Communist pamphleteers are using the American Federation of Teachers annual convention as a recruiting ground, according to a new video.
Men with Mao Zedong-emblazoned messenger bags distributed fliers to union members as they entered the Los Angeles convention center, where thousands of teachers have gathered to discuss the state of the nation’s second largest teachers union.
Communist literature has appeared throughout the convention floor. Issues of the communist newspaper Red Flag have also been handed out to teachers as they gathered to reelect president Randi Weingarten, one of the most influential Democrats in the nation and a leader of the shadowy Democracy Alliance.
The issue, which was found by conservative researchers at America Rising, features a front page story declaring, "Capitalist Attacks on Schools Demand Communist Response."
The newspaper compared the debate over education reform to a bloody 1960s dispute between rival Chinese communists. Several radical students were beaten to death in 1968 after asserting that a Mao-appointed college administration was staffed by "pro-capitalist anti-revolutionaries." That violence, according to the newspaper, is analogous to the American debate over school choice.
"This struggle helped to spark a monumental rebellion against ‘the people in party leadership taking the capitalist road,’" the photo caption said. "During this Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, leftwing workers and youth tried to transform education literally from the ground up."
Participants at the AFT gathering were critical of education reformers and proponents of charter schools, as well as the Obama administration. A participant who claimed to be a Chicago teacher slammed Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan for not toeing the union line at a Tuesday meeting.
"We see the destructive policies [Duncan] has pursued … I think we have to name the name of the main architect of these policies, the man who has taken away everything we hold dear," a man wearing an AFT delegate lanyard said. "We have to say that no matter who it is we are gonna [sic] come for you … if you come for what is ours we are gonna [sic] take you out."
An AFT spokeswoman did not return request for comment.