You are hereForums / ADS Forums / Nonviolence / A Proposal for a National Strike on MayDay, 2008

A Proposal for a National Strike on MayDay, 2008

The original posting is on DocuDharma, 4 Apr 2008.

This is a simple proposal to not go to work for one day. If we do it individually and on random days, it matters not at all. If we do it together on one day by the thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, it will matter. The more who join, the more it will matter. United we stand, divided we fail to get their sufficient attention.

The theme of the strike is best expressed by the immortal words of Paddy Chayefsky. As the character Howard Beale in his screenplay Network proclaimed loudly:

"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

The purpose of the strike is whatever goal each individual has in mind. Whatever it is that is making you mad as hell, be it the War in Iraq, the price of fuel, inflation, wage stagnation, the collapse of the housing market, the bailout of subprime lenders, credit reporting agencies, health insurance companies, Big Business, Big Oil, Big Government, unaffordable prescription prices, lack of access to decent health care, pollution, Global Warming, mountain-top strip mining, human rights, torture, the prison nation, the assault on the Constitution, government agencies that don't do their job, or the corruption of our government at all levels - pick one or more, none at all, or make up your own and do not go to work or class on Thursday May 1, 2008.

Call in sick, take a vacation day, just don't show up. Cut class. Most of all cut class. One day is all that's being asked. Give one day to yourself. Use just one day out of your life to make whatever statement it is that you want the government and the corporate bosses to hear. Wear a T-shirt, carry a sign, gather in a public place, sleep in, go to the beach, take a hike, read a book, play with your children. Make your protest be your own issue, whatever frustrates you the most. Everyone in this country is mad at some aspect of what is being done to their lives by the impersonal manipulation and abuse of their well-being by forces beyond their control. Forces of deaf and blind institutions that have lost any sense of common humanity. Take one day back from them. Just one day. Together. All of us.

Massive, non-violent, peaceful protests get the attention of the MSM, the Government and the Corporate community. Make your voice heard by making your presence at work or school absent. One day. All of us, joined together. Just one simple little eight hour shift or one day of classes. One day to proclaim, for yourself:

"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

(Please cross-post, link and forward this proposal as much as you can. This protest needs no organizers, no leaders, no one specific cause. If you can't bring yourself to take just one day to make your voice heard then maybe you'll find someone who will.)

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

One day isn't enough.

...with the ILWU on May 1st and to not report for work, and to not spend a dime. I'll look around for a public gathering, and if I find something going on I'll put on a Nader T-shirt, fix up a sign that says something like "I'm Mad As Hell at the Double-Crossing Democrats in DC", join in and try to get my voice heard.

I hope there are enough other, everyday people like me who have similar plans, and our actions become viable enough to cost the crooks on Wall Street and Capitol Hill some anxiety.

I've read that Cynthia supports the MayDay Strike, and I'd bet my paycheck that Ralph does too. Haven't heard anything of the kind out of Barak or Hillary.

In Solidarity,
R Ap

It looks like getting people to simply respond to this is difficult. Over at the Big Orange I added a poll and the number of people responding "No, definitelyt" are the majority. They WILL NOT take one day to make their voices heard. The common thread seems to be fear for their employment. They love to throw around big comments about how righteous their positions are but when it comes to actually doing something they choke. It's sad.

I'm going to do another round of diaries today and recommend that if you can't spend a day then don't spend any money. Same as your statement above. It'll be interesting to see how that flies.

The point of action by inaction is to cause a noticeable blip on one day. To have the powers that be scratch their heads on May2 and ask themselves "WTF just happened?" They collectively need to have their cages rattled.

"He not busy being born is busy dying.", Bob Dylan

...that people are outraged--most of them, anyway--but, maybe just not enough yet. Maybe they haven't felt enough pain to get out of their zones yet. Maybe they haven't studied enough history to know what can happen, even here, in the USA.

I tried to talk to my wife about your proposal, and, like you said, she fears for her job. I'm sure it would be the same with my adult children.

I'm not handy with a computer, and I don't know enough people who think like I do, either personally or through the Net, to have a mailing list. Mostly, I just put my thoughts out through comments on other people's work, like I did here, on yours.

Thank you for putting this up, and for the one you're working on. I hope they can get some traction because I believe what you're proposing will rattle some cages that need to be rattled.

Anyway, nice to have gone back and forth with you. Maybe we'll run into each other some day.

R Ap

There's definitely a sense of outrage among the American people, but that outrage hasn't built up to the point where they're ready to take a risk and take action by making their voices heard.

Why won't they take the risk and act? The answer is depressingly simple -- it's because of fear.

Because of the "virtuous victim" culture which has flourished over the past seven years, there is a desire among many Americans to play the role of put-upon "victim" in order to rationalize and justify their refusal to get up and act like true patriots. Some tolerate the pain they're feeling in order to have a better story to tell during their "poor-me-baby" pity parties, while others endure the pain in hopes of obtaining a better afterlife.

The "forgotten Americans" of the Great Depression era didn't sit around feeling sorry for themselves; they got up and took action by staging general strikes and other actions which got the attention of lawmakers, including Franklin Roosevelt, who decided to run for President because he was inspired by ther actions of those "forgotten Americans" who chose not to act like victims, but chose to take action.

It's really sad that so many of our fellow citizens have so bought into the "virtuous victim" mind-set that they're willing to tolerate the most hideous sins in order to hoild another "poor-me-baby" pity party where they can nurse, rehearse and broadcast their alleged grievances to all and sundry.

...when the people who fear losing their jobs for speaking out end up losing them anyway, maybe that's when they'll think about getting active.

I heard McCain was out in the Rust Belt the other day, campaigning. He was telling the people who lost their good factory/foundry jobs to other countries (thanks to NAFTA-like stuff that Bill Clinton's "New Democrats" like) that those jobs weren't coming back, but that he'd see to it that they were trained in something else. Whichever of the two that gets the nod for these new Democrats will be out there saying the same thing when the time comes.

Well, our local paper is full of adds for jobs as telemarketers, nurse assistants, fast food workers, and newspaper carriers (what I do to supplement my Social Security check). That's about it, but I suppose some of those jobs require a little training.

Maybe that's their plan to take the edge off the anger the country saw in the 30s, and maybe it'll work--but maybe not. I'm retired now, so I don't have long to think about it, but I do hate to think about my adult children having to try and feed their children off wages from those kinds of jobs. I'm going to get out there every chance I get, and try to get my children the same chances those "forgotten Americans" of the Great Depression got for their children.

This MayDay, I hope the streets are full of people just like me. If they are, maybe we can help to save the jobs of those who are afraid of losing them.

R Ap

Where the promotion for this? Can our right hollywood brothers and sisters help?

Can we organize so that the people who suffer wage loss and possible job loss can be supported financially, etc. by the wider peace movement? This is an opportunity for us to transcend our individualism and become a deeper community in solidarity.

Eli S. McCarthy

posting on website forums, Meetup sites, etc. ...

Hopefully, someday we can get to the point of an organized protest everyday, after all we do have the internet ;-)



I'm working on a "No Purchases on May 1" that I'll post here later.

"He not busy being born is busy dying.", Bob Dylan

I'm working on a "No Purchases on May 1" that I'll post here later.

"He not busy being born is busy dying.", Bob Dylan

The no purchases day should happen the same time the no work day happens! We need to shut the economy down.

...of this and sent it to a guy I know in Sioux Falls, SD, who helps to organize rallies, marches, vigils, etc., and asked him if he could plan something around it and get word out through his network. Said he would see what he could do.

If he can get something going, I plan be there.

In Solidarity,
R Ap

...with unions or immigrant workers," he said in an email today. "Next year we will have an event."

No other solidarity for this around here, that I can find. See what next year looks like.

R Ap

How is punishing the workers and business people a good way to get the government off our backs? Not spending any money or not going to work that day does absolutely nothing but hurt our economy. Why not make a day of calling government offices or media stations or having sit ins at government buildings? Just taking a day to do whatever you feel like is called a 'weekend'.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Speaking Events



August 2-6: Peace and Democracy Conference at Democracy Convention in Minneapolis, Minn.


September 22-24: No War 2017 at American University in Washington, D.C.


October 28: Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference

Find more events here.


Support This Site


Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.



Speaking Truth to Empire


Families United


Ray McGovern


Julie Varughese


Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.



Ca-Dress Long Prom Dresses Canada
Ca Dress Long Prom Dresses on

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.