“Badass Teachers” Facebook group administrators uphold ban on WSWS writer Evan Blake

Administrators for the national Facebook group “Badass Teachers Association” (BATs) have voted in secret to uphold their ban on World Socialist Web Site writer and Socialist Equality Party (SEP) member Evan Blake. This decision was made without any personal communication with Blake himself and was only made public in a comment by BATs administrator Michael Flanagan on a post in the Facebook group “Teachers Against Dying.”

Responding to the post, which encouraged members to express their views on the banning, Flanagan commented: “I appreciate the enthusiasm in BATs and the publicity of a second article in WSWS. I did advocate for Evan’s reinstatement but it was a vote and the vote was no, not at this time. We are not here to be demanded of. You got the wrong people for that. But best of luck. Peace.”

Flanagan is the same administrator who wrote an article that falsified what led to the banning and sought to smear Blake using language associated with sexual predators. He also allowed a slanderous post to be made in BATs, which smeared the WSWS and Teachers Against Dying as racist and sexist, which he then “liked” and defended. It was a transparent lie to say that he advocated for Blake’s reinstatement.

The ban on Blake was clearly a politically motivated act of censorship. It took place within days of him posting an article he wrote that was deeply critical of American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten, which provoked a flood of opposition and calls for her immediate resignation as the national union president. Weingarten herself remains a member of BATs and faces no criticism from the group’s leadership, who are themselves tied to the union bureaucracies and support the Democratic Party.

Evan Blake

The WSWS Educators Newsletter continues to demand the readmission of Blake into the national BATs Facebook group and for the ability of socialists to voice their opinions in the group, which claims to be left-wing. We received the following statements from educators and other workers in the US opposing the banning of Blake.

Kathy a school bus driver from the Philadelphia region and member of the Pennsylvania Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, connected the banning of Blake to the broader growth of opposition within the working class, which the unions and their pseudo-left backers seek to contain, including through threats of violence by leaders of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), who are themselves deeply connected to the Democratic Party. She commented:

This is not right; Evan Blake should not be sanctioned. Evan and the rank-and-file committees are defending teachers and students against the pandemic. By trying to silence them you might as well be with the administration supporting the murder of teachers and students.

What the rank-and-file committees are doing is good, it is for the working class, it is making significant gains. I think the capitalists are getting scared, they are starting to realize the impact that the committees are having upon the workers. The workers are starting to realize that they have an alternative source than the unions. They see what the unions have done and that they don’t stand for workers. And they see that the SEP is standing for them.

BATs see what is happening. They realize the momentum and they see the impact that we are having and are afraid of it. The same is the case with the DSA twitter supporting Stalin’s murder of Trotsky. Showing ice picks, they are threatening those who are seeking to build an opposition.

A teacher from Maryland’s Eastern Shore stated, “It’s clear that the main goal of our unions is to actually keep us from uniting in solidarity to demand better treatment. Now the corporate leadership is even infiltrating our social media spaces and trying to censor and squash any criticism of how they have failed to represent our best interests for years now and especially during this pandemic.”

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