by Avery Howe | published on October 14, 2021
Illustration by Kelly Jin
Hhave you seen a big red banner floating around your social media telling you not to work on October 15th? The graphic proclaims that there will be a nationwide general strike on Friday, October 15. His list of demands: a minimum wage of $ 20, 12 weeks of paid maternity leave, health care, a four-day work week, environmental regulations and a 25% corporate tax. âDon’t work and get more rights,â he chants. proclaims that there will be a national general strike on Friday, October 15. His list of demands: a minimum wage of $ 20, 12 weeks of paid maternity leave, health care, a four-day work week, environmental regulations and a 25% corporate tax. âDon’t work and get more rights,â he chants.
What is happening?
The Red Banner was launched in July 2021 by an anonymous group loosely based “in the Midwestern United States,” according to octoberstrike.com.
âI would say the strongest influence and response has come from TikTok, and mostly through shares and people using the strike flyer and talking about the demands,â JJ said.
The TikTok account, @ generalstrikeoct15, has just under 25,000 subscribers, and their petition on change.org has a similar number of signatures.
“It’s time to take the bull (aka: the ruling class and the US government) by the horns,” said a comment on the petition. Another read “It’s time to take the bull (aka: the ruling class and the US government) by the horns,” a comment on the petition said. Another read: âI have been working since I was a child and never caught up and things never got better. All the while, everyone and every business has been telling me that I am not trying hard enough. Now I know the truth. Enough is enough.”
â2020-2021 has been a hell of a time and as a person of color, as a woman, as a citizen of the United States, it is so difficult to try to live up to this American dream that has been presented to us. our lifetimes. “- JJ
â2020-2021 has been a hell of a time and as a person of color, as a woman, as a citizen of the United States, it is so difficult to try to live up to this American dream that has been presented to us. our lifetimes, “JJ said.” I think for me the thing that woke me up was seeing that in the flyer and seeing people actively calling for change. “
You have not heard about it ? Here’s why.
It was not an organization to begin with. It was a bunch of anonymous people with a vague idea of ââwhat they wanted to do, but no research or plan to make it happen.
They had an audience though, and people gradually stepped in to support and volunteer, like JJ They had an audience though, and people gradually stepped in to support and volunteer, like JJ
“A lot of people, when they came [to the organization] A while ago they said: “You are doing it backwards, that is not how we organize a general strike.” Everyone who had experience in the organization agreed, âshe said.
After several unsuccessful attempts to gain a public presence on social media – including an incident where a hacker took over the group’s Twitter account – volunteers began to organize into specialized groups to form committees, chairs, a brand new website and finally a real social media presence. At this point, the original creators of the campaign gave up, either because they felt overwhelmed or ill-equipped, according to JJ.
The new group persisted and called itself the Workers’ Movement X (LMX). Named after the Roman numeral X, the X represents the ten demands of the organizations and the strike that takes place in the tenth month of the year. This time around, the requests were considered and turned into action items, publicly available on the LMX website. (LMX). Named after the Roman numeral X, the X represents the ten demands of the organizations and the strike that takes place in the tenth month of the year. This time around, the requests were considered and turned into action items, publicly available on the LMX website.
These new demands include adequate wages and hours, accessible universal healthcare, ethical environmental action and more.
So how does it work?
The main idea is not to work.
The Raven Corps, a youth-led activism group based in Portland, Oregon, is working with LMX to create a local national movement. A leader of the workers’ strike branch of the Raven Corps, who we will call Serenity because they have asked to remain anonymous, worked with local activists to ensure the event ran safely and efficiently.
âYou don’t have to riot in the streets, you don’t have to break into a Best Buy. You don’t go to work and you just spend [October 15th] apple picking or something, âSerenity said. âJust go do something fun with your family or friends and don’t support big business. “
“If I turned on the news today and saw that enough people in my hometown would just refuse to go to work and see that it had made a big deal on my docking station, I ‘would feel like it had a significant impact. ” JJ explained.
LMX recognizes that people can lose their livelihood if they go on strike and offers alternatives to stopping work.
âIn fact, I also have to work that day. I have just started a new job and if I miss a day I could be made redundant and I need this income; Said Serenity. âDon’t use any service like Netflix, Hulu, even YouTube. Don’t buy gasoline; gasoline contributes a lot to environmental pollution, don’t buy groceries or go to the ‘grocery store. Don’t go to Dollar Tree, don’t. go to Goodwill, no economic impact whatsoever. “
Additionally, LMX is asking supporters to write to their local government to make them aware of the demands. âStart statewide and we can go from there,â Serenity said.
… will it work?
âEvery day we welcome people who [LMXâs public Discord] and say ‘This strike is not going to work, it is not going to be successful, you are doing it wrong’ and weâ¦ listen to what they say, âJJ said.
LMX is sticking to its guns, solving any issues with the proposed strike and trying to create clear lines of communication between the group, its supporters and the government.
âIt’s not enough that we write the policies, that the invoices are presented,â JJ noted. âWe need people who can devote the time to lobbying the government and can solicit representatives in each region to comply with these demands. “
Whether people will find this campaign emotional enough to take the risk remains to be seen.
What happens after October 15th?
October 15th isn’t meant to be the end; it is simply a starting point on which the movement must be built.
âPeople think it’s only going to be one day – that’s not really what we’re planning to do,â Serenity explained. âI heard that several other people wanted to organize themselves outside of this and [things] like the BLM movements where we strike once a week, a few times a week, once a day, locally, nationally.
LMX is discussing a Black Friday strike, and although the group has not announced any political affiliation, it will promote its demands in the face of the November 8 midterm elections.
“You don’t have to riot in the streets, you don’t have to break into a Best Buy. You just aren’t going to work …” – Serenity