Call for Solidarity with the People in South Korea and a call for coordination of the
Global General Strike on May Day 2012
May Day is known the world over as International Workers Day, a day commemorating
a general strike to bring about the 8 hour work day. In the US, it was most memorably
initiated in the Haymarket affair in Chicago in 1886 that ended with police violence
and state conspiracy. This struggle was not the end goal for those who put their lives
on the line in it, but it was part of a broader aim of destroying the very fountainhead
of our oppression — capital and the state. This struggle continues and is expanding
dramatically since December 2010 in Tunisia where Mohamed Bouazizi’s outrage and
self-immolation provided a catalyst, a spark setting fire to movements across the world.
In the United States, the occupy movement is now setting the stage for a general strike
that will not end on that particular day, but will grow as a larger momentum for global
revolution. It is time to multiply – to become a global social force capable of ousting
capitalism and the state.
We are aware of the situation that the people in South Korea went through during the
past century: the long and shameless rule of Japanese imperialism, the severe war that
swept the entire peninsula, the north and south division due to the post-war power
arrangement, and the most oppressive dictatorship backed by the US intervention. The
people in South Korea struggled hard to achieve parliamentary democracy. After it was
achieved, however, the time of neoliberal globalization arrived. Company flights caused
massive lay-offs, thus arrived the renowned militancy of powerful labor movements. But
these movements faced a nasty crackdown which has destroyed the lives of innumerable
labor activists. South Korea has been one of the countries most violently affected by the
globalizing conglomeration of capitalism and the state whose most recent embodiment is
free trade agreements.
Today struggles go on in various forms and dimensions, spreading across more and more
aspects of social life: defending against endless military projects like the expansion of
the naval base on Jeju Island to broadcasters unions striking against the state censorship
of media, to the fighting environmental destruction like the river destructions across the
country to the urban gentrification to the precarization of both workers and students,
and finally to the oppression of the youth within family situation by the ideology of
competition and success. Capitalism has been growing by expropriating resources and
laying waste to the environment and humanity.
Global General Strike in a broad sense means a global resonance of refusal to participate
in capital’s primitive accumulation. We know that when you stand up, your insurrection
affects large part of the population and creates a humongous wave (like in the candle
light movement). Now your own occupation projects are becoming larger and larger,
involving various issues and objectives. We see your struggles as connected to a global
struggle, and as part of the Global General Strike that has been called for May 1.
We recognize that our struggle is global; our immiseration, anger, concerns, challenges,
and conflict are interconnected. We seek to strip the disguise from our shared assailants
and join together in coordinating one response. Through communiques of solidarity we
hope to draw attention to the unique challenges faced by those in other regions, while
also indicating how those challenges are directly connected to our local conflicts. Living
in different regions of the world, we all have different conditions, objectives and tasks,
in terms of action. We do our best, each in our own possible and effective way. But we
hope to encourage coordination and ultimately create a united front through which mutual
support and joint action will enable us all to prevail in the global struggle.
We are New York City Anarchists, Anti-Capitalists and Autonomists; we join the call
for global revolt with an understanding that our struggle is not unique nor just local.
We recognize that this struggle is a shared one and hope that in the coming weeks
local groups and collectives, along with regional and global allies will help develop
and facilitate an open framework to organize, coordinate and propagate our activities.
This will include local and regional organizing bodies, websites and information hubs,
resource and skill sharing, and various actions, events, and outreach efforts in the lead up
to the Global General Strike of May Day 2012.
Our call is for a 5 day weekend beginning Friday April 27th and building up to and
culminating in global general strike on May 1st 2012. We hope that you will join us in
taking this first step together. Let this step become a part of our gait in advancing our