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From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Mon Apr 7 2003Port Of Oakland Shut Down: Police Fire Concussion Grenades and Wooden Bullets at Protesters and Dock Workers
Mon Apr 7 2003Police Open Fire On ILWU Members And Anti-War Protesters
Legal Solidarity Needed:4/8, 5pm: Four protesters are still being held, as police fail to provide the D.A. with the necessary reports to process their cases. 4/8 Legal Update, 4/7 Legal Update.
4/7: Anti-War demonstrators arrived around 5AM at the port of Oakland to picket American President Lines (APL) and Stevedoring Services of America (SSA). APL receives millions of taxpayer dollars every year for shipping military cargo through the Department of Defense Maritime Security Program (MSP). SSA was awarded a $4.8 million contract for a year's operation of the Port of Umm Qasr in Iraq.
The picket line was successful in provoking the ILWU into sending many of its workers home for the day. After approximately 30 minutes, the Oakland Police Department moved in to disperse the demonstrators, using concussion grenades , wooden bullets, and beanbags full of metal shot. Scores of people, including six onlooking workers, suffered injuries and Jack Heyman (Business Agent, ILWU Local 10) was arrested with over 35 other protesters and port workers.
Police violence quickly forced protesters back to the West Oakland BART station and there was then a spirited march downtown to the Oakland Federal Building. A press conference was held at 2:30 in front of City Hall to address issues of police violence towards workers and protesters.
Strong anti-war sentiments by longshoremen combined with disgust at OPD violence kept large portions of the Oakland docks shut down for most of the day, but as would be expected Mayor Jerry Brown defended the police brutalization of protesters.
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