By Michael Kane
The recent victory for TEACHERS FOR CHOICE backed by Children’s Health Defense in New York State Supreme Court is national news! Fox & Friends, Fox News, Newsday, Epoch Times, ZeroHedge, The Center Square, The Defender, NTD News, OAN and more have all covered this critical win for 10 unvaccinated NYC educators who were fired but now ordered to return to their jobs with backpay.
I appeared live on FOX & FRIENDS to discuss the court victory (and how NYC is still denying me access to return to my job). This was broadcast live at 7:30 am ET on September 9. Right after this interview, I headed out to the NYC Labor Day Parade which was remarkable!
NY Workers for Choice marched in the parade. We started at the NY Public Library then went to 45th and 5th where the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) was staging. I was able to confront Senator Chuck Schumer and UFT President Mike Mulgrew when we got there.
Confronting Senator Chuck Schumer
I introduced myself to Senator Schumer (in my KENNEDY 2024 shirt), showed him a flyer from Teachers for Choice and asked if he supported unvaccinated teachers returning to their jobs in NYC. Schumer put his had up to me and said, “I follow the union.” Sophy Medina and Paul Schweit of Bravest For Choice followed Schumer to ask him his position on fired Firefighters. The clip of that exchange has gone viral on Instagram and is also up on NY Freedom Rally’s Twitter Account.
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Since Schumer said he “follows the union,” I went and spoke to the UFT President.
I spoke to Mulgrew and we had a decent exchange for about 5 minutes. He said NYC needs unvaccinated teachers to return asap as the city is short on teachers. I asked about back pay, and the lives that have been ruined by the unjust mandate. Mulgrew stated it is going to take a long time to work that out, “but we need you right now, so come back,” said Mulgrew. I told him people are being confronted with legal waivers to come back, which would waive their rights to sue for damages caused by the mandates. Mulgrew said he was unaware of that and needed information. I offered to gladly provide the info and asked to meet with him; he agreed. Immediately after the parade I emailed Mulgrew with my attorney, Sujata Gibson, cc’d.
A New Day?
What was most remarkable is comparing our Labor Day Parade appearance last year to this year. In 2022 when we showed up it was more like we were “crashing” the party. When we started chanting “Let Us Work!” hundreds of UFT members cheered for us, loud! I then had an exchange with AFT President Randi Weingarten which led to her appearing on my CHD TV show (watch that episode here).
But this year was different. After confronting Schumer and Mulgrew about 5 of us handed out hundreds of TEACHERS FOR CHOICE flyers that had RFK info on the back. This information was received very well by most, especially by Black and Hispanic educators. After that, we lined up with the UFT and walked in the parade behind them. Right before we launched into the parade on 5th Ave. I spoke to the UFT members who were staffing the main tables for the union. I told them we were unvaccinated educators and we wanted to work. “We don’t need any more staffing shortages in our schools,” I said. They all agreed.
It isn’t like the UFT was head-over-heels that we were there. It was more like they shrugged their shoulders and accepted our presence.
It was fantastic to meet Assemblywoman Yudelka Tapia at the NYC Labor Day Parade this year. Dion Powell introduced me to her in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Ave. We had an excellent exchange and took a photo together.
It was also great to see Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte who was holding her lovely baby boy Daniel. We had a pleasant exchange as well. Teachers for Choice looks forward to meeting with the Assemblywoman for the upcoming legislative session in Albany that starts in January.
Below are photos of NY Workers for Choice from the Parade:
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