Don't Miss Out

Subscribe to OCA's News & Alerts.

Occupy Oakland Attempts to Shut Down City with America's First General Strike in 65 Years

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Politics and Democracy page and our California News page.


At Occupy Oakland's October 27 General Assembly, activists still sore and weary from a night of brutal police crackdowns (but also energized after re-taking the plaza from which they'd been violently evicted 36 hours before) considered whether to attempt to organize the first general strike in this country in 65 years.

It would be an extremely tall order. But today, they might just pull off a feat that appeared all but impossible just a few short days ago.

At the General Assembly, activists debated whether to move quickly, capitalizing on the attention the previous day's police actions had brought to their cause, or give themselves more time to organize. "I support a general strike right now to take advantage of this momentum," said one speaker excitedly at the "people's mic" that evening. "We should strike while the iron's hot!" The sentiment was greeted by raucous applause, and the resolution passed shortly afterward.

Wednesday, November 2, was the date chosen. The strike, said activist Louise Michel at an October 31 press conference, was spurred "by a need to end police attacks on our communities, to defend our schools and libraries against closures, and against this economic system." The occupiers, Michel continued, called for "a day of action in which the circulation of capital is blockaded, students walk out of their schools and people stage various occupations" around the city. The activists vowed to protest any businesses that keep their doors open during the strike.