Chicago

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.

Seven Days in Chicago: What has been revealed by the Chicago teachers 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.

SEP candidate Jerry White speaks to transit workers on Chicago teachers strike

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.

Union preparing to accept sellout contract and end 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”

SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer speaks to Chicago teachers

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.

Chicago teachers in forefront of fight against bipartisan assault on education

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.

Chicago teachers discuss political issues in their strike

By Bryan Dyne, 12 September 2012

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to Chicago teachers on the second day of their strike.

SEP vice presidential candidate discusses political issues with striking Chicago teachers

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.

Striking teachers speak out in Chicago

By Kristina Betinis, 11 September 2012

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to Chicago teachers about the political issues at stake in the strike.

SEP candidate campaigns among Chicago teachers

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.

An exchange on the Chicago Teachers Union

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.

Off-duty Chicago police officer kills unarmed man

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.

Chicago Teachers Union agrees to lengthening of the school day

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.

Chicago steps up police crackdown

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.

Illinois foreclosures skyrocket

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.

Three anti-NATO protesters brought to Chicago court in chains

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.

Chicago teachers vote overwhelmingly to authorize strike

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.

Caterpillar steps up strike-breaking effort in Illinois

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.

Pregnant Chicago woman tasered by police

By Shane Feratu, 11 June 2012

Chicago police officers used a Taser on a pregnant woman during a parking dispute.

Chicago mayor Emanuel plans attack on firefighters

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.

The criminalization of dissent in Chicago and Quebec

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.

Obama hails police state methods in Chicago

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.

The politics of the anti-NATO protests

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.

NATO protesters denounce police violence

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.

Chicago police frame antiwar activists on “terrorism” charges

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.

Massive security preparations for NATO summit in Chicago

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.

Chicago mayor’s infrastructure privatization scheme marked by secrecy

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.

The case of Amber Alvarez: An indictment of conditions in the working class

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.

Chicago police officer fatally shoots 22-year-old woman

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.

SEP candidate visits Ohio, Indiana and Illinois

By our reporter, 2 March 2012

Jerry White concluded a three-state tour Thursday in Chicago where he spoke with city college students.

Reports expose desperate conditions of Illinois youth

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.

Illinois continues to shed jobs

By James Nykvist, 25 January 2012

The worsening global economy continues to take its toll on Illinois workers as the month unfolds.

Chicago officials deny antiquated fire code caused woman’s death

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.

Illinois teacher commits suicide citing working conditions

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.

Proposed Chicago anti-protest laws to be permanent

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.”

Debt-burdened Illinois gives tax breaks to large corporations

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.

North Chicago police beating death sparks public outcry

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.

Illinois Democrats plan budgetary assault

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.

Chicago police arrest over 130 occupy protesters

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.

Chicago: As anti-Wall Street protests grow more than 175 arrested at Grant Park

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”

Chicago auto workers denounce UAW-Ford deal

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.

Young and jobless in Chicago

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.

Young and jobless in Chicago

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.

One thousand teachers to be fired in Chicago

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.

Chicago school officials rescind pay raises for teachers

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.

The ISO and the betrayal of the Chicago 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.

Illinois to balance budget by cutting social services

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.

Illinois education “reform” bill passes with bipartisan support

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.

Closures, mass layoffs and cuts announced for Chicago-area schools

By Kristina Betinis, 7 April 2011

The Chicago school board is proposing the elimination of eight schools and at least 200 teachers through consolidation.

Obama aide Rahm Emanuel elected mayor of Chicago

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.

Cook County, Illinois to cut jobs and social services

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.

Chicago mayoral candidates promise intensified attacks on working class

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.

Chicago shut down by blizzard

By Shane Feratu, 7 February 2011

Chicago and much of the Midwestern US was crippled by a severe snow storm last week.

The ISO, the middle-class “left” and the Chicago Teachers Union

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.

Springfield, Illinois mayor’s suicide highlights social crisis in Illinois

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.

Two firefighters killed, 17 injured in Chicago building collapse

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.

Spate of cold-related deaths in Chicago

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.

Chicago apartment fires kill and injure multiple residents, leave scores homeless

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

Chicago budget sets stage for long-term austerity

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.

Hilton hotel workers end three-day protest strike in Chicago

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.