The Latest From The “Occupy May 1st” Website- March Separately, Strike Together –International General Strike- Down Tools! Down Work Computers! Down Books!- All Out On May Day 2012- Why You, Your Union, Or Your Community Organization Needs To Join The May Day 2012 General Strike In Boston (And Everywhere)-Stand Up!-Fight Back!
Click on the headline to link to updates from the Occupy May 1st website. Occupy May Day which has called for an international General Strike on May Day 2012. I will post important updates as they appear on that site.
An Injury To One Is An Injury To All!-Defend The Occupation Movement And All The Occupiers! Drop All Charges Against All Occupy Protesters Everywhere!
Fight-Don’t Starve-We Created The Wealth, Let's Take It, It’s Ours! Labor And The Oppressed Must Rule!
OB Endorses Call for General Strike
January 8th, 2012 • mhacker •
The following proposal was passed by the General Assembly on Jan 7, 2012:
Occupy Boston supports the call for an international General Strike on May 1, 2012, for immigrant rights, environmental sustainability, a moratorium on foreclosures, an end to the wars, and jobs for all. We recognize housing, education, health care, LGBT rights and racial equality as human rights; and thus call for the building of a broad coalition that will ensure and promote a democratic standard of living for all peoples.
Why You, Your Union, Or Your Community Organization Needs To Join The May Day 2012 General Strike In Boston-Stand Up!-Fight Back!
Last fall there were waves of politically-motivated repressive police attacks on, and evictions of, various Occupy camp sites throughout the country including where the movement started in Zucotti (Liberty) Park. But even before the evictions and repression escalated, questions were being asked: what is the way forward for the movement? And, from friend and foe alike, the ubiquitous what do we want. We have seen since then glimpses of organizing and action that are leading the way for the rest of us to follow: the Oakland General Strike on November 2nd, the West Coast Port Shutdown actions of December 12th, Occupy Foreclosures, including, most recently, renewed support for the struggles of the hard-pressed longshoremen in Longview, Washington. These actions show that, fundamentally, all of the strategic questions revolve around the question of power. The power, put simply, of the 99% vs. the power of the 1%.
Although the 99% holds enormous power -all wealth is generated, and the
current society is built and maintained through, the collective labor
(paid and unpaid) of the 99%- we seldom exercise this vast collective power in our own interests. Too often, abetted and egged on by the 1%, we fruitlessly fight among ourselves driven by racism, patriarchy, xenophobia, occupational elitism, geographical prejudice, heterosexism, and other forms of division, oppression and prejudice.
This consciously debilitating strategy on its part is necessary, along with its control of politics, the courts, the prisons, the cops, and the military in order for the 1% to maintain control over us in order not to have to worry about their power and wealth. Their ill-gotten power is only assured by us, actively or passively, working against ours our best interests. Moreover many of us are not today fully aware of, nor organized to utilize, the vast collective power we have. The result is that many of us - people of color, women, GLBTQ, immigrants, those with less formal educational credentials, those in less socially respected occupations or unemployed, the homeless, and the just plain desperate- deal with double and triple forms of oppression and societal prejudice.
Currently the state of the economy has hit all of us hard, although as usual the less able to face the effects are hit the hardest like racial minorities, the elderly, the homeless and those down on their luck due to prolonged un and under- employment. In short, there are too many people out of work; wage rates have has barely kept up with rising costs or gone backwards to near historic post-World War II lows in real time terms; social services like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security have continued to be cut; our influence on their broken, broken for us, government has eroded; and our civil liberties have been seemingly daily attacked en masse. These trends have has been going on while the elites of this country, and of the world, have captured an increasing share of wealth; have had in essence a tax holiday for the past few decades; have viciously attacked our organizations of popular defense such as our public and private unions and community organizations; and have increase their power over us through manipulating their political system even more in their favor than previously.
The way forward, as we can demonstrate by building for the May Day actions, must involve showing our popular power against that of the entrenched elite. But the form of our power, reflecting our different concepts of governing, must be different from the elite’s. Where they have created powerful capitalist profit-driven top down organizations in order to dominate, control, exploit and oppress we must build and exercise bottom-up power in order to cooperate, liberate and collectively empower each other. We need to organize ourselves collectively and apart from these top down power relationships in our communities, schools and workplaces in order to fight for our real interests. This must include a forthright rejection of the 1%’s attempts, honed after long use, to divide and conquer in order to rule us. A rejection of racism, patriarchy, xenophobia, elitism and other forms of oppression, and, importantly, a rejection of attempts by their electoral parties, mainly the Democrats and Republicans but others as well, powerful special interest groups, and others to co-opt and control our movement.
The Occupy freedom of assembly-driven encampments initially built the mass movement and brought a global spotlight to the bedrock economic and social concerns of the 99%. They inspired many of us, including those most oppressed, provided a sense of hope and solidarity with our fellow citizens and the international 99%, and brought the question of economic justice and the problems of inequality and political voiceless-ness grudgingly back into mainstream political conversation. Moreover this highlighted the need for the creation of cultures, societies, and institutions of direct democracy based on "power with"- not "power over"- each other; served as convivial spaces for sharing ideas and planning action; and in some camps, they even provided a temporary space for those who needed a home. Last fall the camp occupations served a fundamental role in the movement, but it is now time to move beyond the camp mentality and use our energies to struggle to start an offensive against the power of the 1%. On our terms.
*Hands Off Our Public Worker Unions! Hands Off All Our Unions!
* Put the unemployed to work! Billions for public works projects to fix America’s broken infrastructure (bridges, roads, sewer and water systems, etc.)!
*End the endless wars! Immediate Unconditional Withdrawal of all U.S. /Allied Troops and Mercenaries from Afghanistan (and the residue from Iraq)! Hands Off Iran! Hands Off The World!
* Full citizenship rights for all those who made it here no matter how they got here!
* A drastic increase in the minimum wage and big wage increases for all workers!
* A moratorium on home foreclosures! No evictions!
* A moratorium on student loan debt! Free, quality higher education for all! Create 100, 200, many publicly-supported Harvards!
*No increases in public transportation fares! No transportation worker lay-offs! Free public transportation!
To order to flex our collective bottom up power on May 1, 2012 we will be organizing a wide-ranging series of mass collective participatory actions:
*We will be organizing within our unions- or informal workplace organizations where there is no union - a one-day general strike.
*We will be organizing where a strike is not possible to call in sick, or take a personal day, as part of a coordinated “sick-out.”
*We will be organizing students to walk-out of their schools (or not show up in the first place), set up campus picket lines, or to rally at a central location, probably Boston Common.
*We will be calling in our communities for a mass consumer boycott, and with local business support where possible, refuse to make purchases on that day.
These actions, given the ravages of the capitalist economic system on individual lives, the continuing feelings of hopelessness felt by many, the newness of many of us to collective action, and the slender ties to past class and social struggles will, in many places, necessarily be a symbolic show of power. But let us take and use the day as a wake-up call by a risen people.
And perhaps just as important as this year’s May Day itself , the massive organizing and outreach efforts in the months leading up to May 1st will allow us the opportunity to talk to our co-workers, families, neighbors, communities, and friends about the issues confronting us, the source of our power, the need for us to stand up to the attacks we are facing, the need to confront the various oppressions that keep most of us down in one way or another and keep all of us divided, and the need for us to stand in solidarity with each other in order to fight for our collective interests. In short, as one of the street slogans of movement says –“they say cut back, we say fight back.” We can build our collective consciousness, capacity, and confidence through this process; and come out stronger because of it.
Watch this website and other social media sites for further specific details of events and actions.
All out in Boston on May Day 2012.