Advocacy News Spotlight

Rain Cannot Dampen Day Three Unity On Oakland Educators’ Picket Line

“One day longer, one day stronger” was the chant of Oakland Education Association (OEA) members as growing numbers of parents, students, and community members joined the picket line on day three of the East Bay teachers’ strike.

Oakland’s educators’ creativity was unleashed as they painted, sang, danced, and marched with a community that has embraced their student-centered fight for the schools every Oakland student deserves. That fight includes ending the practice of unregulated charter school expansion in the city.

At Melrose Leadership Academy, parent Lucio Garcia offered his van for a teacher-created mural that is on daily display near the school site.

Parents have been moved by local educators’ passion and commitment to their children. In a show of support, they’re refusing to allow their children to cross the picket lines. In consequence, the district is nearly empty; only 3 percent of all district students are attending.

Teacher talent and artistry were on full display as OEA members led chants, such as “Every day, rain or shine, we are here to walk the line,” and sang their own version of the Ben E. King classic, “Stand by Me.”

Members also led the community in their own version of the ’90s dance craze, the Macarena. Teachers changed the lyrics with a pro-public education spin that is becoming a strike favorite. With OEA solidarity at a high point, it seems they are prepared to stay out as long as necessary to protect and preserve public education in the East Bay.

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