Minnesota Students Support Wisconsin With Walkout, Discuss General Strike

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Yesterday, University of Minnesota students called a general assembly to stand in solidarity with the people of Wisconsin and to discuss what’s involved in a general strike. There have been calls in Madison for a general strike to stand up to the union-busting tactics of Governor Scott Walker. A general strike is very rare, but it did produce the eight-hour work day (1886 in Chicago, New York, Milwaukee) and unionized the auto industry and the west coast ports of the United States (both in 1934).

A general strike means that everyone walks off their jobs, defying the government, employers and the unions. Unions are prohibited from calling a general strike or organizing sympathy strikes. The general strike is a bottoms-up action, in that it is started and fueled by the grassroots workers. Many colleges in the Twin Cities staged walkouts at 2 p.m. on Friday March 11, but the U of M students also held a very serious discussion of possible radical actions in support of Wisconsin activists.

Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

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