By Andrew Griffin
Activists are calling for people to stop working and buying things for a day to bring down Donald Trump.
A national general strike across the US is being called for 17 February – the Friday before President’s Day – as a way of protesting the new administration.
Those behind the strike hope that they can cause enough disruption to bring about change in the political system.
The argument was first published in the mainstream media in a Guardian article in which writer Francine Prose wrote that protests wouldn’t be enough to oppose Mr Trump.
“The trouble is that these protests are too easily ignored and forgotten by those who wish to ignore and forget them,” Prose wrote. “The barriers go up, the march takes place, the barriers come down. Everyone goes home happier.
“Let’s designate a day on which no one (that is, anyone who can do so without being fired) goes to work, a day when no one shops or spends money, a day on which we truly make our economic and political power felt, a day when we make it clear: how many of us there are, how strong and committed we are, how much we can accomplish.”
Much of the organizing of such an event is taking [place] online, and without the support of the official unions.
On Twitter, activists are posting under the #NationalStrike hashtag. A post by The Wire creator David Simon that used the hashtag and called for people to show that they believe in America by “refusing to work on the Friday before President’s Day” has received 3,000 retweets on its own.
One Facebook page supporting the event claims that the national strike will be a way of moving towards a new kind of politics. “At this dangerous point in our history, we must confront a bitter truth: any political system that can allow Donald Trump to come to power is not a system worth keeping,” the administrators of the page write.
“The logic of the general strike is simple,” the event’s page continues. Through cooperative action, each and every one of us refuses to comply with whatever orders the economic establishment has given to us.
“We walk out of our homes, our places of work, and our schools, and we join our fellow citizens in the streets and online in a peaceful display of resistance and solidarity. We refuse to shop or otherwise participate in the rigged economy that Trump presides over and is beholden to. In this way, we defy the establishment and create an opening for reconstitution.”Φ
Andrew Griffin is a technology reporter at The Independent.