Musk’s Ticket to Mars Can’t Come Soon Enough for Some


Twitter headquarters was the scene of a demonstration by union and labor activists today under the theme of “Get Your Ticket to Mars, Musk Attacks for Crushing Workers” calling for Elon Musk to depart Earth via his company Space X for the Red Planet. The trope was inspired by Musk’s own words who on numerous occasions has stated that he wants to establish a colony on Mars and to die there.

Perhaps in preparation for his arrival, in February 2018 Musk sent his own red Tesla roadster complete with a space-suited mannequin into orbit headed to the planet. Presently, the free flying car is halfway to its destination in what is an incredibly hubristic use of resources in creating one man’s vision.

Reacting to his now infamous union busting and abusive labor practices, the United Front Committee for a Labor Party (UFCLP) and others called for Musk to reform his anti-labor, xenophobic and pro-racist tendencies along with abuse of workers. Labor journalist Steve Zeltzer speaking to demonstrators accused Musk of “making millions of dollars on the backs of working people” while at the “Tesla plant he conspired to avoid paying worker’s comp claims. He actually tried to prevent workers from going to the hospital so he wouldn’t have to pay workers comp claims. So actually, that’s what’s called workers fraud. Of course, Elon Musk was never prosecuted. Elon Musk has been operating above the law… he does what he wants.” He closed by referring to the theme of the day by saying, “If Elon wants to go to Mars, then get on your rocket and get the Hell outta here.”

Meanwhile down here on Earth demonstrators painted a large message in the street using the Twitter bird in a circle forming the “O” in Oligarchy calling attention to such a system where there is no free speech or democracy and that while one percent are wealthy 99 percent just survive.

Oblivious to much else, the “Bad Boy of Market Street” continues with his multi-faceted and destructive antics in a concerted effort to reform Twitter. Among those efforts are his cost-cutting measures envisioned by him as necessary to achieve that realignment.

Notable in those efforts is his ongoing labor dispute with the headquarters building’s union contract and janitors who remain locked out and without pay. The janitors have been picketing in front of the building now for two weeks and remain resolute in their efforts to achieve better pay and working conditions. But alas they are not alone in being unpaid as Musk has instructed the company not to pay any bills including those aggregated before and after his purchase including rent for its headquarters.

His distraction and obsessive attention with running Twitter have taken him away from his responsibilities at Tesla and Space X where stockholders are fed up with both the erosion of their investments’ value and Musk’s continued antics. Tesla stock is presently trading 61% lower than it did in 2021 making him even less popular with investors.

Last week he violated one of his earlier pronouncements of not selling Tesla stock when he cashed in 3.6 billion dollars’ worth angering investors further. The world’s richest man is now the world’s second richest man as his investments continue to lose value.

Never content to leave well enough alone, Musk, the self-proclaimed poster boy of First Amendment and Free Speech Rights, suspended the Twitter accounts for six reporters from CNN, The New York Times, Washington Post and Voice of America among others reportedly for their “doxxing” him by posting “assassination coordinates.” The term refers to any entity who publicly provides relevant identifiable information about a person or organization on the internet, a charge he claims the journalists violated in their Twitter Terms of Service with the company.

Worldwide commendation soon followed the banning with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) President Jodie Ginsberg stating in part that “If Twitter owner Elon Musk truly wants to foster a platform that allows free speech for all, it makes no sense to remove journalists from the platform. If confirmed as retaliation for their work, this would be a serious violation of a journalist’s right to report the news without fear of reprisal. Twitter should immediately restore these reporters’ accounts. Casting doubt on journalists’ credibility not only creates a hostile environment that could put them in physical danger, but it also threatens the public’s right to access important information about events that affect our everyday lives.”

After putting the question of his banning the journalists to his Twitter followers, Musk reversed himself when the overwhelming majority voted against his ban. Not without exception however for a few banned journalists remain on the blacklist. Among them were those whom he had accused of doxxing him.

His response to the reinstatement was simply, “The people have spoken.” Thus, anointing himself as a “man of the people” which in the world of Musk means he bears no responsibility for his action.

Further reducing his self-aggrandizement occurred last weekend when he was shocked at being booed while appearing on stage during the Dave Chappelle comedy show at the Chase Center in San Francisco. His reaction was to set his Twitter minions in action removing any tweets that included that portion of the show, another example of his defense for First Amendment and Free Speech Rights he holds so dear.

It doesn’t end there, however, as a whistleblower has informed San Francisco City officials that several bedrooms were recently installed in the headquarters’ building where employees can sleep overnight. This reflects Musk’s demand that those remaining employees “… be extremely hardcore” by working long hard hours at their jobs. Such use of the building is a code violation that Musk reacted to by telling USA Today that the city “attacks companies providing beds for tired employees.”

To be sure, Musk has his followers, many of whom are Silicon Valley tech company heads who are watching him closely in what may become a tsunami of like changes as they flex their newfound muscles to reinvent their relationships with workers and the workspace.

Report and photos by Phil Pasquini

© 2022 nuzeink all rights reserved worldwide

(This article has previously appeared in Nuzeink.)

Phil Pasquini is a freelance journalist and photographer. His reports and photographs appear in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Pakistan Link and He is the author of Domes, Arches and Minarets: A History of Islamic-Inspired Buildings in America.

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