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Monday, March 26, 2012

The May Day General Strike

Posted by on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 3:35 PM

  • OWS

A few months ago, Occupy Seattle voted to join Occupy Wall Street in endorsing a general strike. Point of interest: During the Seattle General Strike of 1919, around 60,000 workers, 19% of the city's total population, walked off the job and effectively paralyzed the city. The vote to strike happened, incidentally, while many of the city's prominent (and more moderate) union leaders were at a meeting in Chicago. You can read more about that at

What will you do on May 1? Will any Sloggers stay away from work and school, either quietly (by calling in sick, for example) or loudly (by announcing your intentions)?


Comments (32) RSS

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Another option: no, because my job is too important.
I work for Access, and we take a lot of people to dialysis and other crucial appointments every day, so while I sympathize, I don't think it's right for me to strike.
There are other jobs like this, 911 operators, EMTs, etc. If you had to go to work during the blizzard, you probably can't take the day off.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on March 26, 2012 at 3:43 PM · Report this
coolio 2
In 1919 people were supporting the loggers & ship builders that put this city on the map but who were working for next to nothing in unsafe and dismal conditions. And the unions that tried to organize on their behalf were generally meet with violence by hired thugs (pinkertons)

So what is the point of this strike? Id be inclined to support a strike or protest that has significant meaning. But I see nothing to this.

Posted by coolio on March 26, 2012 at 3:52 PM · Report this
Cool poster
Posted by Westside forever on March 26, 2012 at 3:59 PM · Report this
coolio 4
You're right, the poster is cool. I'll give them that.
Posted by coolio on March 26, 2012 at 4:04 PM · Report this
internet_jen 5
No, my jay-oh-be is has to do with the continuity of patient care + I have Tuesdays off.
Posted by internet_jen on March 26, 2012 at 4:12 PM · Report this
I imagine most Sloggers would want to sit inside and think of clever insults for the people actually taking part.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on March 26, 2012 at 4:22 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 7
The only person I really hurt by not working is me. Seems kind of pointless.

Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on March 26, 2012 at 4:23 PM · Report this
CC-Rob 8
#7 - As pointless as libertarianism?
Posted by CC-Rob on March 26, 2012 at 4:28 PM · Report this

But that sounds a lot like striking, no?
Posted by robotslave on March 26, 2012 at 4:28 PM · Report this
Honestly, part of me would like to join Occupy on this, just to solve the problem of not feeling a part of a group people of my ilk mostly support. But I'm just not into what they do, running around teasing cops while claiming the mantle of other hardworking social justice movements. Seems like Occupy's a thing for believers, not doubters.
Posted by gloomy gus on March 26, 2012 at 4:29 PM · Report this
depends on the weather.
Posted by six shooter on March 26, 2012 at 4:39 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 12
@8--you know, I take responsibility for picking my own name, but I'm no doctrinaire libertarian. If you want to pick that fight, look elsewhere.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on March 26, 2012 at 4:43 PM · Report this
Red Fox 13
Absolutely. I think this is going to be a really important May Day to join. I take May Day off every year, it's not just a protest, it's a celebration, and it's a lot of fun. No Work, No School, No Chores, No Shopping, No Banking... just a show of our power as workers.
Posted by Red Fox on March 26, 2012 at 5:01 PM · Report this
I'm joining because for the first time in my generation we are looking to each other for our power and legitimacy instead of a bunch of parasites in the banks and in congress. Join May Day. We can be free together.
Posted by classl3ss on March 26, 2012 at 5:06 PM · Report this
I'm joining because for the first time in my generation we are looking to each other for our power and legitimacy instead of a bunch of parasites in the banks and in congress. Join May Day. We can be free together.
Posted by classl3ss on March 26, 2012 at 5:08 PM · Report this
Let's review a bit of history, shall we??? (I know, WTF is history, what channel is it on, can I get it on my iPhone or what????)

Item: In 1910, the McNamara brothers set off a bomb at the LA Times, whose publisher was as anti-worker and anti-union as it gets!

Item: In 1912, two monumental events occurred, most probably as an outcome of that focused violence. First, women and children no longer had to legally work 60 plus hours per week (only men still had to), they could now be forced to work only 52 hours or less.

Second, the Walsh Commission began forming, which would put forth a number of items, somehow becoming lost thanks to the rush into World War I by the bankster gangsta class --- but, at least the would subpoena John D. Rockefeller to testify in front of them where they excoriated him for three days for his actions taken at the Ludlow Massacre.

(Historical note: The Ludlow Massacre was the first recorded drive-by shooting, actually, drive-by mass murder, and was created, or invented, by the Rockefellers.)

End of History...WTF????? lesson for the day!…
Posted by sgt_doom on March 26, 2012 at 5:11 PM · Report this
No, because I think it'd be kind of silly. I work at a homeless shelter. Me not working would probably just hurt some of the people that SHOULD benefit the most from Occupy's efforts.
Posted by KayElle on March 26, 2012 at 5:28 PM · Report this
Another option: Yes, because I'll probably be on strike anyway. Up here in BC the government's negotiating with a whole passel of unions (I think that's the right word for a group of unions) and mine has been teetering on the edge of a strike for far too long. We should hear this week.
Posted by sahara29 on March 26, 2012 at 6:19 PM · Report this
Since Occupy Seattle will no doubt turn it into another chance to go into their "Fuck The Police" song and dance I'll pass.
Posted by artful_bodger on March 26, 2012 at 7:45 PM · Report this
How about "No, because I don't realize that every single increase in my standard of living I owe to workers' movements."
Posted by bobjohnston40 on March 26, 2012 at 7:45 PM · Report this
How about "No, because I am so privileged I don't realize that almost every single advance in our standard of living we owe to direct action and mass movements."
Posted by bobjohnston40 on March 26, 2012 at 7:49 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 23
Occupy Seattle is still around?
Posted by Reverse Polarity on March 26, 2012 at 9:04 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 25
..the poster is so so much better than a'll that damn graffitti i've been seeing all over town.. on the bathroom walls of cafe presse ? dickheads
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on March 26, 2012 at 9:58 PM · Report this
@10 @20 Yes, everybody cry for the poor lil hearts of those "teased" cops while they're entitled to curb stop people of color, queers, and the working class. Thanks for affirming what our priorities should be.
Posted by ocelot on March 26, 2012 at 10:15 PM · Report this
@17: if your homeless shelter is anything like most homelessness direct service non-profits in seattle, its board is probably loaded with representatives of microsoft, adobe, the spd -- in other words, the very organizations that perpetuate conditions that lead to and exacerbate homelessness. what's needed isn't service provision so much as liberatory collaboration and mutual aid between people across levels of housing privilege. that's not to say that shelters shouldn't exist, by any means -- but where there is the potential for clients and staff to strike *together* for better conditions and most of all for liberation, then that's what's optimal.

also: unemployed folks can *totally* be a part of a strike and series of direct actions. in fact, they're central to any action that challenges the system that leaves them destitute.
Posted by ocelot on March 26, 2012 at 10:20 PM · Report this
Here's some more stuff about WHY one might want to participate (even we who have no jobs!)... from the website:

Don’t Go to Work
Ditch School

The same processes are at work everywhere. In our homes, at school, and at work, our lives are taken from us. The banks and landlords profit from our homes while bosses and owners profit from our work and schools control the youth.

Today capitalism is on the offensive. For workers, it’s the attack on workplace organizing and the scarcity of even the lowest paid jobs. For students, it’s rising tuition and loss of ethnic studies and arts programs. For immigrants, it’s the militarization of the borders, the harassment and racism on the job, and raids by ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement).

But we are not just against the current excesses of capitalism, we are against the system itself. Because:

Capitalists exploit us at work – We don’t work because we want to. We work because we have no other way to make money. We sell our time and energy to a boss in order to buy the things we need to survive. During our time at work we make things or provide services that our bosses sell. Our everyday working lives are sold hour after hour, week after week, generation after generation.

Capitalists profit from and control what we need to survive – Banks and landlords profit from our need for housing. Actually, all the things we need to survive—the water we drink, the food we eat, even the roofs over our heads—are turned into commodities that someone makes a profit from. This excludes many of us from the necessities of life.

Capitalists terrorize immigrants – Hundreds of immigrants and refugees are forcibly deported every day for doing what humans have done for thousands of years—moving in search of a better life, escaping poverty, abuse, discrimination, disasters, persecution, or war. Those on the wrong side of borders, whose homelands are often torn apart by the same economic practices that define the so-called First World, are illegalized and criminalized and are forced to work for less than those with papers.

Capitalists create schools that produce obedient workers and unquestioning citizens – The primary task of education in a capitalistic society is to teach students to ‘respect authority.’ Authority is imposed through a system that punishes those who do not do what they are told and rewards conformity. Strict adherence to trivial rules teaches us to obey no matter how stupid the order is. This prepares us for the world of bosses, cops, politicians, and military officers ordering us around and treating us as inferior.

Capitalism affects everyone differently, but regardless of who we are, as working class people we are exploited by the system in one way or another. That pervasiveness can be threatening, but it is also a common link that we can use to struggle against it together. Simply standing up for our own interests in this struggle is the starting point for undermining capitalism. – For a pdf of a double sided flyer with the above text go to…
Posted by bdurruti on March 26, 2012 at 11:55 PM · Report this
I'm with #7, I'm the boss and the yeast need to be fed.
Posted by CbytheSea on March 27, 2012 at 1:00 AM · Report this
No shopping? Those things are usually pretty stupid, because people just shop more the other days. And what's the point of service personnel being on strike if the potential customers are not showing up? I mean, if anyone actually took this thing seriously. Which they don't.

But what I really never understood was the no school part, at least, when the issue at hand is not academically related. Oh, you mean you're not going to partake of the free (for you) primary education that might help you get a job worth striking over when you're an adult? Or if you're in college, you're going to stick it to the man by skipping classes you are paying for? Sounds brilliant, Einsteins.
Posted by madcap on March 27, 2012 at 7:32 AM · Report this
Oh, and however much you try to spin geometry and earth science as being about teaching obedience, it just makes you sound like a washed-up hippy. If you want to reform pedagogy, getting teens to skip school sounds like about the dumbest way of doing it. Haven't you ever read/watched Pinnochio?
Posted by madcap on March 27, 2012 at 7:37 AM · Report this
@ 31... I suggest you look up John Taylor Gatto. He's an award-winning teacher who has written a lot about how harmful public school education is to children and what it actually teaches: obedience, NOT thinking critically, etc.

There's also this:
Posted by bdurruti on March 27, 2012 at 3:39 PM · Report this
What if those of us who are paying attention and truly care for justice, truth, cooperation, collaboration, and peace, could all communicate and reshape the future away from the one we are looking at now? Corporations, along with those individuals who have been fooled by money into thinking it's presence is necessary for human productivity and prosperity, have bogarted our country and our world for long enough. We gave them the reins during the industrial revolution and they're steering our species straight into oblivion. While many generations have felt they lived at the crux of civilization, and that certain doom might be looming if things didn't change, the cliff is on the horizon. It may be hard, and painful to accept, but we have to slap ourselves out of this coma we have been in for a century or so, because the alternative is a sharp, sudden freefall until there is little left to show of all of our learning and progress since the Renessaince.

For a short while, we have the tools to communicate on a massive scale. Look at how quickly the Kony or Trayvon Martin stories caught fire and all of a sudden they are topics of dinner table conversations everywhere. Why don't we wake up, talk to one another, and take back the reins?
Posted by rob.tallon on March 27, 2012 at 10:59 PM · Report this
madcap you are a moron. No need to cite it. It is as backed up as your argument. Also artful blodger happy to hear you side with the cops. You are an idiot. I hope the fascist cops ( who you love so much) smash your skull in first.
Posted by schmech! on March 28, 2012 at 1:13 AM · Report this

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