[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?

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is an editor of Viewpoint.