Strike
September 9, 2022 12:08 PM   Subscribe

People keep talking about how protests are no good. But I have experienced a nationwide general strike (I was 20 and didn't really have any context for it). I know they can work. I'd like to learn more about nationwide (or larger, if any) general strikes from everywhere in the world. The kind where the streets are full of people and bustling one day and completely empty the next.

Books, video, personal experience, articles, websites, and so forth. Pop and academic.
posted by aniola to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
A strike really isn't the same thing as a protest.
posted by orange swan at 1:07 PM on September 9 [5 favorites]


Strike! by Jeremy Brecher is a well known book about major strikes in the US.

Also who is telling you protests are no good? That's a rather ahistorical and un-strategic sort of statement. Tell them I said voting doesn't work, either!
posted by RajahKing at 1:39 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


I found this reflection on the state of European general strikes thought provoking.
posted by latkes at 2:36 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: I am explicitly interested in focusing on the kind of strikes mentioned at the end of the article latkes shared. I have edited the sentence from that article to say what I'm looking to learn about:

All-out, ongoing, large-scale strikes, where everyone puts their individual and collective well-being on the table until they get a better deal.
posted by aniola at 2:58 PM on September 9


I'm always in awe of the time when women went on strike in Iceland.
posted by hydra77 at 2:58 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


I don't understand the question after your clarification. Are you specifically interested in "strikes where everyone puts their well-being on the table" (that's true of all strikes, pretty much be definition), or only general strikes "where the streets are full of people and bustling one day and completely empty the next" (which is not even true of all general strikes).

In any case, Matewan is a great movie.
posted by caek at 3:03 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Response by poster: general strikes "where the streets are full of people and bustling one day and completely empty the next" with a de-emphasis on the US and EU
posted by aniola at 3:23 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


so specifically NOT a strike in which people march or picket or anything? A strike in which everyone stays home?
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 4:05 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


(apologies if that's a silly question but I cannot tell how literally you mean for us to take the descriptions. the general strikes I've seen in my time have definitely NOT involved empty quiet streets.)
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 4:07 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Best answer: The search term "stay at home strike" brings up some fascinating results (1, 2a, 2b). I've just learned about a 1943 strike by Torres Strait Islander enlistees for more wages equality in the Australian Army. That's a localised and specific sit-in and not quite 'empty city streets' but it's part of the continuum I think the OP is referring too.
posted by Thella at 6:09 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Response by poster: so specifically NOT a strike in which people march or picket or anything? A strike in which everyone stays home?

One in which 99% of everyone stays home if they have one. Pretty much anyone who doesn't stay home is at a huge rally or something.
posted by aniola at 6:39 PM on September 9


Response by poster: ... but if there's other kinds of mass general strikes in which 99% of everyone in a country/nation/big region is involved, I'm interested in learning about those, too.
posted by aniola at 7:08 PM on September 9


Response by poster: A strike really isn't the same thing as a protest.

I experienced a country-wide Nepali bandh, which as I understand it, is a strike that is a form of protest.
posted by aniola at 10:01 PM on September 10


A strike really isn't the same thing as a protest.

A strike is a protest. Not all protests are strikes.
posted by Thella at 2:21 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


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