In starting this website, Mary Compton hoped to inspire  "solidarity from below" of teachers and their unions to resist and reverse the global assault of powerful elites on teaching, teachers, and their unions.  Key to Mary's vision was creation of alliances with students and parents in pushing back against all elements of making education a "market," the policies of "corporate educational reform" including standardized testing, charter schools, deprofessionalizing teaching with "Teach First" and "Teach for America," and crushing teachers unions, the most powerful obstacle to the project. Since Mary created this website, we have seen important instances of solidarity between teachers in the global North and South, documented on this website.

However, we are now witnessing a qualitative leap in solidarity among teachers in the the national walkouts and strikes of teachers in the US currently underway. These industrial actions mirror and encourage the increasingly powerful reform current in  both national teachers unions, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and National Education Association (NEA), which embodies the principles on which Mary's work was based.

Two of the US locals that have played a central role in reviving teacher unionism in the US, the Chicago Teachers Union and the United Teachers of Los Angeles, also belong to an alliance of teachers unions in Mexico, Canada, and the US,  the Trinational Coalition to Defend Public Education, described in previous postings.

Oakland, CA teachers are currently striking. Their industrial action is not only supported by community, it is in good part being organized and propelled forward by the passion, energy, and intelligence of those in support of public education in a city  that has been devastated by economic policies that have been part of capitalism's war against working people, a shift in wealth and power to the very richest.  A group of California teachers has been organizing an "adopt a school" program between striking teachers and colleagues elsewhere.  This project led to a sympathy walkout of teachers in a San Francisco high school and their sister school, across the Bay, in Oakland.

This sympathy walkout is an unprecedented example "solidarity from below" in the US among teachers and their unions.  It embodies Mary Compton's vision in starting this website, and shows, once again, that when we reject the definition of the "possible" handed down by elites and those who do their publicity, we can create a better, different world.

Your school can adopt a striking Oakland school here.

Lois Weiner