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PROTESTS

California Teachers' Group Raises $20K to Send Pizza to West Virginia Teachers on Strike

There's no better way to express protest solidarity than through pizza.

Mayukh Sen

Mayukh Sen

Photo via Pixabay

Protesting is draining—it's an exercise that can tire you both literally and spiritually. What better way to offset that fatigue and fuel your fires than eating a steamy slice of pizza?

On Sunday, Lita Blanc, President of California-based union group United Educators of San Francisco, set up a GoFundMe to send boxes of pizza and water to the thousands of teachers on strike in West Virginia. The campaign is meant to bolster the efforts of educators who began striking statewide in late February demanding a 5 percent salary raise. (West Virginia, according to the National Education Association, ranks 48th in the country when it comes to teacher salaries, which makes this showcase of organized opposition so vital.)

The strike has shut down schools in all 55 counties in the state for nine days running, leaving 227,000 students and 35,000 employees out of classrooms. On Tuesday morning, Governor Jim Justice announced in a tweet that he would meet the protesters' calls for a five percent raise, which the state legislature voted on unanimously; this may lead to schools reopening as early as Wednesday.

It’s been a long fight, in any event, and protesters need to eat. Many of the teachers have congregated around the West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston, the very site where Blanc has had a local pizzeria—Husson’s Pizza—make its first delivery of pizza at noon on Monday. It took fewer than 24 hours for Blanc's campaign to meet its initial goal of $10,000; the campaign is now, as of Tuesday morning, nearing $20,000. (Neither Blanc nor Husson’s responded to immediate request for further comment from MUNCHIES on Tuesday regarding what plans are moving forward.)

"Our goal is to provide pizza for strikers throughout this week and beyond, if necessary," Blanc writes in her description for the campaign. Any surplus funds, she adds, will be funneled directly to support the three unions representing the teachers on strike: the West Virginia Education Association, AFT-West Virginia, and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association.

There are few better expressions of solidarity than sending your comrades a pizza pie, one that's big enough to feed a collective who's fighting to make their piss-poor conditions a little more tolerable and just. When all else burns and America’s shoddy capitalist scaffolding begins to collapse upon us, there will be pizza to keep us going.