Poster and Text by others….
What is #M1GS?
Worldwide, May 1st is traditionally a ‘Workers’ day – a day of Labor Solidarity, and a public holiday. It’s a day to celebrate and march in support of im/migrant rights. In protest against the corruption of the worldwide marketplace, which has led to illegal foreclosures, mass unemployment, low wages, high taxes and a penalization of all those who do not own the ‘99%’ of the world’s resources, and in solidarity with the immigrant movements of May 1st, we decided to declare May 1st, 2012 a People’s General Strike. Instead of calling upon unionized Labor to make a specific demand (illegal under Taft-Hartley), we are calling upon the people of the world to take this day away from school and the workplace, so that their absence makes their displeasure with this corrupt system be known.
We can tell you that May 1st is International Workers Day. We can tell you that in some countries it’s a public holiday to commemorate the historic gains made by the Labor movement. We can tell you that in Los Angeles, May 1st is traditionally a day to celebrate and make a stand for immigrant rights.
But only you can tell us what you’re striking for on May 1st, 2012.
Because the May 1st General Strike is about you. It’s about the debt imposed on you for daring to dream about a college education. It’s about the healthcare you can’t afford, the family member with a disease which goes untreated because they lack insurance. It’s about your car that got repo-ed after you lost your job. It’s about your home that got foreclosed on when the bank went bust. It’s about your family, who came here for a better future, and got lost in the broken immigration system, and found that they’re denied access to legal work, education and security because they’re undocumented. It’s about you, the gay kid who gets bullied at school, and will grow up in a country which denies you equality and humanity, simply because you love someone of the same gender. It’s about the fact there’s no jobs, even if you got that college education and those grades. It’s about the single mother who struggles to support her kids on minimum wage - which is not a living wage. It’s about the woman who makes it through Harvard, works her ass off in one of the best law firms in the country, and constantly loses out on that promotion because she’s not a man. It’s about the homeless African-American guy who lives on Skid Row and gets thrown in jail for peeing in a park, because there are no toilet facilities on the street for those like him. It’s about the protestor who gets beaten and thrown in jail for holding a sign in a public space which says he’s had enough. It’s about the farmer who’s had to leave his home and work, because the state raised his land tax. It’s about the father who loses a son to a pointless war over oil in a foreign land.
It’s about the fact this is not the America we were brought up to believe in.
The call for a general strike on May 1 should not be solely about work, argues Marina Sitrin, a postdoctoral fellow at CUNY specializing in global mass movements. Instead, it should reshape our ideas about how society is built, as Sitrin explains in this video, by asking hard questions about class, consumption, work and society.
Guess what’s just a week away? May Day! Join an unprecedented coalition of workers, immigrants, and occupiers of all kinds to step, for one day, out of work, school, stores and homes and into the struggle against an inhuman system. See you in the streets!
Ready to help now? Occupy Wall Street’s Direct Action working groups could use materials and funds to help make May Day 2012 a historic day of protest and celebration.
An action meeting will also take place Thursday April 26 at 6pm to discuss the week of action Beyond May 1st, and stay tuned for special edition May Day messages from us in the days ahead!
Occupy these Upcoming Events
Wednesday, April 25, 11am
ACT UP and OCCUPY! 25th Anniversary Action
City Hall (Broadway and Murray St)
ACT UP is calling for a small tax (0.05%) on Wall Street transactions and speculative trades in order to raise the money needed to end the global AIDS epidemic and provide universal healthcare in the US.
Wednesday, April 25, 12pm
The Exorcism of Student Loan Debt
Brooklyn College Quad, 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn
Reverend Billy Talen, Rebel Diaz, and Occupy Wall Street’s own Capoiera troupe will be performing while an ‘exorcism’ on student loan debt takes place on the steps of Boylan Hall.
Wednesday, April 25th, 4pm
1T Day National Day of Action Against Student Debt
On April 25th the total amount of student loan debt in the U.S. is due to top 1 trillion dollars. This marks a momentous victory for Wall Street, and the Occupy Student Debt Campaign has organized a national day of protest in response. Join us as we march to Wall Street to help the banksters celebrate their achievement.
Wednesday, April 25th, 630pm
May Day Coordinating Spokes Council
Amalgamated Textile Workers, 33 W. 14th Street
The May Day logistical and outreach clusters meet in a spokescouncil format to report back on their efforts. Afterwards, we discuss the proposals brought forth in the spokescouncil in a discussion open to all.
Thursday, April 26, 1pm
Direct Action Trainings
Union Square on the north side, & Washington Square at the center fountain
Two introductory Direct Action: 101 trainings will be held concurrently in both Union Square and Washington Square, concluding with a practice march leaving from both locations and converging.
Thursday, April 26, 4pm
People’s Assembly: Speak Out on Wall Street
Federal Hall, Wall Street side steps
We began a literal occupation of Wall Street on April 9th, which the 1%’s police proxies have brazenly attempted to suppress. The People’s Assembly goes to the true source of the suppression, Wall Street, and aims to reclaim our right to peacefully assemble at the birthplace of the Bill of Rights.
Thursday, April 26, 6pm
Occupy the Panel for Educational Policy
Prospect Heights HS, 883 Classon Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Learn how we can help build a movement of parents, teachers, and students to stop school closings and win democratic control of our schools. Stand in solidarity with the teachers, students, and parents of the 26 “turnaround schools.”
Thursday, April 26, 8pm
Occupy Your Mind - The American Spring
Choir Loft, Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square Park South
Join us for an evening of live performances based on interviews with the Occupy Movement featuring members of The Civilians Ensemble, members of the Judson Memorial Church community and members of the Arts Diaspora NYC.
Friday, April 27th, 2pm
Weekly Wall Street Marches: Final Spring Training Day!
For six consecutive weeks, we’ve trained in street tactics, learned to creatively move and communicate together, built a community of trust, and rung the People’s Gong as a call to action. Join us for the final Spring Training Day!
Saturday, April 28, 12pm
Occupy Town Square General Strike Special Edition
Bryant Park to Union Square
Join us first at 12pm in Bryant Park, where we will parade through mid- town to get word out about the General Strike. From 2pm onwards at Union Square we will prepare for the big day with many trainings, teach-ins and skill shares. The Town Square is a wonderful and empowering opportunity for new activists to prepare with those more experienced, before we in our thousands take to the streets together in protest.
Saturday, April 28, 2pm
Weekly Occupy Wall Street Orientations
The Gandhi statue in the southwest corner of Union Square
Learn more about how to get involved with Occupy. Can’t make it? Email Tascha and the rest of the crew at email@example.com for more information.
Saturday, April 28, 3pm
Speak out Against Police Violence
Bodega, 168th & Fulton Ave, Bronx NY
This Saturday Take Back the Bronx and the South Bronx community will be speaking out against the ongoing police harassment that has been recurring in the neighborhood where 19-year-old Jateik Reed was recently beaten. Join us for this open-mic / speakout.
Sunday, April 29, 530pm
Radical Economics 101
Union Square, Southside steps
Occupy University and the OWS Alternative Banking working group have sponsored a discussion with Suresh Naidu and Maliha Safri from the Center for Popular Economics who will answer questions about the economy, inequality in the US and around the world, and more.
Sunday, April 29, 7pm
May Day Action Spokescouncil
Middle Collegiate Church, 50 E 7th Street
Join us for the final coordination meeting between the various actions that our organizations, working groups, affinity groups, et cetera are planning. Please attend with your fellow organizers, or send a delegate!
Monday, April 30, 6pm
Direct Action Trainings
Organization of Staff Analysts, 220 E 23rd St. 7th Floor
Monday evening make up session! Missed the DA trainings last week? Get stoked with DA 101 the night before May Day!
Tuesday, May 1
A Day Without the 99%: May Day 2012
Click here for the full May Day schedule. Text “@maydayaction” to 23559 for day-of text updates on ongoing events.
If you would like to be added to the announcement and / or discussion listserv, or have any questions in general, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s featured Occu-Projects
Why I Strike Tumblr
The May Day general strike has clearly struck a chord with all of us, andhttp://whyistrike.tumblr.com/ helps us share why we are so passionte about removing our consent from the illegitimate economic and political institutions that run our lives.
Occupy Did What? Tumblr
There is so much going on every day in OWS that it’s sometimes difficult to keep track of our victories. http://occupydidwhat.tumblr.com/ is a powerful way to take stock in the concrete results that we have accomplished.
The Occupy Wall Street Project List a monthly periodical that informs people about OWS projects and how to get involved.
For Text Message alerts on your cellphone about daily events, actions, and important information, sign up for the ComHub SMS blasts by texting @owscom to 23559.
The text of the full article is below. Please look at the photo. This photo is current. The nuclear fuel storage pond is 30 meters up, seven stories up, in the back right of this photo. It’s the big swimming pool size box above the reactor machinery. People say, this pond in the air, is listing to the left now. There was no explosion at this demolished building. I know it seems odd, but there was no explosion. There was an “event” and the building just decomposed in a few hours of real time transformation. This is what remains. The fuel storage pond (swimming pool shaped box) is now open to the air with no containment. There is over 450 tons of highly radioactive plutonium and uranium fuel rods in this pool now. This is over 1,500 fuel rods. When this falls over, that tonnage of nuclear fuel will be exposed to the air, and fission will begin immediately. No human will be able to approach within 50 kilometers of the plant facility after that time. The release of radiation will generate more heat than people can imagine. 50 meters away, one hundred and fifty feet away from this photograph, is a “common fuel storage pond”, in which are over 6,500 more fuel rods in the open air. When the heat generated by the fission from the 1,500 rods that will fall over and begin the nuclear reaction in the open environment, when that heat quickly burns off the water covering the 6,500 other highly radioactive fuel rods, that will release more radioactive molecules than life on earth can withstand. This is not a test.
We either defuse this now - as humanity working together - or we all face annihilation as a life form. Life on earth as we knew it will be over.
So, look at the photograph.
This is one image of a speeding bullet headed for the spot that is right between the middle of your eyes, and into that same spot in all the skulls of every living thing, now alive in the northern hemisphere of our planet. That is what this photograph is. There was not an explosion in reactor four. This is reactor four. The physicists believe there was some malfunction of the HAARP signal from Alaska that deformed this building. I will not spend the time now to explain plasma beams and ultra low frequency radiation that travels at the speed of light. You do not need to know what light is to be able to use your eyes. You do not need to understand radio-frequency to use a cell phone. You do not need to understand an atomic bomb to turn to dust at the speed of light. You do need to take action or life on earth will end, including yours.
This is what the Senator from Oregon saw with his eyes.
5,145 miles away from the Golden Gate Bridge - or close to that distance - is this building. This is real. This is not a test. We need to decommission every nuclear power plant on earth. Humanity needs to decommission this one in Fukushima now, or we will not live to decommission the rest.
I don’t know if it’s too late.
I do know that if we don’t do this, life on earth will end.
It’s odd that this is what a speeding bullet looks like.
If we work together, can we stop it?
Here is the text from the Oregonian:
Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden’s recent daylong field trip from Tokyo to the zone of Japan’s nuclear devastation is worth at least a week in the telling. Bunny-suited with a breathing device for protection against radiation exposure, Wyden walked through the ruined Fukushima Dai-ichi complex and saw what few from the West have seen: another bomb waiting to go off.
The senator is not typically alarmist. But his field notes, followed by letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Energy Secretary Steven Chu, signal alarm. They paint a picture of extreme nuclear vulnerability, especially in Reactor No. 4, inactive at the time of the quake and tsunami but wrecked by explosion. The reactor now warehouses Fukushima’s hottest inventory of radioactive fuel rods in a seismically jittery part of the world.
Wyden completed his tour by asking Japan, with written urgings for help from Clinton and Chu, to sharply speed up a cleanup expected to take 10 more years. His fear is that another big seismic event will trigger another disaster before the cleanup is completed — exposing Oregon and the West Coast to potentially lethal risk.
“What we learned the first time is that radioactivity leaks out quickly,” he told The Oregonian Friday. “If (No. 4) ruptures now, it gets into the air, and that’s very troubling to us in Oregon. This must not happen.”
Prevailing winds pushed insignificant quantities of radioactive iodine-131 from Japan across the Pacific to the United States following the March 11, 2011, quake and tsunami. The delivery capacities of the ocean have been efficient as well, as The Oregonian’s Charles Pope reported a California researcher discovering radioactive iodine in sea kelp reaching the U.S. coast after the incident.
Neither Wyden nor U.S. officials can tell Japan what to do. But they can urge Japan’s leaders to consider not only the welfare of their own citizens — thousands of whom were endangered by official deceits in the first weeks of the disaster — but also their international neighbors.
Wisely, Wyden also addressed his letter to Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and inquired about the kinds of technical assistance we might provide the Japanese to get things right at Fukushima more quickly.
Meanwhile nuclear power, with more than 100 operating facilities in the United States, is not dead. The NRC in December approved a reactor of radically new design that employs gravity and natural heat convection more than pumps and valves — and thought to be less accident-prone for it. Yet Japan’s experience was a setback for nuclear power, forcing its full reconsideration as a safe way to generate electricity.
The Fukushima cleanup could help address that concern — for the better if the cleanup is swift and without incident. And Wyden’s field trip may help, by documenting a radiation risk 5,145 miles away in Oregon to be real until such time as the cleanup is verifiably done.
While American corporate media has focused on yet another stale election between Wall Street-financed candidates, Occupy has been organizing something extraordinary: the first truly nationwide General Strike in U.S. history. Building on the international celebration of May Day, past General Strikes in U.S. cities like Seattle and Oakland, the recent May 1st Day Without An Immigrant demonstrations, the national general strikes in Spain this year, and the on-going student strike in Quebec, the Occupy Movement has called for A Day Without the 99% on May 1st, 2012. This in and of itself is a tremendous victory. For the first time, workers, students, immigrants, and the unemployed from over 115 U.S. cities will stand together for economic justice.
See below for what we believe to be the most comprehensive list yet compiled of cities where Occupy May Day events are being planned, as well as other resources. Note: This is a living document. Check back for updates! If you have any additional events, please let us know in the comment section of this article. You are encouraged to share this page in as many ways as possible!
Note: May 1st is a nationally-recognized holiday (International Workers´ Day or May Day) in over 80 countries. It would be impossible to list every demonstration worldwide. The following list only reflects May Day events organized by Occupy-related groups in direct solidarity with #OWS.
Are you ready for March?
There are Student Strikes going on all over the USA.
It’s time to Occupy Everywhere!
OCCUPY EDUCATION CALIFORNIA
Education-related organizing in California in solidarity with Occupy Everywhere
FOR MORE INFO CLICK-THROUGH THE PHOTO TO LIVE
Build Power & Show Power through Mass Participatory Bold Action
By Occupy May 1st
There have been a wave of repressive attacks on, and evictions of, various Occupy camp sites throughout the country including where the movement started in Zucotti (Liberty) Park. But even before the evictions and repression escalated to the current levels, questions were being asked: what’s the way forward for the movement? Already there have been glimpses of organizing and action that are leading the way and shining a light for the rest of us to follow: the Oakland General Strike, Occupy Foreclosures, and other actions. These actions show that, fundamentally, all of the strategic questions revolve around the question of power. The power of the 99% vs. the power of the 1%
Although the 99% holds enormous power -all wealth is generated, and the current society is built and maintained through, the collective labor (paid and unpaid) of the 99%-, we do not frequently exercise this collective power in our own interests. Too often we fight amongst and scapegoat each other as the source of the problem through: racism, patriarchy, xenophobia, occupational elitism, geographical prejudice, heterosexism, and other forms of division, oppression and prejudice. This is necessary for the 1% to maintain control because their power is only exercised by different segments of the 99% actively oppressing and working against other segments of the 99%, in addition to us neither being fully aware of, nor organizing to utilize, the collective power we have. The result is that many segments of the the 99%- people of color, women, GLBTQ, immigrants, those with less formal educational credentials, those in less socially respected occupations or unemployed, the homeless, and others- deal with overlapping forms of oppression and societal prejudice; all of us remain divided amongst each other; and the 1% continues to increase their power and wealth because of this.
Currently, the state of the economy has hit all of us (some facing overlapping prejudice and oppression, harder than others). There are too many people out of work; our pay has barely or hasn’t kept up with rising costs; our social services have continued to be cut; our influence on government has eroded; and our civil liberties have been attacked. This has been going on while the elites of this country have captured an increasing share of wealth; have had the highest decreases in the amount of taxes they pay; have attacked our social services and organizations of popular defense (such as our unions and community organizations); and have consolidated to an even greater degree their power over politics. The Business Insider- ironically- provides one of the more useful series of charts that root the Occupy movement’s concerns in the sobering historical fact that we experience.[i]
The way forward must involve building and showing our popular power against that of the elite. But the form of our power must be different from theirs: we must fight fire with water. Where they exercise hierarchical power over us to dominate, control, exploit and oppress; we must build and exercise horizontal, bottom-up power with each other to cooperate, liberate and collectively empower each other. We need to organize ourselves autonomously from all forms of hierarchical power relations in our communities, schools and workplaces to fight collectively for our interests. This must include a rejection of attempts to divide and rule us; a rejection of racism, patriarchy, xenophobia, elitism and other forms of oppression; a rejection of attempts by electoral parties, powerful special interest groups and others to co-opt and control our movement.
The camp occupations built the movement and brought global attention to the variety of concerns of the 99%. They inspired many; provided a sense of hope and solidarity; brought economic justice and the problems of power inequality back into spotlight of national conversation; highlighted the need for cultures, societies and institutions of direct democracy based on “power with”- not “power over”- each other; served as a spaces of convergence for sharing ideas and planning action; and in some camps, they even provided a temporary space for those who needed a home and a community where folks could face less harassment than they normally faced. The camp occupations have served a fundamental role in the movement; but it’s time to move beyond them.
We need to develop the movement beyond the camp because the majority of the 99% can’t camp out in a city center. The majority of the 99% have obligations and vulnerabilities that prevent them from such time-consuming, geographically-specific action including: work, school, responsibilities in caring for children or other dependents, particular health needs, etc. So in order for us to truly exercise our power as the 99% and to truly be participatory, we need to find ways where all of us can participate, and be valued, in whatever capacity and with whatever time we have to contribute. We need our action to be as participatory, diverse and widespread as possible. We must boldly show and build our collective power.
To show our power, on May 1st, 2012, we will be organizing for such a mass participatory and bold collective action: a national general strike, mass boycott, student strike/ walk-out and mass day of action. We will be organizing within our unions- or informal workplace organizations where there’s no union or the union isn’t supportive- to hold a one-day general strike. Where a strike is not possible, we will be organizing people to call in sick, or take a personal day, as part of a coordinated “sick-out”. Those who are students will be walking-out of their schools (or not showing up in the first place). In the community, we will be holding a mass boycott and refusing to make any purchase on that day.
This action will necessarily be a symbolic show of power because any decrease in economic activity that day will likely be compensated for by purchases and extra work activity the days before and after May 1st. But it will be symbolic in the way a cannon shot across the bow of a ship is symbolic: it doesn’t do any damage; but it warns our opponent that we are willing and able to damage their boat if necessary. And perhaps just as important as the day itself, the massive organizing and outreach efforts in the months leading up to May 1st will allow us the opportunity to talk to our co-workers, families, neighbors, communities, and friends about the issues of the 99%, the source of our power, the need for us to stand up to the attacks we are facing, the need to confront the various oppressions that keep most of us down in one way or another (some of especially so) and all of us divided, and the need for us to stand in solidarity with each other to fight for our collective interests, which is structurally, and therefore inherently, against the interests of the 1%. We can build our collective consciousness, capacity, and confidence through this process; and come out stronger because of it.
In addition to showing our power on May 1st, we need to build bases of popular, bottom-up, collective, anti-oppressive and anti-hierarchical power in our workplaces, communities, and schools. So we will be doing a variety of workshops, building a variety of organizing campaigns, and engaging a variety of actions on the local level to contribute to the building of such collective power. Some of the workshops, campaigns and actions that we will develop and engage in include: organizing new unions, becoming more active in participatory unions; making our hierarchical unions more participatory; occupying foreclosures; building tenant unions; blocking evictions; preventing foreclosures; and creating solidarity networks, to name a few. We will not be co-opted by electoral parties, or hierarchical organizations looking to use the movement to serve their interest while diffusing our power. Instead we will organize, educate, and agitate where we are at to build power with each other and to fight directly for our interests: the interests of popular power against the interests of elite power. All of us must contribute for this effort to be effective; but, to the greatest degree possible, those contributions must be collective in nature because our true power is in our solidarity with each other.
Through this effort we are looking to offer real solutions to addressing issues of immediate concern where each of us is at, through direct collective action from the bottom-up. The goal is to continue the ongoing shift currently happening within the movement from just mobilizing, to organizing (or to move from mobilization, to massification[ii]). Mobilizing is necessary, but it is not enough. We can’t just call people out to engage in action. We need to build the networks, organizations and campaigns that provide the opportunities for an ever greater number of people to participate in the decision-making process and functioning of the autonomous popular organizations we are creating. Our movement is leaderless, which also means that we all must be leaders. But the leadership we build is again, with, not over, others. We need to all truly listen to and support each other in developing our consciousness, capacities and confidence. We need to see the fights against the various oppressions which keep folks down and divide the 99% against itself, as central to, not distractions from, the effectiveness of our struggle. We must discourage and isolate egotistical, self-serving and movement-killing tendencies we encounter while encouraging and developing collective, liberatory and movement-building tendencies. Our participatory, bottom-up networks, organizations and campaigns will be the way through which we build our power and make small gains in the medium term. But they will also serve as the basis for a new world that we are building toward.
This new world in our hearts that we are building and showing, within the shell of the old one that we are confronting, is one in which people share power with, not over, each other. It’s where workers themselves democratically control their workplaces; where everyone can find meaningful, socially-useful and balanced work that is carried out in comfortable conditions. It’s where those who aren’t able to work (or who have put in their share of their lifetime) are taken care of by society; where we abolish rulers over us and instead societies directly decide for themselves how to live, develop and grow. It’s where our environments are healthy, beautiful and sustainable; where we all have the educational and social opportunities to develop and contribute our full capacities to our families and societies. It’s where people can live in nice homes and safe communities, get their health needs fully taken care of, eat healthy and well, and not have to worry about meeting their needs or the needs of their families; where we can all have time and resources to enjoy life; and where the global human society is driven not by competition, oppression, exploitation, domination and war; but by love, freedom and solidarity. We, the 99%, will build our power and show our power until we’ve occupied our workplaces, our communities, our schools, our lives, our world… until we’ve occupied everything!