- Don’t cross the picket line – if there’s a strike in your town, honor it.
- Shutting things down is essential.
- Take care of each other, but step up now.
Let’s unpack those a little bit:
First, and for a reason, is the reminder not to cross the picket line. This means if there’s a strike planned in your town – you need to go to the strike and not go to work or school like normal. Click here to find a strike near you, there are more than 1000 events planned already.
It’s ok to only come to part of the event – take an hour off, or go in late if you need to. But make sure to honor the sacrifice and courage of all the people, especially young people, who are walking out.
Here’s an awesome video by a young person, that helps explain:
View this post on Instagram
SOUND ON ? Full video is live! Like a lot of kids @HawkeyeHuey is hearing about #ClimateChange and the #ClimateCrisis we are facing, and it's freaking him out! He – and every other child – has the right to a safe environment. In collaboration with Hawkeye and @Bemo_Studio we created this animated short film demanding #ClimateAction from our politicians. . . TOMORROW we are going on strike in solidarity with students around the world. Is your class ready? Are your kids walking out? Support the movement by registering at strikewithus.org (link in bio) and joining the strike! . . Video created in solidarity with the millions of youth leaders striking around the world and @earthguardians @futurecoalition @xiuhtezcatl @youthvgov @350org @gretathunberg #strikewithus #amplifierart #FridaysforFuture
To those who have studied the history of the labor movement, in this country and elsewhere, this may seem obvious. But America does not have as strong a labor movement as other countries, and not everyone knows the history of strikes and what they mean. There’s lots more to say and read on the topic and I recommend this new Steven Greenhouse book to you for more, but the short version is that a Strike is a tactic, one of the 198 original methods of disrupting dictatorship listed by Gene Sharp. The point is the mass refusal of employees to work, usually to force management to recognize and comply with a demand. If you’re going to work or school, you’re not observing the strike, and you’re making it harder for all of us who ARE striking to get what we demand.
Second — and extending from the fact that this is a STRIKE, and not a march or a rally or a protest or something else) — The point is to shut things down. You wouldn’t believe how many emails I’ve gotten in the last few weeks warning me that we will ‘lose public support’ if we shut down workplaces or roads. But that’s an argument that has the facts backwards — the vast majority of the public already supports action on climate change. But our government has been polluted by dirty money and taken over by fossil-fuel-fascists.
The simple fact is that the status quo is our enemy. Silence and acquiescence are death. If we don’t stop the fossil fuel machine that’s running, it will literally kill us all. That’s why so many of the actions next week focus on shutting down places like Washington DC, where US climate policy is (not) made; or specific coal fired power plants in New England. Kids are going on strike for their future, and an intergenerational movement is shutting down the the systems and facilities that are destroying our climate. That’s what this moment is about.
Last, take care of each other, but step up now. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. I know (I really do) that it is hard and it is scary to step in front of traffic, or sit down in front of a door that somebody wants to walk through, or just sit down in a politicians office and refuse to move when people ask nice, and when they ask not-nicely.
It’s hard. But in this moment, it’s incredibly necessary. So even and especially if it makes you uncomfortable -step up NOW and take action. Join a protest and risk arrest. Tell your boss you’re not coming in to work “because Climate Change”, Or, if all else fails, just call out a politician like Greta Thunberg did when she said:
“Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people to give them hope. But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful; I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act, I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house was on fire, because it is.”
So there it is – go strike tomorrow. Do what is hard, and help each other. Love, Drew and the 198 methods crew