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OB Endorses Call for General Strike
January 8th, 2012 • mhacker • Passed Resolutions No comments
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.
Wage cuts, long hours, steep price rises, unemployment, no pensions, no vacations, cold-water flats, homelessness, and wide-spread sicknesses as a result of a poor medical system. Sound familiar? Words, perhaps, taken from today’s global headlines. Well, yes. But these were also the conditions that faced our forebears in America back in the 1880s when the “one percent” were called, and rightly so, “the robber barons,” and threatened, as one of their kind stated in a fit of candor, to hire one half of the working class to kill the other half, so they could maintain their luxury in peace. That too has not changed. What did change then is that our forebears fought back, fought back long and hard, starting with the fight for the eight-hour day symbolized each year by a May Day celebration of working class power. We need to reassert that claim. This May Day let us revive, revive big time, that tradition as we individually act around our separate grievances and strike, strike like the furies, collectively against the one percent.
No question over the past several years (really decades but it is just more public and in our face now) American working people, the so-called middle class for those who frown upon that previous more truthful designation, has taken it on the chin, taken it on the chin big time. What with job losses, heavy job losses in the service and manufacturing sectors (and jobs not coming back), paying for the seemingly never-ending bank bail-outs, home foreclosures, effective tax increases (since the rich refuse to pay, we pay), mountains of consumer debt for everything from modern necessities to just daily get-bys, and college student loan debt as a lifetime deadweight around the neck of the kids there is little to glow about in harsh light of the American Dream. Add to that the double (and triple) troubles facing immigrants, racial and ethnic minorities and women and the grievances voiced in the Declaration of Independence seem like just so much whining. In short, it is not secret that the working class and its allies have faced, are facing and, apparently, will continue to face an erosion of their material well-being for the foreseeable future something not seen by most people since the 1930s Great Depression, the time of our grandparents (or, ouch, great-grandparents).
That is this condition will continue unless we take some lessons from those same 1930s and struggle, struggle like demons against the imperial capitalist monster that seems to have all the card decks stacked against us. Struggle like they did in places like Minneapolis San Francisco, Toledo, Flint, and Detroit. Those labor-centered struggles demonstrated the social power of working people to hit the “economic royalists” (the name coined for the one- per centers of that day) to shut the capitalist down where it hurts- in their pocketbooks and property. The bosses will let us rant all day, will gladly take (and throw away) all our petitions, will let us use their “free-speech” parks (up to a point as we have found out), and curse them to eternity as long as we don’t touch the two “p’s.” Moreover a new inspired fight like the action proposed for this May Day 2012 can help inspire new generations of working people, organized, unorganized, unemployed, homeless, houseless, and just plain desperate, to get out from under. Specific conditions may be different just now from what they were in the 1930s but there is something very, very current about what our forebears faced down there and then.
We ask working people to join us this day in solidarity by stopping work for the day, and if you cannot do that reasonably for the day then for some period. Students-Out of the class rooms and into the streets! The unemployed, homeless and others who have been chewed up by this system come join us on the Boston Common. Look for further details on the Occupy Boston website. All out on May Day 2012.