Protesters in Oakland, California, are launching a citywide general strike today that will include an attempt to shut down the nation’s fifth-busiest shipping port.
It is precisely due to this architecture of flows that the metropolis is one of the most vulnerable human arrangements that has ever existed. Supple, subtle, but vulnerable. A brutal shutting down of borders to fend off a raging epidemic, a sudden interruption of supply lines, organized blockades of the axes of communication – and the whole facade crumbles, a facade that can no longer mask the scenes of carnage haunting it from morning to night. The world would not be moving so fast if it didn’t have to constantly outrun its own collapse. /…/
That is what the American longshoremen understood when they struck in October, 2002 in support of three hundred jobs, blocking the main ports on the West Coast for ten days. The American economy is so dependent on goods coming from Asia that the cost of the blockade was over a billion dollars per day. With ten thousand people, the largest economic power in the world can be brought to its knees. According to certain “experts,” if the action had lasted another month, it would have produced “a recession in the United States and an economic nightmare in Southeast Asia.”
– Fourth Circle “More simple, more fun, more mobile, more secure!” (The Coming Insurrection)