How I Strike

Ideas about what going on general strike might look like in a society where a general strike is supposed to be impossible -- share yours!

Why strike?

Make Every Day a General Strike

The whole idea of a “general strike” is most applicable to wage slaves.   People who must sell their “labor” in order to meet the basic needs for survival - food, shelter, medical care etc.   Another kind of general strike is begining to meet some of your basic survival needs apart from the capitalist wage slavery system.   Of course, few if any can survive without some money but many are already on the path to economic independence, self-rule and community solidarity.    Work on your garden, become a radical homemaker, help a friend or neighbor.   Anything that you can do that does not require money and helps to meet the basic needs of you, your family and community is the most powerful general strike action you can take.   A real general strike is not about one day, but 24/7, 365.

Strike out and take responsibility for your future

Educate yourself in a field that is in demand. Develop a solid business plan. Either save your own money by working job(s) you feel are beneath yourself and/or your amazing abilities, or pursue and convince investors that your have a solid business plan. Open your business and provide a service or product that people want to buy. Execute said business plan and quit whining about the money other people have earned through hard work and diligence.

Czechoslovakia’s two-hour general strike

Via Waging Nonviolence:

On Wednesday, November 22 — Day Six — the Civic Forum formally announced a two-hour general strike for Monday, November 27. The forum and its partner, Public Against Violence, sought an incapacitating general strike with the participation of virtually every citizen to exert sufficient pressure on the government to accelerate a rapid, nonviolent transition of power. A general strike could reduce the threat of reprisals among large numbers of participants, yet many were ambivalent about hurting an already stagnating economy. By limiting the strike to two hours, the effect of a general strike would be wielded while minimizing harm to the economy.

Roughly 6,000 strike committees were at work preparing to bring all economic activity to a halt. As midday approached on Monday, November 27, the population stopped functioning as church bells rang. Minutes before noon, a television broadcaster stated that he was joining the strike and would go off the air. Taxi drivers aligned themselves so as to block Prague’s ring road with a two-mile succession of cabs. This elegantly executed national noncooperation action lasted from noon until two o’clock — during lunchtime, so as not to endanger jobs. The colossal industrial strike reflected no divisions between classes, as laborers, workers of all skills, intellectuals, academicians, students, artist and theatrical personnel together orchestrated the nationwide general strike.

This countrywide, successful act of noncooperation brought the Civic Forum and the government into discussions that would soon lead to a peaceful democratic transition of power. The party-state began to yield. The Civic Forum and the government began discussions. The “leading role” of the communist party, protected in a constitutional clause, was formally rescinded. On December 29, 1989, the Federal Assembly, the communist-dominated national legislature, unanimously elected Havel as president.

“If you want a General Strike organize your co-workers”

An Interview with Joe Burns, author of Reviving the Strike

at Lawrence, Mass. Bread and Roses Centennial April 28th, 2012

by Camilo Viveiros

Introduction: Many in the Occupy movement have called for a general strike on May 1st but most Occupy activists aren’t involved in labor organizations or organized in their workplaces. While General Assemblies may be somewhat effective institutions at reaching the agreement of assorted activists around future direct actions, workplace stoppages require the large scale participation of workers in decision-making structures. The interview below gives some organizing advice for those who have called the general strike. I hope that this interview will inspire Occupy activists to consider the difficult work ahead that is needed to build democracy in the workplace. We are the 99%!

Read the interview here, at From Activism 2 Organizing.

I strike because my class and white privilege allows me to take a day off of work.

I strike because my class and white privilege allows me to take a day off of work.

(Source: whyistrike)

May Day flowchart by Rachel Schragis.

May Day flowchart by Rachel Schragis.

Mutual aid on May Day and beyond by Rachel Leone

At Waging Nonviolence:

Since January, the Mutual Aid Cluster in Occupy Wall Street’s May Day planning committee has been preparing for and coordinating mutual aid for those participating on May 1. Much as in occupied Liberty Square, we will be creating a vibrant space for people to share their knowledge, resources and services. While our comrades are shutting down Midtown and blockading arteries into New York City that day, our direct action will be coordinating mutual aid in Bryant Park and Union Square. In Bryant Park, we’ll be supporting those taking part in the morning and afternoon actions with food and art, along with medical and legal support. We will also be hosting skill shares and workshops. In Union Square, we will be doing all of the above, in addition to a Really, Really Free Market (RRFM), which is a community event where people can bring reusable goods that they no longer need and take what they do need. In this way, clothes, books, toys, skills, tools and small furniture are shared, along with entertainment that is free to anyone who wishes to join in the celebration of a gift economy. Really, Really Free Markets have been organized all across the country and are easy to set up in your neighborhood; just pick a place and time and get the word out.

A major focus of May Day will be the Free University, which has been coordinated by college students throughout the city. They will be standing in solidarity with students from around the country and the world who are struggling for free or lower-cost education. Education is a human right, but more and more colleges and universities are raising tuition, closing off access and slashing workers’ jobs. The students in New York have been organizing for massive student walk-outs on May Day that will converge in Madison Square Park for an afternoon of free classes provided by college professors, which anyone can join.

Read the whole article here.