Sometimes the important business of a union convention takes place in the streets.


Although I’m not a member, I have been following the events of the American Federation of Teachers as they meet in convention in Minneapolis.

Not all the important business takes place on the floor of the convention hall.

Yesterday Chicago teachers and other AFT members joined with Minneapolis Black Lives Matter folks to protest police brutality and the killing of Philando Castile, an African American school cafeteria worker.

Dozens of Chicago educators, in town for the biennial American Federation of Teachers conference at the Convention Center, marched with local Teamsters to honor victims of police brutality.

Michael Brunson, secretary of the Chicago Teachers Union, said he hopes people who argue that protesters should say “All lives matter” understand that “If the house on the corner is burning, you don’t call the fire department to hose down every other house. Our house is burning.”

Brunson also expressed concern about the killing of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La. “We’re starting to see a vicious cycle — people who are wanting to make things right with another wrong,” he said.

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