My friend and activist Gia Trimble wrote a piece about the general strike on May 1(May Day) and the state of corruption in our economic system. I agree with the main principles of this piece, and I think the value of a general strike lies in it’s potential to demonstrate “People’s Power” and send a message. My concern is that a general strike also hurts small businesses that play no role in corrupting the political process. I have often discussed the power of how we choose to spend our money as an important democratic principle. As citizens we exert a lot of influence with our spending habits and what companies we support or don’t support, based on their ethics, is very consequential. I urge everyone to not only send a message with your spending, or lack of, on May 1, but to be mindful of who you support economically all year long.
In November 2011, Occupy Los Angeles unanimously passed a resolution calling for a general strike which was subsequently adapted by occupations throughout the country. Scheduled for May 1st, the goal is to briefly disrupt our economic system which secures wealth and power for the 1% at the expense of everybody else.
We currently live in a society where corporations rule everything around us. The capitalism that Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney advocate for is far from actual capitalism; it’s state-sponsored corporatism. With the help from the government, these monster corporations suffocate small businesses and influence laws highly detrimental to a healthy economy.
Bills such as S.O.P.A which was written to censor the internet, was put fourth by Representative Lamar Smith from Texas whose campaign was funded by media conglomerates who are in a position to make profits from censoring the internet.
Since the well-being of society holds no value to the oligarchs, we shall remind them! We are citizens, not consumers.
A corporation answers to the stock holders who in return answer to the market value of the product. When the value of the product is threatened, the leadership of the company will do what is necessary to protect the value of the product. When GoDaddy’s margin was affected by a backlash of support over S.O.P.A, they rapidly changed their tune.
On May 1st let’s reject the systemic corruption of our economic system. Is the economy good enough not to protest? Whilst not everyone is capable of walking out of school or work, participation in any capacity is crucial. If you must make purchases, support your locally-owned businesses! We have suffered stagnation as a society, the current situation we find ourselves in didn’t happen overnight. Together we must stand up for our future and all of those who are oppressed!
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