Tuesday, April 17, 2012

general strike creatively

The Occupy movement is calling for a General Strike: “no work no school no housework no shopping” on May 1, 2012. Natasha Lennard suggests that there are many ways to participate, even if you must work or go to school, etc., that day. Beyond the usual recommendations (MayDayNYC‘s “If you can’t strike call in sick. If you can’t call in sick hold a slow down.”), Lennard offers two basic goals: do not support the oligarchy, and express solidarity.

For example, not using Facebook or Twitter all day is a mild form of striking; tweeting/posting “gone for 24 hours for #Occupy #GeneralStrike” before, and “back from #OWS #GeneralStrike” after, sharpens the message of solidarity with the movement.

Lennard points out that one of the messages of Occupy is that “there is no homogenous way to strike.” Because we no longer “live in an industrial society where work means the same thing” to everyone, we are each free–and required–to contemplate what striking means to us. There are ways to “express solidarity without having to withdraw from labor.” We can find creative ways to challenge the status quo, and to show the strikers–and the 1% they are striking!–we are with them. It is important to be visible, so the media and the public realize how many of the 99% really are participating. Lennard says that ideally, there will be many people “out in the streets, connecting and enjoying the day together.”

If you have to work/go to school, join the strike during your lunch hour (and take your lunch, so you minimize your participation in the economy). Call in to radio programs and mention how you are on strike as part of your comments. At a stoplight, get out of your car, hold up a “99% General Strike” sign, then get back in and drive away. Have a picnic in the park with your family or friends, and post a sign next to your gathering. Go sit in a bank lobby with your sign (then go quietly when they kick you out). No work No school No houswork No shopping No compliance *and* Yes creativity Yes connection Yes solidarity Yes fun.

Bonus material: Here is the statement supporting the General Strike from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two-Spirit, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming contingent (LGBTSTGNC).

Extra Bonus material: Juan Conatz’ blog post about the origins of the term “general strike”

(original post, with links, at So May We Be)


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