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Teachers, Their Supporters Rally Downtown, Grant Park

Protesters interrupt afternoon commute in massive show of solidarity

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    NEWSLETTERS

    As the teacher strike entered its second day Tuesday, public school teachers again took the streets of Chicago.

    The crown gathered at about 2:30 p.m. outside the Chicago Public Schools headquarters, at 123 S. Clark St., before stepping off in a march bound for the Chicago Board of Trade.

    "I'm here to support the teachers because they need our support as parents," said parent Theresa Moore. "This is how [our children] become productive adults, when you participate as a parent and you join in to support them."

    At about 4:30, the area outside the Board of Trade was mostly cleared as the group gravitated toward Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain, apparently to show another part of the city their solidarity. 

    Parents Find Alternatives to School During Strike

    [CHI] Parents Find Alternatives to School During Strike
    Churches, the park district and other organizations stepped up to help parents stranded by the teacher strike. Natalie Martinez reports. (Published Monday, Sep 10, 2012)

    The march caused traffic patterns to be interrupted during the afternoon rush. Police shut down South Michigan Avenue from East Jackson Drive to Van Buren Street, as well as Columbus from Jackson to Congress and Congress from  Columbus to Michigan, as the protesters created a huge circle around the fountain. 

    The Chicago Transit Authority posted list of bus detours on its website at TransitChicago.com.

    "Finish It For Our Children:" Emanuel

    [CHI] "Finish It For Our Children:" Emanuel
    "This is, in my view, a strike of choice, and it's the wrong choice for our children," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday of the first Chicago teachers strike in 25 years. "It's not necessary. We need to just finish the job." (Published Tuesday, Sep 11, 2012)

    On Monday afternoon, thousands of CPS teachers rallied at the headquarters, closing streets and clogging downtown traffic. Along the way, they carried picket signs and chanted "Rahm Has to Go," referring to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

    One delegate on Monday said there were no specific plans tied to the marches. Protesters simply gathered in support while waiting for an update from Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis on progress made during contract talks.

    "At least we show and feel strength and unity by doing this," said one teacher. "I don't get this in the classroom by myself all day."

    About 29,000 teachers went on strike Monday after months of contentious negotiations over salary, health benefits and a new teacher evaluation process.

    NBC Chicago has an array of reporters and producers covering the Chicago teacher strike. Check our live blog for continuous coverage and updates throughout the strike.