17th of February — National Strike for Democracy

On the 21st of January this year I marched. I marched for women’s rights. I marched for LGBTQI rights. I marched for equal rights. I marched for human rights. If you marched, then this is for you. If you didn’t march, but you believe in democracy, then this is for you.

I believe in questioning power. I believe in free speech. I believe in dissent. I believe in nonviolence. I believe in accountability. I believe in collective action.

And I know we can make a difference. I know we already made a difference. I know there is more to come. I know we will overcome.

On the 17th of February, strike4democracy is coordinating over 100 strikes across the U.S. to defend its democratic principles. This is not a partisan issue. This is where you decide whether or not you will be on the right side of history. Do your job!

“A people enslaves itself, cuts its own throat, when, having a choice between being vassals and being free men, it deserts its liberties and takes on the yoke, gives consent to its own misery, or, rather, apparently welcomes it. If it cost the people anything to recover its freedom, I should not urge action to this end, although there is nothing a human should hold more dear than the restoration of his own natural right, to change himself from a beast of burden back to a man, so to speak. I do not demand of him so much boldness; let him prefer the doubtful security of living wretchedly to the uncertain hope of living as he pleases.

He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than this is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves? … From all these indignities, such as the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.” Discourse on Voluntary Servitude — Étienne de la Boétie (in Verso’s Book of Dissent)

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