Chicago

“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.

Video: Parents and students speak out against school closures in Chicago

16 March 2013

Chicago parents and students speak on the need for a struggle to defend public education.

ISO whitewashes role of Chicago Teachers Union in school closures

By Kristina Betinis, 9 March 2013

In whitewashing the betrayal of the Chicago teachers strike by the Chicago Teachers Union, the ISO seeks above all to cover up its own role in preparing the subsequent school shutdowns.

Protests erupt over lack of emergency medical care in Chicago

By Jeff Lusanne, 22 February 2013

The recent spate of violence in Chicago has prompted protests calling for the reinstatement of adult trauma care at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Mass opposition to school closures in Chicago, Illinois

By Kristina Betinis, 18 February 2013

Hundreds of parents, students and teachers have attended meetings in Chicago, Illinois on the imminent closure of over 100 schools.

Socialism and the defense of public education in Chicago

By the Socialist Equality Party, 14 February 2013

The SEP calls for the independent mobilization of the entire working class to oppose all school closings.

Downgrade of Illinois credit rating prelude to attack on retired workers

By Alexander Fangmann, 30 January 2013

The ratings agency Standard & Poor’s dropped Illinois’ credit to worst in the US, paving the way for Democrats to launch an assault on retired workers’ pensions and health care plans.

Chicago records over 500 homicides in 2012

By Shane Feratu and Alexander Fangmann, 22 January 2013

Over 506 people were killed in Chicago in 2012, three in four of them youth.

Chicago diverts taxes to investors, plans privatization of services

By Alexander Fangmann, 19 December 2012

Two recent reports reveal the extent of redistribution of city tax revenues to corporate interests while cuts to services deepen.

ISO leader endorses Chicago school closings

By Alexander Fangmann, 6 December 2012

Anyone who may still harbor illusions that the International Socialist Organization has anything to do with socialism should take a look at the video of ISO leader Jesse Sharkey’s appearance on Chicago Tonight.

ISO paves way for Chicago school closures

By Kristina Betinis and Jerry White, 27 November 2012

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Public Schools district (CPS) are moving ahead with plans to close as many as 120 public schools, and open up 60 new charter schools over the next few years. About 140 schools have been identified by the district as half-empty, and are expected to be the first targeted for closure. The closings would eliminate the jobs of thousands of teachers and school support staff.

Chicago Transit Authority proposes large fare hike

By Jeff Lusanne, 24 November 2012

CTA has announced steep fare hikes for riders who use passes, while the need for service improvements and major infrastructure upgrades continues to go unmet.

Concessions imposed on Chicago-area teachers

By Shane Feratu and James Brewer, 14 November 2012

Following the sellout of the Chicago teachers' strike last September, suburban teachers have been hit with concessions contracts.

Thousands line up at Chicago job fair for less than 60 positions

By Kristina Betinis, 12 November 2012

The city of Chicago’s first job fair was quickly revealed to be a media stunt, with more than 3,000 workers lining up to apply online for 55 positions.

Chicago mayor threatens to cut pensions of teachers and city workers

By Alexander Fangmann, 15 October 2012

In a speech to the city council, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans to lead an assault on teacher and public worker pensions by spearheading statewide pension “reform.”

Chicago teachers docked pay, CTU still collects dues

By Kristina Betinis, 9 October 2012

Since the Chicago Teachers Union ended their 10-day strike, teachers have been issued short paychecks or no pay at all, but the union has still deducted dues.

Chicago: Evergreen Park teachers strike

By Shane Feratu, 4 October 2012

Classes were canceled Tuesday after negotiations between the union and Evergreen Park school board fell through on Monday night.

Chicago Symphony musicians walk out

By Kristina Betinis, 24 September 2012

Chicago Symphony Orchestra players have struck over management’s concessions demands.

Lessons of the Chicago teachers strike

By Jerry White and Joseph Kishore, 21 September 2012

Chicago teachers returned to work on Wednesday after the House of Delegates voted to end their strike. For nine days, the 26,000 teachers waged a courageous struggle in defense of public education. The fight pitted teachers not only against Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but the Obama administration, both big business parties and, most importantly, the Chicago Teachers Union itself.

Delegates meeting votes to end Chicago teachers strike

By Joseph Kishore, 19 September 2012

The Chicago Teachers Union succeeded in obtaining a vote by 800 delegates who met Tuesday evening to end the nine-day strike.