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.
Friday April 27th 2012 is Critical Mass! Since 2004 the police have cracked down on bicycling in the city with tickets and arrests in an attempt to crush the bike movement. Lets take this opportunity to revive Critical Mass and show everyone that the Bike community is alive and growing. Invite your friends! Lets bring back the huge and fun critical mass rides NYC used to have and help kick off the 5 day weekend building toward the General Strike and bike month!
On May 1st 2012 come out for the General Strike and bring your bike! Join the Bike Bloc.
Bike Bloc is a large group of individuals and cycling affinity groups similar to a Critical Mass ride. Bike Blocs at street protests have the advantage of being able to break up and reform. The spontaneity of a Bike Bloc means that participants are able to easily move through the streets without the needing leaders or a decided route. Another advantage of a Bike Bloc is that arrests are rare and a generally festive atmosphere. In the past, Bike Blocs have provided a tremendous amount of solidarity and logistical support to demonstrators who are on foot.
We are encouraging anyone who wants to make their voice heard during the May 1st General Strike to come to New York and to bring a bike.
Help get the word out about Critical Mass and Bike Bloc: Print and distribute the flyer!
Tabling at Union Square has officially kicked off. Please come join us, bring flyers, posters, pins, and other General Strike materials to help agitate for the General Strike on May 1st 2012! Subscribe to our mailing list and find out how you can plug in and participate.
(email any content to firstname.lastname@example.org and help us expand this list)
In the months since the Occupy movement began we have seen GENERAL STRIKES called in Belgium, Egypt, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa, Syria, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom.
Today, our comrades in Spain began their general strike, one week after their neighbors directly to the south, Portugal, had a 24-hour GENERAL STRIKE.
Since 2008 we have seen the popularization of the unfortunate acronym PIGS, used to refer to Portugal, Italy (and/or Ireland), Greece, and Spain. These countries in southern Europe were the hardest hit by the financial crisis, their growing debts threatening the stability of the entire Eurozone economy. As a result Europe has had its own North-South divide, wherein the south becomes Europe’s peripheral, poor, underdeveloped, unsteady, etc. What our comrades in Spain know, as in Portugal, Greece, Italy, and elsewhere, is that the real PIGS are the bankers who caused this crisis, the bureaucrats who administrate it, and the bourgeoisie who profit off of it. The PIGS are those who initiate austerity, not those who suffer from it. The PIGS are those who enforce this apocalypse. So today Spain has their GENERAL STRIKE. AS WE WILL HAVE ON MAY 1st.
Why are we striking? Why should you strike? And, what do we mean by General Strike?
We are striking to halt the flow of capital, reclaim a tool of resistance, and unify movements against exploitation, repression, and corruption.
You should join the movement and strike because: everyone else will be doing it and it’ll be fun and empowering. But more importantly, join because you’ve experienced exploitation, repression, and corruption, and you are aware of their impact around you. Join if you are forced to work and consume; if you want to have a choice for an alternative.
By general strike, we mean everyone from all walks of life halting their role in producing, consuming, and participating within the current system. We hope to reclaim the term General Strike from just being a tool of organized labor and invite the precarious workers, unemployed, illegal, students, and everyone to join.
Curious about the General Strike on May 1 2012 but unsure what you can do?
Here are some easy, minimally involved, and low risk things you can do: