11 August 2015

Sit-downs, Sit-ins and Occupations

Agitprop, Part 8b

Woolworths Sit-In, Greensboro North Carolina, 13 Feb 1960
Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Dave Richmond, and Ezzell Blair Jr.

Sit-downs, Sit-ins and Occupations

In a sit-down strike, the workers physically occupy the plant, keeping management and others out.

The most famous sit-down strike was the Flint, Michigan, car-workers’ strike, which lasted from 30 December 1936 for 40 days and put the United Auto Workers’ Union on the map. Not long afterwards, the US government passed a law taking protection away from sit-down strikes, meaning that the bosses could fire people for taking part in one.

Two decades later, in the anti-racist Civil Rights struggles of the 1950s, the sit-in became a tactic for desegregating facilities such as “lunch counters” in the USA. The above picture shows one that took place in 1960.

These tactics are in turn related to the idea of “Occupation” whereby the people take over some place and thereby deny it to the claimed owners.

Land invasions are a kind of occupation. Sometimes they are successful, but not always.

Another kind of occupation has been the “Occupy” movement, which did not manage to hold on to anything that it occupied.

Conclusion is that this tactic, in one form or another, may be successful, but it is not always going to be.

·        The above is to introduce an original reading-text: Strikes, Work to rules, Sit Downs and Occupations.


Post a Comment

Post a Comment