An opinion on the General Strike Posters

Categories: Open Mic

Just a quick comment on the general strike poster with the heading “TO THE STREETS” (which has the photo of a recent Occupy Oakland march with the police cruiser bottom right). 

After “GENERAL STRIKE” it reads “ANTI CAPITALIST MARCH” (and the first bullet point reads “ANTI CAPITALISM”).  In fairness to the Occupy movement’s participants it may be more accurate to say “STOP OUT OF CONTROL CAPITALISM” or “STOP CORRUPTION IN CAPITALISM NOW”. 

I marched with Occupy Santa Cruz on Saturday October 15th, Occupy Oakland on the 22nd and again on the 29th (and with San Francisco in the afternoon on the 29th).  I appreciate the fact that radical views need be heard, but I have to say that many of us marching with Occupy in Santa Cruz, SF and Oakland are not against Capitalism, but are here because we recognize that regardless of what economic system we have in place, corruption, greed and violence will be present.  This is an unfortunate and long standing situation which makes it our responsibility as citizens to evolve ourselves and our economic systems to serve justice.  Certainly the system we now have does not serve justice, but to label the Occupy movement as simply “Anti Capitalist” is too general.  Fed up with corruption and greed in all its forms is more accurate. 

This is a new movement, there are many people watching and listening, their guts are telling them what this all means, and soon they will make decisions about how they will participate.  If we simply call the movement ”anti capitalist” we lose the support of many people here in the US.  I say keep that door open, gather momentum, and transform the economic system into one that serves everyone – regardless of what form it takes or what it ends up being called.  People know the current system sucks, our job is to show everyone how brutal the current form of Capitalism is and invite them to help us straighten this mess up.  People are ready for change, let’s get them to join us out in the streets - its going to take a shitload more of us than we currently have participating now.

Joseph McMahon, Capitola, CA

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One Response to “An opinion on the General Strike Posters”

  1. Zuccotti

    I agree with Joseph. I walked by Frank Ogawa Plaza this morning and was appalled to see a banner reading something to the effect of “End Capitalism” and “Free All Prisoners”. This is exactly what Wall Street, Fox News and the Republicans would love to see more of so that Occupy Wall Street will be marginalized. OWS has seized Americans attention and done a remarkable job of changing the national debate from ending the debt to the corruption of Wall Street. We need to stay focused on the broader messages that will be heard and embraced by mainstream Americans. Every time we allow extremist messages The Man wins. I’ve been to OWS in Zucchotti Park twice and I gotta tell you there is a HUGE difference between the seriousness and smart strategies of our East Coast friends and the silliness and frankly stupidity of a lot of Occupy Oakland. The punks and anarchists co-opted the march last Tuesday night with their obvious desire to fight the cops. The cops are not the enemy. The cops are pawns of the establishment. I say to the punks and anarchists go home and grow up. The peace line that stopped violence the other night was FANTASTIC! Whoever organized that response to the violence should be congratulated and emulated. The General Strike is a smart move because it involves a much larger segement of the community and brings in the strength of the unions. Fighting over the right to camp in a park is absurd, childish and misses the point. Keep our eyes on the prize – don’t be distracted by the punks.

    It’s time that we seize the moment and put out positive and smart messaging. Choose leaders. Organize.

    I believe in Occupy Wall Street
    I believe in economic equality.
    I believe in restoring the American Dream for all, not just the few.
    I believe that paying taxes is patriotic.
    I believe that we should de-link our 401-K and 403-B retirement accounts from the stock market. We should have complete control of our own retirement accounts to invest however we choose – such as local businesses, local bonds, real estate. As long as Americans retirement funds are tied into corporate profits via the stock market, people will be docile. De-link now!
    I believe that there should be NO CAP on social security taxes.
    I believe that investment income and capital gains should be taxed at the same rate (or higher) than payroll taxes.
    I believe that inheritances over $1 million should be taxed at a 75% rate.
    I believe that the Glass-Steagall Act should be restored.
    I believe there should be a constitutional amendment to limit personhood to people, not corporations.
    Occupy. With intelligence, grit and savvy strategies.
    Spread the word!