now in its one-hundred-and-eightieth year
The striking teachers spent much of this week marching in the Loop, on a route that ran past my office building. Who could resist going out to see them? You’ve got to witness mass politics when it happens.
So down I went, to see the strikers and their faces, and I took a bunch of pictures, which were pretty arbitrary, because a strike of course contains within it innumerable characters, and moods, and tableaux.
This strike was notably upbeat and festive, with many strikers wanting to be liked and showing us a good time. There were clever signs (one warning of the threat of “Rahmunism”); whistles, maracas, drums, and other noisemakers; there were chants; there were tired-looking children and fathers lugging babies. One father was carrying a sizable kid, who despite the deafening noise, was sleeping soundly. One flag-bearer texting. Strikers looking bored; others wired. Yes, it was a modern American strike, and it dominated the life of our city this week.
Image: Photomontage, “One American Strike,” © 2012 Susan Barsy.
Click the image to enlarge.