This immoral possession of society’s collective production of value is the root of why the 99% are in the streets protesting. In order to put pressure on the ruling class we will need to be able to directly challenge their monopoly on the value creating and distribution process.
Where is this done? Simply, it’s done in the workplaces. Value is created when those of us in the working class come together and perform work. This process starts with the extraction of raw materials by workers, moves to a production or processing facility where workers create a commodity, then workers transport these commodities to the market and finally, workers stock the shelves and sell the final product.
During this entire process, from extraction to the store, value is created by the working class and distributed by the ruling class. A very small part of this value is distributed in wages and benefits to the workers who performed the labor for this entire value creating process. A larger, but not the largest part of this value, is distributed into the buying of more machinery, replacement parts, and other operating costs. But the largest part of this value is distributed into the bank accounts of the rich. This value creating process has been going on for generations and the rich keep accumulating more and more value while those of us who actually work for a living only receive a small amount of that value.
Today, more than two million public sector workers across the United Kingdom are on the picket lines, protesting planned cuts to their pensions and austerity measures. The strike includes transport workers, teachers, health workers and other government employees. Protests and occupations are taking place in cities across the country, which have closed the majority of schools and impacted health and transport services. This is being hailed as the largest strike for many sectors in more than thirty years.
We express solidarity with the workers of the United Kingdom. Anywhere the interests of the few are crushing the hard-work of the many, our struggle is the same, and we stand united calling for justice.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Thousands of workers and students have taken to Oakland’s downtown streets today as part of a daylong general strike called by Occupy Oakland organizers to protest economic inequity and corporate greed.
The crowd, which has forced the closure of some downtown streets, has been peaceful and almost celebratory - a band played and walked with the group and a “flash mob” broke out in dance at one point. Traffic, including AC Transit buses, is being diverted from the area around Frank Ogawa Plaza.
Protesters plastered signs and blocked customers from using ATMs at downtown banks. Many downtown businesses closed for the day.
By noon, the crowd had swelled to 3,500 for a lunchtime rally at 14th and Broadway. Police reported no damage and no arrests but were girding for the possibility of unrest later in the day.
Here’s more of the day’s developments:
- The Port of Oakland was severely delayed after many longshoremen walked off the job in support of the General Strike.
- More than 360 Oakland Unified School District teachers did not show up for work today, along with 5% of city workers.
- Banks were closed across the city, as Oakland officials recommended that the ones who were still open ‘only let customers in one at a time.’
- Large marches were held around several bank branches including Bank of America, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo.
- Many (if not most) businesses downtown were closed.
- There were a few reports of broken windows at the Lakeside Drive branch of Bank of America, and at a Chase branch. Others reported “anarchists” attempting to cause damage to a Whole Foods, but dozens of marchers surrounded them and forced them to stand down. The Whole Foods was targeted over rumours that their employees were not allowed to participate in today’s work stoppage.
We will have more as things continue into the evening.