Drawing on his experiences in the “cauldron of resistance” of Oakland, CA, George Ciccariello-Maher speaks on the relations between organizing in universities and struggles against police and prisons. Against academics’ use of alibis, such as ‘changing the world by teaching,’ to legitimize anything they do as a contribution to radical movements, he calls for academics to more clearly distinguish between their jobs and their political work.
This is the transcription of a 1990 interview with Stan Weir for the Virtual Aural/Oral History Archive at California State University Long Beach (the audio is available here interview #3, section "3 of 9 items" ). In this segment Stan talks about his involvement in the 1946 Oakland General Strike.
This article by Richard Boyden is the most comprehensive account of the 1946 Oakland General Strike. It relies extensively on first-hand sources, such as Boyden's good friend and comrade Stan Weir. Additionally, it shows the continuity between the San Francisco General Strike in 1934—that shut Oakland down completely too—and the sequel 12 years later. Teamster piecard Dave Beck, in trying to kill the strike, put it best: “I say this damn general strike is nothing but a revolution. It isn’t labor tactics. It’s revolutionary tactics.”
Sister machinist unions, San Francisco's Lodge 68 of the International Association of Machinists and Oakland's Local 1304 of the CIO's Steel Workers Organizing Committee (which left the IAM over a wildcat strike in 1936), had a national reputation for militancy; Lodge 68 had more strikes during World War II than all other Bay Area unions combined. Along with Local 1304, they accrued this strike record in open defiance of the National War Labor Board, who were backed by the FBI, the Office of Economic Stabilization in the White House, a Navy Vice-Admiral, the War Manpower Commission, the collective bosses, who in turn were supported by the CIO, ILWU, and Communist Party.
A communique to the participants of the attempted general strike in Oakland on November 2, 2011.