United States: Support grows for Occupy port shut down

December 3, 2011
Occupy Oakland-called general strike, November 2. Photo from Action2030.org.

The article below is reprinted from a December 1 post at OccupyOakland.org. For more information on the December 12 shutdown, visit www.westcoastportshutdown.org.

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As of November 27, the Occupy movement in every major West Coast port city: Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy San Diego, Occupy Portland, Occupy Tacoma, Occupy Seattle have joined Occupy Oakland in calling for and organising a coordinated West Coast Port Blockade and Shutdown on December 12.

Other West Coast Occupies, including Occupy Anchorage and Vancouver, Canada, are planning to join the economic blockade and disruption of the 1% on that date, organisers said.

Barucha Peller of the West Coast Port Blockade Assembly of Occupy Oakland said: “We’re shutting down these ports because of the union busting and attacks on the working class by the 1%: the firing of Port truckers organising at SSA terminals in LA; the attempt to rupture ILWU union jurisdiction in Longview, WA by EGT.

“EGT includes Bunge LTD, a company that reported [US]$2.5 billion in profit last year and has economically devastated poor people in Argentina and Brazil.

“SSA is responsible for inhumane working conditions and gross exploitation of port truckers and is owned by Goldman Sachs.

“EGT and Goldman Sachs is Wall Street on the Waterfront.

“We are also striking back against the nationally coordinated attack on the Occupy movement. In response to the police violence and camp evictions against the Occupy movement, this is our coordinated response against the 1%.

“On December 12, we will show are collective power through a pinpointed economic blockade of the 1%.”

Each Occupy is organising plans for a mass mobilisation and community pickets to shut down their local port. The mobilisation of more than 60,000 people that shut down the Port of Oakland during the general strike on November 2 is the model for the West Coast efforts.

Organisers said a police attempt to disrupt the port blockade or police violence against any city taking part will extend duration of the blockade on the entire coast.

Clarence Thomas, a member of International Longshore Warehouse Union Local 10, said: “These Ports are public. People have a right to come to the Port and protest. The ILWU has historically honoured picket lines at the Port.”

ILWU longshore workers are involved as individuals in the planning of the shutdown. “I am a longshoreman and I support the December 12 blockade against EGT,” saidAnthony Leviege, a member of Local 10. “EGT is a threat to the survival of the ILWU.”

Dan Coffman, the president of Local 21 in Longview, has publicly thanked the Occupy movement and Occupy Oakland for its actions on November 2.

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