The intellectual force behind the Chicago teacher strike is … Naomi Klein?

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins

Buried inside the Chicago Tribune’s latest story about the teachers strike that is now stretching into its second week, is this fascinating nugget of information:

The past week’s strike exemplifies a changed CTU. The union’s current leadership rose to power on a platform of pushing back against privatization of public schools and the aggressive education reform efforts introduced by former CPS chief Arne Duncan, who is now the U.S. secretary of education.

Many of CTU’s current leaders helped found the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators, which started out as a book club to review Naomi Klein’s best-seller “The Shock Doctrine,” which argues that corporate interests have exploited crises to push through agendas that undermine democracy.

Naomi Klein is a Canadian author best known for writing the anti-globalization manifesto No Logo and is also a columnist for the hard-left Nation magazine. She was credited with helping to spark the anti-World Bank, anti-International Monetary Fund protests in the late 1990s and has been a major booster of the Occupy Wall Street  movement, calling it a “game changer” that has “opened up space for us to put more radical solutions on the table.”

Incidentally, she is not to be confused with feminist writer Naomi Wolf, a former Al Gore adviser and author, most recently, of Vagina: A New Biography.

UPDATE: Klein responded by email:

I was delighted when I learned about the study group a few months ago. This is the very reason why I wrote The Shock Doctrine: to provide a tool for those on the front lines of cynical attempts to exploit crises to push through ideological ‘reforms.’  I have been tremendously inspired by the courage of Chicago’s teachers during their historic strike.

UPDATE: Klein tweets this story and ads:

Honoured to be red baited in this way!



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Sean Higgins

Senior Writer
The Washington Examiner