Chicago

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.

Claiming “material support of terrorism”

FBI raids homes of antiwar activists

By Tom Eley, 25 September 2010

The FBI has confirmed that it carried out eight simultaneous early morning raids Friday on the homes and offices of antiwar activists in Minneapolis and Chicago, citing as justification “evidence relating to activities concerning support of terrorism.”

Chicago residents occupy public school field house

By Naomi Spencer and Alexander Fangmann, 21 September 2010

Whittier Elementary parents and students and Pilsen neighborhood residents have occupied a school facility to oppose its demolition by the Chicago Public Schools administration.

Chicago Public Schools fires 600 teachers and staff

By Matthew Brennan, 3 August 2010

On July 23, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Board of Education fired 600 educators and staff employees as part of an ongoing, statewide effort to close a massive budget deficit.

Illinois construction workers end three-week strike

By Matthew Brennan, 22 July 2010

About 15,000 construction workers in Chicago on Monday voted to accept a contract pushed on them by their unions, construction firms and state officials, bringing to a close a three-week strike that shut down work on over 300 Chicago-area construction projects.

Illinois budget cuts gouge education, social services

By Alexander Fangmann, 9 July 2010

On July 1, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced the state’s fiscal year 2011 budget, including $1.4 billion in spending cuts. Described in detail were cuts in the hundreds of millions, primarily in the areas of education and human services.

Trial begins against ex-Chicago police commander accused of torture

By Naomi Spencer, 2 June 2010

The federal trial began last week for former Chicago police commander John Burge, who has long stood accused of torturing hundreds of poor, black prisoners beginning in the early 1970s. The case is a window to the meat-grinder of the city’s criminal justice system.

Democrats call for deployment of National Guard in Chicago

By Matthew Brennan and Jerry White, 3 May 2010

Calls for deploying US military forces in one of the country’s largest cities have nothing to do with stopping crime, but are instead directed at employing violence and intimidation against the working class.

Chicago fire claims seven young lives

By Matthew Brennan, 17 February 2010

Seven young people, ranging in age from three days to 20 years old, were killed last Sunday morning when they could not escape from a burning apartment building on Chicago’s southwest side.

Chicago hospital emergency rooms strained by uninsured patients, budget cuts

By Clement Daly, 8 January 2010

Chicago and Cook County have cut funding to public hospitals and clinics and have attempted to put in place restrictions against those without insurance seeking emergency room assistance.

Chicago homeless crisis worsens with budget cuts, mass foreclosures

By Kristina Betinis, 21 December 2009

Foreclosures, job losses and medical expenses have forced more of the city’s working poor from their homes as the state slashes spending on emergency programs.

Chicago city and transit budgets pose mass layoffs and deep cuts in services

By Alexander Fangmann, 29 October 2009

The city of Chicago and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) have recently announced budget proposals for 2010 that include furloughs and layoffs that will affect thousands of workers in and around Chicago.

Chicago teen killed in street brawl

By Alexander Fangmann and Naomi Spencer, 7 October 2009

The beating death of 16-year-old Derrion Albert in Chicago is indicative of the brutal social conditions prevailing in America’s third-largest city.

Obama’s Olympic failure

By Tom Eley, 5 October 2009

President Obama’s failed effort to attract the 2016 Olympics to Chicago reveals much about the character and priorities of his administration.

Chicago youth violence: An indictment of the US Democratic Party

By Alexander Fangmann and Jerry White, 6 June 2008

In recent months there has been a string of violence, mostly gang-related, which has claimed the lives of dozens of youth in Chicago, Illinois. In a single weekend in April, 36 people were shot, and nine died of their injuries. Since last September, 24 Chicago public school students have been killed in such shootings.

Staggering death rate for youth in Chicago juvenile justice system

By John Jacobs and Jerry Isaacs, 1 December 2005

A recent study published in the medical journal Pediatrics sheds new light on the tragic fate that confronts the impoverished and troubled youth who are caught up in the juvenile justice system in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. After 10 years of research into the conditions of youth in Cook County’s juvenile justice system, Dr. Linda Teplin of Northwestern University found that they are four times more likely to suffer an early violent death than their peers in the general population.

Latest workplace shooting in US

Seven dead in Chicago warehouse killings

By David Walsh, 29 August 2003

July and August 2003 have proven to be particularly bloody months in US workplaces. In the most recent tragedy 36-year-old Salvador Tapia shot and killed six people in an auto parts warehouse on the South Side of Chicago Wednesday morning, before being shot to death by members of the Chicago police department’s Hostage Barricade and Terrorist (HBT) team.