[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPmdou6i7Jg&w=560&h=315]
A gen­eral strike has been declared by the Oak­land Gen­eral Assem­bly. The orig­i­nal ver­sion of this song was the num­ber one hit dur­ing the 1946 Oak­land Gen­eral Strike. Accord­ing to Stan Weir:

By night­fall the strik­ers had instructed all stores except phar­ma­cies and food mar­kets to shut down. Bars were allowed to stay open, but they could serve only beer and had to put their juke boxes out on the side­walk to play at full vol­ume and no charge. ‘Pis­tol Packin’ Mama, Lay That Pis­tol Down’, the num­ber one hit, echoed off all the build­ings. That first 24-hour period of the 54-hour strike had a car­ni­val spirit. A mass of cou­ples danced in the streets. The par­tic­i­pants were mak­ing his­tory, knew it, and were hav­ing fun. By Tues­day morn­ing they had cor­doned off the cen­tral city and were direct­ing traf­fic. Any­one could leave, but only those with pass­ports (union cards) could get in.

Can we get Willie Nel­son to cover it live in Oak­land Novem­ber 2nd?

Author of the article

is an editor of Viewpoint, a graduate student at UC Santa Cruz, and an activist in UAW 2865.

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