By Mike Antonucci
Earlier today, I posted about the California Teachers Association’s plan to occupy the State Capitol on May 9-13 as part of the union’s protests to increase tax revenue for the state’s schools and teachers. I now have further information, including the news that CTA has budgeted $1 million for the protests.
The union has set up a web site of material for activists at CAstateofemergency.com. The documents include the handout I posted earlier, plus a 10-page list of “potential activities” the CTA State Council dreamed up. The State Council consists of more than 700 elected union representatives from all across the state. I’ve also posted this document on the EIA web site.
The “potential activities” include:
* Target the businesses of legislators in their home districts.
* Circle the offices of “problem legislators.” Target them with various actions.
* Picket/rally in front of legislators’ offices/homes.
* Follow targeted legislators for the entire day.
* Have students and parents do informational picketing for one hour outside their school site.
* Have parents and students camp in front of schools all night.
* Have teachers being laid off contact parents and other CTA members.
* Make phone calls on Parents’ Day. Call parents to tell them how their child is doing and then talk about the budget cuts and invite them to attend the rallies.
* Refrain from Shopping Day. Show the value of educators and other public employees and the economic contribution they make to local communities by refraining from shopping one day.
* Throw monopoly money in the toilet to show that all our money is going down the drain
* Publish a list of companies that are not paying their fair share of taxes. Send letters to these companies and the media and picket their offices. Withdraw funds from banks that are not paying their fair share. (Editor’s note: CTA is a tax-exempt organization.)
* One-day boycott of Microsoft and other corporations that are pushing failed education reform efforts.
* Turn fire/earthquake drill into crisis response drill to the budget cuts (involve students and the community)
* Attempt to close a major artery into town/cities
* Have celebrities involved in the demonstrations
* Dye hair red or wear red wigs
* Homeless encampments of students and teachers as they can afford a place to live
* Have people participate in a run across the state with a torch (like the Olympics)
* Statewide “A Day with No Teachers”
* Pay for everything with $2 bills to show true impact of teachers
* “Lights Out Day” during the week where educators teach in the dark
* Protest at an MLB game. Everyone wears a matching shirt and sits in one section. Have scoreboard acknowledge their presence (i.e., “pink-slipped teachers seated in section ___”)
* Work with organization like Ben & Jerry to have them create a labor-union flavored ice cream that can be sold at the rallies and in stores