It’s Time: The Oakland General Strike Is Here


A Men's Wearhouse shutting down for the Oakland General Strike

Well this is going to be something.

Oakland’s general strike is today. Organizers are expecting tens of thousands of people. Almost every labor union has endorsed, and students will be walking out all over the Bay Area (solidarity statements here).

Businesses throughout Oakland are shutting down (partial list here), including, apparently, Men’s Wearhouse(!) and the Grand Park Theater (here’s their marquee.) Some of Oakland’s schools will close and nearly 200 teachers have requested subs for the day. UCSF nursing students will be working medical in Oakland.

Here’s how you can participate, wherever you are. NLG/OccupyLegal hotline will be on all day and night tomorrow. Call 415-285-1011 with any reports of arrests or police brutality. If you’re going to protest, write the number on your arm or skin somewhere. They will take your phone if arrested.

What’s happening today is really important.

Don’t believe me? Here’s writers from Jerry Stahl to Ursula Le Guin to Alice Walker to D.A. Powell talking about Occupy Wall Street

Also, here’s Oakland legend Jack London’s great-granddaughter on the police brutality last week. 

“A group of indigenous Ohlone & Miwok elders and Buddhist monks have been hiking to Occupy Oakland from 225 miles away. 10:30am they arrive.” 

Speaking of the police, here’s an open letter from the Oakland Police Association, calling out the Mayor for giving all other employees paid holidays and forcing them to come to work when they are part of the 99%. They are also asking her to stop sending confusing messages, etc.

Also, here’s a pretty good rebuttal to their excuse that they were following orders. 

Here’s a letter from Oakland Port officials. Protestors are planning on shutting down the Port of Oakland at 7pm tomorrow.

This is also important: tomorrow, when this is done, go to Oakland and support local businesses.

Are you a freelance writer? Don’t write for any paid sites today. 

A feminist and queer meetup at 4:30 at the Walgreens at 14th and Broadway. 

And finally, I’ll leave you with some amazing protest poster porn, including “I Can Haz General Strike,” which features some excellent use of the now-famous Washington Post picture of an Oakland PD officer petting a kitten after raiding the camp.

Seth Fischer's writing has appeared in Best Sex Writing 2013, Buzzfeed, PankGuernica, Lunch Ticket, Gertrude, and elsewhere. His Rumpus piece "Notes from a Unicorn" was listed as a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2013. He will be a 2014 Lambda Literary Emerging Voicing Fellow and was a 2013 Jentel Arts Residency Program Fellow. He also teaches at Antioch University Los Angeles and Writing Workshops Los Angeles. Find more writing of his writing at, or reach him @sethfischer. More from this author →