Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Where is the True Opposition?
By Jim Vail

Was murdered Russian Boris Nemtsov a true oppostionist?
Those in power do not like opposition. 

Do any of us like it?  

I mean we all are supposed to compete - for our jobs, for awards, for whatever.

In our federal political arena - we have what you could call a false opposition. 

We have the democrats and the republicans. But they are not really different because the big money interests fund them both. 

And they pretend they are different. The conservative republicans complain about President Obama. Then the democrats complain about his predecessor George Bush.

But they both agree on our foreign policy to wage wars around the world, privatize government services and subsidize big business via bailouts and lucrative contracts.

Why people go out and vote for either party is beyond me.

And in the Chicago Teachers Union, we have something a little different. The former ruling party of about 40 years - the United Progressive Caucus (I love these names) was replaced by the current ruling party CORE (Coalition of Rank and File Educators)!

Core currently has no organized opposition, like the UPC, before it divided itself and lost power.

So is this a good thing? Is it healthy for democracy? To have a one-party state, or a fake two-party?

When there is real opposition, there is a real fight. In some situations - they kill you.

It was sad to see retiree delegate Lou Pyster, formerly with PACT and Debbie Lynch, who first upset the UPC to win a union election over 12 years ago, not win his re-election to serve as a delegate.

Pyster always challenged the current ruling party at the mic, and knows a lot from his experience. But he was a thorn in the side of the leadership, questioning a lot.

When the Russians said a sad good bye to opposition activist and former Russian government official Boris Nemtsov, many lamented that the opposition was killed.

Certainly, Nemtsov was a brave fighter who challenged the president. But he supported privatization, and free market reforms that impoverished many Russians. 

So, how do we get a true opposition? We need to organize, and fight. For the people. 

Is it possible?  

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