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Thousands of Teachers, Their Supporters March To CPS Headquarters, City Hall

Monday, Sep 17, 2012  |  Updated 1:04 PM CDT
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As negotiations continued toward a new contract, thousands of CPS officials took to the streets in a massive show of solidarity. Christian Farr reports.

As negotiations continued toward a new contract, thousands of CPS officials took to the streets in a massive show of solidarity. Christian Farr reports.

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Thousands of teachers on Monday afternoon were marching toward Chicago Public Schools headquarters and Chicago City Hall.

The teachers and their supporters gathered en masse outside the district's headquarters, at 123 South Clark Street, before marching around the block. Along the way, they chanted "Rahm Has to Go," referring to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"Rahm has three pensions," said one teacher who was marching downtown. "He was hanging out in Bruce Springsteen's dressing room Friday instead of helping find a solution."

Another group of several thousand people gathered in the vicinity of Clark and Adams, bound for Chicago City Hall, at 121 N. LaSalle Street.

One delegate said there are no specific march plans in place. They're simply waiting for an update from Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis with word that progress has been made.

"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."

The influx of people caused several Chicago Transit Authority buses to be delayed and detoured. Current service alerts are posted on TransitChicago.com.

Teacher Diana Muhammad told NBC Chicago teachers departed from several locations around the city. Muhammad, who teaches at Beasley Academic Center, said between 50 and 60 teachers there were expected to meet at South Dearborn and West Adams streets at 3 p.m. with a planned step-off 15 minutes later.

She said as many as 10,000 teachers could ultimately rally outside CPS headquarters.

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
.

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