West Coast Port Blockades // Ports, Clarifications, Call to Action

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/164981060266920/
More info at: www.westcoastportshutdown.org

Description

Occupy Oakland calls for the blockade and disruption of the economic apparatus of the 1% with a coordinated shutdown of ports on the entire West Coast on December 12th. 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.

Occupations mobilizing on December 12th include PORTLAND, OAKLAND, TACOMA, LOS ANGELES, SAN DIEGO.

More info at: www.westcoastportshutdown.org

GET INVOLVED:
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Prepare for December 12th:

  • – Read the full callout at – Bring the callout to your local General Assembly, and other community groups you work with!
  • – Organize to picket and blockade your nearby port (or join existing plans).
  • – Do hella outreach to your community and other occupations for this event
  • – Don’t forget to talk to organized labor (especially port workers) to explain why we are doing this and help them anticipate the actions you will be taking. But remember that this is a community action – unions should not be asked to strike or officially endorse your blockade, to do so could put them in significant legal jeopardy.

On December 12th:
– Remain in contact with the other port blockades
– Be prepared to extend your port action into subsequent days, especially if any of our pickets is attacked by the police.

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Clarification on Nature of Call for West Coast Port Blockade

Submitted by Occupy Oakland Port Blockade Working Group

West coast Occupy movements plan to blockade west coast ports on December 12th. This decision is not affected by a recent memo written by International ILWU President, Robert McEllrath, and quoted by the Longshore and Shipping News. Occupy Oakland’s working group on the port blockade wants to clarify the situation, so that there is no confusion on intent and support for this significant action.

1. The port blockade is being called for by the west coast Occupy movements

2. The blockade is in solidarity with the ILWU local in Longview, WA, which is fighting a move by giant grain and shipping companies to bust the union, so they can have cheaper labor. The port action is also to support LA port truckers’ drive for union recognition at SSA, a port terminal operator – 51% owned by Goldman Sachs. The blockade is also intended to disrupt the profits of the 1% by showing solidarity with those in the 99% who are under direct attack by corporate tyranny – exerting the collective muscle of the west coast occupies.

3. The ILWU rank and file have historically honored community picket lines in the port — for example they refused to cross community picket lines to unload cargo from apartheid South Africa. They refused to cross picket lines at an Israeli ship protesting the Israeli blockade of Palestinians in Gaza.

4. The ILWU did not call for the November 2 general strike in Oakland, either. However, they did not cross the picket lines, set up by tens of thousands of people, including labor, community and student groups, at the Oakland ports. They have a history of honoring such picket lines.

5. The fact that the ILWU Coast Committee cautioned its members that if a similar situation develops on Dec. 12, longshoremen should stand by (our emphasis) in a safe area and await a decision by employers to call for an arbitrator. This is similar to past situations where ILWU members have honored community picket lines. It allows the ILWU a legal out, not to cross the lines, if the picket lines are large enough to pose a threat to their safety, as interpreted by the arbitrator.

6. ILWU Local 21, Longview, Washington, was strongly heartened and encouraged by the overwhelming support shown for them by the historic November 2 port shutdown in Oakland. Their local president spoke at Oakland Occupy’s rally last Saturday, thanking us for our support. He and other ILWU rank and file members marched with us that day.

A Call for a Coordinated Blockade of ALL West Coast Ports

Greetings and Solidarity from Occupy Oakland!

We present this call to you because we believe it is time the occupation movement begins to work together to carry through coordinated, pinpointed actions. We want  to disrupt the profits of the 1% and show solidarity with those in the 99% who are under direct attack by corporate tyranny.

Occupations throughout the US have been evicted through nationally coordinated police raids. It is time for us to respond with our own coordinated actions. Our aim is to shutdown the West Coast ports:

  • On December 12, the occupy movements in different cities will stage  mass mobilizations to march on the ports, create community pickets, and effectively shutdown the hubs of commerce, in the same fashion that Occupy Oakland shut down the Port of Oakland on November 2nd, the day of our general strike. The Oakland Port Shutdown was a historic and effective action, and the memory of that night on the port lives in the hearts of people across Oakland and around the country.
  • The message to you from Occupy Oakland in the face of police raids and continued disruptions of workers lives by the 1% is the following: The Occupy movement will strike back and rise again! We will blockade all of the West Coast Ports on December 12th in solidarity with longshoremen, port workers and truckers in their struggle against the 1%! Together we are unstoppable! Strike while the iron is hot!

The following is the call for a coordinated West Coast Port Blockade to be carried out by the Occupy movement. It is this call which we wish for other Occupies to endorse and carry out. West Coast Occupations will have full political and material support for each other in whatever ways are necessary before, during, and after the port blockades. This call was passed unanimously at our Occupy Oakland General Assembly on Friday, November 18th.

Proposal for a Coordinated West Coast Port Blockade Passed Unanimously at the Occupy Oakland General Assembly 11/18/2011:

In response to coordinated attacks on the occupations and attacks on workers across the nation:

Occupy Oakland calls for the blockade and disruption of the economic apparatus of the 1% with a coordinated shutdown of ports on the entire West Coast on December 12th.   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.

Occupy Oakland expands this call to the entire West Coast, and calls for continuing solidarity with the Longshoremen in Longview Washington in their ongoing struggle against the EGT.  The EGT is an international grain exporter led by Bunge LTD, a company constituted of 1% bankers whose practices have ruined the lives of the working class all over the world, from Argentina to the West Coast of the US.

During the November 2nd General Strike, tens of thousands shutdown the Port Of Oakland as a warning shot to EGT to stop its attacks on Longview.  Since the EGT has disregarded this message, and continues to attack the Longshoremen at Longview, we will now shut down ports along the entire West Coast.

  • Participating occupations are asked to ensure that during the port shutdowns the local arbitrator rules in favor of longshoremen not crossing community picket lines in order to avoid recriminations against them.
  • 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.
  • In the event of police repression of any of the mobilizations, shutdown actions may be extended to multiple days.

We ask that you bring our proposal to your next General Assembly, as it is urgent that each Occupy begins to organize and mobilize for this major offensive ASAP. Please let us know if you have questions or need help. Most importantly, please copy us on your support resolutions passed at your GA’s.

In Solidarity and Struggle,

Occupy Oakland

-In Oakland: the West Coast Port Shutdown Coordinating Committee will meet on General Assembly days at 5pm before the GA to organize the local shutdown, and to network with other occupations.

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