“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” Sun Tzu, The Art of War.
The Women’s March on Washington ten days ago was an historic and powerful event by any measure.
Now the organizers and participants need a quick follow-up action to ensure that it isn’t just as quickly forgotten. Our elected leaders in the US, particularly those on the political right, have the collective memory of a goldfish.
A quick follow-up action will keep the energy focused and the momentum going for a movement that is likely to become a major political power-center in the future – but only if the leadership takes steps to maintain focus and momentum. Otherwise, the power-collective will be dissipated and the opportunity to build momentum will be squandered. To that end, I’m proposing for the leaderships’ consideration a one-day work walk-out on President’s Day, February 20, twenty days from now.
Call it the “Code Red Walk-out,” or something similarly dramatic, easy to remember, and media-friendly.
A “Code Red Walk-out” would be a $50 billion slap in the face to the Pussygrabber-in-Chief. A $50 billion hit to the economy would send a powerful message to business, government and media; it would be a message that can’t be ignored and won’t be forgotten. Some of the merits of the idea include:
– A work walk-out would be powerful protest that demands much less of the organization, money and logistics of planning, permits, travel, food, lodging, etc. that organized marches require. The Women’s March used social media and on-line communications to organize protests worldwide in little more than two months. Those channels of communication remain intact. A work walk-out could be similarly organized and executed in 20 days.
– A work walk-out would free participants to gather in local parks, town squares, community centers and other public places for “teach-in’s,” “love-in’s,” and “be-in’s” that would demonstrate political strength and build solidarity for future action. Political leaders, religious leaders and thought leaders could be invited to speak and to listen. It would capture media attention and distract them from their habit of “chasing rabbits.”
– A work walk-out could include students, athletes, entertainers, and others who walk-out in sympathetic action.
– A work walk-out would spotlight the enormous contributions of women to our culture and to the economy. It would draw attention to issues of equal access, equal pay, and equal rights.
– Business and finance leaders could not fail to take notice. A one-day loss of productivity directly impacts profits. A successful walk-out would prove that other walk-outs, or business boycotts, could be successfully called in the future.
– When the captains of industry feel threatened, the political leaders who support them, and are supported by them, also feel threatened – particularly those on the political right.
– Combine a work walk-out with a same-day moratorium on spending and the stock market would likely take a significant temporary hit. Women control 80% or more of household spending.
– It would draw a sharp contrast between the great president’s, who are honored on President’s Day, and the current resident of the Oval Office.
– It would signal the rest of the world that Americans are better than the worst among us, including our elected leaders. It would serve as a declaration that our values remain intact despite the outcome of the last election.
– It would be an act of courage and self-sacrifice that demonstrates to our children that the messages of greed, fear, hatred, sexism, racism, religious intolerance, and exploitation of others are not the values that we choose to uphold. Since it would be a non-violent protest, it would uphold the values of compassion over hatred and of community over greed. It would provide a better adult example of how to be a good neighbor and a good citizen than what we see among some of our elected leaders and business executives.
– Since it would take place on a federal holiday, government workers couldn’t be penalized for participating, or forced to work by executive order.
– Those who cannot participate due to the kind of work they do (e.g., police, military, health workers, etc.), or because they can’t afford it, can still participate with a work slow-down, or by scheduling a doctor’s appointment that day, calling in sick or leaving work early, etc.
– If a protest of this kind became an international event, it might help to re-direct the drift of nations toward “… preparing for war,” as former Prime Minister of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, believes is happening now.