I won’t be striking on Friday – but I support it all the same.

There is (or is supposed to be, depending on who you ask) a national strike against Trump this Friday.

There are naysayers – the LA Progressive sums up the arguments against (at least this particular) general strike.  On the other hand, In These Times illustrates when (at least local) general strikes have been a force for change.

While I support a general strike, I won’t be striking on Friday.

I thought about it, but came to this simple conclusion: My day job is at a hospital. With our current staffing levels, my absence would have a significant negative effect on how well my department could care for patients. Not being there could lead to an avoidable delay of care with negative outcomes for the patient.

I don’t think this reason holds for most people in most sectors. Most people work in an area where being closed for a day randomly won’t mean life or death; it just means inconvenience. This reason doesn’t even hold for all medical workers (someone’s carpal tunnel surgery being delayed a day is an inconvenience, not a life-threatening ailment).

But the dilemma of those people who work in areas where a strike or slowdown could actually lead to someone’s death is poorly addressed at best, and actively ignored at worst.

Regardless, I do support the idea of a general strike. I do support (and will participate) in the buy-nothing aspect of the day. I hope you will as well.

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