The second in a series of regional strikes in England was a huge success yesterday. Mass demonstrations occurred in many of the provincial cities where teachers were on strike, and rallies had queues outside and standing room only inside. The two unions who organised the strike - the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the National Association of Schoolmasters/ Union of Women Teachers (NAS/UWT) represent almost 90% of the teaching profession, and hundreds of schools in many parts of the country were closed for the day.

The teachers are striking because of the introduction of performance related pay (PRP), the dismantling of national salary scales and changes to pensions, which will see teachers having to work to 68 and beyond. Even more importantly however, the strikes are part of a Campaign for Education, against the background of a government which is dismantling the public school system, replacing neighbourhood community schools with so-called Free schools, run by private individuals or organisations but funded by the state, and academies, like US charter schools. Moreover education is becoming more and more dominated by data, high stakes testing and standardisation and the move towards PRP is just a further twist to this screw on democratic, creative and critical education. 

Because of this focus on education, rather than simply on the narrow 'industrial' interests of members, the campaign has attracted a great deal of support from parents and local communities. All day, social media sites like twitter were full of messages of solidarity not only from members of the public or members of other unions but also from teachers in the rest of the world.

This solidarity has been very important in bouying up teachers taking action. The solidarity from teachers in other countries, however, has been particularly important, in that it draws attention to the fact that the fight against the kinds of measures being pursued by the right wing coalition government in the UK is one which teachers are engaing in in many parts of the world. And one particular feature of the UK campaign is the inspiration it has drawn from the teachers' struggle in Chicago

This website would very much like to see such global solidarity and mutual learning extended. We can learn lessons from teachers in struggle all over the world, as post after post on this website testifies. We also know how heartening it is for teachers to know that their colleagues in other countries not only know about their fight but are engaged in similar campaigns themselves. Most of the global solidarity for the UK teachers strike yesterday came from the US and Canada. Yet teachers in the global South are engaged in exactly the same battle, would value messages of solidarity and can share important lessons with us.