The last time I went on strike, we won. The employees of the San Francisco newspapers marched around the premises with signs, the readers stopped reading management's sad little scab papers and the owners of the papers lost millions in the 11 days of the strike. Yes, they actually made money a decade ago. These days they lose millions without anybody going on strike.
Now all Americans, or the sane 70 percent, are asked to go on strike against our government. I don't think Bush & Co. will be easier to beat than a couple of lousy newspapers, but what else can we do?
In an desperately eloquent essay in the October Harper's, Garrett Keizer argues that we shouldn't wait until the Bush administration is replaced. He suggests that a citizenry that "believes it is already dead" can revive its ideals by starting a general strike on Nov. 7, turning a local election day into the start of a national diselection year.
Rather, we would re-elect ourselves to our rightful place over an imperial presidency.
We may lose, writes Keizer, but "don't tell me what some presidential hopeful ought to do someday. Tell me what the people who have nearly lost their hope can do right now."
So, until Jan. 20, 2009, when Bush and Cheney are scheduled to exit stage far-right, let's hear the chant. On strike, shut it down.
I don't know how I can go on strike without a job, but maybe it has something to do with what gets mailed on April 15. I also don't know whether this would be a strike or a lockout.
If our cities are leveled by natural disaster, we are told to fix them ourselves. If we get sick without insurance, we are told to just go to an emergency room. If we don't like our country invading others without cause, well, speak slowly into the phone because your calls are being monitored for population control.
Yeah, it's a lockout. And marching around with a sign and chanting is hard. What else can we do?
Maybe I'll hold my breath until the nation turns blue.