Socialist Night School is an open course that provides a chance to develop our politics together, regardless of background knowledge or whether you’ve attended a class before. New members and lifelong socialists, all are welcome!
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We will begin with a guest lecture from a DSA member and rank and file teacher, Robert LeVertis Bell from Louisville, Kentucky.
After the lecture, we will go into breakout groups for open discussion on the readings, the lecture, and what socialists can and should do to support organizing teachers, school workers, and working class parents through this crisis.
The American capitalist class and their representatives in state and federal government have completely failed to responsibly manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Their single-minded focus on protecting their profits has made America’s richest billionaires even richer, while nearly 200,000 Americans are dead.
Capitalists need schools to reopen so that parents can do the work that makes capitalists their profits with fewer distractions. Working class parents, however, do not want to sacrifice the lives and safety of their families. School workers, including teachers and support staff, have the power to fight for a just response to these pandemic conditions.
Since West Virginia teachers and school workers went on a statewide strike in February 2018, educators have been leading the working class. The fight for safe school openings could become a decisive showdown that could shift the balance of power in favor of the working class, and as socialists, we want to be educated and prepared on what our role could be in this looming crisis.
We’re going to read about the recent teacher strike wave and the nationwide demand for safe school openings.
Will New York Teachers Strike for Safe Schools? An Interview with Jia Lee, a special education teacher at the Earth School, a United Federation of Teachers (UFT) chapter leader, and an organizer with the Movement of Rank-and-File Educators (MORE), the UFT’s rank-and-file caucus.
Interview with Eric Blanc: We Need to Reconnect Socialists to the US Labor Movement https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/08/eric-blanc-labor-movement-militant-minority-red-state-revolt
Socialists have historically played a key role in the US labor movement as part of a broader current of militant rank-and-file workers. The recent teachers’ strike wave shows that to rebuild unions, we have to build that militant current.