When We Strike (Support) We Win!

Over the course of January, public education won historic victories across Los Angeles. Rank and file members of the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) went on strike on Monday, January 14 not only to secure a fair contract for teachers, but to show privatizers — and their billionaire backers — that parents, teachers, and community members were ready to defend and expand every student’s right to a quality public education.  

After six days on the picket line — singing, chanting, and dancing — they won. Not only did UTLA secure a concession-less victory for teachers and students, days later charter school teachers from The Accelerated Schools won a fair contract — marking a significant victory for charter school teachers in LA. In a final blow to charter advocates, the LAUSD School Board voted to support a moratorium on new charters in Los Angeles.

Throughout it all, DSA-LA showed Los Angeles that when we strike (support) we win!

As the Steering Committee of DSA-LA, we want to recognize all of the members of DSA-LA who helped secure a victory for public education in Los Angeles which has inspired militant labor action around the country and expanded the RedforEd movement into a solidly blue state.

Dual UTLA/DSA-LA members Mark Campbell, Cameron Towne, and many others held it down on the picket line, providing us key insights as socialists and as teachers- even though their livelihoods were at stake.   

Our Labor Committee was indispensable, mobilizing our members to 607 picket shifts at over 6 adopted schools across the city. Not only were DSA-LA members on the picket line every day teachers were on strike, we also stood shoulder to shoulder with parents, teachers, and community members who took the fight for public education into their communities. Our members showed up in force, tacos in tow, when UTLA rallied in Grand Park on the first day of the strike. Despite unseasonable rain storms, DSA-LA members marched alongside parents, students, and community members when they brought the fight directly to Austin Beutner and Monica Garcia and demanded that they stop prioritizing corporate greed over the needs of LAUSD students- who have some of the lowest per pupil school funding in the country.    

We also want to shout out to everyone who donated over $44,000 to the Tacos for Teachers joint initiative with ISO. People donated in solidarity from around the country, proving that when we make the socialist case for public goods, we can win! You helped show UTLA that socialist solidarity means standing with workers when they flex their power, and inspired similar shows of food solidarity for striking teachers around the country.

And to everyone who walked the picket line, tweeted, shared, liked, or talked to your friends about the power of the UTLA strike: our movement is only as strong as the members who continue to show up, day in and day out, who not only believe that a socialist future is possible, but understand that it’s our collective work to build. Onward and upward!

Solidarity forever,

DSA-LA Steering Committee