I'm going to add to this running account as the day goes to simulate live streaming, so check back often. I'm taping what I can this morning and maybe at the rally this afternoon. I will repost this piece as the day goes on.
In addition I will post some other pieces on specific issues, especially two pieces I am working on. One is regarding the Chicago vs. NY/AFT version of the testing reso so I can give you a heads up on what may (or may not) turn out to be an interesting struggle. The other is one I've wanted to write for weeks -- how Randi has been forced to move -- for lack of a better word -- left and will not try to sell out the Chicago crew. I had some very interesting conversations yesterday. That is the reason to come --the insights you get from talking to all sides, including Unity people who want to chat.
Previous @AFT posts:
The Motorless City: @AFT Convention
@AFT Convention: Thursday July 26
9:30 AM: Michigan AFT head David Hecker talks about how disaster in MI is worse than Wisconsin. He is followed by Detroit TU president Keith Johnson, who barely won election over BAMN's Steve Carr, really amazing. I think they found a reason to throw Steve out of the union after he lost by a handful of votes for charging the election was stolen.
Johnson goes on to introduce Mayor Dave Bing who has led the attack on the Detroit teachers. Some of us in the left side of the press box are looking at each other in disbelief.
Randi uses the C word
They just started running a film with Randi narrating - she says - "in a capitalist democracy the labor movement is the only check and balance." Again, in the left press box eyes roll. But she is right.
Still watching film, which I'm taping.
Really some good stuff with Chicago struggle playing a role but still hints of Randi "collaboration" theme. Randi may be pulled kicking and screaming into the struggle but as a politician with some skills she has no choice. The attacks of the ed deformers may be losing them one of their biggest allies.
Karen Lewis comes on screen and gets biggest applause -- like I said yesterday -- the rock star rivaling Diane Ravitch. (Rumor: Randi invited Ravitch and Rita Solnet to dinner.)
Heeeere's Randi -- Back soon for Randi's speech on her "new" vision for the union which translates into "social justice unionism" that she is calling "solutions based unionism" -- yawn.
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