Are You "Spring Trained" For May Day?
By Danny Schechter, News Dissector
Our Own Stand Your Ground Message, 1894
...Let the winds lift your banners from far lands
With a message of strife and of hope:
Raise the Maypole aloft with its garlands
That gathers your cause in its scope....
...Stand fast, then, Oh Workers, your ground,
Together pull, strong and united:
Link your hands like a chain the world round,
If you will that your hopes be requited.
Walter Crane, The Workers' Maypole, 1894
New York, New York: When you hear the term "Spring Training," most of us think baseball, but, this year, it has a different context because the Occupy Movement has appropriated the term to describe educating and preparing activists for non-violent nationwide protests and a hoped for General Strike slated for May Day 2012, this May 1.
This idea of "Spring" is more connected to the "Arab Spring," a time of revolt than the season we've entered.
Can this relatively new movement pull off an ambitious General Strike to shut down a city like New York? In many ways, the success of this tactic requires alliances and coalitions that take far more time to build. Internal fears of "co-optation" may make it harder for Occupy to reach out to movements and political tendencies that are more reformist, although some labor unions are supportive.
Even if Occupy can't fully "shut it down" this year, the actions will attract media attention and show that this movement is still going and growing. It will become one more building block for sustained direct action.