How You Can Occupy May 1
May 1968 in France saw the largest general strike that ever stopped the economy of an advanced industrial country, the first wildcat general strike in history, and a series of student occupation protests. The prolonged strike involved eleven million workers for two weeks in a row, and its impact was such that it almost caused the collapse of the government of President Charles de Gaulle. Such explosion was provoked by groups in revolt against modern consumer and technical society, embracing left-wing positions that were even more critical of Stalinist totalitarianism than of Western capitalism. The movement contrasted with the labor unions and the French Communist Party (Parti Communiste Français, PCF), which started to side with the de Gaulle government in the goal of containing the revolt.
Many saw the events as an opportunity to shake up the "old society" and traditional morality, focusing especially on the education system and employment. It began as a long series of student strikes that broke out at a number of universities and lycées in Paris, following confrontations with university administrators and the police. The de Gaulle administration's attempts to quash those strikes by police action only inflamed the situation further, leading to street battles with the police in the Latin Quarter, followed by a general strike by students and strikes throughout France by eleven million French workers, roughly two-thirds of the French workforce. The protests reached such a point that de Gaulle created a military operations headquarters to deal with the unrest, dissolved the National Assembly and called for new parliamentary elections for 23 June 1968.
The government was close to collapse at that point (de Gaulle had even taken temporary refuge at an air force base in Germany), but violence evaporated almost as quickly as it arose. Workers went back to their jobs, after a series of deceptions by the Confédération Générale du Travail (the leftist union federation) and the PCF. When the elections were finally held in June, the Gaullist party emerged even stronger than before.
May 1968 was a political failure for the protesters, but it had an enormous social impact. In France, it is considered to be the watershed moment when a conservative moral ideal (religion, patriotism, respect for authority) shifted towards a more liberal moral ideal (equality, sexual liberation, human rights) that today better describes French society...
Now 44 years later in 2012, the Occupy Movement in America is calling for a general strike across the country. What can you do? Start by watching this, then get off your ass and fix your world, because if you don't do it, no one is going to do it for you.
There are 310 million Americans who, so far, are acting like they are outnumbered by a few thousand wall streeters, media moguls, insurance company and weapons manufacturer execs and other assorted 'plutocrats', 100 senators, 435 congresspeople, and maybe a couple of hundred in the US Administration.