or those who do not live in Detroit it is important to understand what is transpiring in the state with the Detroit Federation of Teachers and the fight against privatization and school closures.

I have worked with Steve Conn who lost his bid for president of DFT.  He and BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) have led a tremendous fight against privatization and the Elye Broad ’emergency financial managers’ who line the landscape like locusts.

The following is from Heather, Steve’s wife and BAMN.  You can find out more about BAMN and the fight for public schools at www.bamn.com and http://dft231.mi.aft.org/:

“As you may already have heard, the EON/BAMN slate was defeated by Johnson and UTR in the recent DFT Officers and Executive Board election.

The next period of time thus looks like it is going to be a very rough one for Detroit teacher unionism and teachers’ rights.
Johnson and Weingarten’s treachery is completely responsible for the demoralization of the membership that led to this defeat.  The 1222 members who voted represent less than one-third, and possibly as little as one-fourth, of the union’s current membership.  This is a record low turnout for the DFT!   (It is impossible to even get an accurate DFT membership count anymore)
The cornerstone of Johnson’s strategy is always to try to convince  teachers that fighting is hopeless, and that all we can do is beg this or that judge or politician, or even the EM/EFM for crumbs.
Nothing could be further from the truth, of course.  With public school districts across the state beginning to fight back against Snyder’s latest plans, and with the EAA so thoroughly exposed as a sham, Detroit teachers are in an excellent position to play a leading role in a major new wave of struggle that could win real victories for the defense of public education and civil rights.
But union struggle and union victory are meaningless words without the kinds of things that EON / BAMN campaigned on — strikes and actions in the streets, and the DFT joining the growing new civil rights movement.
The young people of Detroit who have joined BAMN have been winning battle after battle recently in the building of that movement, most importantly around the defense of affirmative action.
We urge Detroit teachers to join with the young people, beginning this Friday, December 7, at a civil rights march and mass meeting in Ann Arbor, demanding that the University of Michigan take advantage of BAMN’s recent federal court victory, and reinstate its affirmative action programs immediately.
A mass meeting will begin at the UM Union Ballroom at 9:30 am and the rally will start at noon on the Diag.
We urge you to attend!
For more information, go to this link: