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So What is a General Strike and Why is it so Hard to Pull Off?

by Austin Dell

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With #GeneralStrike trending on twitter this week, it’s time to start paying attention and start working.

It’s August 15th 2020. In the US, Congress has taken the rest of the month off, Trump’s 4 executive orders are filled with loopholes to avoid helping citizens financially, at least 30% of Americans haven’t been able to pay rent and there are 5.3 million US citizens with Covid-19. Oh and also apparently we might not have the United States Postal Service by November? A national service demanded in the original constitution and a key tool for every American who needs it for medication delivery or voting or communication. A totally normal and not at all weird thing to have to worry about.

So, chances are you are pretty stressed out, maybe a little angry. Your friends might be too. Civil Unrest is already at a historic high within the US and we are all seeing how effective it is, so maybe it’s time to get out on the street for a General Strike. But what does that entail exactly? And why don’t they happen very often? Continue reading “So What is a General Strike and Why is it so Hard to Pull Off?”

Call to Action: How to Participate in our growing Workers’ Movement!

Prepare for Action on the 1st of every month!!

On May Day 2020, strike actions were launched simulatenously across the country and around the world. Workers at warehouses, grocery stores, and other types of workplacess stood together to show their strength.

But this was just the beginning!

Activists and workers all over the world are preparing to keep fighting until our demands are met and workers are given proper protection and respect in the face of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

At GenStrike.org, we are dedicated to supporting, protecting, and strengthening the working class, and so we are pledging our support for workers engaging in demonstrations, strikes, and protests starting on May 1st.

One of the best ways to support striking workers is to join the strike. Solidarity and sympathy strikes have long been well-established as an effective measure for effecting radical change in the workplace, and we believe that by uniting workers across industries and in every type of workplace we can build towards a coordinated general strike that will force our leaders to provide the relief which so many of us desperately need right now. Continue reading “Call to Action: How to Participate in our growing Workers’ Movement!”

Colorado Rent Strike and Eviction Defense

„Colorado Rent Strike and Eviction Defense“ is a grassroots movement that was created spontaneously on the 17th of March by Desiree Kane and 6 other workers, concerned about their financial stability during the coronavirus crisis. Now it has united tenant unions all across Colorado and gained more than 4,000 supporters.

The form of organization is decentralized. There is no permanent leadership or relation to a political party. Autonomous tenant unions, people with the same landlord or in the same building are connecting locally, taking direct action and lending a hand to those who need help.

Their petition includes: rent and mortgage freeze; closing evictions; affordable healthcare; free housing; releasing nonviolent offenders from jail; expanding paid sick days, unemployment and disability income; providing protective equipment for essential workers.

No matter what their social status is, what industry they work for, whether they’re an employee or a freelancer, everyone is entitled to adequate support by the state.

The organization also stresses on the oppression of minority groups, which creates inequality among the working class. The history of the USA was built on genocide and discrimination against black, latino, indigenous and LGBT people. As Desiree Kane states, this started since when Christopher Columbus first came to America – and the basis of the system is still racist and colonialist.

The primary obstacles in the movement’s way are the banks who practically own the government, which in its turn enforces its will on the people through the police. “Colorado Rent Strike” demands from governor Polis and other local state representatives to act for the citizens, not the banks and corporations.

By far, 1/3 of the people of the USA have participated in the general strike on April the 1st. For “Colorado Rent Strike”, as well as many other organizations, this is a considerable victory.

On a local scale, 450 000 people are fighting for their rights and standing up for each other under the risk of forced eviction. Fortunately, the movement hasn’t met any state or corporate repression up to now.

The organization isn’t centered on any ideology. They are willing to work with anyone who fights for justice against capitalism and oppression, regardless of their political affiliation.

When it comes to goals for the future, they are planning a general rent strike on May 1st in order to pass their reforms during the period of the quarantine.

However, the movement will continue after the pandemic, as the country already was in a crisis before Covid-19. Their end goal is to secure free housing for everyone and (hopefully) help dismantle capitalism.

Solidarity! Navajo Peoples and Mutual Aid – “Keep Walking In Beauty”

Navajo Nation Volunteers provide mutual aid and community supported pandemic response

“Access to water is a human right that has been denied our people for far too long,” said Janene Yazzie, New Mexico Lead. “Now we are dealing with the repercussions of that and it’s costing the lives of our precious loved ones. As we grapple with this epidemic we will not lose sight of the need to have this basic human right fulfilled and our responsibility to protect our sacred waters for food sovereignty and water security for future generations.”

With an average of 30 percent of residents of the Navajo-Hopi territory having limited to no access to running water, and many without access to electricity, the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified a decades-long infrastructure crisis. One-third of Navajo and Hopi families in the territory must travel miles to haul water, while only 16 grocery stores and small food markets serve the entire area. Yet as COVID-19 cases on the Navajo Nation continue to increase, the Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund is building momentum to address a food and water crisis in the area.

Continue reading “Solidarity! Navajo Peoples and Mutual Aid – “Keep Walking In Beauty””

Solidarity! Amazon Workers – Virtual Strike, April 24. 2020

An organization of workers at Amazon known as “Amazon Employees for Climate Justice” is calling for action against the retail behemoth to be held on Friday, April 24th. We urge people to respect these efforts, and not do any business with the retailer during this event.

“We’re asking tech workers to virtually walk out on Friday (April 24)” said Maren Costa, an organizer for the group who was recently fired from Amazon after voicing concerns about the companies treatment of workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.*

Previous demonstration held by “Amazon Employees For Climate Justice”

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice announced the “Virtual Walkout” during a virtual panel on Thursday. The panel, attended by over 400 employee representatives from numerous Amazon departments, was intended to foster solidarity between Amazon warehouse employees, and the companies tech sector. This sort of company-wide unity represents a major victory for labor activists within the organization… and it showed.

Continue reading “Solidarity! Amazon Workers – Virtual Strike, April 24. 2020”

Call to Action: How to Participate in the May 1st Workers’ Movement!

May 1st calendar page with hammer instead of the 1Prepare for Action on May 1st!

May Day (May 1st) is an important day in working class history dating all the way back to the 19th century, when several workers were murdered for protesting against harsh work conditions during the Haymarket Affair in Chicago.

This year, May Day has the potential to go down in history once again as workers across the United States and around the world prepare to launch strikes and other actions in response to severe mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic by wealthy elites who are giving their profits priority over preserving human life.

At GenStrike.org, we are dedicated to supporting, protecting, and strengthening the working class, and so we are pledging our support for workers engaging in demonstrations, strikes, and protests starting on May 1st.

One of the best ways to support striking workers is to join the strike. Solidarity and sympathy strikes have long been well-established as an effective measure for effecting radical change in the workplace, and we believe that by uniting workers across industries and in every type of workplace we can build towards a coordinated general strike that will force our leaders to provide the relief which so many of us desperately need right now. Continue reading “Call to Action: How to Participate in the May 1st Workers’ Movement!”

The Systemic Crises of 2020

“In the week ending March 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 6,648,000, an increase of 3,341,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series.”
-United States Department of Labor

Continue reading “The Systemic Crises of 2020”

Dear Fellow Bernie Supporters — It’s Time to Strike!

Dear Fellow Bernie Supporter,

In this moment, we feel the same as you do. It doesn’t feel good.

We live in a nation that has completely abandoned the working class. The Bernie Sanders campaign gave many of us hope in these frightening times. His announcement that he has dropped out of the primary comes as a shock for all of us when we are all already reeling.

More than ever, the United States needs universal healthcare.

Our homeless need to be sheltered.

Our starving need food.

Our essential workers need Personal Protective Equipment, hazard pay and sick leave.

Immigration detention centers need to shut down.

With Bernie out of the race, it’s easy to feel hopeless and lost. But we are not lost — because of Bernie, we have found each other.

Bernie Sanders brought the working class together in ways we haven’t seen for decades. We’ve worked, campaigned and fought for radical change together.

Bernie’s presidential bid might be finished, but we are not.

This is the beginning.

It is now up to us.

Across the United States, workers are striking: McDonald’s, GE, Publix, Amazon, Domino’s Pizza, Whole Foods. Sanitation workers in Pittsburgh. Meat Packing Plant workers and auto factories. Chicken farms. They strike for better work conditions, healthcare and higher wages.

Tenants across the nation are organizing. Rent strikes are happening across the nation.

Mutual Aid Networks have popped up everywhere, with ordinary citizens pitching in to share food, masks and other desperately needed supplies with healthcare workers, essential workers and each other.

We believe that these kinds of DIRECT ACTIONS are the fastest, most efficient methods for accomplishing our goals. We believe it’s still possible to make Bernie’s platform become a reality… but we need your help!

Won’t you stand up now and support your fellow workers?

Won’t you keep fighting?

GenStrike.org is a movement dedicated to helping workers everywhere get organized. We’re connecting organizations together and coordinating our efforts across the country and around the world to rapidly build the movement that Bernie has inspired so many of us to join.

Help your fellow workers. Help yourself. Join us and together we can force the wealthy and the powerful to deliver the healthcare and relief we so desperately need!

Now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to strike!

We look forward to working with you!

-The GenStrike.org Team

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