included participation by more than one social class

INCLUDES PARTICIPATION BY MORE THAN ONE SOCIAL CLASS. "Class" has many definitions, for example income, education, cultural rank. The GNAD defines class by occupation. Owning class consists of people who receive a satisfactory income from what they own and see no need to work for a living. Their income may come from ownership of stocks, bonds, property. This class also consists of CEOs of larger corporations and others with large incomes from what they own but who choose to work in a job anyway. Middle class includes teachers, nurses, computer programmers, accountants, engineers, social workers, lawyers, managers. They have in common the economic function of managing and supervising workers, training them and grading them, keeping them functioning, and providing medium-level services and entertainment. Within that broad category there are occupations that put people in the upper middle class: top managers, top government officials, doctors, small business owners, law partners. These manage on a higher level (often managing other managers), they interface with other entitities/systems, they offer specialized services, guide and advise. Working class includes retail workers, factory workers, secretaries/clerical, miners, police, soldiers. They have in common that they produce goods and services, do day-to-day keeping track of machinery and work processes, enforce the system’s rules (like security guards). Within the working class is the poor, with typical jobs as day labor, farm labor, dishwashers, janitorial/housekeeping, and semi-skilled criminal activity. Their economic function is to do what few want to do and provide a surplus labor force, keeping down wages of low-wage workers. Farmers may be owning class, having such a lot of land that they do not actually need to work personally, or middle class, needing to manage their farms in order to generate a suitable income, or working class, formally owning their small farms but highly indebted. We use this tag for cross-class participation that is significant or meaningful in terms of the campaign. A random owning class member joining the audience of a labor rally would not justify the tag, but an owning class member of the executive committee of the Chamber of Commerce speaking at that same labor rally would be. In the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory workers strike in New York City a group of owning class women joined the campaign as a visible support group, for example.

Surinamese protest against president, 1999

 

After only three years in office, the president of Suriname Jules Wijdenbosch became the target of harsh criticism and dissatisfaction because of his government’s management of the economy and domestic affairs. In 1998, the Dutch government had decided to stop aid to Suriname amid drug and financial mismanagement scandals, which increased the economic crisis. In May 1999, the struggling national economy reached a new low when its currency plummeted in value, from 800 guilders to the dollar to 2,000, and inflation was at 70%, inciting civil unrest and nationwide protests.

Georgians overthrow a dictator (Rose Revolution), 2003

Colour Revolutions (2000s)
 

The Rose Revolution in Georgia sought to overthrow President Eduard Shevardnadze. Shevardnadze was elected as president in 1995. A hold-over from the communist period, Shevardnadze was often seen as a puppet for the Soviet Union. In 2003, his actions would lead to the downfall of his regime and the institution of free elections in Georgia.

Palestinians wage nonviolent campaign during First Intifada, 1987-1988

 

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.

Panamanians campaign to overthrow dictator (The Civic Crusade), 1987-1989

 

The Civic Crusade in Panama was an effort by the Panamanian population to dislodge the military dictatorship of Manuel Noriega through the creation of political organizations and the mobilization of numerous demonstrations and protests. Panama’s military regime began in 1968 when Omar Torrijos Herrera, a populist general, led a coup and ousted Arnulfo Arias Madrid from the presidency of Panama.

Russians campaign for democracy and economic justice (Russian Revolution), 1905

 

In the late 19th century, Russia’s autocracy, led by a Tsar (also czar), came under increasing attack. Alexander II was forced to liberate the serfs, but he was still assassinated in 1881 by a group called The People’s Will. His heir, Tsar Alexander III was badly shaken by this and launched a massive crackdown. In 1894, Nicholas II became Tsar and attempted to make a number of liberal reforms. For most, however, the reforms didn’t go far enough. In addition, a disastrous war with Japan from 1904-1905 shattered confidence in the Tsar’s ability to rule.

Ovambo migrant workers general strike for rights, Namibia, 1971-72

 

In 1971 South-West Africa (now Namibia) had been under the rule of South Africa’s apartheid government for more than fifty years. Apartheid laws forced indigenous Namibian tribes to live in assigned tribal areas in the northern third of the country and required passes for movement within the country. The Ovambos were the main group of indigenous people, making up close to half the population, and inhabited the area called Ovamboland. The South African government had imposed a contract labor law system on all indigenous people.

Polish workers general strike for economic rights, 1980

 

The Soviet forces that liberated Poland from Nazi occupation after World War II installed a government under which workers, employed by state-owned businesses, could not organize or represent themselves. During the 1970s, frustration with the one-party system grew and by the end of the decade, the Polish economy was near collapse.

On June 30, 1980, the government announced a 'reorganization of meat distribution' which resulted in an immediate 60% price increase and greater difficulty in obtaining meat.

Lithuanians campaign for national independence, 1988-1991

Soviet Bloc Independence Campaigns (1989-1991)
 

Russia first occupied Lithuania and introduced a program of “Russification,” an attempt to eliminate Lithuanian language and culture in favor of Russian culture, in the mid-19th century. After 22 years of independence from Russia, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939 reintroduced the Soviet Union’s dominance over Lithuania—as well as the other Baltic states: Estonia and Latvia. The Soviet Union publicly stated that Lithuania had joined the USSR willingly, although secret protocols of the pact disputed this. Following World War II, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania.

University of Miami janitors campaign for economic justice, 2005-2006

Student Living Wage Movement (late 1990s - mid 2000s)
 

In 2006, non-unionized janitors at the University of Miami earned as little as $6.40 an hour and received no health insurance. Demanding higher wages and better working conditions, these janitors of mostly Haitian and Cuban descent began a campaign against the University of Miami with leadership from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Luxembourgers general strike against Nazi occupation, 1942

 

In the 1940s, Nazi Germany under the government of Adolf Hitler was advancing its conquest of Europe during the Second World War. By May 1940, Luxembourg, a small neutral country bordering Germany, was placed under military occupation by forces of the Third Reich. The meager resistance made by local police forces and customs officers at the border crossing was quickly crushed by the German Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.

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