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Sun May 13 2007 (Updated 05/20/07) Oakland Community Shuts Down SSA Gates
On May 19th, work activity at the Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) gates was successfully halted this morning after the ILWU locals chose not to cross the community picket lines. Three ships sat at the SSA docks, and cargo did not move. Pickets continued throughout the day. imc_article.gif Reports: 1 | 2 | imc_photo.gif Photos: 1 | 2 | imc_audio.gifAudio | imc_video.gifVideo | Announcement | Poster for the Blockade

The picket was a direct action to stop the war. Currently, military shipments through the port enable and support the ongoing occupation of Iraq. Through this picket, activists aimed to stop war shipments with the intention of forcing the immediate return of US troops. Moreover, picketers also demanded community control of the port, insisting that port money be used to fix schools and social services in Alameda County.

On April 7th, the PAC hosted a rally at the port commission to mark the anniversary of the brutal repression of anti-war activists by the OPD. Many of the current organizers were also part of the group that originally picketed the port four years ago.As was the case four years ago, organizers expect the ILWU to respect the picket lines on May19th. Unlike the police riot that took place four years ago, however, organizers expect the police response will be somewhat tamer this time around. They cite the 2 million dollar legal settlement against the Oakland Police Department that resulted from the 2003 picket, recent political changes in Oakland, and a surge in the general antiwar sentiment in the US as reasons they expect greater police restraint.Indybay coverage of 2003 Port Picket and Repression

The action at the Port of Oakland is partially inspired by those earlier in the year in Washington. After activists successfully shutdown the shipments in Olympia they set their eyes on the port of Tacoma. At the Tacoma Port, blockaders were met with with heavy repression. From Olympia IMC: Tacoma Protest | Charges dropped against Tacoma demonstrators | Democracy Now! report on Tacoma blockade. It has been announced recently that the port protests are now targeting the port of Aberdeen.


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