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Redefining The National Strike
by Steve Pleich (spleich [at]
Monday Jan 16th, 2017 11:24 AM
Opening Up A Community Dialogue
Our entire country approaches the coming Inauguration Day with much uncertainty, concern and not insubstantial trepidation. A multitude of events and actions have spun up around this day, the most notable of which is the call for General Strike of Sick Out on January 20 to signal a national renunciation of the polices our next President has promised to pursue. Here in Santa Cruz, the organized Resistance (and I do not use this term lightly) is already taking shape led by a coalition of university students, disaffected Berniecrats, civil libertarians and social, racial and economic activists. However, widespread and successful mobilization of our community faces some hurdles.

For many in our community, the term "general strike" or "sick out" often has a negative connotation. Some recall the strikes associated with the Occupy Movement that erupted in violence and did little to further the agenda of social change. But strikes are not always about simply shutting things down to signal an unwillingness to consent. A strike can also be creating an opportunity to open up a dialogue which, in these perilous times for the republic, needs to take place on a national scale. And the talking points for this national discussion have been clearly defined by the progenitor of this current climate of disaffection and dissent.

In his Contract with the American Voter released in October, Donald Trump effectively promised that by the end of April he would (1) cancel many of President Obama’s executive orders that protect workers, immigrants and the environment and begin barring millions of Muslims from entry to the U.S.; (2) imprison or deport millions of undocumented workers; (3) cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities and climate change programs; (4) lift restrictions on shale, oil, gas and coal extraction and fast-track pipeline projects and (5) kick millions of people off their health insurance. Of equal or greater concern is the fact that many of these promises are executive actions that Trump will be able to enact without the cooperation of Congress.

Donald Trump was victorious at the polls despite the undemocratic nature of the electoral college and he is entitled to assume the presidency. About that, as a practical matter, we can do little. However, individually and collectively we can have a profound and, perhaps, lasting impact of the future of our community and country. As individuals, we have three primary sources of power: as voters, as workers and as consumers. The exercise of these powers can do and say much about how we are governed as a people. Collectively, critical mass actions such as a general strike or sick out can, in a very real sense, influence the way America does business, an issue at the very heart of the Trump faux philosophy.

Can we stop him from initiating racist, xenophobic or misogynistic policies through using our power as workers and consumers? I believe we can but we must first put aside the stereotype of a strike that shuts everything down and embrace a strike action that opens up the national and community dialogue we so urgently need. At this crossroads in our country, we need our community voice and our community conscience and must be as compelled to raise the former as we are committed to listen to the later.

Join us on Anti-Inauguration Day January 20. Show up, stand up and speak up for social, racial and economic justice. Let your voice be heard!
Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
Re: Interesting videoRazer RayTuesday Jan 17th, 2017 6:57 PM
Interesting videoSylviaTuesday Jan 17th, 2017 4:18 PM
No... A strike means SHUT IT DOWNRazer RayMonday Jan 16th, 2017 8:44 PM

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