May Day 2012 – General Strike!

May Day 2012 Occupy Seattle stands in solidarity with and endorses the call for a General Strike – A day without the 99%!

On May Day, wherever you are, we are calling for:

*No Work
*No School
*No Housework
*No Shopping

Come and help build for the May 1st 2012 Global Day of Solidarity, Wonderment, and Merrymaking, Tuesdays at 7pm at the Washington State Convention Center.

Visit for more info on May Day.

23 Responses to May Day 2012 – General Strike!

  • donny1020 says:

    Let those who advocated for this be responsible to ensure that their co-workers don’t turn into scabs on May 1, that is if they are truly part of the working class and not simply parasites feeding off of the malaise of the working class.

  • marchpower says:

    May Day seems like an excellent exercise. It will reveal strengths and weaknesses within Occupy. As a new and growing movement…these challenges are absolutely necessary. A challenge is a moment to learn and self-define. A successful May Day, for Occupy, will probably occur if Occupy shows that it can serve as an “umbrella” for the various causes of the 99%. And, to reach across the borders requires:
    (1) the ability to get the word out,
    (2) the ability to find common ground,
    (3) the ability to talk in a way that fearful people can hear us,
    (4) the ability to pursue a goal together “as Occupy.”
    I applaud the “leaderlessness” of Occupy because it makes room for us to be “LEADER-FULL,” from the bottom up.
    However, one hallmark of a balanced community member is the ability to put the group’s interests first. Occupy is a “group” still being born, and there are learning curves in our future.
    For example, the plunge into “consensus” and attempts at “facilitation,” will probably lead to some disillusionment early on. Consensus and Facilitation ONLY succeed when those involved understand the costs and benefits of the system. If you think consensus means you get what you want (and you’re pissed that you’re not getting it)…you’re wrong, (and you are the problem). If you think facilitation is a method to control a group…you’re wrong, and you cannot help us. Facilitation ONLY works when the members of the group WANT to be facilitated. Facilitators do NOT hold the power…they serve the powerful by helping to keep us on track WHEN we have a goal already in mind.
    But, I digress.
    Back to May Day. I believe there was a “well-attended decision” at the GA to support May Day. Okay. This means that if you want Occupy to be POWERFUL, then you need to help with this goal – even if it is not your own. Because, a failed May Day will NOT help anyone who wants anything from the Occupy Movement. Bravery is not doing something that you believe will go well…it is working on something that has every likelihood of failure.
    Does Occupy (as defined by its members) have what it takes to be a movement for social change? CAN Occupy bring together the pieces of the 99% puzzle and unite us for the sake of the common good? WILL you accept getting what you want some of the time – or splinter off with the pipe-dream that the world offers a place where you can get everything you want all of the time? If so…please, leave now. Sorry, but attitudes like that just drag down the rest of us who are willing to give as much as we get.
    I do not suggest that we roll over and let people stomp on us.
    I suggest the opposite.
    That we GET REAL about what it takes to gain power, hold power, wield power, and use power for the greater good. There are FEW role models of well-managed power – the world abounds with the opposite. So, PLEASE honor those who have done well and LEARN FROM THEM.
    Finally, what I want:
    (1) A statement of what May Day means around the world (this should be large and acknowledge diverse meanings for different cultures)
    (2) A list of deadlines with goals to get us there in the Seattle area. Such as, a deadline for each person who knows about Occupy & May Day to personally talk to at least 20 people…make a list and check off each person as you talk to them…add people you talk to who you wouldn’t have expected to talk with.
    (3) A list of organizations that are ALSO involved in May Day so we can refer to them when talking to people: “Did you know that _____ will be participating in May Day?”
    (4) A list of the Top Ten Reasons to participate in Occupy Seattle’s May Day Events (or May Day in general) – let’s remind the 99% that the 1% buys their services all the time…and where would they be without us?

    By the way, just a thought I had today…
    It seems to me that in a civilization based upon Barter, you cannot have wealth and poverty. Why? Because each person can only offer what they can produce themselves for trade. ONLY in a Money Economy, can this odd medium of exchange be manipulated, loaned at interest, or hoarded. People who earn millions (or billions) in a year ARE NOT WORTH IT, INHERENTLY. They simply are not.
    Follow this link – show it to people who don’t understand just how insane the insanity is:

    Did you know that Bill Gates would have to spend $135,000 a day…AND LIVE FOR 1,000 YEARS…in order to spend the wealth our system has allowed him to amass? WHO needs that much money???? No One. Which means, that we do NOT need a system that allows such excess in order to be a healthy society.

    Finally, did anyone else find it odd that Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie about J. Edgar Hoover received ZERO notice at the Oscars? Even for make-up and prosthetics (which he used to make himself look decades older) – there was no mention of the movie. I find this interesting.


    • REPUBLIC says:

      Bill Gates earned all his money? He didn’t steal them from you. You just purchased his software to make your life easier.
      1. Free capitalism made him possible to get wealthy

      2. If you were in his shoes you would not cry about it you would enjoy your earnings

      3. Bill Gates donates a portion of his money, checkout his foundation

      4. If a socialist government would have been in place he would not be motivated to design new softare because there are no incentives. In other words, he would see his hard earned money go to people that have no motivation or innovation
      5. He would think why should I design or make something better for all to benefit if I cannot own my work and make money out of it. Therefore, his innovation would just be stifled by socialism.

      Socialism in Italy

      A. Free services, socialized healthcare and medicine (no over the counter meds they are too dumb to administer their own meds for a headache)

      B. If you want the best doctors and hospital where politicians\1% go, you need to pay for it

      C. For years the socialist government have not found a solution to employ all these new college graduates with jobs. Yes, equal rights no class of society, except the working class and the 1%\politicians class

      D. In order for a working class to advance they need to be interconnected with the elite.

      Would you like me to mention more socialist countries? Yes, I have studied socialist countries and Italy is one of the worst, but the mentality and ways of governance is still the same. Classless society where recent graduates cannot find jobs and their innovation is so stifled that they give up hope in that job field of studies and stay unemployed with government entitlements or odd jobs that comes their way.

      Yes, occupy movement make this nation a stiffled socialist like Europe, an I thought the forefathers were trying to get away from European ways.

      This is the truth about:

      1. The wealthy (1%)
      2. The people that strives to become wealthy (entreprenours and innovators)
      3. The middle class (individuals that live comfortably and are self reliant)
      4. The poor people subcategorized in 2 types
      a. The unfortunate ones (disabled and the disadvantaged)
      b. The coveting cry babies (blame everything to the class of society and the 1%)

      SOCIALIST CAPITALISM (The mom and dad type of government)

      1. The wealthy and politicians (mom and dad)
      2. The working class (the stifled children)
      3. The poor (the disabled and the disadvantage)
      4. The moochers (100% dependence on the government)

      DO YOU THINK THE GRASS IS GREENER IN THE OTHER SIDE? You are in for a rude awakening.

      Oh! Oh! What is that light and sound you hear on the other side of that tunnel? Chuga, chuga, chuga, toot, toot…

      Have a thoughtful day. Looking forward from anyone with name calling and hateful speeches. That is socialism 101 demonize, label, and seclude any oppositions. Better yet, going circles with rethorics.

  • REPUBLIC says:

    No buying fuel and driving
    No work for State and Federal Employees

    I like that a general strike and I hope that the above are incorporated as well. The least is the driving and buying the fuel. Do you know what it does to the petrolum companies? I would love to see the chaos. I will join this cause. What do you want me to do.

  • Steve Leigh says:

    To Donny1020: I hope you are being sarcastic about “scabs”. Scabs are strikebreakers who take the jobs of workers going on strike. They cross picket lines set up BY the workers who have voted by a majority to go on strike. There will be few if any picket lines BY the workers in a workplace set up on May 1. Since a majority of workers did not vote to strike May 1, those who go to work on May 1 are not scabs. If they were, you would have to declare the vast majority of workers as scabs on May 1! This contradiction is part of the reason that those of us who voted in the GA to oppose the General Strike call did so. Occupy should be in solidarity with the actual struggles of the 99% against the 1%. Occupy should not purposefully set itself in opposition to the 99% with the attitude that we don’t need the workers in a particular work place to shut that work place down. We need to be part of the process of workers organizing themselves to fight for their interests—not seem to be taking action against them. Occupy was set up to fight for the interests of the 99% , but it does not now directly represent any significant portion of the 99%. It is elitist to call for a General Strike without the participation and support of the people we are calling on to strike. For more discussion on the GS issue and how to strengthen Occupy, see the following articles:

    • Steve Leigh says:

      See coverage and analysis of the General Strike in India:

      and a critique of the theory that informs calls for strikes without
      workers actually striking:

      • donny1020 says:

        Why not tell the truth about the action in India?

        The numbers in India were generated due to the fact the action was initiated and lead by the established Unions and the associated Federations.

        This was not an action that was made a success by any Trotskyite party or a group of Maoist misfits or some neo-anarchist movement. The Socialist Worker points this out as they spend significant amounts of space criticizing the Unions that sponsored the event. I guess that demonstrates how the ISO actually feels about labor.

        This is the difference in the two situations. The action in India had support from Unions while the DS action only has support of under a hundred people who don’t represent anyone. This why DS has put as much energy attempting to co opt ElComite .

        It was comical seeing these HHO DS/OS representatives pout every time they heard something they didn’t like. It wasn’t like they fooled everyone. All are watching and understand what kind of problems the chuckle heads from HHO DS can cause. Unlike the DS most of the marchers participating cannot afford to be involved in throwing bricks and paint stuff. If you start something we will be there to stop it.

    • donny1020 says:

      Just an FYI most of the strikes that your kind speak of fondly were not majority actions. The Flint strike was not, the Ford strike was not, the Kroger strike was not. Just for your edification the Flint sit down strike would have never been a success if the Teamsters wouldn’t have engaged in a secondary action that brought GM to their knees.

      Dobbs’s strategy recognized this and during his time as a labor leader for the IBT he never once relied on majority support. His strategy was dependent on coercive actions that would be illegal today.What you speak of is simply the way Bobby Kennedy told you that unions should act. It is no secret that the Kennedys were anti-union. Their ideas of unions are what have caused the reduction in union strength. At least the conservatives don’t make their contempt of the working class a secret unlike the bourgeois liberal types which you represent.

      As for your definition of a scab, you obviously have never been a true trade unionist. On the other hand I know what a scab is and that name s attached to anyone that oppose the goals of the union plane and simple. The guys out their performing my craft for 30% less and don’t give a damn about the union are scabs. Just because there isn’t a picket line in front of their job-site that was established by the majority of other scabs doesn’t make him less of a scab. The fact that you oppose organized labor and question their actions all the time makes you a scab in my eyes. The fact that unions and their members are so far down the list for the ISO makes the ISO a scab organization.

      You are simply someone that should stick to his side of the street. That is the side populated by wealthy white dreadlocks wearing bourgeoisie hipsters. Go play revolutionary somewhere else as no worker has asked for your assistance nor will they.

  • REPUBLIC says:

    I bet India will succeed to have 100% strike compare 10% in USa

  • donny1020 says:

    The ISO? What concrete reform or benefit has the ISO EVER provided the American worker?

    OS has positioned itself in opposition to the 99% by taking this action. Had the OS movement not been hijacked by hipster revolutionaries this may not be true.

    The historical organization behind the Seattle May 1 activities has been El Comite Pro-Reforma. A small group of hipsters within the DS movement have challenged this and put OS in a collision coarse with this group. Representatives from DS and HHO recently imposed themselves on the participants of El Comite and instructed El Comite that Decolonize Seattle and Hip Hop Occupies the will be orchestrating the events of May 1 and that the opinions of El Comite were to be minimized and of no consequence to them.

    For all of the rhetoric put forward by agents of the ISO, RCP, BOC, hipster revolutionaries it comes down to the fact that they believe that their opinion and their will is the only thing that maters. This comes from the fact that they are spoiled children of the wealthy with daddy complexes who would be happy to create a situation where the police crack the heads of workers due to instigation by Decolonize.In their view they are fomenting a violent revolution where they will be in charge. Does anyone outside of this small group of fools want to be ruled by these individuals.

    Truthfully they can’t organize workers or groups that represent the interest of specific communities so they choose to take over these larger groups through whatever means they feel necessary. Luckily they are delusional and are destined for failure. Unfortunately they can cause a lot of damage to the interest of legitimate groups on their way down.

    I will defend the right of these interlopers to protest but what gives them the right to hijack the May 1st event in Seattle for their own self promotion. They spoke as if they had thousands behind them, stating that they would be chaining themselves togather to close streets and other acts which will not further the goals of the working class but are simply acts of self promotion which they lack the man power to effectively execute.

    For more information read this statement by El Comite at

  • Steve Leigh says:

    Great article on the history and tradition of May Day and its implications today:

  • donny1020 says:

    Nice work, great work on the part of the ISO, BOC,RCP and the rest of the nutters at disrupting what had been an immigrant workers celebration.

    I believe when the bored sons and daughters of the wealthy cling onto an existing workers event with the intent of amplifying their own message it would qualify as exploitation.

    Clearly none of the DS folks added or benefited the original group through their actions. They simply put all the attention on themselves and their lunatic message.

    I spoke with one of the cops and he was telling me how one of the neo-anarchist that was arrested was from Vermont and had traveled to Seattle simply to break windows and bring attention to his cause. What was his cause? That wasn’t exactly clear as he was trying to convince the cops that a ten hour work week was possible in the next decade, clearly this is nutter talk.

    Clearly the Vermonter was a nutter as anyone who has ever been arrested knows no good comes from talking to cops. He continued talking, begging the cops not to hurt him. The cops said at one point the neo-anarchist Vermonter started crying while in custody because he was frightened what would happen to him once locked up. Can anyone say bitch?

    The cop said that while the cameras were on this Vermonter he was a revolutionary example and once the camera moved he was a cry baby. The Neo-anarchist Vermonter complained about how he was treated and complained about police brutality against him. This is a 20 something white kid from a “good” home in the suburbs, he doesn’t even know what police brutality is.

    The cop went on to say when they took him to the hospital to get checked out the doctors said he was fine except that he was crawling with lice. So here is this twenty something suburban white boy with lice leading an imaginary revolution of nutters.

    But the damage had already been done by these folks. In the Seattle Times Jorge Quiroga with El Comite blames the DS folks with causing over 75% of the immigrant rights march usual participants from coming to the event simply because they don’t believe that DS is acting in their interest.

    In the same article, in an attempt to salvage OS/DS, Mike Douglas talks about how OS/DS actions are also supporting organized labor. Anyone that has watched OS/DS in its death spiral since it has been taken over by organized groups such as the ISO, BOC, and RCP knows that their have been anti union messages promoted at every GA meeting. The BOC who pushed the endorsement of the general strike has come out directly against organized labor.OS/DS should not act as though they speak for the working class as they don’t. The working class has not elected them as their representative nor have they been asked to speak on behalf of the working class. OS/DS are spokespersons on behalf of fringe political parties whose policies have been soundly rejected by the American working class. OS/DS as it is now manifested is the enemy of the working class.

    The best thing OS could do to gain support of the working class is to drive the BOC, ISO and the RCP out of the movement. Their advocates should be met with physical violence in the same way they advocate for a “diversity of tactics” against corporate targets of their choosing, a “diversity of tactics” should be used to confront those that would destroy the movement for social and economic justice from within.

  • Steve Leigh says:


    Your credibility declines rapidly when you refuse to distinguish between different political groups. The ISO opposed OS calling for a General Strike on May 1,2012. Please read the editorial I posted from Socialist Worker. We did not and do not support Black Bloc tactics and think they hurt the movement, though we are clear that as Martin Luther King said ” the main perpretrator of violence is my own government.” Tarring everyone to your left with one brush does not help clarify the real and important issues in the movement or help to constructively improve the movement. The ISO has participated in and helped to build the immigrant rights marches and the movement generally in Seattle and around the U.S. for many years including before 2006 , when it was less prominent. We will continue to and will continue to build Occupy’s progressive struggles for the 99%, in spite of red-baiting which only serves the interests of the 1%.

    • donny1020 says:

      I was at the GA meeting where the motion to “endorse” other Occupy movements call for a general strike was passed. I saw many ISO folks voting for this measure with the full understanding that this endorsement would be used to claim that Occupy Seattle was calling for a general strike in Seattle. I remember when someone asked the maker of the motion if this was her intent and she would not answer the question. I witnessed ISO members supporting the women. I did not see the ISO taking a stand against this motion in a meaningful way.

      I was there when Bob pointed out that the word “strike” actually meant something to working class people and was shouted at and insulted by members of the BOC and the ISO.

      I also know that the ISO entered into a mutual assistance agreement with the BOC to take control of the floor and co-opt the Occupy movement in Seattle.

      The only reason why the ISO says there is a split between the ISO and the neo-anarchist is do to the BOC’s public anti-union stance. In my mind the ISO is just as guilty as one can easily find writings from ISO members on Portland’s ISO blog supporting the BOC’s anti union stance. The ISO and its members regularly disparage organized labor at OS meetings.

      I am also aware of self proclaimed ISO members who worked jointly with the neo-anarchist to subvert and capitalize on the past successes of the Seattle’s immigrant workers march. I witnessed a ISO leader at a El Comite meeting objecting to El Comite’s leadership request that DS not screw up their event. In fact, the ISO continues to disparage El Comite leadership. I can only assume this is because the ISO believes that only wealthy white youth are qualified to lead a movement for economic justice.

      The ISO, BOC, RCP have no place in a true economic and social justice movement. They are lead by nitwits who believe they actually represent workers. The ISO, BOC and RCP live in a fantasy world where they are the victims and misunderstood. Let me make this as clear as possible, the ISO, the RCP, the BOC DO NOT speak for the working class. These groups speak for the bored sons and daughters of the upper middle class and the wealthy. The ISO, RCP and the BOC are bourgeoisie representatives of the idle class. The ISO, RCP and the BOC participants don’t even know what it is like to have a job and a family. They don’t get up every day at 5:30 am and go to a job that leaves them with a torn up body by the time they are 45.They have no idea what it’s like to try to raise a family in today’s world. While you are happily trotting down to Whole Foods for you organic tofu we are simply trying to stretch our budgets so we can put SOS on the table and have one good meal a week.

      If the revolution comes look over your shoulder as the guys who are eying you with mall intent will be the working class who have had enough of fringe political groups screwing up efforts that benefit the working class.

      • Steve Leigh says:


        Lots of delusion on your part! ISO members uniformly opposed OS calling for a GS on May 1. Ask those who supported it! You obviously don’t know who is and isn’t in the ISO. No one in the ISO objected to El Comite’s request to not screw up their event. In fact, we argued that OS should support the El Comite event INSTEAD OF calling a “General Strike.” Anyone wanting to know the ISO’s position on the “General Strike call” can easily look it up in Socialist Worker, instead of relying on delusional hearsay.

    • donny1020 says:

      The only I thing I can recall that the ISO did in previous years marches was to sell the ‘Socialist Worker” off to the side and attempt to co-opt the movement. Selling a tired news letter and attempting to co-opting the event is not the same as organizing the event or helping organize the event.

      This is like claiming that the ISO is an active part of the MLKCLC. All the ISO does there is try to sell their paper and misrepresent the intents of the ISO. The ISO members who are delegates make nutter motions that are rejected by the body 99% of the time.

      The real problem is you don’t see the ISO in the same light as the working class. This is simply delusional on the part of the ISO.

  • Steve Leigh says:


    Sorry, you’re thinking of another group. We have no delegates in the MLKCLC. Maybe “all you recall” is…., but you don’t know what else we do. Do you also condemn other people who show up at rallies but in your mind are not helping to organize them?–Or do you have a double standard that only applies to those you disagree with? I am sorry that being offered a newspaper with reports from around the country of participants in movements and political analysis is so offensive to you. Maybe you prefer that the only politics in the movement are those that support the Democratic Party? Remember that the Democrats and Republicans have sold out immigrants for decades—and that Occupy rose in response to widespread dissatisfaction with both major parties.

    • donny1020 says:

      While it is true the ISO does not have any delegates assigned directly to the MLKCLC, the ISO does not have delegates at the MLKCLC who have been elected via the Public Workers who attend meetings and hawk the Socialist Worker in front of the doors and make nutter motions before the body. If you say it doesn’t happen you are simply being untrue.

      It is not a secret that part of the ISO’s strategy is to cause enough problems within a Union to get their party members in office. Of course once in office the ISO would not allow for decent as the ISO believes that they and they alone understand and promote true and pure socialism.

      The “Socialist Worker” isn’t simply a paper with news reports. It is not a secret that the “Socialist Worker” is nothing more than a party propaganda organ meant to “radicalize the masses” via agitation. Its not that it offends me, I just think its a crappy device pretending to be news.

      I also would assert that it is seriously disingenuous for you to deny that the goal of the ISO in working with social movements is simply part of a strategy to use the groups as recruiting grounds for the ISO. Given the ISO’s high rate of attrition it is in constant search for new members.

      I find it highly disingenuous for you to fail to mention that the ISO does not believe that the working class has the ability to make change on their own behalf. You do not publicly proclaim that the goals of the ISO are to install party leadership to act as a vanguard for a socialist revolution.

      While the Occupy movement has lots of discussion about democracy the ISO rejects democracy as a political theory. The ISO simply uses democracy to eliminate what it believes to be a political threat its ultimate goals. These goals would be a socialist revolution defined solely by the ISO and lead solely by ISO party members.

      The ISO has failed to be fourth coming about the reason for its interaction with youth. The ISO hasn’t explained that it made a conscious decision to pursue students in the 1980’s out of a belief that students would be easier to convert simply due to their lack of life experience. This decision came after the ISO’s failure in attracting actual workers to the party.

      So Steve, before you start with the victim stuff maybe you should just come clean and proclaim the ISO’s true objectives and strategies. You could also explain to participants of Occupy how the ISO and other fringe political parties entered into an agreement to exploit the movement for their own goals.

      I do think it is interesting that the ISO places workers concerns at the bottom of the list of issues it claims to be adressing. Myself and others find this systemic among marginalized Trotskyite or Maoist political groups.

      • Steve Leigh says:

        ” It’s no secret that….” doesn’t prove a thing! Every charge above is false and you have admitted that some of your previous charges are false.

        From the ISO “Where We Stand” printed in every issue of Socialist Worker:
        “Workers create society’s wealth but have no control over its production and distribution. A socialist society can only be built when workers collectively take control of that wealth and democratically plan its production…”

        So much for our “lack of support” for democracy and workers self-determination ! In fact , in every movement we are involved in we argue for the most democratic structure possible—which is why we oppose consensus ( minority rule–i.e. one person or a small group can block decisions of the majority).

        The socialist society we want would be a multi-party democracy as Lenin laid out in State and Revolution. This was destroyed in the wake of a counter-revolution which brought Stalin to power. We do not even think that the ISO is the vanguard party we want, much less that ISO members should take control of society. We are for power to the whole working class. Same is true with unions:

        ” We support trade unions as essential to the fight for workers’ economic and political rights. To make unions fight for workers’ interests, rank and file workers must organize themselves independent of the union officials” ( again Where We Stand).
        The goal is rank and file power, not putting ISO members in top positions.

        Interesting that Donny opposes “Trotskyite” ( Trotskyist) and Maoist groups but promotes the People’s World , published by the Communist Party which supported the minority dictatorship in Russia from Stalin to Breshnev and Gorbachov.

        PW may or may not be a good source of news on May Day, but it certainly doesn’t come from a tradition that promotes democratic workers power!

  • donny1020 says:

    What damage can actually be done to the Occupy movement and to American workers by putting up fringe Trotskyite and neo anarchist groups?

    Just look at the Cleavland Plain Dealer today May 2. These folks were going to murder the same working class individuals who they claim to support.

    For those who supported Occupy but opened the doors to these fringe groups like the BOC, RCP, and the ISO now is the time to lock them out or simply let the Occupy movement become a blip in history.

    Now is the time to silence the nutter talk and get down to business.

  • Steve Leigh says:

    Please see the report on May Day around the U.S. from today’s Socialist Worker. ( reports written by activists participating in and organizing for these actions):

  • donny1020 says:

    More news can be found at