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More than 3,000 teachers in Oakland stood on picket lines for a second straight day Friday to demand better pay, smaller class sizes, and more resources for their district’s beleaguered schools.

On Thursday, I joined my colleague Edwin Rios as he reported on the first day of the teachers’ strike from Roots International Academy, an East Oakland middle school the district recently decided would close at the end of the school year. Later, I headed downtown for the noon rally, where hundreds of educators, students, and supporters protested before marching to the district’s headquarters. “It’s almost impossible for me to provide what my students need,” Amber Perkins Ellis, a social science teacher at Coliseum College Prep Academy, told me. “It’s not my fault, but it feels like it is. They deserve better.”⁣

The strike comes on the heels of a similar work stoppage in Los Angeles and other successful teacher strikes in West Virginia and Denver. Union officials in Oakland said educators were prepared to continue protesting until their demands were met. 

Hundreds of teachers, students, and supporters rally in downtown Oakland, Calif., on the first day of a district-wide teacher strike.

Hundreds of teachers, students, and supporters rally in downtown Oakland on the first day of a district-wide teacher strike.

Rosa Furneaux/Mother Jones

Magdaline Armstrong (right), a first grade teacher, and her daughter Nilaya, 8, rally on a picket line with kindergarten teacher Grace Allen (left) outside Lockwood Elementary School in Oakland, Calif., on February 21, 2019.

Magdaline Armstrong (right), a first-grade teacher, and her daughter Nilaya, eight, rally on a picket line with kindergarten teacher Grace Allen (left) outside Futures Elementary School.

Rosa Furneaux/Mother Jones

Teachers from Roots International Academy in Oakland, Calif., walked together to the subway on the first day of a district-wide teachers strike, before traveling to a rally downtown.

Teachers from East Oakland schools walk together to a BART station on the first day of a district-wide teachers’ strike before traveling to a rally downtown.

Rosa Furneaux/Mother Jones

Kindergarten teacher Grace Allen joins supporters on a picket line outside Lockwood Elementary School in Oakland, Calif., on February 21, 2019.

Kindergarten teacher Grace Allen joins supporters on a picket line outside Futures Elementary School.

Rosa Furneaux/Mother Jones

Teachers, students, and supporters rally on a picket line outside Futures Elementary.

Rosa Furneaux/Mother Jones

Teachers from Roots Academy in Oakland, Calif., hold signs as they exit the subway downtown.

Teachers from East Oakland schools hold signs as they exit the BART station downtown.

Rosa Furneaux/Mother Jones

Members of community music group BoomShake joined the rally.

Members of community music group BoomShake join the rally downtown.

Rosa Furneaux/Mother Jones

Holding homemade signs, young students from Glenview Elementary School chanted as the march passed by: "Get up! Get down! Oakland is a union town!"

Holding homemade signs, young students from Glenview Elementary School chant as the march passes by: “Get up! Get down! Oakland is a union town!”

Rosa Furneaux/Mother Jones

Supporters march to the school district offices on Broadway.

Supporters march to the school district offices downtown on Broadway.

Rosa Furneaux/Mother Jones

Teachers from Roots International Academy in Oakland, Calif., travel with other educators and supports to a rally downtown.

Teachers from Roots travel with other educators and supporters to the rally.

Rosa Furneaux/Mother Jones

Young supporters joined their teachers at the march.

Young supporters join their teachers at the march.

Rosa Furneaux/Mother Jones

Children played under parachutes as the march made its way along Broadway.

Children play under parachutes as the march makes its way along Broadway.

Rosa Furneaux/Mother Jones

Hundreds of teachers, students, and supporters rally in downtown Oakland, Calif., on the first day of a district-wide teacher strike.

Hundreds of teachers, students, and supporters rally downtown on the first day of a district-wide teacher strike.

Rosa Furneaux/Mother Jones

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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