Reporting Steve Miller
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police say more than 5,000 teachers demonstrated in the Loop Monday outside the Chicago Public Schools headquarters, 125 S. Clark St., and the blocks surrounding the building.
WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller spoke with some of them, including one man who refused to provide his name.
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The man was wearing all black, with a green mask covering his entire face except for his eyes. And he had dark goggles over his eyes and a cap on.
“I’m trying to draw attention to all these people here and what they’re fighting for,” he said. “I don’t want to give a name. I’d rather just let the strike speak for itself.
He said his choice of attire was intended to draw attention to himself, and thus to the issues.
“The way I see it, all those people over there – they see someone dressed like this, they’re going to look over here. They’re going to ask questions,” he said. “And that’s what I’m here to do.”
Also at the rally was Willetta Gary, who teaches 2nd grade. She was out on the picket line during the last teachers’ strike in 1987, when today’s 32-year-old adults were in 2nd grade.
“Teachers must fight on for their rights,” she said. “We have a right to get a raise.”
To Gary, it’s about more respect, and more money.
“If you get a master’s, you’re supposed to get more money. You get two master’s, you get some more money,” she said. “We’ve got to move up, move on and be respected.”
“We’re going to win this,” Gary continued. “Rahm Emanuel’s not going to break us down.”
Tuesday marks the second day of the teachers’ strike. Both sides were expected to return to the bargaining table Tuesday morning.