May 1st General Strike?

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...or maybe a human strike? Perhaps maybe just a coordinated series of actions?

A lot of my friends have been passing around info trying to build for a general strike this May 1st - something coordinated between Occupy sites, across a range of groups, and already given the thumbs down by at least one Trotskyist in advance (if you guessed something like "We need to wait to build mass movements," then you're getting pretty close). Here's a listing one of them put together for folks who might want more information on what's being planned, the why's, how's, who's, and such.

Who knows? We might even surprise ourselves?

 

https://www.facebook.com/notes/occupy-may-first/10-ways-to-buildpower-for-m1gs/164740520313106

 

With the American Spring just starting, us folks at #BuildPowerShowPower thought it would be good to wrap up some of the ideas going around on how to help #BuildPower for #M1GS!

 

[1] Work Within Occupy: There are hundreds of Occupy groups still holding regular meetings and events. Chances are, there's one nearby. (And if there isn't yet - it's easy to start one!) General Assemblies are open to everyone, and everyone has a voice in the consensus planning process. So find your nearest Occupation and go to a GA! If they haven't already endorsed the General Strike, propose it to the group and start planning marches, distributing fliers, and forming direct action groups. If you have any networks in other cities, try to talk to them about doing the same and getting them involved!

 

[2] Spread On Social Media: Follow #M1GS, @OWSMayDay, @OccupyM1, and @OccupyGenStrike on Twitter. Also be sure to RSVP on Facebook and follow facebook.com/OccupyGeneralStrike & facebook.com/OccupyMayFirst. You can also look for city-specific events! Try to get these pages posted on as many online sites and locations as possible, whether it is your organization, occupy groups, sympathetic blogs. Make sure to invite all your friends, retweet and share announcements coming from #M1GS

 

[3] Start Affinity Groups: You can take action on your own. All you need are a few friends. Affinity groups are groups of people who know each other and come together autonomously for a particular action. Find a few people who are interested in helping you out on a project you have in mind - whether it's making fliers and literature to distribute, or shutting down a Wall Street bank in your hometown. You could start a boycott, or occupy a bank, school, or a public space. Get creative!

 

[4] Start Strike Committees: The bulk of organizing for #M1GS needs to happen in local communities.  Some cities have built May 1st general strike commitees outside their occupy movements; some cities are working through exisiting May Day coalitions and groups; some cities established/ or are working through an existing commitee of their local Occupy movement.  But a local, public group not limited to any one political group or tendency is a general concept that has taken on different forms in different cities. Start your neighborhood strike committee today!

 

[5] Talk to Labor: Due to federal laws, most unions are forbidden from organizing strikes for political reasons. However, unions and labor groups are still some of our strongest allies. During last year's General Strike in Oakland, many unions encouraged their workers to take the day off or attend demonstrations after work. Not long after Occupy Oakland shut down ports in solidarity with striking Longshoreman, their employers caved to the union's demands in a new contract. Get in touch with local unions and labor organizations, let them know about the plans for a General Strike, find out what they're working on and how you can help, and encourage them to let their members know about May 1st and get involved in organizing directly.

 

[6] Outreach to Community Organizations:  The more folks that we can work together with the better.  It's likely to take on different forms in different cities.  Where unions don't endorse reach out to sympathetic community organizations and other neighborhood instutions like small businesses who might close shop to let their employees off for the day. This way we don't lose momentum if some organizations don't want to get on board. This way we can #BuildPower!

 

[7] Organize Your Workplace, Campus, or Community: If you're a unionized worker, encourage your union to support the General Strike. Whether your workplace is union or not, you can encourage co-workers to take a sick day on May 1st. If you can't afford to lose out on pay, that's okay - there will be plenty of celebrations, marches, and direct actions throughout all hours of the day. Invite your community to attend. If you're a student at a high school or college, spread the word to walk-out of class on May 1st. If you're not a worker or student, organize your friends! Organize strike councils in your workplace! Organize strike councils in your schools! Organize strike councils in your community!

 

[8] Mass Canvassing:  Depending on your Occupy or Strike Committee's capacity compared to population size, you might want to divide up the city by neighborhood and go door to door.  Folks with smaller Occupies and Strike Commitees compared to popuplation size might want to find locations with heavy foot traffic of a broad-swath of the 99%.  For anyone who hasn't done mass canvassing before, it's good to develop a standard, short "pitch" to get a conversation started, even if you don't use it/ or don't use the exact phrasing every time.  The pitch shouldn't be too long but should provide the basic information of what your trying to talk about and draw someone into conversation so that you can dialogue.  It's also good to have literature for people to have, but it's generally more effective to hand out literature after you've had a conversation than just to randomly hand out literature if possible.  

 

[9] Creation of Agitational Literature & Propaganda: Each Occupy has made it's own call. #BuildPowerShowPower and #StrikeEverywhere have made calls for the General Strike! Get your group to endorse or make a call for the General Strike. We need a lot of people to write agitational pieces on #M1GS to distribute locally and share with others to distribute in other cities. We need graphic artists to work on stickers, posters, videos, graphics for online distribution that can agitate around #M1GS. OccuPrint collects, prints, and distributes posters from the worldwide Occupy movement, and they have a ton of amazing General Strike posters! Call2Create has also headed this call! The more the merrier and the more we can try share each others stuff and create a variety of stuff the better.  

 

[10] Join the General Strike Movement: InterOccupy hosts regular calls to organize May 1st activities. Check out their schedule and join in the conversation. Below are links to cities and others that has endorsed the General Strike, if there are any missing please help us by commenting so we can all link up and get involved! 

 

Occupy May 1st Links:

 

Occupy Los Angeles 19 December, 2011, http://www.occupymay1st.org/2012/01/04/occupy-los-angeles-general-strike-meeting-2/

 

Occupy Boston, 7 January 2012, http://www.occupyboston.org/2012/01/08/ob-endorses-call-general-strike/ 

 

Occupy Tampa, 7 January 2012, http://www.occupytampa.org/general-assembly/ga-minutes-1072012/ 

 

Occupy Pasadena, 8 January 2012, http://www.occupypasadena.org/2012/01/ 

 

Occupy Phoenix, 8 January 2012, http://occupyphx.org/assemblies/ga/proposals-for-ga-11012/ 

 

Occupy Williamsburg, 17 January 2012, http://magicmuscle.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/occupy-williamsburg-banner-drop-quotes-drake-calls-for-general-strike/ 

 

Occupy Long Beach, 17 January 2012, http://occupylb.org/2012/01/17/ga-notes-january-17th-2012/ 

 

Occupy Oakland, 29 January 2012, http://occupyoakland.org/2012/01/occupy-oakland-decides-to-participate-in-the-global-general-strike-on-may-day/ 

 

Occupy Ventura, 7 February 2012, http://occupyventura805.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/minutes-from-occupy-805-ga-february-7-2012/ 

 

Occupy Portland, OR, 10 February 2012, http://www.portlandgeneralassembly.org/2012/02/a-day-without-the-99-on-may-day/

 

Occupy Wall Street, 14 February 2012, http://www.nycga.net/2012/02/13/proposal-in-support-of-may-day-2012/ 

 

Occupy Sydney, 18 February 2012, http://www.occupysydney.org.au/2012/03/05/occupy_sydney_general_strike_may_1st/ 

 

Occupy Detroit, 21 February 2012, http://www.occupy-detroit.us/2012/02/24/minutes-of-the-41st-occupy-detroit-general-assembly-february-21-2012/ 

 

Other May 1st 2012 Related Links:

 

Strike Everywhere Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/events/307864259256522/

 

Phoenix May Day Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/phoenixmayday

 

Detroit General Strike: http://www.generalstrikedetroit.info/

http://generalstrikedetroit.tumblr.com/

http://www.facebook.com/events/133920430061332/

 

Canada: http://www.facebook.com/events/388009564557975/

 

Occupation Coordination http://www.occupymay1st.org/groups/occupation-coordination/

 

Occupy Los Angeles General Strike Committee General, Occupy May 1st: http://www.occupymay1st.org/groups/occupy-los-angeles-general-strike-committee-general/

 

Occupy May Day – General Strike Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/events/337068492974144/

 

Occupy Call 2 Create: http://www.call2create.org/

 

May Day 2012 Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/events/327486667289414/

 

May Day, General Strike 2012 Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MayDay.GeneralStrike.2012

 

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