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"It was not by accident or coincidence that the rights to freedom in speech and press were coupled in a single guaranty with the rights of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition for redress of grievances. All these, though not identical, are inseparable. They are cognate rights, and therefore are united in the first Article’s assurance."                                     - Judge Wiley B. Rutledge

"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it."                                        
-John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

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          EXIT  STRATEGY:          General Strike USA          
Corporate America's greatest historical victory was destroying the idea of Union. As well as, of course, destroying actual unions along the way, wherever possible, and with relish. Many individual unions are still around, obviously. Some are trying to make a comeback and regain relevance. But destroying the idea of the workers of the lower and middle class uniting was the real victory.
Because it largely destroyed the idea of Solidarity, as well. The idea of the non-ruling classes banding together to protest and work against the excesses of the ruling class. And the very real idea that we, if we choose to, can shut the whole thing down.
If someone were to suggest, for example, that we begin a general strike ... for the sole purpose of removing this regime from power, how readily and with what well-practiced assurance would you find yourself producing the words "It won't do any good"? Plausible and even courageous in the mouth of a patient who knows he's going to die, the sentiment fits equally well in the heart of a citizen-ry that believes it is already dead.

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Individually we find that we are powerless against corporate media or Big Oil or Washington. Our choices are limited. Our effectiveness diminished. This is not by accident. Unions, social gatherings, clubs that all flourished before the 1960s have all been destroyed by those who find you & me to be a threat.
Without direct action, republican democracy is truly disempowering: our only means of influence are to beg the Very Serious And Important Intermediary - the congressman, the governor, the president, etc. - to do something on our behalf.
We all know how well that has worked out.
Today people will tell you that protest are ineffective. And they are. But real change does not come from the ballot box. Great social change like the eight hour work day, child labor laws, a woman's right to vote, civil rights, etc., etc. all came about through blood & sweat & great effort.
The Establishment wants us to focus all of our energy on elections because elections are the controlled space whereby popular ferment can be contained by rules, regulations, etc. But there are many different methods of direct action - ie. taking matters into our own hands - that can wield a tremendous amount of power.
The only effective action left to take now in order to stop the gears and levers of this lemming-like perpetual motion machine of destruction is---to do nothing. That's right, nothing.  To go on strike.
It is one thing to endure abuses and to carry on in spite of them. It is quite another thing to carry on to the point of abetting the abuse. We need to move the discussion of our nation's health to the emergency room. We need to tell the doctors of the body politic that the treatment isn't working-and that until it changes radically for the better, neither are we.
How much better if we could say to our next administration: Don't talk about Bush. We dealt with Bush. We dealt with Bush and in so doing we demonstrated our ability to deal with you. You have a mandate more rigorous than looking good beside Bush. You need a program more ambitious than "uniting the country." We are united-at least we were, if only for a while, if only in our disgust.
And really, what have we got to lose? Especially relative to what could be gained from a new feeling of solidarity, from a new feeling of power, from a new feeling that WE matter.
Taking the day off, not buying anything. That part is easy. What's the hard part? Spreading the word, getting the message out, reminding The People that they have the power to shut it down.

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Would the politicians in congress, and presidential hopefuls, do what people wanted them to do if they thought they were going to get absolutely zero votes this November if they didn't do what people wanted them to do?
They are politicians. What would they do?
I think they would do things faster than you ever thought possible.
Nothing else we have done in the past has had much or any result in accomplishing our goals-- not millions marching in the streets before the invasion of Iraq, not letters, phone calls, sit ins, petitions, town hall meetings, not electing a Democratic majoriy in 2006.  "We the people" have not been, and are not being, heard.
Yet what you need is not marches, demonstrations, rallies or wide associations; all of them are important. What you need is direct action. The sooner people understand that, the sooner we'll begin to change things. --Arthur Scargill
General strikes shut down the normal operations of a city, state, or nation for a period of time. These strikes aim to force action on a single issue or broader set of concerns.
The reason for this shutdown is not to hurt this country in any way shape or form. But is in fact a peaceful method of sending a message to Washington, D.C.
The General Strike is a national call to action, from citizens to other citizens.
It is not about a single issue. It is not an anti-war protest, a gas price protest, a civil rights protest, an election fraud protest. It is not about torture, surveillance, corporate media, or the environment.
This strike is about all these issues and more.
The strike targets key issues facing the American public, issues that have not been addressed in any meaningful way by any branch of government.
Unions, corporations, &  the major  parties  have failed to deal with  pressing matters  of war & peace, income  inequality, crime & punishment  &  the  meaning  of  citizenship  itself,  it  has  fallen  to  the  American  people  to  set  things  right!
Public protest is an important part of democracy, just like a free press, a judiciary, and congress. Our causes are many but it's time to make our voices as one.
1) Sign up with your email address HERE in order to get updates,
2) Send this URL to all your friends, post it to forums, put it on your personal pages, http://www.votestrike.com  There will be ZERO mainstream media discussion of this General Strike BEFORE it happens. ZERO. So, we must BE OUR OWN MEDIA and promote it. Link to this site from sites and blogs. Mention it with links in your comments on blogs. PROMOTE IT. 
3)  Join the Consumer Fast already underway. Click here: Shut'EmDown  

4)  YOU will need to plan/set up & hold your own local protest details here: http://votestrike.com/shut_em_down/
I also encourage those of you who have signed up to vigorously promote your protest. To contact local activist groups, through www.meetup.com, www.tribe.net, Myspace, all social networks via the internet, your church groups,  etc.
It is imperative for YOU to promote the General Strike for it to have any success. This should include, but not be limited to: writing/publishing articles, essays, poems, posting in forums, commenting in blogs, starting your own blog, newspaper ads, online ads, local random phone calls, letters to editors, opeds, freeway banners, bumper stickers, car signs, yard signs, street signs, every online newspaper allows comments (NY Times, Washington Post, etc.), call in to talk  radio shows, print & distribute flyers............
IF YOU FAIL AT PROMOTION BUSH & CO. WILL WALK AWAY.........SCOTT FREE, with congressional medals of honor & big fat speaking checks from Halliburton.,

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5) Take the lead and help organize a protest on 9/11. 
A web tool being used for practical organization is meetup.com. You can just type in your ZIP code, join a group with which you share ideas/feelings and which meets near your location, and start organizing. Use these key words to search for meetup groups near you. There's bound to be some!  9-11; peace; impeach Bush; civil rights; grassroots; stop PATRIOT Act; democracy for America; human rights; against Bush; election reform
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Whether you call it the world financial structure, the U.S. culture of waste, or the ability of the common man to make a decent living, the system is broken. It's time for the common man to go on strike. Join or support the March on Washingon (more...)
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