Metropolitan strike

more info:

definitely see the incredible brutality of the Oakland police who sparked all this

Unlike a traditional strike, the idea of a metropolitan strike is this: union members who can collectively cease working and citizenry who can either skip out or don’t have a job come together in a massive presence on the streets that effectively shuts down the whole metropolitan area, so that everyone who wants is free to join the protest. In Paris in 1995 this was done for an entire month with the transportation workers on strike, soon followed by municipal and government employees. In that way business as usual is disrupted, the city becomes a social and political space, peoples’ lives change, established values are brought into question and better ones are created on the spot, through reciprocity and solidarity. I was there, I walked and rode a bicycle and talked with strangers on the street and it transformed all our lives, for the better. Pushed back the right-wing gov’t too.

Could it be done in Oakland? No one as yet knows, but the list of striking unions is lengthening. A recent “Declaration of solidarity with neighborhood reclamations” (copy below) promises support from the Occupy movement for taking over some of the huge amounts of disused buildings around the city. With the mayor weakened by the shocking abuses of the police force, there is a chance for people to reclaim urban space and set up new ways of inhabiting the shattered urban fabric of neoliberal Oakland. It may be that this working class city, with its strategic docks and its large and angry and militant multi-ethnic population, is not only ready to liberate itself from an out-of-control police force, but also to liberate us all from apathy and impotence, by showing that people power exists and that direct political action can change your life. These are impressive times. It could even be that in the words of Leonard Cohen, “Democracy is comin’ / to the U – S – A…”

Declaration of Solidarity with Neighborhood Reclamations

Occupy Oakland, in solidarity with the Occupy movement and with the
local community, has established the principle of claiming for open use
the open space that has been kept from us. We are committed to
helping this practice continue and grow. Here in Oakland, thousands of
buildings owned by city, banks, and corporations stand idle and
abandoned. At the same time social services such as child and
healthcare, education, libraries and community spaces are being
defunded and eliminated.

Occupy Oakland supports the efforts of people in all Oakland
neighborhoods to reclaim abandoned properties for use to meet their
own immediate needs. Such spaces are already being occupied and
squatted unofficially by the dispossessed, the marginalized, by many of
the very people who have joined together here in Oscar Grant Plaza to
make this a powerful and diverse movement.

We commit to providing political and material support to neighborhood
reclamations, and supporting them in the face of eviction threats or
police harassment. In solidarity with the global occupation movement,
we encourage the transformation of abandoned spaces into resource
centers toward meeting urgent community needs that the current
economic system cannot and will not provide.

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