Teachers in the US in states that have Republican-controlled legislatures that have starved schools for funds are mobilizing in what can only be described as an explosive social movement. Often the struggles have been conducted with other public employees, with teachers being the largest and best organized force.

In Oklahoma teachers will close down schools on Monday, April 2. They have the support of the official union but much of the organizing has been done on Facebook, as was true of the West Virginia strike.  Teachers in Arizona, in another Facebook group, Arizona Teachers United, a group independent of the two major teachers unions, are organizing in a campaign, deciding on how and when they will walk out as a group. Today teachers and parents in surprised many by closing schools and protesting at the state capitol, in a spontaneous response to the legislature's last-minute decision to gut their pensions.

To this writer, what is most extraordinary about these walkouts is that they have occurred outside of formal union channels and have been organized by teachers themselves. In most cases teachers are explicit that their struggle is to defend their students' futures, public education, and teachingn as a profession.

Lois Weiner