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Occupy Oakland West Coast Port Blockade Press Conference, 12/09/11: video
by Dave Id
Friday Dec 9th, 2011 4:09 PM
Following police repression of the Occupy movement across the country as well as the successful blockade of the Port of Oakland during the November 2nd General Strike, the Occupy Oakland General Assembly issued a call to shut down all West Coast Ports on December 12th. This Monday "Wall Street on the Waterfront" will be confronted with coordinated port blockades in San Diego, LA, Oakland, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver, and Houston. The same day, Occupy Anchorage, Occupy Denver, and Occupy Wall Street will be targeting Goldman Sachs and Walmart. Local organizers of the West Coast Port Blockade held a press conference just outside the Port of Oakland at Jack London Square on December 9th to announce the reasoning behind and the plans for the mass demonstrations in Oakland.
Copy the code below to embed this movie into a web page:
(video 44:38)

Speakers at the press conference were Tim Simmons of Occupy Oakland; Boots Riley of Occupy Oakland, The Coup, and Street Sweeper Social Club; Betty Olson-Jones of the Oakland Education Association; Clarence Thomas of the ILWU and the Million Worker March; Mike King of Occupy Oakland; Jenna Woloshyn of Teamsters Local 70; Kimberly Rojas, Oakland Branch President of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union; Eddie Falcon of Iraq Veterans Against the War; Steve Zeltzer of the Committee to Defend the ILWU; and Bob Mandel of the Oakland Education Association.

Press Release issued after the morning press conference:

For Immediate release - Dec 9, 2011

Occupy Oakland & Organized Labor Plan to Shut Down Port
Blockades Planned at Every Major West Coast Port on Monday

Oakland, California -- Today, rank-and-file workers from the ILWU and Teamsters, local union leaders, veterans, and occupy organizers explained plans for the upcoming West Coast Port Shut Down on December 12 called for by the Occupy Oakland General Assembly.

Community pickets and mass mobilizations to blockade the ports are being organized by Occupy movements in San Diego, LA, Oakland, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver, and Houston. Occupy Anchorage, Occupy Denver, and Occupy Wall Street are targeting Goldman Sachs and Walmart on the 12th. Solidarity actions are being planned as far away as in Japan.

"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” said Boots Riley an organizer with Occupy Oakland. ”Our action is aimed directly at Wall Street on the Waterfront and is in solidarity with the struggles of port workers in LA and Longview, WA. ”

Longeshoreman 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.

While the community pickets of the port are being organized by the Occupy Oakland Port Shutdown Committee, rank-and-file unionists have been actively involved in every level of the organizing.

"The rank and file of the ILWU I've talked to say there is no way they are going to cross a community picket line." said Anthony Lavierge, a member of ILWU Local 10. "When I'm working on the port, 90% of the truckers I talk to are enthusiastic."

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%.

“The December 12th port shutdown will be historic. In an unprecedented action we will bring the fight back to the 1% where they make a great deal of profit at the expense of the rest of 99%. We are part of a global movement seeking to take our lives back. 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 - the unemployed, the underemployed, the retiree.” said Mike King, an organizer with Occupy Oakland. “This coming Monday, port workers and all workers will stand with the 99%”.

Scott Olsen, the Iraq War veteran critically injured by police during a November 25 attack on Occupy Oakland, issued a statement declaring "I plan on standing tall again on December 12, and I look forward to standing with our longshoremen.” He went on to say, “United we are stronger. As you say in your union, 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."

In Oakland, marches to the port will begin at 5.30am at West Oakland BART. At 3pm, there will be a rally 14th and Broadway, followed by a 4pm sharp march to the port. A 5pm march to the port will leave from West Oakland BART.

for more information please visit:


§Press Conference Photos
by Dave Id Friday Dec 9th, 2011 11:25 PM

Occupy Oakland West Coast Port Blockade Press Conference, 12/09/11: photos

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by n0madicSpirit
Saturday Dec 10th, 2011 7:38 AM
I've been reading a few things in the news that says the Union doesn't want Occupy's support. Can anyone address that? It makes me concerned.

For instance,

"Any actions organized by outside groups, including the proposed Dec. 12 shutdown of various terminals on the West Coast, have not been vetted by our union's democratically led process," the International Longshore and Warehouse Union said. "Any decisions made by groups outside of the union's democratic process do not hold water, regardless of the intent."
by Prole Rojas
(prole.rojas [at] Saturday Dec 10th, 2011 10:51 AM

In the tradition of the international labor movement a strike is declared by workers in an assembly at the factory or workplace;in case of a general strike ,it's declared by a workers' delegates convention at the union hall.The Oakland "general strike" was declared by a bunch of petty-bourgeois intellectuals and lumpen elements at a public square where the longshore workers had no voice.It was imposed by intimidation on the businesses adjacent to Frank Ogawa Plaza,as well as,by blocking the workers' access to the port,in some instances in direct confrontation with them.Even though some union misleaders declared their support for the strike they never took it to the vote of the union members for they know that they were not speaking for them;they're also afraid that their legitimacy can become an issue at an assembly of workers.
This second attempt at a strike on 12/12 in the docks follows the same pattern:The same cowardly union misleadership does not call the strike but supports a committee of washed out unionists who support the movilization to the docks by people who've never worked there or,in many cases,anywhere else.These kind of union misleaders are responsible for the state of deterioration of the unions,the refusal to fight the capital and distrust of their members has led to the usurpation of U.S workers' jobs by illegal scabs.These misleaders hope the occupiers will carry their horse,Barack Obama, to reelection.
Strikes I and II in Oakland are clear cases of working class substitution on a decision that pertains only to the working class.

In Solidarity from Portland Oregon.
Portland Indymedia reports from the Press Conference in Portland on Friday 12/9/11

by proleeosis
Saturday Dec 10th, 2011 7:39 PM
if you choose to define strikes and general strikes in such a limited fashion, that is your business.
regardless, to claim that the flows of capital, as represented in the ports, are a concern of just the "workers" is to ignore the affect capitalism has on all of our lives. we are the discontented and choose to strike where it will hurt.
p.s. this is of course granting you the assumption that the rank and file of the ILWU do not support these actions (which is false as well)
Sunday Dec 11th, 2011 12:21 AM
in answer to the anti-occupy, anti-worker chron and all of the pusillanimous lib-dem tweakers so afraid of ruffling a single feather that they'd accept continued abuse by the 1% for all time. thank you sir, may I have another

"And that desire is an oft-missed message of the West Coast occupation movement, often overshadowed in media coverage focused on sanitation issues and simplistic debates on violence. The occupation movement is proactive as well as reactive, offering new paradigms that transcend binary choices such as unions vs. corporations, Democrat vs. Republican, and leaders vs. followers. Just as the 1 percent now has to listen to the 99 percent. Big Labor has to listen to the rank and file. Dec. 12 marks a step in the evolution of the movement from a collection of improvised tent-villages to a national network of empowered, community-conscious problem-solvers."

by n0madicSpirit
Sunday Dec 11th, 2011 4:51 PM
I came for discussion, not to sling ad hominem attacks. I largely support Occupy SF and Oakland. I have even been to some marches and provided other support. That doesn't mean I have to agree with the move to shut down the Ports. I am asking for why I should support it. I know the Chron is biased, but I have seen quotes in several places with named Union workers, etc saying they don't support it.

Here's another:
Note this quote --
'“Support is one thing, organization from outside groups attempting to co-opt our struggle in order to advance a broader agenda is quite another,” Robert McEllrath wrote in a Dec. 6 letter to ILWU locals.'

I largely support Occupy, I'm just not sure shutting down the port is the best thing to do now (I am not sure it will increase Occupy's legitimacy or support). Rather than see sources attacked, how about help me find sources about the reasons this is a good idea. I'm here to learn and discuss.
by Prole Rojas
(prole.rojas [at] Monday Dec 12th, 2011 12:33 PM
Yes,I'm a workerist and it's a great honor for Marx was a workerist,which you should read sometime.
Marx also wrote that "the petty-bourgeosie is the scam of the society";he must have talking about you and don't you dream of shutting me up.
by Malik King,RN
Monday Dec 19th, 2011 9:05 PM
On March 9, 2011 in Santa Ana, several Police brutally ordered a K-9 to attack an unarmed, California Registered (RN) and Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). The California Highway Patrol in Orange County then attempted to cover up the incident.

Malik King, a reportedly "LVN since the age of nineteen" and California Registered Nurse since twenty three years of age, is said to have initially attempted to steal a car. Later it was found he was the owner of that Mercedes. What ensued next on the part of several officers goes well beyond the bounds of simply trying to subdue their suspect.

The several police officers ordered a police K-9 to attack him while he was still fastened in his seat-belt, tasered multiple times while the K-9 attack continued for over one minute and thirty seconds, then hand cuffed, slammed to the ground, hog tied, beat and kicked in the head until unconscious. He was then taken to jail, accused of multiple felonies, and had to pay $50,000 for bail.

Despite witnesses and the clear brutality of the beating, tasering, and ordered dog attack, California Highway patrol allowed several officers to remain active and attempted a cover-up.

Violations of federal law occur when it can be shown that the force used was willfully "unreasonable" or "excessive". By signing this petition you agree that "unreasonable" or "excessive force" was used on Malik A. King on March 9, 2011 in California Orange County.

The beating of Mr. King is sickening and disturbing. The police involved in the beating and cover up must be brought to justice. Tell Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas to thoroughly investigate and prosecute the officers involved in the brutality of Malik A. King,LVN,RN.
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