I posted on August 12 about the awful Aimee Horowitz who Farina has given more responsibilites instead of giving her the boot: Aiming at Aimee (Horowitz) (http://ednotesonline.blogspot.com/2015/08/aiming-at-aimee-horowitz-was-she-worst.html).
There was this comment:Saturday, Aug. 22, 2:33 AM
There is a growing rally outside her office Wednesday August 26th.Wishful thinking doesn't a movement make. Maybe at 2:33 AM it does.
One of the dividing points between Solidarity and MORE in my opinion was the "shoot from the hip" without thinking of consequences aspect of its leader. Slam any principal without investigating the details. I get it. Solidarity people are new to the opposition movement in the UFT and feel they must do something. Anything. I call it the "get your rocks off so I can feel better that I did something" school. I know this leads from experience: a dead end. But people do need to go through it themselves I guess.
People like me did come from that place at one point but after experiences of failed and inconsequential rallies I have learned.
South Bronx School has been mocking (If UFT Solidarity Has a Rally...Who Cares?) the recent well-advertised Solidarity rally against DOE slug/Supt Aimee Horowitz the other day, which when someone sent me a photo of the 7 people standing there, even surprised me - in fact, most of these rallies have looked to be the same. That there was an attempt to make a big to do about the exact location of the rally, but that is a distraction.
That is why over the past few years, people have preferred holding a press conference - with a reps and supporters. But showing the ability to bring numbers of people out - and I'm talking in the double or triple digits here - is a demonstration of growing strength. If you are going to ask people give up their valuable time to attend an event they have to have some trust and faith in you and your organization.
Over the years I have been involved in some of these reasonably successful events.
The big rally at Bloomberg's home in January 2011 was major. And there we did make a big to-do when the great attorney Norman Siegel represented us in court trying get us to rally on his block instead of across the street. Julie Cavanagh and Sueng Ok signed the papers, incredibly gutsy for 2 teachers and I was in the room when Siegel looked them in the eyes and said that if the DOE tried to go after them in any way, they had his protection for life.
The GEM rally at City Hall a year later on a massive snow day that still turned out almost 300 people. The buzz on the rally was so great that the UFT paid us $50 for speaking time - Leo Casey was the speaker replacing Michael Mendel who got snowed in. Julie Cavanagh showed her chops in being a major force in making both these events happen, where she showed her ability to reach out to a broader audience beyond teachers - which was just one reason so many people trusted her as MORE's presidential candidate. (Yes, trust is major when putting your faith in someone you support for office.)
In the early days of GEM - roughly May 2009, Angel Gonzalez, myself and others organized a march from Battery Park to the UFT to Tweed. While numbers were disappointing -- probably in the 30s, for a new group it showed we could create and manage an event. GEM also held rallies at Eva Moskowitz invasions of schools in Harlem.
When it comes to abusive principals, while the issue is big for me and others, my feelings that unless a massive organizing campaign goes on in the neighborhood of the schools and there are hard-core commitments to attend, rallies distracts from other work that should be done. I used to target these principals on ed notes but unless I see an uprising from the school community - like there was at John Dewey HS - much of my info was coming from numerous inside people - nothing much gets done. But if the NY Post or Daily News does something, there is some action. So people have taken to working with the NY Post Sue Edelman who does expose these people. A sparsely attended rally doesn't interest Sue. A scandal, especially one exposing the follies of Farina/de Blasio, is preferred. But I am careful with using Sue and the Post because the Post has an agenda. The other day a teacher sent me some hot stuff on his school but is aiming higher than the Post - the NY Times - even though I told him the Times doesn't care even if it finds principals are eating children for lunch.
There is nothing like bombast and bragging and threatening the DOE (and everyone else) with rallies etc. and then showing just how weak you are. Better to stay home and get some sleep.