What is a "general strike," and is it time to have one?

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/25/what-is-a-general-strike.html


Are you going to shut down Boing Boing when it’s time to strike?


They’ve blacked out the site before. Solidarity!


There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that inspires more loathing and dread in a nation-state’s capitalist establishment than a general strike. The moment it goes from talk to reality their servants in the government crack down hard.

I can see management here doing that. They’ve participated in general Internet “blackout” protests in the past. I wouldn’t be “disappointed” in them if they made that choice, but rather would be with them in solidarity.


Lets do it on Super Bowl weekend.


There’s always the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919.

I was reading that an organizing spot was a public market, on land that the cousins had sold to Winnipeg at a low price, so long as It was used for the public good. So ends the market. I think it’s a park now, where the Winnipeg Fringe Festival has its beer tent. I’ve yet to find any account that family members were involved in the strike.

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Is that a Wobbly reference?


Roger That! We are a union household, always have been, and always will be.


Good man!
I’ve never been a member of one due to the nature of my work but I wholeheartedly approve of them.


Fuck yeah it is.

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Great article! There’s really nothing more to say, but this part deserves emphasis:

“If you are asking someone to strike, you have to be able to help them answer the question of how will you help them survive if they do. It’s a question that has been asked and answered before, but it is a serious thing,”

It’s actually pretty easy to not show up for work, but the reason people keep showing up is because they don’t believe that society will take care of them otherwise. Helping to build toward a general strike doesn’t just mean encouraging people to walk off the job, it means building the capacity to take care of each other’s needs when the paychecks stop rolling in.

Imagine a strike center in every neighborhood which functions as a place to distribute clothes and other goods. It has a free clinic, a meeting hall, and a cafeteria run by volunteers on strike. Big meetings happen every week to find out how the people are struggling, and what services and resources the strike needs to organize to provide. Resources are scraped together from personal surplus, and from commercial reserves which can’t be sold because of the strike. Farmers send food at no cost, and in turn the community protects their land from foreclosure when they can’t pay the bills. People are worried about what will happen if the strike has to go on for too long. They contemplate breaking the strike and returning to work. But they also know that many others are in the same boat, and that no matter what, solidarity from other strikers will keep them from going hungry or homeless if they hold the line. They hold the line.

It’s actually really very possible.


I bought this children’s’ book at my local library https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15818081-brave-girl .

It’s about the New York shirtwaist strike of 1909

It was fun to read to my young daughters. Nice artwork and a good story about a strong woman who kicks off the strike.


As will likely make the top timeline soon, Trump has caved completely, agreed to reopen the government without his wall or a down payment, and agreed to a three-week stopgap to keep everything open while “wall negotiations” continue.


I wonder which young person will emerge out of this to become the next Frances Perkins:


Would, but I can’t. There’s a game on.

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We’re way over due to have one. Also, long, long, long overdue for a Saturnalia. Let’s mix 'em together for added fun.


Thank you for sharing that! You’re the first person I heard it from.


Yeah, like his suckers are ever gonna see that “big beautiful wall”.