#GeneralStrike2020: How To Participate On The May Day Launch

| Resist!

Above photo: Freedom Plaza, 2011.

On May Day, the first of May, the #GeneralStrike2020 (and beyond) campaign launches across the country. Learn more about the overall campaign in our most recent newsletter, “The Era of Mass Strikes Begins On May 1; First Day of General Strike Campaign.”

This prolonged and broad campaign will organize around a list of basic demands, as outlined here. Not on the list, but included is the demand to save the US Postal Service. The campaign will follow a three-prong strategy – resistance through noncompliance, mutual aid and building alternative systems in our communities rooted in cooperation, solidarity and participatory democracy.

On May Day and extending through the weekend, there will be many activities. Read through and decide how you can best participate in the actions. There is something for everyone to do. Be creative!

Worker Strikes

Workers at Amazon, Whole Foods, Fedex, Target, Instacart and more are planning to walk off the job in a call for protection of their health and hazard pay. If you work at a facility that is striking, take photos and share them on social media or email them to info@popularresistance.org so we can share them. Remember to include basic details about where you are, what is going on and how people can support you. If you don’t work at a striking facility but you do work for a corporation that exploits its workers and arent ready to strike, consider slowing down your work of using “work to rule” – following the rules in such detail that it slows the work. You can also stop working for an hour or for half a day or set up a meeting with other workers to talk about what you can do in the future. If you are not working, you can show up at one of the targets of the strike and hold a sign in solidarity with the workers. Bring some friends. Bring a car caravan of friends with signs on your cars. Remember to respect physical distancing, wear a face mask (even a bandanna or scarf) and practice good hygiene. You could give personal protective equipment to workers (masks, hand sanitizer or cleaning wipes) or notes of solidarity to the workers. If you can’t do any of that, then raise awareness of what is going on by talking about it with your family and friends or putting signs of solidarity on your windows. See below for more ideas.

Rent Strikes

People around the country are calling for rent to be canceled until the pandemic is over. They are targeting large corporations that own large amounts of properties. If you are in that situation, talk to your neighbors about not paying your rent. Some people who can pay their rent are withholding payment in solidarity with their neighbors who can’t. Everyone can call their local or state government or Members of Congress and urge them to place a moratorium on rent and stop evictions. People must be protected until the pandemic is over and they are on solid financial footing. Follow #CancelTheRent on social media.

Consumer Strikes

An easy action for all of us to take is to buy nothing on May Day and throughout the weekend (unless of course, it is an urgent need). Don’t shop in stores or online.

Student Strikes

College students are going on strike by refusing to pay tuition or register or attend classes over the ways the universities failed to protect them by closing student housing and dining halls. Students lost their jobs, housing and food security. Look around to see if students at a university near you are going on strike.

Debt Strikes

People are refusing to pay their student debt. You can learn more about that effort at StrikeDebt.org and DebtCollective.org. People are also refusing to pay water, electric and other bills until the crisis is over. Call your legislators and tell them to cancel student debt and to place a moratorium on the shutoff of services such as water and power.

Boycott Corporate Meat

Meatpackers are joining with farmers and environmentalists to take on the giant agriculture industry that exploits workers, strangles small farmers and pollutes the land, air and water. Many meatpackers are planning to strike. They ask you to boycott (don’t buy) eat from large corporations like Tysons and Smithfield Farms. They are callling it Meatless May. Turn to your local farmers if you require meat products or try vegetarian dishes.

Save the US Postal Service

The USPS is struggling because of reduced business during the pandemic but Congress and the White House refuse to help. We may lose the USPS by this summer if nothing is done. This is exactly what big corporations like UPS and Fedex want so they can privatize mail delivery and make more profits. Tell Congress to bail out the USPS. Visit APWU.org you sign the letter to Congress and learn more. On May Day (and every day), let your postal carrier know you care about them.

Solidarity Actions

On May Day, the Peoples Strike coalition is holding a 24-hour broadcast from 12 am to midnight to cover what is happening. You will find that on their Facebook Page or website. Watch and share it with your friends by emailing them about it or sharing it on social media. If you have Facebook, you can share the live stream to your own page. Look for where it says “share” (usually underneath or to the right of the video).

Wear red on May Day and share of a photo of you holding a sign either by sending it to us at info@popularresistance.org or sharing it on social media. Tag us @PopResistance so we can share it too.

Put signs on your windows or in your yard supporting the General Strike and the various demands that are most important to you.

Call your local media to tell them what is going on and/or call your legislators and tell them about the demands and why you support them.

Be the media – Write a blog about the General Strike or a letter to your local paper, take photos or videos of what is happening in your community.

Tell any friends or family you speak with on Friday and over the weekend about the General Strike campaign that is starting.

Share the word on social media – If you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media platform, look for posts/tweets about the General Strike and share them and/or create your own. Here are hashtags that will be used: #GeneralStrike2020 #MayDay2020 #CoronaStrike #PeoplesStrike #StrikeSelfie #RedForEd #MutualAid #RentStrike #WeDecide #StopShopping #SchoolsOut #NoBorders #ReleaseThePrisoners #NoShopping #NoWork #NoRent #NoPrisons #NoSchool

Ongoing Actions

This campaign will begin on May Day and continue for possibly years. There will be nationwide actions on the first of each month and targeted actions in between. All of the above actions are connected through this campaign.

Other parts of the strategy are building mutual aid networks and building alternative systems.

Mutual Aid – This is as simple as helping your neighbors in tough ties by providing food medicines, running errands or other forms of support. You can learn more about mutual aid at MutualAidDisasterRelief.org. Look for mutual aid efforts in your community and join them or start one. It is easiest to start one through existing groups such as community associations, churches or other organizations. Mutual aid will be essential to support each other as we build power in this campaign.

Alternative Systems – People around the world are building ways of organizing our societies based on solidarity, cooperation and participatory democracy. You can learn more about these efforts on our Resource Page, the Create section of our website and the New Economy tag. Start by joining a local group working on these efforts or start one in your community. We will have speakers on future calls to talk about this. You could start simply by gathering friends and neighbors and talking about what you need in your community and how to meet that need. Maybe it is a tool sharing effort or a childcare cooperative or a community garden.

Monthly Calls – We will hold monthly calls for educating ourselves, sharing information and planning how to support the monthly actions. If you missed the first call, you can watch it here. Register for those calls at bit.ly/MayDayMeeting.

As we wrote above, there is something for everyone to do in the General Strike campaign. Think about what talents and skills you have and how you can best use them to participate.

Here are images you can download and share on social media:

To download, place your cursor on the image, right-click and choose “save image as.” This will allow you to choose what to name the image and where to save it on your computer. Then click “save.”

  • jimprues

    This will be an arduous process, but our corporate controllers leave us no choice. We must rise up!

  • gardensheila

    Thank you for all your organizing and education efforts.

  • pajarito

    venceremos!! Strike against climate change, against deforestation and habitat loss. Strike against destruction of our land, water and natural resources. Strike for the animals dead from ingesting plastics and boycott plastics! Strike against the exploitation of women and women of color, and against rape and harassment. Strike against inequality and the billionaire class, against air pollution and the exploitation of people of color. Refuse to accept how COVID19 is worse for people of color and the elderly. Strike for children and the future they deserve. Strike against US imperialism, regime change and how the military industrial complex leads us toward destruction of our mother Earth.

  • John Schoonover

    In brief, strike against capitalism.

  • CreatrixJudy

    Just tried to email you about not finding video anywhere on the links in this article. The email bounced back because they “couldn’t find” your domain, even though I was replying to your email.

  • mmckinley

    OMG I can’t decide which of the signs to print and carry! Can I do them all?

  • mwildfire

    I just want to say that in the long run, the most important of the strike actions is Buy Nothing. The capitalists no longer need the labor of most of us. But the money streaming into their coffers is streaming out of our pockets. Buy locally from small businesses; grow or make your own; cut back on mindless consumption; experiment with barter.

  • Jon

    Save the US Postal Service: Central demand, REPEAL the requirement to fund retirement 75 years in advance! Use accumulated funds to maintain operations.

  • kevinzeese

    Here’s a report on May Day 2020 which will help people begin to plan for next month,June 1 https://paydayreport.com/immigrants-making-ppe-strike-after-a-co-worker-dies-of-covid/

  • Southern

    Unity is vitally important at this stage.

    I’d suggest an article in the near future on how not to vote like writing in third party candidates.

    For example; it appears that it only requires 271 electors from the electoral college to decide over who becomes the next occupant of the WH consequently the fate of 320 million and consequently the rest of the world pretty much depends on those 271 electors who for strange reason are not bound by the combined total of the popular vote.

    Out of a population of 320 million – how hard can it be to have 271 of the right people in place?

    Inquiring minds would like to know.

  • Steve

    What’s depressing is US postal service is one thing explicitly demanded by the US constitution not funding trillions to fortune 100s companies with little debate, yet US postal service has been required to self fund, quasi privatized, and generally neglected by congress. Just another example of corporate coup that took place in this county.