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Announcement :: Labor
Boston IWW Endorses General Strike
20 Apr 2012
Endorsement of the IWW Boston General Membership Branch for the US Nationwide General Strike May 1st 2012
The Boston General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World wishes to publicly endorse and affirm its support for the US nationwide general strike called on May 1st 2012. Given our union’s century-long history of integral participation in the labor movement, we have annually acknowledged May 1st, or May Day, as the true International Workers’ Day; likewise, given the union’s principles of solidarity and direct action, we find it more than fitting to commemorate this especially promising May Day with a general strike.
The profound purpose of any general strike, in fact, is couched in the IWW’s founding and very existence. It is self-evident that exploited people can only find relief by convincing our oppressors that there is no point in continuing to grind our lives into the dirt. We can convince them two ways. The first way is to place indirect pressure, through the endless process of lobbying, lawmaking, voting, and hoping that bought-out politicians will represent us or that the bosses will ever feel negative pressure from a system designed for their benefit. If this first way worked, by now the United Nations would have mandated universal healthcare, abolished wage slavery, and outlawed capitalism. No laws benefiting workers will ever be sufficiently enforced, because “law enforcement” is always in the pocket of the wealthy. So we have before us the second way, which is direct action— the most powerful example of which is the strike. A successful strike within a workplace, industry, or region tells the resident oppressor, whom in light of Occupy we may frame as the 1%, “You have no control over us.” If the bosses and the bankers have nobody to participate in their criminally abusive enterprises, then they are irrelevant. One or two successful strikes can threaten the 1% more than cops or lawyers ever will. Therefore it is this technique, among others, that the IWW keeps ready to use in defense of our membership and also in solidarity with all workers of the world.
However, as critics and participants of a strike are both quick to note, a strike is nothing without a critical mass of participants and an ever-widening focus. While people may speak of strikes enthusiastically, it isn’t enough to send a one-time message to the 1%. Whatever we workers win by striking, if anything, can be taken away from us in an instant if we lack militant organization. A strike is merely symbolic if too few workers stand together; it is also only a small victory to secure a temporary contract rife with concessions, as many pro-capitalist unions tend to do. The US labor movement has been gutted for decades. We must rise above this. To quote our co-founder Bill Haywood, “That is what I want to urge upon the working class; to become so organized on the economic field that they can take and hold the industries in which they are employed. Can you conceive of such a thing? Is it possible? What are the forces that prevent you from doing so? You have all the industries in your own hands at the present time.”
Today our present membership similarly urges all workers: strike once, and then again, and again, and amidst all of this, ORGANIZE. UNIONIZE. Occupy your workplace. Make it belong to you, not to the bosses, not to the 1%. The rising global resistance to exploitation and injustice, which we have seen in the Arab Spring and Occupy, will be far more than a flash in the pan if we join together the full force of our economic might. We can dismantle this broken system through unwavering organization, and the time to do so is NOW. And so, with that ideal in our hearts, we will see you in the streets of Boston for the general strike of May 1st, 2012, and for many more to come. SOLIDARITY FOREVER!


We will be marching as a contingent for these events, and we hope Occupy Labor people will be there with us:
11:00 am - Anticapitalist rally at Copley Square, march to City Hall 12:00 pm - May Day rally in front of City Hall followed by Blue Line/march to Maverick Square and continuing to LoPresti Park in East Boston
2:00 pm - Rally at LoPresti Park followed by continued march northward to... 4:00 pm - Rally at Glendale Park in Everett
7:00 pm - Funeral march for capitalism beginning at Copley Square
See also:
http://iww.org
http://iwwboston.org

This work is in the public domain.
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