Striking teachers rally in Chicago
Thousands of striking Chicago public-school teachers and their allies packed a city park Saturday in a boisterous show of force as union leaders and the district tried to work out the details of an agreement that could end a week-long walkout.
Pushing strollers, toting signs and towing wagons of children, thousands of red-shirted teachers cheered and chanted as speaker after speaker urged them to stand firm until they have a deal in writing. They told the teachers that their strike was a symbol of hope for public teachers and other unions that have been losing ground around the nation.
“I’m pretty confident that something will come together that both sides will agree on,” said Ramses James, a sixth-grade math teacher. “I believe this is a very strong turning point when you have so many people coming out to fight alongside [the teachers union]. That means a lot.”
Tens of thousands protest in Russia
The first major protest against President Vladimir Putin after a summer lull drew tens of thousands of people, determined to show that opposition sentiment remains strong despite Kremlin efforts to muzzle dissent.
The street protests broke out after a December parliamentary election won by Putin’s party through what observers said was widespread fraud, and they grew in strength ahead of Putin’s effectively unopposed election in March to a third presidential term.
Huge rallies of more than 100,000 people even in bitter winter cold gave many protesters hope for democratic change. These hopes have waned, but opposition supporters appear ready to dig in for a long fight.
Wis. AG aims to enforce union law
Wisconsin’s attorney general said Saturday he would seek court permission to keep enforcing a state law that effectively ended collective bargaining for public employees while his office appeals a judge’s ruling striking it down.
A Dane County judge issued a ruling Friday overturning almost all of the law that has been a hallmark of Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s tenure and helped turn him into a national conservative hero.
hProtests turn violent in China
Protests against Japan over its control of disputed islands spread across more than two dozen cities in China and turned violent at times Saturday, with protesters burning Japanese flags and clashing with Chinese paramilitary police at the Japanese Embassy before order was restored.
Thousands of protesters gathered in front of the embassy in Beijing. Hundreds tried to storm a metal barricade backed by riot police armed with shields, helmets and batons. Many threw rocks, bottles, eggs and traffic cones at the embassy.
The embassy said protesters around the country set fire to Japanese factories, sabotaged assembly lines, looted department stores and illegally entered Japanese businesses.