West Coast Port Shutdown
Occupy Oakland and organized labor have issued a call to the Occupy movement and workers to blockade the ports in San Diego, LA, Oakland, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, and Houston on Monday, December 12th. At the same time, Occupy Anchorage, Occupy Denver, and Occupy Wall Street will target Goldman Sachs and Walmart.
Boots Riley, an organizer with Occupy Oakland explained that “Occupy Oakland called for this massive coordinated blockade as a way to strike back at the 1% after their attacks on the Occupy movement and their continued assault on working and poor people. Our action is aimed at Wall Street on the Waterfront and is in solidarity with the struggles of port workers in LA and Longview, WA.” Longshoremen in Longview are currently in a bitter fight with the multinational grain exporter EGT, and port truckers in LA are fighting to unionize against Goldman Sachs-owned SSA.
Organizers of the port blockade see the actions planned for next Monday as an important next step for Occupy. In recent weeks, Occupy activists across the country have expanded far beyond encampments and are now targeting large financial institutions, fighting foreclosures, reclaiming public space, and marching on valuable sources of profit for the 1%. “In shutting down the ports we act in solidarity, not only with trade unionists under attack, but with the 89% of the working class with no trade union to represent them,” said Mike King, an organizer with Occupy Oakland.
Scott Olsen, the Iraq War veteran critically injured by police during a November 25 attack on Occupy Oakland, said he looked forward to “standing tall with our longshoremen,” noting that, as union members say, “an injury to one is an injury to all. The only ones who will tell you otherwise are those that want to continue profiting off your backs.”
For more information please visit: westcoastportshutdown.org. For those who live here in Eugene, OR, though Occupy Eugene isn’t included in the above website’s list of participating groups, people from Eugene are driving up to Portland to participate in training tomorrow and the action on Monday. I don’t have contact info for anyone in this group, but, if you’re interested, you can go to the Occupy Portland website. Alternatively, you could drive down to Coos Bay and join Occupiers there, who will be gathering at the port offices at 10 AM on Monday in solidarity with the West Coast Port occupations and to protest the proposed coal export terminal.