Forbes: Police Violence Forces "Occupy Wall Street" to Launch First Nationwide Strike Since 1946 (videos)October 28, 2011 0 Comments
The Occupy Wall Street movement is going for broke following a rash of police violence reports, especially one in Oakland, Calif this week.
The movement’s adhoc headquarters at Adbusters magazine in Vancouver are testing the waters with its roughly 93,000 list serve members to gauge interest in calling for a general strike on Nov. 2. The idea came from Occupy Oakland.
The magazine posted the note on its blogpage Thursday evening, saying the movement entered an “ominous phase” following Tuesday’s police attack that injured a protester in Oakland. Unfortunately for the police, the protester happened to be an Iraq war veteran named Scott Olson, critically injured by Oakland law enforcement with pictures of his bloody head making the rounds on line.
The news about Oakland traveled around the world early this week, and now some within the movement think it provides them with a reason to escalate the protest into attempting a general strike next week, something that has not been tried in the U.S. since pre-World War II.
On Wednesday, three thousand protestors reclaimed the square at Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland, reestablishing their encampment and held a meeting that called for a General Strike, Adbusters said. The decision was not made by any one within the magazine.
From Adbusters: “There are signs of occupations in other cities taking up Oakland’s call. A tantalizing possibility hangs in the air: Could a wildcat general strike spread across the nation? Are we witnessing the first clues of how a soft regime change might begin in America?”
One of the last general strikes in U.S. history occurred in 1946 in Oakland, when 100,000 workers from 142 unions including workers from factories, industries, services, retail stores, transportation systems and more declared a “work holiday” and walked off their jobs. The general strike lasted until city and labor leaders settled on a compromise agreement, returning workers to their jobs on December 5.
General strikes are usually for political goals or economic goals and tends to gain momentum from the ideological sympathies of the movement’s participants. It is also characterized by participation of workers in a multitude of workplaces, and tends to involve entire communities.
See: Iraq Veteran Scott Olson Now In Fair Condition–The Washington Post