Election Day Work Strike — 2008?
If there is ever time for a highly organized national general work strike in the US, it’s on Election Day — a one or two day strike to raise awareness and participation. It seems to me that progressive organizations across the country would do well to get together to encourage a strike — one that would help drive voter turnout, create educational opportunities, and also highlight the need to have Election Day be a general holiday.
A strike on Election Day could help highlight the ever increasing threat and reality of vote theft, vote suppression, and vote “stuffing” by way of electronic ballot machines, by way of under-resourced polling places, and by the many other means currently employed for eliminating votes and discouraging voters.
A successful progressive-led strike on and before election day could show badly needed progressive national leadership and action, unity and power — the value of grassroots democracy asserting itself.
The fact is that both the Democrat and Republican parties are deeply unpopular — as the polls and the voting rate make clear. Is it inconceivable that in the near future both parties may partially collapse and be forced to merge into one Owners Party that may then be fully challenged for power, and hopefully overwhelmed, by truly popular democracy parties? The polls show that on the vast majority of issues, a clear majority of Americans favor a far more progressive social democracy than today’s corporate rule.
Eliminate corporate money and corporate media and corporate culture — and it seems likely that the two dominant political parties of the owners would all but evaporate instantly. Easier said than done, of course. Corporatism is big power. But so was feudalism, and the serfs emancipated themselves from that — less than 150 and 100 years ago in places — and wrote off some of their monetary debt, so-called, in some cases all of it. Is it debt if individuals are forced to pay, and pay in the extreme, for the public goods and human rights that are health care and education and housing — in addition to many other cases where illegitimate and exorbitant charges are forcibly imposed, money which should not have to be forked over in the first place?
Every two, four, and six years it seems we have the opportunity to vote away our power to make decisions for ourselves. Every couple years we vote to let the two parties of the Owners wreak their will on the vast majority, while actual democracy parties are snuffed out by sheer financial force.
A progressive led general work strike on Election Day may be a good way to show the ability of people to act together as people of a democracy rather than as people who are owned.
“How They Stole the Mid-Term Election” by Greg Palast
“Election Night Guide” by Michael Schwartz
Youth Walk Out to Get Out of Iraq
With options so limited—the only choice for young people has been to educate, organize, and mobilize. The National Youth and Student Peace Coalition (NYSPC), the largest youth/student anti-war coalition in the country, is helping to organize what will be a powerful display of the youth and student movement for peace and justice. On November 7th, the day of the mid-term elections, young people across this country will “Walk Out to Get Out” of Iraq. NYSPC is calling for young people to walk out of their schools, their campuses, and their jobs, not only to go out and vote and to help others vote, but also to show the people in power that the youth and students of this country will not stand aside while they prioritize war and profit over our needs.
In the lead up to November 7th, students across this country organized educational events to highlight how this war is affecting young people. Through a variety of creative means, young people are spreading dissent from the northeast to the south. In New York City, a group called, Uptown Youth for Peace and Justice organized an open—microphone night, entitled “Politics, Poetry, and Peace” that focused on the poverty draft and military recruiters in our school through poetry and spoken word. In Fayetteville, Arkansas, a coalition of youth groups organized a march and rally to protest the war. And throughout the Midwest, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War told the truth about the war through their own personal experiences.