Radical Portland Teacher Reveals Why Strike Was About ‘Raw Power,’ Not the Kids

It was always about the revolution, not the children. Of course, you knew that. But now a Portland teachers union apparatchik spells it out.

The other day I interviewed Xi Van Fleet for my “Adult in the Room” podcast. The author of the book “Mao’s America: A Survivor’s Warning,” which I’ll be highlighting in more depth soon at PJ Media, has an indisputable thesis that America is going through a Cultural Revolution like the one she suffered through as a child “worker” in China. When revolution comes, she says, “we all end up slaves.” Back during Mao’s march through the institutions, the bourgeois teachers were removed from the schools and “re-educated”–or worse. Schools were closed for two years while the revolution caught up. The cadres preferred the people be uneducated rather than exposed to wrong thought. When schools were reopened, she says, students had little more than Mao’s “Little Red Book” to study. The difference in the U.S., we agreed, was that now the teachers are the revolutionaries in control of the messages your children hear and read.


As I write nearby, the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) has wrapped up a month-long strike, which deprived students of more classroom time. Oregon schools rate at just above Arkansas in national rankings. COVID made that worse. Things are so bad in the classroom that Oregon extended its program to not require mastery of reading, writing, or math to graduate.  Fifth grade? Eighth grade? No. High school. Sound familiar? 

The strike has been long and the negotiations have gone on for months. These strike closures were on top of teachers keeping Oregon schools closed longer than any other district in the country after COVID. They did it, of course, for the children. That’s why they got a 13.75 percent increase over the next three years, which equates to between $6,900 and $13,400 per teacher for the children. 

As I reported, during the strike teachers or their proxies doxxed board members, which led to vandalizing their property. They also blackmailed the already on-the-rocks city by blocking a key bridge and threatened students. It’s an ugly picture, but naturally the teachers won’t suffer the consequences. In fact, they’re being rewarded.

     Related: Striking Teachers Blackmailed Portland

One of the leaders of the union is middle school teacher Emily Golden-Fields, a Democratic Socialist of America activist. She determined that her “political reawakening” was the Bernie Sanders campaign and her membership in the Democratic Socialists of America, which “reignited my interest in, I want to say radical change.” 


She’s totally on-brand for Portland.

In 2021, she called for the American government to take over and nationalize Amazon. 

She doesn’t like Big Amazon, but is in favor of Big Education–as long as the revolutionaries are in charge. 

Taking her cue from Mao’s Cultural Revolutionary teachings, in 2018, Golden-Fields also supported the regime’s takeover of private property. 

Her interview during the strike on a local public radio station was quite enlightening. She concentrated her efforts on “changes that end the systems of control…over capital” and fighting for our “rank and file power. Our core membership being militant, being powerful and not being afraid to use the strike as a source of that power.” And all this time we thought it was for the children. Snort.


The teachers didn’t only want more money, less teaching time, and more perks. They wanted teachers to control “enforcement” committees to allow teachers to run each school, like the good comrades they are. Parents would be allowed to join. Golden-Fields told Portland, “We’ve learned that the admin [school administration] is really not an added benefit.” The teachers union official says the fight makes her realize that “we can really run these things [schools] ourselves.”  

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The strike has been “transformative” and “beautiful to see,” she enthused. Except for the children.

But she’s thrilled for how radicalized the students have become on the teachers’ behalf:

We are so solid and we see this everyday with our students and families. We have students come to the [picket] line, make us food everyday. They are learning how to be leaders. They are learning what civil disobedience is. They are learning what the movement is. What a strike is. And our community and our students are in lockstep with us. We are fighting for what our students need, what our families need. We are all in the fight together because it’s all for the common good…We are on the way to reshaping this district and this state.  

Teachers have demanded a number of items, among them “housing” for at-risk families, as if Portland doesn’t spend tens of millions on that. But teachers want control of the process. Golden-Fields says the strike has shown that “using our raw power has been amazing to see.” And she’s open about the reasons. “If we’re going to have our schools be our safety net, be our backstop then we’d better start funding them.” 


They call for growing their numbers by getting younger children into schools for indoctrination. They call for so-called restorative justice, which only means that criminal students won’t be punished in the criminal justice system. They want “more teaching and less testing.” Of course they do. Why would anyone want to measure how poorly they’re teaching?  

Gong on strike has been “an eye opening, transformative experience,” the teachers union official says. Indeed, the highly  spending a reported $45,000 per pupil when all sources are tolled still isn’t enough by the teachers’ lights. 

     Related: How the Mobs Stole Christmas (Tree Lightings)

While teachers were busily planning to arrogate power to themselves, the students were losing educational ground. But this was never about the children; this was always about power, greed, and revolution. And, as we learned from history and from Van Fleet’s book, we know how this revolution ends. 

Bernie Sanders would approve. 

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