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Who can forget the remarkable days four years ago when educators in the second-largest school district in the nation went on strike? They were protesting after years of reprehensible classroom and school conditions and shamefully inadequate funding for programs and resources.

The action led by United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) in downtown LA began on Jan. 18, 2019. When it ended six days later, UTLA had reached an agreement with the school district and members had won almost all they had gone on strike for. The settlement included a reduction in class sizes; nurses at schools every day; caseloads of high school counselors cut in half; and psychologists and social workers available at community schools along with other wraparound services.

It was a momentous victory for students, educators and the #RedForEd movement that was growing across the country, aided in no small part by parent and community supporters.

“When We Fight” is a new documentary that chronicles the UTLA organizing efforts in the months before the strike and during January. It highlights the leadership of some of the women who led it, from union leaders to classroom teachers.

“When we saw more than 30,000 educators in the second largest school district in the U.S. preparing for a strike, we started filming,” say Yael Bridge and Yoni Golijov, who directed and produced. “We filmed from strike vote to contract vote, documenting the democracy and mass participation in the strike, from school cafeterias to rain-drenched picket lines.”

The documentary can be rented for private screenings at sliding scale, with UTLA strike leaders available for Q&As. Email or view information here.

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