Teachers rally at Grand Park on Jan. 18 as strike continues

Maria Ruiz

Kirsten Cintigo

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As the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) strike closed out its first week on Jan. 18, more than 60,000 people gathered at Grand Park to rally in support of educators.

The rally took place from 10:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. and included musical performances from Tom Morello, Aloe Blacc, Maya Jupiter, Marisa Ronstadt, Ted Hampton and the UTLA band.

“Someone asked me earlier, ‘why are you going downtown to play for the teachers,’ I said because the teachers are making history today,” musician Tom Morello told the crowd. “My mom was a public high school teacher in Illinois for 30 years. When I was a kid there was a strike in Illinois and my mom went out with the teachers, the teachers won that strike.”

Many supporters held signs, yelled chants and sang along with the musical guests. UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl also delivered words of gratitude to educators as they spent the majority of this week picketing in the rain.

“Over the last four days you all have been brilliant, you all have been resilient, on the line, in the rain, but you have been there,” Caputo-Pearl said.

As negotiations have started back up between UTLA and the Los Angeles Unified School District, it is unclear to when a compromise will be reached. Both sides met Thursday and Friday, however, bargaining is expected to continue through the weekend.

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