By Kristina Betinis, 16 October 2013
City leaders in Chicago plan to close additional public schools while opening new private charter schools.
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.
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.
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
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.
By Kristina Betinis, 16 August 2013
Jackson was sentenced to 30 months in prison by a federal judge in Washington, DC.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Jake Dean, 28 May 2013
Ellie Rubenstein, a teacher from Highland Park, Illinois, submitted her resignation in a speech on YouTube last week.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
By the Socialist Equality Party, 27 March 2013
This statement is being distributed at a demonstration of Chicago teachers today.
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.
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.
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.
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.
16 March 2013
Chicago parents and students speak on the need for a struggle to defend public education.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Shane Feratu and Alexander Fangmann, 22 January 2013
Over 506 people were killed in Chicago in 2012, three in four of them youth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
By Kristina Betinis, 24 September 2012
Chicago Symphony Orchestra players have struck over management’s concessions demands.
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.
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.
By Jerry White, 18 September 2012
The Chicago teachers’ strike, which entered its second week on Monday, has laid bare the social and political dynamic of the United States.
By Bryan Dyne, 18 September 2012
Socialist Equality presidential candidate Jerry White campaigned among transit workers and firefighters Monday, discussing the significance of the Chicago teachers strike.
By Joseph Kishore, 14 September 2012
Chicago Teachers Union officials indicated on Thursday that they are moving quickly to wrap up negotiations with the Chicago Public Schools and end a strike by 36,000 teachers.
“The conditions for students are horrible”
By an SEP campaign team, 13 September 2012
During her second day of campaigning among striking Chicago teachers, SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer continued discussing the political issues of the strike.
By Joseph Kishore, 12 September 2012
The strike by 26,000 Chicago teachers completed its second day on Tuesday. Tens of thousands of teachers and their supporters gathered at a mass rally in downtown Chicago, filling several city blocks.
By Bryan Dyne, 12 September 2012
The World Socialist Web Site spoke to Chicago teachers on the second day of their strike.
By an SEP campaign team, 12 September 2012
In discussions with striking Chicago teachers Tuesday, SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer addressed the political issues in their struggle.
By Kristina Betinis, 11 September 2012
The World Socialist Web Site spoke to Chicago teachers about the political issues at stake in the strike.
By a campaign team, 28 August 2012
SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer and a campaign team spoke to Chicago teachers at an informational picket outside of a middle school.
By Alexander Fangmann, 24 August 2012
The following is a letter the WSWS received on our article, “Chicago Teachers Union agrees to lengthening of the school day,” and a reply by the author, Alexander Fangmann.
By Alexander Fangmann, 15 August 2012
A Chicago officer, whose name has not been released, shot and killed Christopher Middleton in the suburb of Maywood. This is the second shooting of an unarmed person by an off-duty Chicago police officer this year.
By Alexander Fangmann, 1 August 2012
The Chicago Teachers Union and the city district announced the restoration of 477.5 teaching positions in exchange for a longer school day.
By Kristina Betinis, 3 July 2012
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is seizing on recent reports of increased criminal violence to intensify a police state measures directed against the entire population.
By Marcus Day, 21 June 2012
Foreclosure activity in Illinois jumped 29 percent between April and May, and is 54 percent higher over the year.
By Patrick Martin, 14 June 2012
Three of the five men arrested on frame-up “terrorism” charges during protests at the NATO summit in Chicago last month appeared in court Monday, but the hearing ended quickly without any evidence being presented or even a reading of the charges.
By Kristina Betinis and Alexander Fangmann, 14 June 2012
Members of the Chicago Teachers Union voted by a 90 percent margin to authorize a strike.
By Kristina Betinis, 12 June 2012
Caterpillar has placed advertisements for strikebreakers as the walkout by 800 workers the heavy equipment manufacturer’s Joliet, Illinois plant entered its seventh week.
By Shane Feratu, 11 June 2012
Chicago police officers used a Taser on a pregnant woman during a parking dispute.
By Alexander Fangmann, 2 June 2012
With the city’s contract with firefighters set to expire June 30, Rahm Emanuel outlined a plan to reduce pay and set lower and more-dangerous staffing levels.
By Jerry White and SEP candidate for US president, 24 May 2012
In US and Canada, government intimidation and violence were employed against anti-NATO protesters and students fighting tuition increases.
By Patrick Martin, 22 May 2012
At a press conference at the end of the NATO summit, President Obama praised Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago police.
By Jerry White, 22 May 2012
The most politically revealing feature was the absence of any serious criticism of the Obama administration by the protest organizers.
By Alexander Fangmann, 22 May 2012
Protesters at the NATO summit in Chicago have denounced the police state methods employed to crack down on political dissent.
By Patrick Martin, 21 May 2012
A total of five men have been arrested on three separate “plots”, all organized by the same undercover police agents.
By Alexander Fangmann, 19 May 2012
In the run-up to next week’s NATO summit, parts of Chicago have been virtually locked down, with police storming the apartments of anti-war activists.
By Jeff Lusanne, 5 May 2012
Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel secured passage of an “Infrastructure Trust” bill, which brings private finance fully into the rebuilding of Chicago’s infrastructure.
By Christopher Davion, 13 April 2012
Amber Alvarez, a US armed forces veteran and mother of three, has been locked up in jail since last summer due to inadequate legal services.
By James Nykvist, 6 April 2012
Rekia Boyd was accidentally shot by an off-duty police detective who was unhappy at a crowd gathered in a park and making noise in his neighborhood.
By our reporter, 2 March 2012
Jerry White concluded a three-state tour Thursday in Chicago where he spoke with city college students.
By Marcus Day, 22 February 2012
One in five children in Illinois lives in poverty and faces high levels of unemployment, while teenagers experience the lowest employment rates on record.
By James Nykvist, 25 January 2012
The worsening global economy continues to take its toll on Illinois workers as the month unfolds.
By Christopher Davion and Kristina Betinis, 18 January 2012
A 32-year old woman died last week when the apartment building elevator delivered her into a blaze on the 12th floor.
By Kristina Betinis, 9 January 2012
A young teacher in an impoverished Chicago suburb committed suicide in November, citing intolerable pressures from the school administration.
By Alexander Fangmann, 9 January 2012
Democratic Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel claimed that he “misspoke” when he previously said that authoritarian ordinances to be enacted for the NATO and G-8 protests would be “temporary” and “one-time only.”
By Scott Martin, 29 December 2011
Two major corporations based in Illinois have been granted hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks, as the state makes deep cuts to social services.
By Shane Feratu and Scott Martin, 20 December 2011
The beating death of Darrin Hanna in a Chicago suburb last month has sparked protests against mounting police brutality in the city.
By Alexander Fangmann, 7 November 2011
In preparation for the beginning of their respective fiscal years, the city of Chicago and Cook County have unveiled budgets that impose layoffs, service cuts, and regressive fee increases.
By our reporting team, 24 October 2011
The mass arrests, carried out under the direction of the administration of Democratic Party Mayor Rahm Emanuel, represent a significant escalation of attempts by the state to disperse or intimidate protesters.
By our reporters, 17 October 2011
Occupy Chicago drew more than 2,000 supporters Saturday night as protesters joined in a global day of action spawned by the “Occupy” movement. This was the largest mobilization to date in Chicago after more than three weeks of protests.
“People are tired of this … they’re getting to the breaking point”
By Jerry White, 7 October 2011
At the Ford assembly plant in south Chicago, workers expressed disgust with the contract signed by the United Auto Workers.
By Andre Damon, 4 July 2011
In this video, the second in a series on youth unemployment in Chicago, young people in the city speak about the lack of jobs, even for those with college degrees, and the effect of long-term unemployment on their lives.
Part 1: For students, a summer without jobs
By Andre Damon, 1 July 2011
This summer, only one in four US teenagers will hold a job, and in major cities like Chicago, the rate is far worse. In addition to job losses from the economic crisis, thousands of young people are out of work this year as a result of cuts to Chicago’s youth employment programs. For young people trying to pay for college by working over the summer, finding a job is almost impossible.
By Kristina Betinis, 30 June 2011
This week, 1,000 thousand pink slips are being sent out to Chicago Public Schools teachers, as well as 150 support staff.
By Alexander Fangmann, 22 June 2011
School board officials appointed by Chicago’s new mayor, Rahm Emanuel, voted to rescind promised pay raises to the city’s 30,000 teachers.
By Jerry White, 17 June 2011
The International Socialist Organization, which styles itself a force to lead the struggles of workers, bears direct political responsibility for a major attack against Illinois teachers.
By Alexander Fangmann, 19 May 2011
The Democratic-controlled General Assembly in Illinois is seeking to reduce the state's deficit through vicious cuts to health care, education, workers' compensation, and aid to municipalities.
By Kristina Betinis, 17 May 2011
Amidst deep cuts in education spending in Illinois and throughout the country, the bill, backed by the Democratic and Republican Parties as well as the trade unions, will make it much easier to fire teachers and will effectively eliminate the right to strike.
By Kristina Betinis, 7 April 2011
The Chicago school board is proposing the elimination of eight schools and at least 200 teachers through consolidation.
By Alexander Fangmann and Kristina Betinis, 25 February 2011
Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former chief of staff and long-time Democratic insider, was elected mayor of Chicago February 22, winning the position outright with 55.2 percent of the votes cast.
By Kyle Turner and Alexander Fangmann, 24 February 2011
The newly-elected Democratic president of the Cook County Board, Toni Preckwinkle, has proposed to close a $487 million deficit through severe budget cuts, mass layoffs, and furloughs.
By Kristina Betinis and Alexander Fangmann, 10 February 2011
All the major candidates in Chicago’s February 22 mayoral election agree that the working class must foot the bill for the city’s estimated $1 billion deficit.
By Shane Feratu, 7 February 2011
Chicago and much of the Midwestern US was crippled by a severe snow storm last week.
By Kristina Betinis and Jerry White, 12 January 2011
More than six months after a supposed militant faction of the Chicago Teachers Union won control of the union, it has refused to mount any struggle against the destruction of teachers’ jobs and conditions.
By Clement Daly, 8 January 2011
The state of Illinois enters 2011 with the worst budget deficit in the country. In one particularly grim sign of the times, Tim Davlin, mayor of the state’s struggling capital city, took his own life December 14.
By Clement Daly, 23 December 2010
At least two Chicago firefighters have died and another 17 were injured battling a massive fire in an abandoned building on the city’s South Side Wednesday morning.
By Clement Daly, 16 December 2010
As extreme winter weather sweeps over the Midwest, the Chicago area has witnessed a series of preventable cold-related deaths.
By Kristina Betinis, 16 November 2010
In the past two weeks, major fires have displaced Chicago families, killed and injured residents and firefighters.
Ahead of mayoral elections
By Alexander Fangmann, 21 October 2010
Just weeks after announcing that he would not seek a seventh term as mayor of Chicago in next spring’s municipal elections, Richard Daley presented his last budget to the city council.
By Scott Martin, 19 October 2010
Hotel workers organized in the UNITE HERE trade union federation ended a three-day strike on Monday at the Hilton hotel in Chicago.