A proposed national general strike to oppose any and all things Trump has been coalescing around February 17, the Friday before President's Day when, presumably, a lot of people will be taking off work anyway because it's the Friday of a holiday weekend. The idea gained traction on social media in the last few days and was promulgated in a piece by novelist Francine Prose published Monday in the Guardian. "The struggles for civil rights and Indian independence, against apartheid and the Vietnam War it’s hard to think of a nonviolent movement that has succeeded without causing its opponents a certain amount of trouble, discomfort and inconvenience," Prose writes, noting that protests like the Women's March are powerful but all too easily ignored by those who want to ignore them. "And economic boycotts another sort of trouble and inconvenience have proved remarkably successful in persuading companies to cease supporting repressive governments."
Without specifying the day, she suggests a nonviolent general strike, "a day on which no one (that is, anyone who can do so without being fired) goes to work, a day when no one shops or spends money, a day on which we truly make our economic and political power felt, a day when we make it clear: how many of us there are, how strong and committed we are, how much we can accomplish."
The February 17th date may have originated with writer David Simon, creator of The Wire, who tweeted about the general strike idea on Saturday, two days before Prose's piece. But there is now an official site for the event calling for a "24-hour occupation of public space in protest of the Trump administration’s refusal to Honor the Constitution of the United States of America."
If you believe in America, show it by refusing to work on the Friday before President's Day, Feb. 17. Let them know. #NationalStrike— David Simon (@AoDespair) January 28, 2017
A Facebook event page for the strike lists multiple broad demands including an end to the executive orders on immigration and the Mexican border wall, a call not to repeal the affordable care act, and a demand to see Trump's tax returns.
As The Mic notes, it remains unclear what the scope of the event will be - the Facebook event only has about 9,000 people committed to it so far, with over 100,000 "invited", and organizers say they're trying to gather a coalition of groups around the idea.
Also, the effectiveness of a general strike is going to depend entirely on broad support of the idea outside liberal enclaves like New York, LA, and the Bay Area.
The UK's Independent covered the strike today, but so far no major American news source is giving it any heed. That may change in the next week, as social media chatter ramps up and city-specific events take shape.
The last time there was a call for a nationwide general strike was in the waning days of the Occupy era, on May Day 2012.
In San Francisco and New York, large protests against Trump's immigration orders are scheduled for Saturday afternoon February 4 with the SF event having 8,000 and counting so far committed to going on Facebook, and the NY event set to take place back at JFK Airport. Also, protests are planned this evening, February 2, at Uber's SF and NY headquarters to protest CEO Travis Kalanick's decision to join Trump's business advisory board.