They’ll be faking fevers in Fargo. They’ll be catching cat naps in Cheyenne. They’ll be skipping school in St. Paul. They’ll be walking out of work in Wilmington.
Next Tuesday, May 1 will be a day of General Strike in communities across the United States. It’s a day of no working, no school, no banking and no shopping, intended to demonstrate the collective economic power of the 99 Percent.
The call for a May Day General strike started in Los Angeles, where people will be marching in from the four corners of the southern California sprawl to converge at 6th and Main Street for a protest demanding economic equality. From there, the idea spread to New York City, where people taking part in the general strike will come together at 8:00 AM in Bryant Park. So far, 121 other cities in the United States have activists spreading word of the general strike, and planning protests for May Day.
Will the protest be effective? It’s not easy to get people who depend upon income from their jobs to turn their backs on the demands of their employers, even for one day. Besides that, the value of work is a central concept in our culture. In an example of how difficult it is to get the idea of work out of our heads, Ella at Occupy Together suggests the following activity for participants in the May 1 General strike: “Ride your bike to work/carpool with friends: Ride your bike or arrange a carpool to work.”
Ride your bike, yes. Carpool, yes. If you want to support the general strike, however, get yourself to a protest, not to where you’re supposed to be working.