comes more than one year after the brutal killing of Laquan McDonald and in the face of a systematic cover-up by the Chicago Police Department and the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Thousands of Chicago teachers rally to defend jobs

By a WSWS reporting team, 25 November 2015

Teachers who have been working without a contract for five months were offered no way forward at Monday’s rally by the Chicago Teachers Union.

City of Chicago prepares crackdown on protests in advance of release of police murder video

By Kristina Betinis, 23 November 2015

On November 19, Cook County Judge Franklin Valderrama ruled in favor of the release of dash camera video depicting an officer shooting an African-American youth 16 times.

Chicago Teachers Union holds mock strike vote as it prepares to back massive cuts

By Kristina Betinis, 14 November 2015

The teachers union has held so-called practice strike votes while working closely with the school board and the city to impose historic attacks on working conditions and benefits.

Colleges starved of funds as Illinois Democrats and Republicans orchestrate budget impasse

By Alexander Fangmann, 6 November 2015

As colleges and universities lay off workers and cut programs, Democrats and Republicans are conspiring on plans that could even involve suspending state support for the year.

Thousands “disappeared” at Chicago Police Homan Square black site

By George Marlowe, 29 October 2015

More than 7,000 people have been detained in the last decade at the Chicago Police Department’s secretive interrogation center.

Ahead of plans for 5,000 layoffs

ISO-led Chicago Teachers Union aligns itself with mayor against teachers

By Kristina Betinis, 27 October 2015

CTU Vice President and ISO member Jesse Sharkey’s statements and actions in relation to the contract talks are indistinguishable from those of any garden variety union sellout artist.

Former Chicago Schools head pleads guilty to federal fraud charge

By Kristina Betinis, 22 October 2015

Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s guilty plea provides some insight into the scale of the fraud committed under the guise of education reform in America's third-largest public school system.

Suburban Chicago teachers conduct seven-day strike

By Christopher Davion, 21 October 2015

McHenry High School District 156 teachers returned to work October 13 after being pressured to agree to a deal that includes two years without any base salary increase.

Northern Illinois town on lockdown as police manhunt continues

By Kristina Betinis, 3 September 2015

Police have responded to the shooting of an officer with a massive paramilitary manhunt, putting the town of Fox Lake, Illinois on lockdown.

“Lay us off now,” Chicago Teachers Union official says

By Kristina Betinis, 21 August 2015

Jesse Sharkey, a leading member of the International Socialist Organization and the second in command at the CTU, is advising district officials on how best to enact mass layoffs.

Chicago Public Schools announces hundreds of teacher layoffs, spending and pension cuts

By Kristina Betinis, 14 August 2015

The nation’s third largest school district has released an annual budget slashing jobs and spending, and demanding concessions from teachers.

Chicago police investigator fired for not covering up police killings

By George Gallanis, 3 August 2015

A supervisor for Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority was fired last month after refusing to alter a report showing that three police officers had unjustifiably killed civilians.

Chicago pension cuts struck down by court

By Alexander Fangmann, 27 July 2015

Following the May Illinois Supreme Court decision, the Cook County Circuit Court rejected the argument that a “guarantee” of funding provides a “net benefit” to workers.

Chicago teachers’ union blocks fight against layoffs, offers to impose pay freeze

By Kristina Betinis, 1 July 2015

As the contract expires for 28,000 teachers, the CTU is determined to prevent a struggle that could develop into a broader mobilization of public workers against budget cuts.

Chicago teachers march against pay cuts

By Kristina Betinis, 11 June 2015

Two thousand Chicago teachers marched against the city's demand for cuts totaling 10 percent of current wages and benefits.

AFSCME backs Illinois bill banning strikes

By Alexander Fangmann, 9 June 2015

Senate Bill 1229 would ban strikes by state employees through the duration of Governor Bruce Rauner’s term in office.

Chicago Democrats prepare new attacks on public education

By Kristina Betinis, 2 June 2015

As the Chicago Teachers Union continues negotiations for a new contract, the head of Chicago Public Schools has stepped down amid a corruption scandal.

Rating agencies downgrade Chicago debt after Supreme Court ruling blocks state pension cuts

By Alexander Fangmann, 19 May 2015

The downgrade is intended to put additional pressure on the city to slash municipal workers’ pensions.

Chicago residents speak on police torture at Homan Square “black site”

By George Marlowe, 18 May 2015

Reporters from the WSWS spoke to workers and youth about recent revelations of torture at Homan Square as well as the decaying social conditions in Chicago.

New torture allegations from Chicago “black site”

By David Brown, 16 May 2015

Further allegations have surfaced of sexual abuse and torture by the Chicago Police Department at the secret Homan Square interrogation facility.

Chicago mayor demands wage, benefit cuts from teachers

By Kristina Betinis, 7 May 2015

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is using a largely manufactured budget crisis to demand a seven percent pay cut, higher health care payments and pension reductions from Chicago teachers.

Pseudo-left to lay foundations for Syriza-type alliance at upcoming Chicago conference

By Eric London, 2 May 2015

Socialist Alternative, the International Socialist Organization, leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union, and various Green and Democratic elected officials will gather this weekend in Chicago to discuss the possibility of a pseudo-left electoral alliance.

City of Chicago offers payouts for police brutality and torture

By George Marlowe, 28 April 2015

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has backed an absurdly small $5.5 million reparations fund for victims of torture under former police commander Jon Burge.

Judge acquits Chicago police officer who killed unarmed woman in 2012

By George Marlowe, 22 April 2015

The courtroom erupted in outrage after a Cook County judge threw out all charges against police officer involved in a fatal shooting of Rekia Boyd.

Chicago auto workers voice support for May Day rally

By George Marlowe, 20 April 2015

A Socialist Equality Party campaign team called on auto workers at the Ford Chicago Assembly plant to take part in the International May Day 2015 Online Rally.

Right-wing Democrat reelected as Chicago mayor

By Kristina Betinis, 9 April 2015

The first-ever runoff election for mayor in the city of Chicago resulted in a second term for current mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is preparing major cuts to pensions and city services.

The political issues in the Chicago mayoral election

By Kristina Betinis and Patrick Martin, 7 April 2015

The phony “populist” campaign of “Chuy” Garcia has been mounted, under conditions of mass disaffection from the two-party system, to head off the emergence of a politically independent movement of the working class.

Workers and youth denounce social conditions, express no confidence in Chicago mayoral candidates

By George Marlowe and George Gallanis, 6 April 2015

Workers and youth in Chicago speak out on deteriorating social conditions in the final days before the mayoral election runoff vote.

Chicago mayoral election rally

“Chuy” Garcia, Bernie Sanders promote trade unions, Democratic Party

By Marcus Day and George Marlowe, 4 April 2015

A rally held in the final days before Chicago’s runoff elections sought to rehabilitate the increasingly discredited Democratic Party and trade unions.

Final debate of Chicago mayoral runoff shows agreement on budget cutting

By Kristina Betinis, 2 April 2015

In the course of an hour-long debate, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia focused on how to resolve the fiscal problems of the city by cutting spending.

Democrats, pseudo-left groups maneuver in lead-up to Chicago mayoral runoff

By Marcus Day, 24 March 2015

The April 7 runoff pits Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel against Jesus “Chuy” García, a long-time Democratic Party operative who has the backing of the International Socialist Organization.

Mayoral candidates silent on secret Chicago police prison

By Kristina Betinis, 6 March 2015

While more victims of police torture at Homan Square have come forward, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his liberal Democratic challenger, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, have said nothing.

Amid low voter turnout

Chicago mayor forced into runoff election

By Kristina Betinis, 26 February 2015

The election was a political debacle for both incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel and President Obama.

Chicago Police Department operates “black site” interrogation compound

By Evan Blake, 25 February 2015

The Guardian revealed the existence of a secret detention and interrogation building used by Chicago police to “disappear” prisoners.

Illinois budget to cut $6.7 billion from pensions, health care, social services

By Kristina Betinis and Alexander Fangmann, 20 February 2015

The budget proposed by Governor Bruce Rauner, a hedge-fund multi-millionaire, demonstrates the savagery of Wall Street’s attack on the working class.

Illinois governor prepares attack on state workers

By Kristina Betinis, 13 February 2015

The new governor has halted payment of agency fees to public employee unions as part of a broader policy of budget cuts and austerity.

Chicago mayoral race enters final weeks

By Kristina Betinis, 5 February 2015

None of the challengers to Mayor Rahm Emanuel—all Democrats—represent the interests of working people or offer any opposition to his right-wing austerity policies.

Mass layoffs at northwest Indiana steel mills

By Jeff Lusanne, 28 January 2015

In response to plunging oil prices and falling steel demand worldwide, producers ArcelorMittal and US Steel have announced hundreds of layoffs in East Chicago, Indiana.

Fourteen cold-related deaths in Chicago region since November

By Jeff Lusanne, 17 January 2015

Extreme cold in the Chicago region has amplified the precarious situation of the homeless and impoverished population in the region.

Chicago Teachers Union backs long-time Democratic Party politician for mayor

By Alexander Fangmann and Jerry White, 10 December 2014

The outcome of the “independent political” initiative of the CTU, promoted by the International Socialist Organization, is the endorsement of a capitalist politician who attacked jobs and pensions.

Chicago commuter rail agency approves a decade of fare hikes

By Jeff Lusanne, 24 November 2014

Metra’s board of directors has approved a plan to raise fares 68 percent over the next 10 years.

After privatization of custodial services

Reports of garbage, vermin in Chicago public schools

By Christopher Davion, 18 October 2014

In spite of the reports, officials, backed by the SEIU, intend to proceed with the layoff of nearly 300 janitors.

Illinois governor race shows bipartisan lineup against workers

By Kristina Betinis, 13 October 2014

The unions are backing Democratic Governor Quinn, who has attacked pensions and teachers.

Chicago-area teen charged with attempting to join ISIS

By Marcus Day, 11 October 2014

The arrest of Mohammed Hamzah Khan at a Chicago airport last Saturday raises a number of questions about the degree of US intelligence involvement.

“Chicago Socialist Campaign” seeks to head off opposition to Democrats

By Marcus Day and Jerry White, 11 October 2014

Jorge Mújica, a longtime Democratic Party activist, is running as an “independent socialist” candidate in next February’s election for Chicago City Council.

The social crisis behind the rise in Chicago street violence

By Chris Davion and Jeff Lusanne, 16 September 2014

The hopelessness that violence and gang activity ultimately reflect can be understood only in relationship to the historical decline in working-class living standards in Chicago.

Chicago apartment fire kills four children

By Marcus Day, 9 September 2014

A fire on Chicago’s impoverished far South Side early Monday morning left four children dead and two adults in critical condition.

Violence in Chicago: A symptom of social breakdown

By Kristina Betinis, 9 July 2014

While the local and national media has reported on years-long epidemic of youth violence, there has been no effort to examine the deeper causes of this human tragedy in America’s third most populous city.

Chicago Public Schools lays off 1,150 workers

By Kristina Betinis, 27 June 2014

The layoffs affect more than 500 teachers and 650 assistants and school staff, in the latest attack on public education.

Charter school companies in US face corruption charges

By Kristina Betinis, 19 June 2014

Two charter school companies connected to Democratic politicians face separate charges of lying to investors and misappropriating government funds.

Illinois Democrats gut Chicago city worker pensions

By Alexander Fangmann and Kristina Betinis, 12 June 2014

Democratic Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill cutting the pensions of tens of thousands of Chicago workers by an estimated 20 percent.

CNN’s Chicagoland: Propaganda for Mayor Emanuel

By Jeff Lusanne and George Marlowe, 29 May 2014

Recent emails reveal that the producers of the documentary series Chicagoland worked closely with the Emanuel administration.

The face of food stamp cuts: Chicago, Illinois

By Chris Davion, 27 May 2014

WSWS reporters recently spoke to Chicago-area residents about the impact of the tens of billions in food stamp cuts implemented over the past two years.

Chicago teachers union president offers to negotiate cuts in teacher pensions

By Kristina Betinis, 13 May 2014

In an interview with Crain’s Chicago Business, CTU President Lewis offered to negotiate a cut to pensions for those teachers who have not yet retired.

Free the NATO 3!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (US)

1 May 2014

The Socialist Equality Party denounces the politically motivated frame-up of the NATO 3, who were sentenced this week to prison terms of five to eight years.

Anti-NATO protesters in Chicago sentenced to years in prison

By Kristina Betinis, 29 April 2014

In pressing for long prison sentences, Illinois state prosecutors compared the case to last year’s bombing of the Boston Marathon.

Democrats’ plan to gut pensions approved by Illinois legislature

By Alexander Fangmann, 10 April 2014

New legislation backed by the Democratic Party and the unions will require more in contributions from city workers while cutting benefits.

Twenty-six died from the cold in Chicago area this winter

By Christopher Davion, 11 March 2014

The elderly residents and homeless people who died this winter lacked access to the most basic necessities.

Striking University of Illinois at Chicago faculty and students speak out

By Kristina Betinis, 20 February 2014

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with striking faculty members and student supporters on the picket lines at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

University of Illinois faculty members strike in Chicago

By our reporters, 19 February 2014

On Tuesday, more than one thousand faculty members of the University of Illinois at Chicago went on strike for the first time in the school’s history.

Heroin use at historic highs in Chicago area

By Christopher Davion, 12 February 2014

With heroin use having doubled in the US, the Chicago area has seen a sharp increase in heroin-related deaths, with the number of fatalities doubling in some suburbs.

Jury acquits on terrorism, convicts on lesser charges

NATO Three face prison terms in frame-up

By Alexander Fangmann and Kristina Betinis, 10 February 2014

The court proceedings revealed the role of police provocateurs in framing the men on terrorism charges.

After Detroit bankruptcy ruling, Chicago mayor leads charge on pension cuts

By Alexander Fangmann, 5 February 2014

Chicago’s Democratic mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is escalating the attack on retiree benefits on the city and state level.

Chicago Teachers Union launches “independent” political organization

By Kristina Betinis, 20 January 2014

With the collaboration of other unions and pseudo-left organizations, the CTU has formed a new organization aimed at preventing a break with the big business political establishment.

Chicago residents thrown out ahead of eviction moratorium

By Christopher Davion, 7 January 2014

The sheriff in the county that includes Chicago evicted several residents who have been fighting to remain in their homes, one of whom died the following week.

Thousands of layoffs expected with closure of Chicago supermarket chain

By Jeff Lusanne, 11 November 2013

As grocery giant Safeway exits the Chicago market, dozens of stores are likely to close, threatening more than 5,600 layoffs on December 28th.

Chicago mayor outlines class war budget

By Alexander Fangmann, 5 November 2013

Rahm Emanuel’s 2014 budget address to the city council outlined a series of job and benefit cuts.

Chicago mayor announces elimination of retiree health care subsidies

By Alexander Fangmann, 17 October 2013

Health insurance subsidies for 30,000 workers, as well as their spouses and dependents, will be phased out over three years.

As closures continue, Chicago expands private charter schools

By Kristina Betinis, 16 October 2013

City leaders in Chicago plan to close additional public schools while opening new private charter schools.

Cook County Jail most crowded jail in the US

By Christopher Davion, 18 September 2013

Recent police crackdowns and the closure of half of all area mental health facilities have brought the Cook County Jail population at its highest level in six years.

Credit rating downgrades hit Illinois state agencies and local governments

By Alexander Fangmann, 9 September 2013

Moody’s has downgraded public universities and local governments in Chicago and Illinois in order to force pension cuts.

Classes resume in US amid school closures, teacher layoffs

By Andre Damon, 30 August 2013

K-12 students are returning to schools throughout the US with larger class sizes, reduced staffs, expanded standardized testing, and the gutting of arts and humanities programs.

Amid cuts and closures

A new school year begins in Chicago

By Jeff Lusanne and Kristina Betinis, 27 August 2013

The 2013 school year in Chicago begins with 50 fewer schools, 3,000 fewer teachers and staff, and sharply reduced classroom funding.

Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. sentenced to federal prison for corruption

By Kristina Betinis, 16 August 2013

Jackson was sentenced to 30 months in prison by a federal judge in Washington, DC.

Urban warfare training exercises continue in Chicago area

By Kristina Betinis, 24 July 2013

In the late evening hours of July 22, several Blackhawk helicopters flew low over central areas of the city of Chicago without any lights.

Chicago Public Schools announces more than 2,100 additional layoffs

By Jeff Lusanne, 20 July 2013

On Friday, Chicago Public Schools laid of 2,113 more teachers and staff, bringing the total summer layoffs to 3,500 as the district implements the largest round of school closings in US history.

Mass layoffs begin in Chicago Public Schools

By Alexander Fangmann, 20 June 2013

On June 14, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced the first wave of layoffs—a total of 663 teachers, teaching assistants and aides—as part of the impending closure of 50 schools.

Chicago Sun-Times fires all staff photographers

By Alexander Fangmann, 3 June 2013

The Sun-Times photographers were informed of their layoffs in a profoundly hostile manner despite years, in some cases decades, of work for the newspaper.

The Chicago school closings and the way forward to defend public education

By Andre Damon, 30 May 2013

The announcement by the Chicago Board of Education last week that 49 of the city’s schools will shut down, in the largest school closing in US history, marks a new stage in the offensive against public education.

Victimized Illinois teacher denounces attack on education in YouTube video

By Jake Dean, 28 May 2013

Ellie Rubenstein, a teacher from Highland Park, Illinois, submitted her resignation in a speech on YouTube last week.

Chicago officials release final list of 49 school closures

By Kristina Betinis, 23 May 2013

The City of Chicago announced the closing of more than 49 public schools, facilitated by the Chicago Teachers Union and its political allies, including the International Socialist Organization.

Chicago Teachers Union files lawsuit alleging school closings are racist

By Alexander Fangmann, 18 May 2013

The Chicago Teachers Union, whose leaders include members of the International Socialist Organization, is seeking to stifle opposition to school closings by promoting racial politics.

Military conducts urban warfare exercises in Chicago area

By Alexander Fangmann and Kristina Betinis, 27 April 2013

The US Department of Defense conducted urban warfare training drills in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Parkon this week, including the use of explosives to train soldiers in the raiding of homes and other structures.

Chicago school closings target poorest neighborhoods

By Kristina Betinis and Jeff Lusanne, 10 April 2013

The overwhelming majority of those hit by the shutdown of public schools in Chicago come from poor and low-income families.

Protest against school closures in Chicago

Teachers union seeks to channel opposition behind Democratic Party

By Jeff Lusanne and Shane Feratu, 29 March 2013

The school closure plan—one of the largest in US history—is the direct outcome of the CTU's betrayal of the teachers strike.

No to all school closures! Unite the working class to defend public education!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 27 March 2013

This statement is being distributed at a demonstration of Chicago teachers today.

Chicago residents angry at planned school closings

By a WSWS reporting team, 26 March 2013

On March 21, the city of Chicago announced the closure of 61 public schools and the “turnaround” of 6 others, where all teachers and staff are fired and school management is privatized.

The attack on public education in Chicago

By Alexander Fangmann, 25 March 2013

The announcement of plans to shut down 61 schools in Chicago, Illinois marks a new stage in the social counterrevolution in America.

Chicago announces plans to shut 61 public schools

By Shane Feratu, 23 March 2013

The elimination of 13 percent of Chicago public school buildings is one of the largest mass school closures in US history.

CTU president denies opposing school closures

By Kristina Betinis, 23 March 2013

After the closure of 61 schools was announced by the Chicago public schools district, Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis made clear that the union supports shutting schools.