Mass mobilizations are in progress at ports on the West Coast. Occupy Oakland, which first put out the call to “occupy” or target ports, and other occupations on the West Coast are marching to picket and hopefully shutdown these ports, which are a part of “the economic apparatus of the 1%.”
Here is an excerpt from Occupy Oakland’s call-to-action that provides necessary context for why Occupy Oakland and other groups are taking action at ports today:
The 1% has disrupted the lives of longshoremen and port truckers and the workers who create their wealth, just as coordinated nationwide police attacks have turned our cities into battlegrounds in an effort to disrupt our Occupy movement.
We call on each West Coast occupation to organize a mass mobilization to shut down its local port. Our eyes are on the continued union-busting and attacks on organized labor, in particular the rupture of Longshoremen jurisdiction in Longview Washington by the EGT. Already, Occupy Los Angeles has passed a resolution to carry out a port action on the Port Of Los Angeles on December 12th, to shut down SSA terminals, which are owned by Goldman Sachs.
Additionally, this is not just about sticking it to Goldman Sachs. It is also about showing solidarity with the struggles of longshoremen and port truckers up and down the West Coast. [For more, here is Occupy Oakland's official video announcement.]
Solidarity actions are being held. Occupy Albuquerque is going to setup a picket at Wal-Mart’s New Mexico Distribution Center in Los Lunas. Occupy Bellingham will be visiting the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company to shut it down. Occupy Boulder, Occupy Denver and Occupy Salt Lake City will target a port used by Wal-Mart. Occupy Greensboro will picket a Wal-Mart. Occupy Honolulu, along with Occupy Hilo and Occupy Maui, is showing solidarity with a banner drop and additional actions at Sand Island. Occupy Houston, with Occupy Dallas, Occupy Now, Occupy Austin, Occupy San Marco, Occupy San Antonio, and Occupy Texas, plans to shut down the Port of Houston. And, Occupy Wall Street is targeting Goldman Sachs headquarters this morning.
Outside the US, the Doro Chiba Railway Workers in Japan are demonstrating in solidarity at the facility of Itochu. Itochu is a “giant Japanese trading company that is a partner in EGT which is trying to bust
the ILWU jurisdiction in Longview.”
Firedoglake’s premier live blog begins now. Here is a Twitter list to follow for the latest updates.
OCCUPY WALL STREET
3:36 PM For the past hour, occupiers in Houston have been holding their action. Korgasm_ has been streaming live here. Now, police are moving in barricades. Arrests have been made.
Biggest story from this action is police using tent-like structures to block people from seeing occupiers put in handcuffs:
2:26 PM New music for the rebellion: “Film the Police” by B. Dolan feat. Toki Wright, Jasiri X, Buddy Peace, Sage Francis. Paying tribute to NWA’s rap classic “Fuck the Police,” the rap is “a call to action for the digitized media movement” and a response to “the recent explosion of police brutality all across the world.”
2:07 PM Very moving letter from port truck drivers to those engaged in Occupy the Port actions. Here is an excerpt from this must read letter:
We are the front-line workers who haul container rigs full of imported and exported goods to and from the docks and warehouses every day.
We have been elected by committees of our co-workers at the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma to tell our collective story. We have accepted the honor to speak up for our brothers and sisters about our working conditions despite the risk of retaliation we face. One of us is a mother, the rest of us fathers. Between the four of us we have six children and one more baby on the way. We have a combined 31 years of experience driving cargo from our shores for America’s stores.
We are inspired that a non-violent democratic movement that insists on basic economic fairness is capturing the hearts and minds of so many working people. Thank you “99 Percenters” for hearing our call for justice. We are humbled and overwhelmed by recent attention. Normally we are invisible.
Today’s demonstrations will impact us. While we cannot officially speak for every worker who shares our occupation, we can use this opportunity to reveal what it’s like to walk a day in our shoes for the 110,000 of us in America whose job it is to be a port truck driver. It may be tempting for media to ask questions about whether we support a shutdown, but there are no easy answers. Instead, we ask you, are you willing to listen and learn why a one-word response is impossible?
1:59 PM Korgasm is live from the Occupy action at the Port of Houston.
1:57 PM Occupy LA clarifies the actions target the dock owned by Goldman Sachs and not the whole Long Beach port
1:48 PM To show what NYPD chooses to serve and protect first, Allison Kilkenny points out the crackdown in the World Financial Center came quickly. Press with credentials were beat up and obstructed from covering action. In contrast, in East New York, a homeless family was able to move people into a vacant home owned by a bank. The police allowed a demonstration to block the street and there was little attempt to crack down and stop this action. Plus, as far as I know, the family that was moved in is still there.
1:31 PM I interview labor journalist Mike Elk on the West Coast port shutdown actions today. He tells me why the rank-and-file union members are not really supporting these actions today. Many of them, according to Elk, don’t know what this is about or why they should protest. There is no clear goal so nothing achieved by shutting down the ports.
12:51 PM Logan Price (@kstrel) uploads one of the best examples yet of how NYPD loathes, mocks and targets the press. It shows them actively violating press freedom. First, OWS media is arrested, including Justin Wedes (who many may recognize now from his appearance on “The Colbert Report”). Then, a cop (who looks like Horseface from Season 2 of “The Wire”) moves side to side blocking a member of the press with credentials from getting the photo he wants.
12:45 PM Here is video of cops kicking a protester named Nathan from KTLA. This is when police were making arrests at the Port of LA.
12:00 PM Now, at Occupy Oakland, riot police fall back. They had mobilized and looked like they might be moving on occupiers at the Port of Oakland. Live stream here.
11:58 AM Long Beach police move in on port action Occupy LA and Occupy Long Beach are doing (via @RamonGalindo_RT)
11:44 AM Occupy LA is having most, if not everybody, go back to Harry Bridges Park after successful morning action to shut down the ports.
11:41 AM If at anytime updates become too spotty for you, this is the Twitter account for the day’s action: WC Port Shutdown
11:40 AM Tim Pool on livestream is facing a situation where he has to get into a car and leave or likely be arrested. This is at the Long Beach “Shut Down the Ports” action. Everyone on the road is likely to be arrested. Mass arrest very likely.
11:38 AM Occupy Oakland right now. Sheriffs in riot gear (@queenasookkim)
11:21 AM Meanwhile, here’s more on what happened with OWS earlier, from Ryan Deveraux of Democracy Now!:
He posts this photo of dozens of protesters being detained in the World Financial Centre. He reports many with electronic devices were brutalized and had their equipment thrown to the ground. They were arrested, especially those standing around tweeting. Journalist Laurie Penny tweets:
11:20 AM Long Beach police lining up across roadway to push back occupiers demonstrating and blocking road. They declared the assembly unlawful and on a loud intercom device they are ordering the demonstrators to leave. Police action imminent. Occupiers, it appears, are risking being hit with impact weapons, chemical agents or dog bites.
11:05 AM Long Beach port action has blocked road traffic in both directions. Drum circle going.
10:50 AM Various occupations are making it clear that if there is police brutality today they will return to block the ports again.
10:30 AM A lot has unfolded in the past three or four hours. Here is a quick roundup by occupations that held morning actions:
—Occupy Oakland: Occupiers mobilize around 5:30 am at the Port of Oakland. Bus loads of riot police show up to handle occupiers. Riot police move out protesters trying to hold a line so they can get buses through. 1,500 estimated to be at the scene. KTVU reports “non-union truckers” are being threatened with no future calls in for work if they did not show up today. The report is the port is closed right now.
—Occupy Portland: Portland shuts down Terminal 6 at the port. Riot police harass PDX Bike Swarm, a group of bicyclists riding to show solidarity with the action. They setup a picket line.
—Occupy San Diego: San Diego shuts down both entrances to the port. They set up a moving picket line and block the road forcing workers to turn away from the 10th Avenue port. The assembly has been declared the north entrance assembly an unlawful assembly. Police van is arriving.
—Occupy LA: There is a report of an incident of police brutality that was caught on video and will be posted later. Perhaps a thousand were at the Port of Long Beach around 6:30. Police have blocked the entrance to the port. Occupy LA and Occupy Long Beach protesters are there and they obey orders. There still are scuffles. Occupy LA are now going to join up with the longshoremen.
@JohnNBCLA posts this photo:
—Occupy Wall Street: Large rally in front of Goldman Sachs. Police quickly block sidewalk. After the rally, there is a banner drop inside the World Financial Center and a flash mob that is cleared out pretty quickly. Lorenzo, who was live streaming for Global Revolution, is arrested. Also, another person whose coverage we’ve followed, John Knefel, arrested.
10:22 AM Occupy San Diego reports that they are blocking the port and workers are being turned around. They’ve let some workers out. They hear riot police may be staging just down the way.
And, this video before being arrested.
10:15 AM NLG says at least 8 Occupy Wall Street arrests so far.
10:12 AM Occupy Wall Street flash mob in Goldman Sachs. And, the person livestreaming from the action is arrested by police. Police approach and demand he shut off the camera.
9:55 AM Longshoremen are not reporting to work at the location Occupy LA targeted in Long Beach.
9:45 AM Via AlterNet’s Joshua Holland, here is a photo of Occupy Oakland at the port of Oakland this morning:
He reports via Twitter:
Moving towards one of the gates with about 50 others. Sky lightening. 4 choppers hovering overhead…Port acess road is like a horseshoe. Main crowd is in the middle but there are reportedly a few hundred at either end too…I should note there are no trucks moving here in the port…I think that show of force was about moving their bus…Riot police clearing path for a bus…Some pushing. Nothing serious so far…Another busload of riot police have arrived…Police staging…Now 5 vans of riot police pulled up on the other side…Several truckers expressed solidarity. Couple are really pissed…Several vans of ppolice clad in riot gear just drove past. Setting up on far side?…Now passing a long line of trucks awaiting entrance to the port…Maybe 400 or so protesters. Heavy police presence as we approach the port