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A General Strike now???!!! First let's see if OWS can achieve and win a much more modest goal.

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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:50 PM
Original message
A General Strike now???!!! First let's see if OWS can achieve and win a much more modest goal.

Like taking back and holding all the park encampments.

If that can't be accomplished soon, that would suggest that it's a bit premature for OWS to call a General Strike, especially without the backing of workers organizations that have millions of workers as members, the labor unions.

Who would call and lead the national General Strike, the local OWS groups? Does anyone seriously believe that at this point in time OSW really has the influence and power within the working class to pull this off? Let's not get carried away with our own rhetoric and lose touch with reality. That's what "super-left" sectarian grouplets do.

When OWS finds a way to involved millions of workers in their actions and have achieved meaningful influence among working people that would be the time for a serious discussion on how such a general strike could be successfully organized.

But, we are not exactly there yet. We don't even have a significant "left-wing" organized within the union movement yet!

Unfortunately it appears that many key OWS organizers have not yet presented a clear plan of action to draw significant numbers of working class people including union members in their action. I haven't seen any. If they exist, that's great. A modest sized demonstration of a few hundred thousand people in a Bay Area march against the Oakland cops would be a step forward toward building a mass movement of the 99% which is the goal of most OWS supporters. I hope OWS activists are working on this with a well thought out plan and organizational structure.

Think big! I don't like small and small protests and small movements usually don't accomplish much. The OWS movement needs to grow a lot and involve more and more layers of the working class population in their actions and deliberations. And as it grows it will become more difficult for the government to repress the movement using their para-military domestic police forces.

I know that it sounds really militant and great calling for a General Strike. However, if you don't have the leadership and numbers to pull of such a strike you'll wind up with egg on your face even if it "feels good" to sound so radical. You'll look like half backed sectarians out of touch with the 99% you claim to speak for!

A General Strike now? Why not prove how militant we really are by calling for a revolution now or maybe next month but before the winter storms!

Wow! Now that really sounds ultra radical! How many will follow us in storming the barracades.... now?

Maybe five.

First things first. Let's see how many will respond to a broad based call to march in Oakland and restore the constitution and free assembly at the park. If you can't turn out at least few hundred thousand from the Bay Area for a march against police repression and in defense of the Bill of Rights, how ya goona turn out a million or more for a General Strike in the Bay Area?



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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
1. Do you oppose the will of the General Assembly of Occupy Oakland,
as expressed through the principle of one man, one vote last night? The Occupy Oakland GA overwhelmingly approved a General Strike to commence Nov. 2.

Vote counts: 1384 For, 77 Abstain, 46 Against.

Or are you saying you disagree with the decision taken by Occupy Oakland last night?

Your post comes off as highly insulting and patronizing. Not sure that's what you intended. But maybe it was.

No call for a national General Strike has been taken at any Occupy encampment, to my knowledge. One has been proposed for May 15, 2012. By the same token, there is a provisional call for a national assembly to convene in Philadelphia on July 4, 2012.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Post the text of the resolution adopted and a copy of the General Strike Call Thanks
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 01:27 PM by Better Believe It
Tell us how we should go about organizing for the November 2nd General Strike in our area .... what's the action plan?

What steps are now being taken to implement the Oakland OWS decision to launch a national General Strike of tens of millions of workers starting on November 2nd?

Your response was confusing. You wrote "The Occupy Oakland GA overwhelmingly approved a General Strike to commence Nov. 2."
and after that commented "No call for a national General Strike has been taken at any Occupy encampment, to my knowledge."

So did the Oakland OWS call for a General Strike or not?

I'm listening.

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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I actually don't think you are listening well. There is no call yet
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 01:31 PM by coalition_unwilling
for a national general strike on Nov 2. There is a proposal for a national general strike for May 15, 2012, but it has yet to be approved by any Occupy General Assembly of which I am aware. (Just like there is a proposal for a national General Assembly for July 4, 2012 that has yet to be approved by anyone, AFAIK.)

For the Oakland Call for a General Strike for Nov 2, see the following DailyKos link:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/10/27/1030480/-Occup...

Don't have more than that right now. But please do let me know (in civil fashion) if you have any further questions or objections.

Please also note that vote counts reported in DKos story do not exactly match my vote counts upthread which came from chat accompanying LiveStream video feed, as votes were being tallied. I exercised due diligence last night in trying to verify my counts, but I will defer to the DKos counts as 'official.'
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. There is actually a call for a General Strike, it's part of the proposal voted on.

"PROPOSAL:
We as fellow occupiers of Oscar Grant Plaza propose that on Wednesday November 2, 2011, we liberate Oakland and shut down the 1%.

We propose a city wide general strike and we propose we invite all students to walk out of school. Instead of workers going to work and students going to school, the people will converge on downtown Oakland to shut down the city.

All banks and corporations should close down for the day or we will march on them.

While we are calling for a general strike, we are also calling for much more. People who organize out of their neighborhoods, schools, community organizations, affinity groups, workplaces and families are encouraged to self organize in a way that allows them to participate in shutting down the city in whatever manner they are comfortable with and capable of.

The whole world is watching Oakland. Lets show them what is possible."

Now we shall find out pretty soon, certainly by Monday, if this call for a General Strike has been adopted by any organizations representing workers.

I've seen lots of calls by groups calling for General Strikes. Unfortunately none of those groups were elected representatives of workers such as labor unions. And that's why the workers failed to heed those calls for a General Strike.

We will know next Wednesday if this General Strike call is really much different and is more than just wishful thinking by well meaning radicals who are out of touch with the working class.

I have always been a firm believer in the idea that one should not propose or call for any action they are not prepared and organized to carry out.

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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Key phrase: "We propose a city wide general strike". IOW, not a
national general strike.

We seem to be talking past one another, rather than talking to one another, and I sure wish I knew how to fix that. I do hope to see the unions in the Bay Area signing on to this shortly. Since Quan and the city government of Oakland have seen their popular legitimacy become contested in the space of 24-48 hours, I agree we will have to see if popular legitimacy now comes to rest, as I think it should, on Occupy Oakland.

As for being organized to carry it out, the comments that follow the DKos story make clear that organizational efforts are beginning today at 5 p.m. (unless I mis-read the gist of the comments from participants up there).

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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. I would love nothing better than seeing the labor movement in Oakland calling a General Strike.

Obviously, the OWS in Oakland is in no position to call and organize a mass political strike by organized labor and non-union workers in Oakland, California.

But, let's see what labor unions call for a General Strike in Oakland for November 2nd.

And if it can be done in Oakland, why not involve all of the Bay Area unions such as the ILWU which tend to be more militant than most?
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Deleted
Edited on Fri Oct-28-11 10:49 PM by Better Believe It

Deleted
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. It s limited to the CITY of Oackland.
And that, given the history of the city...they got a fair chance of pulling off

Plus they retook the park.
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
2. +1. Right. Strike after critical mass is reached
and it will be effective.
:thumbsup:
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white_wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
3. Accidental unrec. So here is a kick.
I think you raise a good point, we aren't quite ready for a general strike yet, but we are getting there. To act too soon could seriously weaken us though. I don't know how things are in Oakland, so they might have the support for a local strike, but a nationwide one will take some work.
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #3
27. I don't know about "seriously weaken". It would just be
a mistake and mistakes happen in these types of free flowing situations.

I look at what's going on this now as a process. We'll be seeing things like Wisconsin and the Occupy movement erupting and then fizzling out, but ALWAYS leaving behind a residue of anger, frustration, resentment, and increasing radicalization. IF the capitalists don't change their ways, these eruptions will become more and more frequent and more and more organized, until it leads to a prerevolutionary then to a revolutionary situation.

Our best strategy at the present time is education and agitation. When the capitalists push a majority of the masses into a "whose side are you on?" moment, THEN the time will be ripe for REAL change. So as always, it up to the capitalists. I personally would BET hard money that they won't change.

What I would like to see out of the Occupy movement is a national assembly in order to debate and find solutions for the list of grievances. The solutions whould, OF NECCESSITY IMO, lead to VERY socialistic solutions. Maybe not communist ones at the present, but socialistic for sure. These solutions would become a rallying point for future actions.
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
6. We need to sustain the momentum though during the winter months when many northern occupy sites shut
I proposed on another thread that we (the royal we, however we could start it here on DU) launch an economic hit plan over the winter, beginning with Christmas. I support and endorse the movement to have people withdraw their funds from big banks and put them in smaller local banks and credit unions but I think we need other steps that also directly hit the corporate and banking elite.

Christmas is one of their biggest economic seasons. Why can't the Occupy movements keep busy trying to encourage people (all people) to stop buying gifts from major corps and focus instead on hand-made items, or buying from small local artisans instead. Launch a drive to only shop at locally owned businesses, or encourage businesses to post signs in their windows that they support the Occupy movement, and we make an effort to encourage people to shop there (similar to the old Buy Blue campaign).

DU has a marketplace where DUers advertise goods and services. The Occupy movements could become hubs for the Christmas season....

I'd also like to see New Year's Eve be a major Occupy movement in most cities. Party in the parks. It would keep the movement alive during the cold winter months and "camping" out in the parks for that night would most likely be very successful.

While a general strike is a magnificent idea, its months away if ever. I'd like the movement to endorse many, many other small economic strikes in the meantime.
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
7. I have a feeling conditions will dictate whether we have enough support for this -
something in the Bay Area right now is not out of the question, particularly with union involvement. National strike would be premature.

Let's see what they decide in Oakland, and support our brothers/sisters there as best we can.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Well let's see what Bay Area unions call out their members to strike this coming Wednesday.

If they are not prepared to act along those lines now the General Strike call should be postponed/withdrawn and a simple resolution in support of the General Strike idea/concept could be proposed at a General Assembly meeting.
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. Honestly, I see the unions as being critical to the way forward for the Occupy movement and a strike
I've been very interested in news stories that report any of their involvement in the Occupy protest sites.
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. The unions are critical to any resistance -
and unfortunately the right wing has decimated their ranks the past 30 years. But the experience and discipline of the old-timers would be very helpful for these young OWS supporters.

I'm following it closely too - solidarity with my brothers and sisters.
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. What you said. Local and regional strikes are possible
National, not so much. And yes, ANY call for a strike MUST, by definition, have union involvement.

Solidarity with Oakland!
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
12. It actually forces LE agencies to change strategies at a crucial moment.
Regardless of the success of the strike in Oakland, that's a good thing.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
18. Like I Was Saying: Unions Say They Won't Strike with Occupy Oakland
You can call for a General Strike until the cows come home but you can't organize a general political strike of workers without the participation of mass working class organizations, the labor unions. BBI



Unions Say They Won't Strike with Occupy Oakland
By Adam Martin
October 28, 2011

On Thursday Occupy Oakland announced a general strike that would "shut the city down," but while the unions have expressed support for the political movement, labor representatives said on Friday they wouldn't be striking. Protest organizers met with labor unions to get the support of labor, which they have, but only to a point. Occupy Oakland organizer Cat Brooks told Reuters on Friday the goal of the Nov. 2 action was a total general strike. "We mean nobody goes to work, nobody goes to school, we shut the city down," she said. But representatives from the Peralta Federation of Teachers and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union both said their organizations wouldn't call a strike for their members.

"Its virtually impossible for any union to endorse a work-stoppage because all contracts have no-strike clauses, which unions are bound to honor. However most of the unions on the west coast, including ILWU, have been involved in supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement in their local communities," ILWU communications director Craig Merrilees said.

Separately, Peralta Fedration of Teachers labor representative Sara Connors said that while that union did have a process by which to call for a strike, it involved a union-wide vote that the organization's leadership had not as yet scheduled. "Were going to do what we can to have members there participating. We didnt call a strike vote, but were participating in the day of action," she said. The plan for Thursday's action includes three separate assemblies -- at 9 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. -- to be held in downtown Oakland. Unions have encouraged their members to attend when they can, but not to skip work.

Read the full article at:

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2011/10/unions-...
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Well here's the thing about this..........
What the ILWU guy said is true. Unions that OFFICIALLY strike while under contract with a "no strike" clause would be subject to fines, leadership being jailed, etc. It's ALL illegal.

That wouldn't stop a wildcat strike though not endorsed by the union leadership. As I've said inumerable times before ANYTHING that messes with the owner's profits by the working class WILL be illegal. And until it gets to the point where the feces is REALLY hitting the air circulation unit, the unions can't or won't get involved because of those legal sanctions.

That wouldn't stop a sick out though. :)
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #19
24. I agree that there are ways to get around those "no strike" clauses if union officials want to.

For example:

The "no strike" clauses generally prohibit strikes against an employer regarding collective bargaining issues. A political strike is not directed against any employers regarding work related issues such as wages, hours, working conditions, benefits, etc.,

I've never read a contract that prohibits political strikes against the employers and their political agents as a class. That doesn't mean they don't exist. I just have never read one.

And of course "sick strikes" and "work to rule" job actions have been used numerous time by many labor unions.

And if and when a true General Strike is called by central labor councils or federations the employers won't fire workers engaged in those actions no matter how much they might "violate" prior understandings with employers.

We are clearly not at that point in time now.

We will be.

And when we are no government injunctions and employer actions will stop mass actions by working people including but hardly limited to a General Strike.

Much more than general strikes will need to be organized as part of a winning strategy. A general strike is not a magic bullet.
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. Agree with you. We're not ready yet, not organized enough
nationally. But that doesn't mean that local and regional actions are impossible.

The first step would be for the union membership forcing their leadership to put together a pan union strike committee. That would be the start. Then local and regional wildcat strikes organized by "unofficial" strike committees.

And no a general strike is not a magic bullet. If it were Greece would have slain the capitalists already. But it is a good tactic. One and two day actions along with demonstrations. THEN an indefinite general strike is what it will take. We ARE a long way from this scenario now, BUT sometimes years go by when nothing much happens and sometimes years go by in months. This is still an escalating situation.
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
20. If they can pull this off they're REAL good
but it does seem a bit premature, they need to make alliances and get the word out
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 03:55 AM
Response to Original message
21. It is premature.
I like the idea, but General Strikes come from union coordination, not citizen resolutions. OWS has my support but it is weak in the area of union outreach and history. Things like this tend to be the result of that. Putting a large scale action like that on the table with a less than week turnaround is rather starry-eyed. The big unions are just finally sending out emails this week to membership telling them to attend OWS events.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 04:09 AM
Response to Original message
22. Don't forget this is a global movement....

100,000s protesting in Madrid and Rome alone, not to mention all the other protests around the globe recently. Today Egyptians march in solidarity with Oakland! If we think globally, then there there are tremendous resources to be tapped into. All we need to do is act as one.
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Yo_Mama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 06:58 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. You don't need global, you need local to make an Oakland strike work
Sorry, but this seems strictly amateur hour stuff.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. Before you can cross the bridge it must be built and you need a vehicle to cross it!
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