general strikes

You say you want a general strike

Marianne Garneau critiques recent calls for general strikes. This article first appeared on Organizing Work.

Thunberg's Call for General Strikes: The Confusions of a Liberal Protest

The Youth Climate Protest have turned to the mass strike as a weapon of protest. Unconsciously, they have grafted one of the major elements in the struggle for working class revolution onto their "utopian-reformist" demands. In doing so they distort the real meaning of such a strike.

1892 New Orleans General Strike

White and black dockworkers rest on cotton bales. The general strike was success

An extract from Life in the Teamsters: The Civil Rights Movement documenting an early example of class solidarity in the segregationist southern USA.

Origins and Development of Workers Autonomy in Spain (1970-1976) – Miguel Amorós

A chronicle of the rise and fall of the fortunes of the assembly movement in Spain during the early 1970s, with brief accounts of strike movements all over Spain, the rise of assemblies as forms of autonomous organization of the struggle, and the subsequent repression and police violence, highlighting the nefarious role played by the Communist Party and its trade union front organization at a time when it seemed that Spain was on the verge of a social revolution and that only the Communist Party and its allies could effectively prevent the workers’ assemblies from associating, organizing their self-defense, and becoming a system of workers councils.

The March Intifada - Bahrain, 1965

The March Intifada in Bahrain, 1965 began with the laying off of hundreds of workers at the Bahrain Petroleum Company, school students protested, were suppressed by the military, and things developed into a general strike against British rule. Bahrain joined the UAE in 1968, and annual protests continued until 1972.

Operation Sold Out II: The Failed General Strike in British Columbia in 2004 – Paul Finch

Operation Sold Out II: The Failed General Strike in British Columbia in 2004 – P

This essay, on the brewing general strike that nearly erupted across British Columbia in 2004 but ultimately failed, looks at what brought on the strike, how the strike caught steam then crumbled, and the lessons we can learn moving forward. It was published in the Northeastern Anarchist (#10, Spring/Summer 2005) – the English-language magazine of the Northeastern Federation of Anarchist-Communists (NEFAC).

General Strike in South Africa

Workers occupy downtown Johannesburg

Cities and rural towns across South Africa were shut down today as the new South African Federation of Trade Unions, which is independent of the ruling ANC, and driven by the militant National Union of Metal Workers, held a successful general strike. The strike was strongly supported by popular organisations organised outside of the factory floor, such as Abahlali baseMjondolo. It is being understood as a clear indication that the ANC has lost its hold over the organised working class.

A Victim of Power (Corp) and Police: The La Presse Conflict and the Tear Gas Suffocation of Michele Gauthier

A report on the 1971 conflict at La Presse and the police killing of socialist feminist Michele Gauthier. The broader struggle against Power Corp., the impact of the police killing, and the development of the Common Front and subsequent general strikes.

The post-war strike wave in East, West, and Southern Africa

From the end of the Second World War until the mid-'60s there was a wave of strikes in British East and West Africa, French West Africa, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The history of this class struggle has been neglected by both mainstream historians and most revolutionary tendencies based in Europe and the US.

1947 General Strike, Ceylon (Sri Lanka)

An account by T. B. Dissanayake of the 1947 general strike in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka