How to Support the Strike Even if You’re Unemployed/Disabled/Work from Home

Cartoon of scrawny, angry black cat, back arched, claws extended, bottle-brush tail, mouth open as if shrieking

"Sabo-Tabby" -- A Symbol for a General Strike

Note: I’m a little late in getting this post up. I lost power for several days and then having been having internet problems. Do what you can for today, but also remember that this is just the first of what will be many days of action and general strikes. We can use this and build on it. Please post suggestions in the comments, and I will add them for this or future general strikes/days of action.

A General Strike and Day of Mass Action has been called by Occupy Oakland (#OO) for today, Wednesday, November 2. People around the world are acting in solidarity with #OO. If you are unable to work due to disability, are unemployed, or work at home, you can still strike! Here are some ways you can take part (recognizing that not everyone will be able to do everything — just do what you can).

Anyone/everyone: DON’T . . . 

  • Don’t buy anything! (Very important!)
  • If you absolutely must buy a necessity, buy from a local, small business, not from an online store, a chain/corporation, etc. And pay in cash. Don’t use a check and especially not a credit card.
  • Don’t drive or have people drive on your behalf.
  • Don’t buy pay services online like Hulu or Netflix
  • Follow what’s happening at encampments and actions around the country or world.
  • Call, tweet, and email your elected officials, at the local, state, and federal levels. Tell them you support the 99 percent movement, and tell them why. Tell them your personal story.
  • Call, tweet, and/or email the mayors, police departments, and governors of locations where there is police violence, repression, disciplinary action, or other retaliation against protesters and strikers. Very important. Tell them you support the right of the people, written in the First Amendment, to public assembly. Ask that the police not use gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, or other forms of violence. Speak with courtesy and kindness: the police, dispatchers, and operators are part of the 99 percent. Let them know the world is watching them.
  • Tweet, post, and discuss the events you read about with people in your life — your family, friends, children, coworkers.
  • Talk about what the movement means to you, why it matters, how it affects you.
  • Tell your story.
  • Mail and/or deliver needed supplies to your local Occupy effort. You can find a listing of different Occupies at Occupy Together. From there, you can contact local groups and find out what they need. In many cases, they will say, “bodies.” If you can’t go, choose one of the larger encampments, such as #ows (New York City), to send supplies to.
Badge that says STRIKE! at bottom in white. A black, alarmed-looking cat-face with a red background.

I Support the General Strike!

If you are a BLOGGER:

  • Write a post supporting the strike.
  • Use the badge above, with the image and the text, on your blog post.
  • Tell your story of how corporate interests buying our political system has affected you in a personal way.
  • Talk about your experience reading, viewing, or attending any of the encampments or protests.
  • Draw parallels about what’s happening today with nonviolent movements of resistance in the past, such as the Viet-Nam war protests, the Civil Rights movement, ADAPT actions, and other events.

If you Work from Home:

  • Take the day off!
  • Give your employees the day off and let them know where the closest actions are occurring, should they be interested in participating.
  • Don’t answer your phone or email. Don’t make calls.
  • Put a message on your voicemail or as an automated email reply that you are taking the day off as part of the General Strike and Day of Mass Action.

If you’re a student (online or on campus):

  • Don’t attend classes!
  • Don’t email in homework!
  • Don’t log on to school/class website!
  • Gather with other students for show of solidarity with the General Strike!

If you’re on disability and/or chronically ill:

  • If you employ personal care assistants (PCA), homemakers, or other carers, and you are able to give them some or all of their shift off to attend an action, do it!
  • If you have the time/flexibility, send your assistant or caretaker with supplies to the nearest encampment/protest to you. *The most needed supplies are listed at the bottom of this post.*
  • People with chronic illness and disability are major consumers of the healthcare system. The medical system in the US is intimately connected to the corporate interests of the health insurance industry, which dictates public/government policy and therefore affects health care. Do not go to the doctor, hospital, physical therapist, or other health care appointments today. Reschedule them.
  • One example of this unholy partnership is BCAM (breast cancer awareness month). Here’s a post about one aspect of the corporate influence on breast cancer advocacy.

Other creative ideas:

    • Write “Occupy” on one side of all your dollar bills, and “Decolonize” on the other side.
    • If you get junk mail offering you credit cards, send the envelope (and if you want to get creative, put note cards or cardboard or other heavy stuff in the envelope) back to the bank. Then the bank has to pay for the return postage.
    • Be the person who an affinity group can call to check in, or to tell them that they got arrested. This requires having the legal contact number as well as emergency contacts for all the group members.
    • The fabulousness of the ideas in this blog post, Eleven Simple Ways to Support the Occupy Movement without Sleeping in a Park, are only exceeded by the many fabulous, creative ideas in the comments to this post. This is a rich source of brain power and creativity. Please read it for more great ideas on how to support the strike and day of action, as well as the movement in general.

Things to Mail or Bring to Protests and Encampments:

  • The need I see most frequently is WATER. You can imagine. It’s needed to drink, to wash, for first aid, etc. Deliver as much water as you can.
  • The next most common needs I see listed are for food (especially hot or prepared/ready-to-eat food and/or vegan food), generators, toilet paper and other hygiene needs, and with cold weather setting in, warm things — blankets, socks, mittens, coats, towels, protection from the elements.

More needs include:

  • Batteries/Extension Cords/Generators
  • Tarps/Tents
  • Plastic Containers/Plastic Bags
  • Food/ Water
  • Blankets/Pillows
  • Mittens/Hats/Socks
  • Art Supplies
  • Lights/Tea Lights
  • Hand Warmers
  • Tables/Chairs
  • Musical Instruments
  • Propane/Grilling Stoves
  • Toiletries
  • Radios
  • Coolers/Ice Packs
  • Rope/Twine
  • Winter Weather Gear
Comment with other ideas for supporting actions, the strike, and the movement. Or post about what YOU did today in solidarity with #OO and the General Strike!

About Sharon Wachsler

Sharon Wachsler divides her time between writing, activism, and dog training — passions that overlap. Sharon has been a freelance writer and editor of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for two decades, focusing primarily on lesbian erotica, disability rights and culture, humor, and service dogs and their training.
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5 Responses to How to Support the Strike Even if You’re Unemployed/Disabled/Work from Home

  1. THe badge appears cut off! Is there one that doesn’t?

    • Unfortunately, right now that’s the largest one I had access to. I have tweeted the owner of the graphic and asked to email me a larger version. If I get one, I’ll put it up.

  2. romham says:

    i can’t not use public transit and/or handidart (door-to-door service for PWDs), but i can certainly have conversations with the unionized and non-unionized workers who run them. As well, i cant not keep my appointments. Theyve sometimes taken 6 months or more to get. What i CAN do is inject pieces into them which reflect my understandings of how its all impacting me and others.

    Another thing i like to do is use my scooter as a traveling info booth. Posters, homemade bumper stickers, info pamphlets, any way i can spread the word, i’ll take it!

    • Thank you for these great ideas!

      Yes, when I used a scooter, I could put signs and stickers on it. My pchair now doesn’t really allow it, which is a bummer, because I’d love to sticker it.

      Talking to people is really the key. There’s a lot of misinformation about what the movement is about, so discussing what it means is really crucial. Thank you for doing this and for reminding me to focus on that, too!

  3. Pingback: Occupy Tri-Cities » OTC Newsletter November 3, 2011 Volume 1, Issue 3

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