085. Merchants' "general strike"

The effort to paralyze an economy by merchants closing their stores and businesses. When combined with a general strike, this creates an economic shutdown. See 117 and 119

Showing 1-25 of 25 results

Belizean unions strike to increase political participation and prevent increased taxation, 2005

Country
Belize
Time period
January 20, 2005 to February 14, 2005
Classification
Change
Defense
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
Total points
10 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Meghan Auker Becker 04/04/2010

Belize formally became an independent nation in 1981 and quickly established itself as a parliamentary democracy with a high degree of electoral participation and a Constitution that guaranteed basic rights and freedoms to all citizens. In 1998, the People's United Party won a landslide victory and party leader Said Musa was sworn in as Prime Minister - a position he held until 2008.

Finns resist Russification, end conscription, regain elections, 1898-1905

Country
Finland
Time period
1898 to 1905
Classification
Defense
Cluster
Democracy
National/Ethnic Identity
Peace
Total points
7 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Gavin Musynske, 04/12/2009

For much of the nineteenth century, Finland was under Russian rule. This began in 1809 when Finland was made part of the Russian Empire. As part of the Russian Empire, Finland was autonomous in domestic policy but not foreign policy. Finland was allowed to create its own laws through its parliament, but Russian tsars controlled Finland and decided Finnish foreign affairs. Finns generally had no problem with this situation because the Russian government did not interfere with internal affairs.

Palestinians wage nonviolent campaign during First Intifada, 1987-1988

Country
Palestine
Israel
Time period
December, 1987 to Fall, 1988
Classification
Change
Defense
Cluster
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
3 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Aden Tedla, 01/05/2010

EDITOR'S NOTE: Regarding the First Intifada as "nonviolent" is controversial because of the violence that accompanied the campaign. Aden Tedla's narrative does not try to hide the violent dimension. Three considerations lead us to include the case in this database. First, a significant part of the campaign leadership worked very hard to keep the campaign nonviolent. Second, the masses participated in the nonviolent methods, not in the violence. Third, other scholars in the field of nonviolent action include the Intifada, although acknowledging its ambiguities.

Haitians overthrow regime, 1984-1986

Country
Haiti
Time period
May, 1984 to February 7, 1986
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Alison Roseberry-Polier, 24/04/2011

In 1957, Haitian elections put Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier in power as “president-for-life.” When he died in 1971, his son, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier took over. There were no elections during either regime, and both presidents used force to keep the populace subservient. Papa Doc was dependent on his secret police, the Ton-Ton Macoutes (Haitian Creole for Bogeymen), to use violence against the people. Although Baby Doc formally disbanded the Macoutes, the group continued throughout his regime as the Volunteers for National Security, and maintained the same violent presence.

Barcelona citizens general strike for democracy and economic justice, 1951

Country
Spain
Time period
March 6, 1951 to March 14, 1951
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
Total points
4 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Kylin Navarro, 24/09/2010

In December 1950, the municipal authorities in Barcelona increased the cost of tram fare by 40%.  Working class families were outraged.  The cost of living had been rising and the price of food was at an all-time high.  On February 8, 1951, an anonymous leaflet circulated throughout Barcelona, calling for a boycott of the city’s trams to begin on March 1 until the fares were returned to their regular price.  As the date of the boycott approached, citizens from across the city began to make their anger known.  On February 22, groups of individuals united in protest a

Syrian citizens general strike against France, 1936

Country
Syria
Time period
January 20, 1936 to March 2, 1936
Classification
Change
Defense
Cluster
Democracy
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
10 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Markus Schlotterbeck, 20/08/2009

French-occupied Syria was facing darkening hopes for more independence from France at the end of 1935. The major Syrian nationalist party, the National Bloc, was losing power, the Syrian Parliament was adjourned and the government in power was under the unpopular Shaikh Taj al-Din al-Hasani. France was also refusing to negotiate a new treaty with Syria. In a move to squash the National Bloc altogether, the French authorities closed the office of the National Bloc in Damascus on January 20, 1936, and arrested two leaders from the Bloc: Fakhri al-Barudi and Sayf al-Din al-Ma’min.

Cubans general strike to overthrow president, 1933

Country
Cuba
Time period
July 27, 1933 to August 11, 1933
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
Human Rights
Total points
10 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
George Lakey, 01/09/2008, and Olivia Ensign, 21/02/2010

For two years prior to this campaign there was a violent struggle to oust dictator Gerardo Machado: running gun battles, bombings, political assassinations. The leading violent group agreed to a ceasefire in July 1933 to allow for mediation, but smaller groups continued with some attacks.

Ecuadorians general strike against President Mera, 1933

Country
Ecuador
Time period
August 15, 1933 to September 1, 1933
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
Total points
5 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Summer Miller-Walfish, 22/12/2010

In the 1930s, many South American countries experienced great upheavals. This was due mostly to the fact that there were many dictators in the majority of the countries there. These upheavals came in many forms and leaders used many different tactics, however they often resulted in the government being overthrown. One such overthrowing was attempted in Ecuador in 1933 during the regime of President Jean de Dios Martinez Mera.

Unions and students in Hong Kong and Canton strike-boycott against British imperial rule, 1925-1926

Country
China
Hong Kong
Time period
June, 1925 to October, 1926
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
4 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Anjali Cadambi, 26/09/2010

In a shooting incident on May 30, 1925, Sikh police under British command opened fire on Chinese protestors in the International Settlement of Shanghai, killing nine demonstrators and wounding many others. News of the incident spread across China, triggering an outburst of nationalism and prompting protests all over, but especially in Shanghai and Canton (Guangzhou) – two cities with concentrated British interests.

Iranian resistance to Tobacco Concession, 1891-1892

Country
Iran
Time period
Early, 1891 to April, 1892
Classification
Defense
Cluster
Economic Justice
Total points
10 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Markus Schlotterbeck, 16/07/2009

In the late nineteenth century foreign governments were increasingly asserting control, and in some cases Iranian governmental figures adopted a fatalistic attitude about being colonized by Britain or Russia, both of which were competing for power inside Iran. In this atmosphere the shah of Iran signed a secret agreement with a British company in March 1890 granting a concession over all Iranian tobacco.

Iranian bazaar merchants protest government tax raises, 2010

Country
Iran
Time period
July 6, 2010 to July 19, 2010
Classification
Defense
Cluster
Economic Justice
Total points
8 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Samia Abbass, 01/11/2010

The Iran bazaar merchant strike represents two similar campaigns, one occurring in October 2008 and one in July 2010. The two strikes drew from the same social group (the Iranian merchant class), had similar objectives, and encompassed the same tactic—a general strike that spread to several cities of Iran. Iran merchants do not have a history of frequent striking—the October 2008 strike was the first large-scale strike since the 1979 Iranian revolution, in which the merchant community also played an important and influential role within the opposition movement.

Iranian bazaar merchants protest government tax raises, 2008

Country
Iran
Time period
October 4, 2008 to October 11, 2008
Classification
Defense
Cluster
Economic Justice
Total points
6 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Samia Abbass, 01/11/2010

The Iran bazaar merchant strike represents two similar campaigns, one occurring in October 2008 and one in July 2010. The two strikes drew from the same social group (the Iranian merchant class), had similar objectives, and encompassed the same tactic—a general strike that spread to several cities of Iran. Iran merchants do not have a history of frequent striking—the October 2008 strike was the first large-scale strike since the 1979 Iranian revolution, in which the merchant community also played an important and influential role within the opposition movement.

Iranians overthrow the Shah, 1977-79

Country
Iran
Time period
May, 1977 to 10 February, 1979
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
Human Rights
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Lindsay Dolan, 05/06/2009; revised by Aden Tedla, 02/9/2011

Agitation in Iran was visible by May 1977 in predominantly intellectual circles. A group of lawyers—upset by the government’s interference in the judiciary—drafted a strongly worded manifesto chronicling the legal abuses that had occurred under the Shah’s regime. Poets formed a Writers’ Association to call for an end to censorship and the activity of SAVAK, the Shah’s secret police. A National Organization of University Teachers began fighting for academic freedom while university and seminary students called for academic freedom in the schools.

Chinese elites and commoners use city gods and direct action to hasten flood relief, Qing China, 1742

Country
China
Time period
(1742), 1700 to (1742), 1700
Classification
Change
Cluster
Economic Justice
Total points
10 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Thomas Fortuna, 13/12/2011

During the 1740s, early modern China was undergoing a profound transformation. After decades trying to recover from the turbulent transition from the Ming dynasty to the Qing dynasty, a new era of stability was descending upon the empire, allowing for healthy growth of the economy and the expansion of the market economy.

Costa Rican merchants and bankers strike for electoral reform (Huelga de brazos caidos), 1947

Country
Costa Rica
Time period
19 July, 1947 to 4 August, 1947
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Total points
8 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Dylan Hillerbrand, 26/02/2012

In July 1947, Costa Ricans related to the opposition political coalition launched a strike to protest the perceived partiality of the government in upcoming Presidential elections, and to call for the reversal of electoral and tax reform laws that had been enacted in 1946. Specifically, the strikers wanted assurances that measures would be taken to prevent electoral fraud.

Nicaraguan students campaign against government, 1944

Country
Nicaragua
Time period
27 June, 1944 to 14 July, 1944
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Total points
5 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Benjamin Bernard-Herman, 27/02/2012

In 1936, Anastasio Somoza was elected president of Nicaragua. He ran under the the Liberal Nationalist Party, or PLN. He was elected with broad support among liberals in Nicaragua, although, soon after his election, small numbers of Nicaraguans started to gather in opposition to his presidency. In 1937, a small group of university graduates formed a dicussion group that was highly critical of Somoza; the members of this unnamed group would go on to found the Independent Liberal Party, or PLI - the organization that led the campaign against Somoza in 1944.

Hondurans campaign for democracy, 1944

Country
Honduras
Time period
May, 1944 to July, 1944
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
Total points
5 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Kevin Strand 25/02/2012

President Tiburcio Carías—founder of the National Party of Honduras—governed Honduras throughout the 1930s and 1940s (known as “decades of Dictators” in Central America as El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala were also under lasting rule of their respective, oppressive dictators). His presidency started on February 1, 1933, and lasted until January 1949. On November 16, 1943, Carías and the National Party rigged and swept the municipal elections. This victory gave him the opportunity to modify the Honduran Constitution to allow him to stay in office for an extended period of time.

Yemenis oust Saleh regime (Yemen Revolution), 2011-2012

Country
Yemen
Time period
16 January, 2011 to 27 February, 2012
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
Human Rights
Total points
10 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Chris Baker Evens, Alia Harb and Hannah Jones, 28/08/2012

In January 2011, in the wake of the Tunisian revolution and in the midst of the Egyptian revolution, Yemeni students and youth began a yearlong revolution to oust the regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh, president for the past thirty years. This revolution did not come without great cost. More than 2,000 people were killed (including protesters, military defectors and children) and more than 22,000 people were wounded.

Spanish workers general strike against new labor laws, 1994

Country
Spain
Time period
January, 1994 to 27 January, 1994
Classification
Change
Cluster
Economic Justice
Total points
6 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Christopher Capron, 30/09/2012

Spain experienced an economic downturn in the early 1990s due to the global recession that affected it and many other countries. In 1993, the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE, Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) won the national elections for the fourth straight time, having begun its rule with the 1982 election. However, the party, led by Felipe Gonzalez, lost more popularity with each of the elections and alienated a substantial part of the working class.  Gonzalez was accused of moving to the right, failing to create jobs, and putting business interests ahead of the workers.

Haitians strike and overthrow a dictator, 1956

Country
Haiti
Time period
February, 1956 to December, 1956
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Susana Medeiros, 07/10/2012

General Paul Eugène Magloire was elected President of Haiti in 1950 with ninety-nine percent of the vote in an army-monitored election and the official support of the army, church, elite, and American embassy behind him. He implemented a successful economic program and oversaw a period of the best economic growth in Haiti in a century, reforming the banking system, attracting foreign investment, fostering tourism, and instituting a Five Year Plan in 1951 to boost agricultural expenditures.

Lagos market women campaign to remove income tax, Nigeria, 1940-1941

Country
Nigeria
Time period
16 December, 1940 to 12 January, 1941
Classification
Change
Cluster
Economic Justice
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
5 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Lekey Leidecker, 11/11/2012

Women market workers in Lagos, an area in western Nigeria, in the 1920s were organized into a powerful group known as the Lagos Market Women Association (LMWA). In 1932, a rumor emerged that the British colonial government was going to begin taxing Lagosian women, which had never been done before, although taxes for men had been introduced in 1927 (in spite of coordinated resistance by different groups). The market women felt that a tax was unfair and that they were already struggling to make a living.

Belgians protest austerity measures, 2011-2012

Country
Belgium
Time period
02 December, 2011 to 31 January, 2012
Classification
Defense
Cluster
Economic Justice
Human Rights
Total points
3 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Aileen Eisenberg and John Pontillo, 14/04/2013

On 2 December 2011, tens of thousands of Belgian citizens took to the streets in the capital, Brussels, to protest the austerity measures taken by the then-incoming government. The new socialist prime minister was going to be sworn in the week after this protest to try and fix the financial crisis that had left Belgium without a government for 19 months. The government needed to save 11.3 billion euros in the year of 2012 to decrease its budget deficit below the EU limit of 3% of gross domestic product (GDP).

Ugandans save the Mabira Forest from sugarcane plantation, 2007

Country
Uganda
Time period
April, 2007 to October, 2007
Classification
Defense
Cluster
Environment
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Shadrack Nsenga Mutabazi, April 20, 2013

 
Uganda in East Africa has a large rainforest area, the Mabira Forest, that has been protected since 1932. In 2007 Ugandan President Yoweli Kaguta Museveni announced a plan to hand over one-third of the Mabira rainforest to the Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited (SCOUL).  The plan was to turn the forest into land for growing sugarcane.

Nigerians strike to protest reduced fuel subsidies, 2003

Country
Nigeria
Time period
30 June, 2003 to 8 July, 2003
Classification
Change
Cluster
Economic Justice
Total points
5.5 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Meghan Kelly, 29/11/2015

Nigeria, the most populous African country, is filled with oil reserves, particularly in the Niger River Delta. Oil was the main national export, comprising 98% of Nigeria’s export earnings and 83% of government revenue in 2002. Starting in the mid-1980s, the Nigerian government subsidized fuel, letting Nigerians buy oil and gasoline at prices significantly below market levels.

Congolese protest for end to President Kabila's presidency, 2016-2019

Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Total points
4.5 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Khan B. Shairani 17/05/2019

Following the assassination of his father, Joseph Kabila took power and the position of President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 26 January 2001. He subsequently won re-election in December 2011, with charges of an illegitimate election surrounding the outcome. On 17 January, 2015, students began mass protests over an announcement that President Kabila would remain in power until the government completed a census. This began the nonviolent protest movement to remove President Kabila from office and prevent him from remaining in power for a third term.