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Communists and Democratic socialists come out in support of California teachers' strike as marchers harass 'scabs'

Educators' fight for higher pay and against charter school options resonates with far-left movements

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

The Democratic Socialists of America have joined the picket lines of the Los Angeles teachers' strike and posted footage online showing the group harassing "scabs" in an efforts to prohibit substitute teachers from accessing schools. Now the Communist Party has also declared its support for the striking educators.

Protesters wore red clothing to represent the "Red for Ed" movement in a push for higher wages, less standardized testing, and an end to the growth of private charter schools. After 20 months of negotiations, the teachers went on strike Monday.

What are the details?

The DSA Los Angeles chapter boasted on Twitter on Tuesday about joining the LA teachers in blocking substitutes from entering school grounds. Posts included hashtags giving a nod to the United Teachers of Los Angeles union and the Red for Ed campaign.

Several posts also depicted DSA members holding signs reading "Socialists for Public Education, We Stand with LA teachers!"

The UTLA is embracing the national "Red for Ed" movement and says the growth of private charter schools has become a drain on public education. Union President Alex Caputo-Pearl told the Los Angeles Times, "Although the circumstances in different states vary, the common theme across the country is lack of investment in public education and the threat from the aggressive privatization and charterization movement."

The Huffington Post reported Wednesday that L.A.'s public school teachers do have a reason to feel threatened, writing that "there's evidence that students in Los Angeles charter schools are outperforming their peers at traditional schools," and noting, "one study found that students in L.A. charter schools receive the equivalent of 50 more days in reading instruction and 79 days in math than their counterparts in traditional public schools."

What was that about the Communist Party?

Unsurprisingly, the Communist Party is also backing the "Red for Ed" campaign, issuing a statement in support of the UTLA saying, "Privatizing public education is one of the top prizes in the neoliberal race to the bottom, exposing what was once the pride of our nation, our public school system, to the greed of corporate hucksters and profiteers in the Trump-Betsy DeVos mold."

One last thing…
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