Thursday, April 7, 2016

F$%# the Police!

BLM Says F*#% the Police at April 1st Teachers Strike Rally

By Jim Vail
Special to

BLM activist Page May said to "F#$% the Police!"

“Fuck the Police!”

The speaker Page May from Black Lives Matter screamed this out at the April 1st Teachers Strike rally downtown, igniting an angry reaction from not only the police, but teachers as well.

At the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates meeting Wed. April 6, several delegates expressed their outrage and demanded that the CTU leadership issue an apology.

“The CTU didn’t say that,” CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey told the delegates. “Then people would take the apology and find fault with the CTU. If we would respond to Page, it would blow it up even more.”

The video of the speaker, who teaches at a charter school and is therefore not a member of the CTU, went viral and became big news on the social media.

On the Facebook page Chicago Code BLUE at The Chicago Teachers Union, over 1200 commented via different face expressions, creating a division between supporters and those who condemned Page’s speech.

“This educator does not speak for any of the teachers in Chicago. She speaks for her own agenda … and she now teaches our children to hate.”

“I continue to learn and be inspired by you (Page)! As my grandfather would always say, ‘Keep the failth!’”

Teachers who were critical of the speech wrote letters to CTU President Karen Lewis and Lewis said she responded to each one of them.

“I didn’t say anything wrong,” Lewis told the delegates. “I said the police are not the enemy.”

Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo demanded an apology.

“Dean Angelo the FOP President called me,” Lewis told her delegates. “I’ve been trying to call him since he got elected, but he has not returned my calls. I’ve been actually ignored.”

The CTU delegates passed a resolution recently that denounced the cover-up of the Laquan McDonald police murder. CTU officials made it clear that the resolution was against the act of a police officer shooting an unarmed teenager 16 times.

The FOP has rigorously defended its members when confronted with rogue cops who have abused their power.

Unions are supposed to protect their members against accusations, especially unfair accusations. However, they also negotiate settlements when their members, such as officer Jason Van Dyke who was caught on a video cam shooting McDonald 16 times as he walked away, have a weak case.

How weak is his case? Two of the top three city politicians lost their jobs after the black community erupted over the McDonald video. State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez lost her bid for re-election for refusing to prosecute Van Dyke until after the video went viral, Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy was fired and protesters are continuing to demand that the mayor resign over a cover-up.

The Black Lives Matter group has also been vigorous in confronting rogue cops who murder civilians. They have organized major protests and demanded reforms because many people in rough neighborhoods do not trust the police.

One black teacher delegate at Wednesday’s meeting said she felt conflicted when she heard about the BLM speaker’s speech. She said she has police officers in her family, but she also has a cousin who was murdered by the cops. She said the union was correct to say it did not do anything wrong.

“You never know,” one CTU member said. “The speaker could have also had a family member or friend murdered by the police.”
The CTU sent out an email to its members to laud the success of Friday’s demonstration and successful one-day strike that culminated in a march of an estimated 20,000 people that united the teachers with university workers, fast food workers and other unions and organizations.

The letter written by Sharkey acknowledged the police speech controversy.

“Although one speaker went off message and condemned police in a way that our Union does not condone, and we regret what was said, the rally was a resounding success. We hope that this unexpected incident, which could not have been predicted, does not obscure the tremendous power and momentum we created on April 1.”

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