You are here

General Strike

The General Strike

Born in Salt Lake City, Bill Haywood (1869-1928) went to work in the mines at the age of nine. He joined the Western Federation of Miners in 1896 and was active as an executive board member and as secretary-treasurer of that organization until 1907. One of the founders and the best known of the I.W.W. leaders, he became its secretary-treasurer for 1916-18. In September 1917 he was arrested and convicted under the Federal Espionage Act.

The Global Climate Strike: Why We Can't Wait

By Ben Manski and Jill Stein - Popular Resistance, September 24, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

The world’s capitals will not end the old economy or deliver the new one.  We can’t wait any longer because every day of waiting reduces our window for action. We need not wait because we already hold the knowledge needed for creating the new economy. And because a global climate strike can stop the machine responsible for creating the climate crisis, the most powerful person may be you.

You may think that Wall Street will change course and lead our economy in a new, climate-neutral direction. Or you may expect Washington D.C. — or Beijing, New Delhi, Brussels or Moscow — to decisively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect people and the planet.

If so, read no further.

But if you are unwilling to entrust your future to the money men and the political class, then consider this: Regardless of who you are, the person who holds the most power in the world to end the climate crisis may be you.

One way to guarantee an end to the climate crisis is to stop doing the things that are heating the planet. Stop  fossil fuel production and use. Stop greenhouse gas emissions. Stop rainforest devastation. And since the corporate and political capitals of the world are unwilling to stop themselves, we must stop them ourselves.

We can stop them by refusing our participation and cooperation. We can stop them by withholding our labor. By folding our arms we can halt the machine responsible for the climate crisis and create the space for the new, green economy to take root. We should go on strike.

Event: Towards an Ecological General Strike: A Film Screening and Discussion about Revolutionary Ecology, Labor, and Anarchism.

By x363464 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, September 20, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Join us Saturday Night for a Movie, Presentation, and Discussion about Revolutionary Ecology, Green Anarchism, and Eco-Syndicalism! - 8:00 PM Saturday, September 20th @ The Base! 1302 Myrtle Ave.

The IWW Environmental Unionist Caucus will be presenting the film "Rocking The Foundations" which is about the Green Bans movement from 1971-1974 where Building Trades Workers halted $18 Billion in development projects to fight Gentrification, the destruction of the Earth, and displacement of Indigenous communities.

After, there will be a presentation about the historical and recent direct actions to unite the Labor movement and Radical Environmentalists towards revolutionary /insurrectionary ends.

Following that will be a discussion about our visions and strategies for Eco-revolution.

There will be relevant literature for free or donation.

May Day 2014: Reviving The General Strike

By Staughton Lynd
This article originally appeared in the May 2014 Industrial Worker

On May 1, 1886, the first general strike in U.S. history brought workers into the streets on behalf of one simple demand: an eight-hour working day. Their anthem was:
“We want to feel the sunshine;
We want to smell the flowers;
We’re sure (that) God has willed it
And we mean to have eight hours.

We’re summoning our forces from
Shipyard, shop and mill;
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest,
Eight hours for what we will.”

As is the case in the movement of low-wage workers today, the movement for eight hours was characterized by skilled and less-skilled workers, and workers in different trades, making common cause.

On May 3, 1886, union members at the McCormick Reaper Works in Chicago, who had been locked out, confronted strikebreakers as they left the plant. A firefight broke out involving the police, and strikers were killed. In response a protest rally was called at a downtown open area called The Haymarket. The rally was peaceful, but as the meeting was coming to an end someone threw a bomb and seven policemen died. After a dramatic trial and unsuccessful appeals, four so-called “anarchists” were hanged.

This story became familiar to working-class movements all over the world. May 1 became international May Day. In Mexico City, it has been a tradition that every May Day translated excerpts from the last words of two of the executed men, Albert Parsons and August Spies, are read aloud to huge crowds in the central public square, or zocalo.

Pages