By Zach Oaster
There is a General Strike called for on February 17th, 2017. It is time for universal solidarity and resistance to tangible and blatant injustices that are mounting every day during this worsening political and social climate in the United States. Bigotry is being codified by politicians and economic warfare is being waged by the wealthy with the conservative government’s full backing.
All one needs to do is go search Twitter for #GeneralStrike to see the inequality workers suffer in this country. Business owners are all over twitter openly threatening to fire employees for striking even one day. Often these tweets are filled with vitriol and disgust for their own employees. These tweets show a clear power differential -- marking how most people work under hostile conditions every day, not because they are happy or have choice, but because they are coerced through economic and social inequalities.
Pay attention, and consider how you can be in solidarity with poor and working class people. They may need financial help, or job-searching help, or other physical needs in order to resist. Union organizers, figure out how you can deploy strike funds to offset your workers’ losses. Some of us who are reading this likely stand no repercussion from striking. Others fear for their family, home, and ability to put food on the table. Consider how you can work with others to form systems of solidarity between now and Feb. 17th.
It is not enough to call for a general strike, we must *organize* for a general strike.
This means doing the hard work of solidarity: mutual support, sharing risk, and holding each other’s hand firmly while we commit consequential acts toward justice and liberation. When we lack solidarity, our acts of protest mount disproportionate injustice and harm on the heads of those most vulnerable.
When we have solidarity, we share those consequences. We have less than two weeks to make sure we do it right.
Zach Oaster is a public sociologist, shepherd, and artisan. He is a full-time graduate student of sociology at Western Michigan University as well as a longtime performer of music and organizer around social justice issues. Zach identifies as a radical queer godless apostate and heretical disaffiliated United Methodist. He prefers masculine pronouns, and has a fabulous talent for writing third person bios. Zach describes his academic research as, “exploring the conflicts within conservative political and social discourse, revealed at the intersection of neoconservative and neoliberal ideologies – especially as those discourses converge on issues important to the LGBTQIA communities.” Find out more about Zach at www.FatToaster.com, or on Facebook.com/ZachOaster