Strike Reflections

After the marathon bargaining session at Willard Airport, someone asked me what the hell we were supposed to do now. “We’ll go on strike,” I said, “and we’ll win.” When she demanded to know how I could be so sure, I replied: “Because we don’t have any other choice.” I’ll admit that by lunchtime on the day of the strike–when my hands were so blued with cold that finding paper towels instead of a blower in the Culver’s bathroom felt like an apocalyptic defeat–even I had my doubts. It’s only with the benefit of hindsight that I’ve realized that we triumphed not because we had no choice, but because it was impossible for us to fail. What began with a small research committee gathering data for a Powerpoint presentation exploded into a full-fledged movement through which students, faculty, and workers declared to the world which side they were on. We won our victory long before we retooled Easter’s email and crammed it up the University’s giggy. It was the proudest, most humbling experience of my life, and somehow it seems perfectly appropriate that it ended with all of us getting drunk at 3 in the afternoon and then sobering up in a church. Hasta la victoria siempre.

-Dave Bates