May Day general strike, a strong beginning to an ongoing campaign

Despite the pandemic, advocacy continues. We need to change the political narrative.

SOURCEPopular Resistance
Image credit: Zach D. Roberts/NationofChange

On May Day, the first day of an ongoing campaign of General Strikes, there were actions all over the country supporting workers at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, FedEx, Shipt and Instacart calling protective gear and hazard pay for essential workers. There were also demands for systemic changes like national improved Medicare for all, a universal basic income, and a green new deal (see the graphics of the demands of the General Strike below).

The strike required creativity on the part of participants because of the coronavirus pandemic, the physical distancing, and stay at home orders but people found ways to express their messages using a variety of tactics. There will be a General Strike national day of action on the first of every month so we need to learn from each other’s creativity and find new ways to protest. People organized car-avans, picket lines with their cars, bike protests, banner drops, die-ins, blocking roads with their cars, boycotts, and labor strikes. People used social media to tell their stories.

The General Strike campaign will be ongoing for the foreseeable future with the goal of impacting the national political agenda. We expect the campaign to continue after the election so whoever is the next president will see mobilized people making demands for transformational changes involving healthcare, economic fairnessforeign and environmental policy.

Despite the pandemic, advocacy continues. We need to change the political narrative. We encourage everyone reading this to forward this article, retweet some of the tweets or use social media to share stories about the General Strike. The first day of this campaign was a strong start on which we must build a multi-month movement. While we will be striking the first day of each month, every day we can each take action to impact the political narrative. In this era of mass media, we must consciously become the media and take intentional action every day to get our message out. And, when workers go on strike we can support them with boycott’s and showing our support.

Below are tweets from around the country that show some of the actions people took and the demands people are making. You will find graphics for all of the demands here.

Guillotine at the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta for #MayDay during a union and community organization led car caravan protest.

— Atlanta IWW (@IWWatl) May 1, 2020

#rent #strike #rentstrike #rentstrike2020 #generalstrike2020 #cancelrent #may #mayday #may1st

— Zoe Pavlichenko (@zoeymimosa) May 1, 2020


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