Imagine for a second how difficult it would be to organize a global protest event, an international strike. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people and organizations must be reached, convinced, and organized. Plans must be clear, simple, and precise. This is a truly immense job that only skilled organizers could accomplish, and the last thing you would want to do is publicize the wrong date.
On January 14th - or is it the 20th? - a Global Walkout for Peace, Freedom, and Justice for All is being planned by a group calling itself A Global Walkout Network (led in part by Food Not Bombs activist Keith McHenry) to oppose the Bush administration and its war on Iraq. For months they have been advertising and coordinating two international strikes, one in January and one in March. Trouble is, less than a month before the first walkout they changed the date.
This wouldn't be so absurd if the organizers had it within their power to stop such a global event, but unfortunately the old information isn't going away easily, and right now in coffee houses, on bulletin boards, and across the internet, the old information mixes with the new. And we are left to wonder. I'd sure hate to be the only guy ditching work that day.
Today you can still find websites with the old dates here, here and here, sites with the new dates here and here, and even some with all three dates, here and here. The group's main website, amusingly enough, is the most confusing of all!
Its headline reads:
Seems clear, until you read the first paragraph:
Walkout Inauguration Day and the Anniversary of the invasion of Iraq THURSDAY, JANUARY 20 AND MARCH 18, 2005
Join the coalition of artists, musicians, students...factory and train workers walk [sic.] the road to freedom and peace and walkout on January 14 and March 18, 2005.
OK, maybe it was just that one typo. But then:
Consider walking out of your job or class on January 20 and March 18, 2005.
If you're a sincere supporter and want to participate in this well-intentioned event, it looks like you'd better plan on taking three sick days this Spring. (It's times like this that I question whether the opposition to corporate globalization is really in good hands.)
People all over the world are planning two weekends of actions to stop the illegal war and Bush's agenda. One proposal is a walkout on Friday January 14th, Thursday January 20th and March 18th where workers and students take the day off.