A General Strike has Been Called in NYC, May 1st – Facebook Event
For those of you who get your News from TV, you will not hear about this until, maybe, the day of the event. Tuesday, May 1st, a massive mobilization of Unions, Activist Groups, Social Media Activists and Everyday People will converge on NYC and set in motion a series of actions to withdraw from participation in the normal workings of the economic system — by not working if that is an option, but also by not shopping, not banking, and not engaging in other “normal” everyday activities, and by joining demonstrations, marches, disruptions, occupations, and other mass actions.
This series of motions is being called a General Strike but its much more than that. It is the general population waking up, stretching its muscles and showing the system who is in charge. By not participating in the system, the system will start to fracture and, hopefully, evolve for the better.
Such periods of mass strike have occurred repeatedly in US labor history. For example:
- In 1877, in the midst of deep depression and a near-obliteration of trade unions, workers shut down the country’s dominant industry, the railroads, shut down most factories in dozens of cities, battled police and state militias, and only were suppressed when the US Army and other armed forces killed more than a hundred participants and onlookers.
- In the two years from 1884 to 1886, workers swelled the Knights of Labor ten-fold from 70,000 members to 700,000 members. In 1886, more than half-a-million workers in scores of cities joined a May 1st strike for the eight-hour day. The movement was broken by a reign of terror that followed a police attack that is usually but perversely referred to as the “Haymarket Riot.” May Day became a global labor holiday in honor of the “Haymarket Martyrs” who were tried by a judge so prejudiced against them that their execution has often been referred to as “judicial murder.”
- In 1937, hundreds of thousands of workers occupied their factories and other workplaces in “sitdown strikes” and housewives, students, and many other people applied the same tactic to address their own grievances.
- In 1970, in the midst of national upheavals around the Vietnam war, the civil rights movement, and a widespread youth revolt, postal workers, teamsters, and others took part in an unprecedented wave of wildcat strikes, while miners held a month-long political strike in West Virginia to successfully demand justice for victims of black lung disease.
So far there are over 21,000 coordinators who have pledged to attend via a Facebook event. Another 175,000 have been alerted via an invite. This is a mass mobilization for something bigger and Social Media is fueling it.
Twitter will Play an Important Part
Twitter is still the only true mobile Social Media platform so it plays a big part in coordinating these events, especially when it comes to making last-minute changes. Twitter savvy users usually know what #Hashtags are being used for certain events and are very important in coordinating activities on the ground. If you know your way around twitter you may be able to keep up but remember, twitter organizers are also trying to stay one step ahead of law enforcement so you really have to be twitter savvy to keep up.
As a heavy social media user, I use many tools to follow twitter trends. It can sometimes be very hard to identify trends on the ground using mobile tools. Most activities organized through twitter come from a few twitter accounts. Those accounts will tell you what #hashtags to follow or, there may even be a new account that is set up for one particular event and only used for one day.
Best Advice: If you plan on joining in the General Strike on May 1st, bring someone who is twitter savvy or just follow the crowd. Chances are a twitter savvy user is leading the way. By the way, I’ll be monitoring twitter for General Strike info that day. You can follow me at @DVDaniels. My plan is to pump out as much relevant General Strike info as I can.
Do You Know About the General Strike? Have You Heard About It Via the Corporate Owned Media?