Commentary

Occupy Oakland Calls For Shutdown Of ALL West Coast Ports

By Dan Gainor | November 19, 2011 | 10:11pm EST

Vandalism, violence, burning and shutting down the nation’s fifth busiest port weren’t enough for Occupy Oakland. On Friday, the General Assembly for the group voted unanimously for “a coordinated shutdown of ports on the entire West Coast on December 12."

According to a statement from Occupy Oakland, this move is in “response to coordinated attacks on the occupations and attacks on workers across the nation.” “We call on each West Coast occupation to organize a mass mobilization to shut down its local port.”

Occupy Los Angeles had already called for action against one shipper at that port, stating, “occupation will take place at at least one facility owned by SSA Marine, a shipping company belonging to Goldman Sachs, (coordinated with a possible port shut down by the port truck drivers).”

The Occupy Oakland statement also complained about “continued union-busting and attacks on organized labor, in particular the rupture of Longshoremen jurisdiction in Longview Washington.”

Longview has been the site of some nasty union action already. According to the Sept. 8 New York Times, “About 500 longshoremen stormed the new $200 million terminal in Longview before sunrise Thursday, carrying baseball bats, smashing windows, damaging rail cars and dumping tons of grain from the cars, police and company officials said.”

The statement from Occupy Oakland also included multiple threats if their actions were opposed, including extending the shutdown past one day. “Should there be any retaliation against any workers as a result of their honoring pickets or supporting our port actions, additional solidarity actions should be prepared.” And this, “In the event of police repression of any of the mobilizations, shutdown actions may be extended to multiple days.”

The statement was signed “In Solidarity and Struggle.”

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