Support for D-12 Shutdown includes: Military Veterans, IVAW, Tom Morello, Houston, Denver, Tokyo, Honolulu, ILWU, other unions, other workers, and of course, the West Coast

From anonaminita.

The propaganda that workers and the longshore union “don’t want a West Coast shutdown” isn’t holding up. Prominent union bureaucrats have said this, and it’s also worth keeping in mind that if they openly support a general West Coast shutdown strike, they are likely to face fines themselves given union concessions over the years such as the Taft-Hartley Act. To them the union’s standing is better when they say they don’t support a shutdown, and then it happens anyway. Most people don’t know how that works, and some apparently are scared away by the fact that this is a community strike, and it’s happen anyway, even against the union’s wishes (oh no!!!) The corporate media, however, is just eating that shit up just to play down the action as a bunch “self-righteous” brats calling for strikes against other peoples’ wishes. At any rate below are several articles from WestCoastPortShutdown.org showing solidarity statements over the last few days, including actions called out from non-West Coast cities like Denver, Houston, and Honolulu to name a few.

– forever anon

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From WestCoastPortShutdown.org. Dec 11:

Tom Morello: Support for the 12/12 West Coast Port Shutdown!

Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine expressing his support for The December 12th West Coast Port Shutdown.

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From WestCoastPortShutdown.org. Dec 10:

Longshore Workers Being Told to Not Cross the Picket Line

We are hearing from ILWU rank and file that they have recieved a text message from the President of ILWU Local 10, telling them not to cross the picket line on Monday.

This indicates that the ILWU international leadership’s strategy of trying to divide workers from occupy and discredit the shut down is FAILING.  Prominent members of the ILWU have already stated that the rank and file will not be crossing the picket line or crossing with police protection.

Not crossing community picket lines has been standard practice since 1937 when longshoremen refused to load iron ore onto ships headed for Japan.

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From WestCoastPortShutdown.org. Dec 10:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Military Veterans Join the 99% in December 12 West Coast Port Shutdown

Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War to march with 99%, call on fellow veterans, service members to join the movement.

OAKLAND/SAN FRANSISCO (December 9, 2011)—On December 12th, the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) Bay Area Chapter will march with the 99% as Occupy movements along the West Coast stage mass mobilizations to shutdown the hubs of commerce owned by the 1%.

Members of the IVAW Bay Area Chapter will Occupy the Ports to draw attention to the financial and human costs of the wars, and the ways in which veterans have been impacted by the economic and social issues raised by the Occupy movement. These issues include the challenges of veterans re-entering civilian life after war and trauma and during economic recession, and looming cuts to veterans’ health care and VA services. They also hope to help make veterans’ and service members’ participation in this movement more visible and deliberate.

Scott Olsen will join the IVAW Bay Area Chapter to march with the 99% in Oakland, CA—the city in which he was critically injured by a police projectile. Scott’s decision to demonstrate so soon following a serious injury is symbolic of the Occupy movement’s resilience following a series of nation-wide, coordinated crackdowns against the 99%.  Scott doesn’t plan on backing down, neither does the movement; IVAW will be there, boots on the ground, to occupy the ports and show our support for the 99%.

Iraq Veterans Against the War is nonprofit 501(c)3 advocacy group of veterans and active-duty US military personnel who have served in the U.S. Military since September 11, 2001. IVAW currently has over 1,400 members in fifty states, as well as in Canada, Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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From WestCoastPortShutdown.org. Dec 11:

Tokyo General Union Supports West Coast Shutdown

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Tokyo General Union supports the upcoming West Coast Port Shutdown and the Occupy Movement.  We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters taking such a courageous action to end this system that brings untold riches to the 1% at the expense of the 99%.

We are the largest foreigner-led multinational union in Japan. We know that only through international unity and democracy can we bring about real change.

Let’s not just reach across borders.  Let’s crush the national borders and all things that divide workers around the world. Let’s not talk their talk. Let’s change the parameters of the debate.  Let’s have the courage to ask real questions about our society, like the need for nations, companies, money and other trappings of our modern society.

We stand with you.

Tel 090-9363-6580
Fax 050-3488-6734
全国一般東京ゼネラルユニオン(略称: 『東ゼン』)
執行委員長 ルイス・カーレット
ZeTokyo General Union Executive President Louis Carlet
Photo: Dan Coffman, President of Longview ILWU Local 21 (third from left) addresses 10,000 workers at Do-ro Chiba anti-capitalist labor rally in Tokyo on November 6. ZeTokyo General Union Executive President Louis Carlet (fourth from left) translates, accompanied by Tokyo General activists.

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From WestCoastPortShutdown.org. Dec 10:

Occupy Houston Joins “Occupy the Ports” CampaignFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Houston, TX, December 10, 2011 – On Monday, December 12, Occupy Houston will be joining our brothers and sisters in the Occupy movement around the United States in a coordinated action targeting the nation’s ports. This event is an expression of solidarity with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and West Coast truck drivers who have come under attack this year, as well as a statement against the multinational conglomerates and their relentless campaign to outsource American jobs and undermine our economy in the pursuit of ever-widening profit margins.

We will be joined here in Houston by hundreds of Occupiers and concerned citizens from all over the state, including Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth. From 1:00 – 3:00 PM, we will be protesting outside the security perimeter where the Port of Houston Authority’s executive offices are located, 111 East Loop. We will also hold a “Main Street March” down the length of downtown Main St. from 4:00 – 6:00 PM in a visible display of support for the West Coast Port Shutdown effort and the American working class.

The Port of Houston Authority and its board members have come under scrutiny this year for violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act, procurement irregularities, misuse of public funds, records falsifications, and other highly questionable practices. During his tenure as PHA board chairman, Jim Edmonds became a highly paid consultant for AECOM, a global infrastructure company with deep ties to Libya and Khamis Gaddafi, son of Muammar Gaddafi. After this, the Port of Houston agreed to a major study of Libya’s Ports and even hosted a special tour of the port for Khamis Gaddafi just days before the Libyan revolution broke out. In addition, the CEO of the PHA, Alec Dreyer, is the highest paid local government official in the state of Texas, receiving a larger salary than that of even Houston’s Mayor Parker.

Occupy Houston demands justice for these abuses of privilege. We call for an audit of the Port of Houston Authority and the prosecution of those found to be culpable in the misuse of public funds. We demand stiffer restrictions on the use of public funds for executive travel expenses and more equitable and reasonable salaries for public officials such as Mr. Dreyer.

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From WestCoastPortShutdown.org. Dec 10:

Honolulu Solidarity Action!

Action: Rally in Solidarity with the West Coast Port Shut Downs

Website: deoccupyhonolulu.org

Other Info: Meet-up at Thomas Square, Ward and Beretania corner 6AM to carpool to Sand Island, banner drop and hold signs crossing the cross walk at Sand Island 6:30am.

Further Info:  

December 12th West Coast Port Shut Down led by the Occupy Movement

Who, What, When, Where, Why?

The Occupy Movements of the U.S. west coast have called for the shut down of all west coast ports on December 12th. The goal is to disrupt commerce to make the 1%, who own the shipping, business, and goods going through the ports, pay for their global austerity attack on working people.

The action is  in solidarity with ILWU rank and file workers at the Port of Longview who have been under attack from EGT, a global conglomerate that broke a contract with them to bring in scab labor to move grain to their port. Further, the action is in solidarity with L.A. Port truckers who are fighting for the right to unionize, against Goldman Sachs, which owns a large segment of all SSA ports.

Do the Unions Support the Action?

There have been statements of support for the Occupy movement from the ILWU, a union with a record of protesting injustice and supporting community pickets. The ILWU shut down west coast ports in 2008 to protest the Iraq War. But now, some in the union leadership are coming out against the port shut down.  This however is not representative of the ILWU rank and file. In the post World War II period, much legislation (like Taft-Hartley) has limited the right of American workers to strike, and the government and business have brought union management closer to them to enforce what they call “labor peace.” In this situation, union bureaucrats must operate as police toward their own workers, to prevent rank and file militancy. But this “peace” has continued as wages, benefits, pensions, and union membership have been slashed.

Why should Occupy worry about the Ports? Isn’t that the ILWU’s job?

Occupy is shutting down the ports in solidarity with port workers. Remember also that the Occupy Movement is “the 99%.” This is another way of saying the working class, as opposed to the 1%, or owning/ruling class. Longshoreman Clarence Thomas explained in a recent interview that “Fifty-one percent of Stevedoring Services of America is owned by Goldman Sachs. EGT is a multinational conglomerate trying to control the distribution of food products around the world. The face of Wall Street is in the ports.” So the ports are an issue for all working class people, not just the tiny percentage of unionized workers, or the even smaller group of port and longshore workers. Alliances can be formed between all these groups of workers.

Boots Riley of the West Coast hip hop group “The Coup” put it this way: “They coordinated attacks against us [Occupy encampments], we’re gonna respond back with a coordinated attack against the 1%.

On December 12th shut down all west coast ports. Not only make a statement, but cause a lot of profit loss.”

What’s the point? Does it matter?

The process by which capitalists make a buck is the same process by which they rip us off! By identifying production and the market as the points where we are exploited and alienated, as points of a class struggle, we clarify the terrain on which we must fight. When we strike we contest the ownership of the means of production by which we create our very lives. When we  occupy we challenge the privatization of life by reclaiming space and using it for our own needs and those of the community. When we shut down commerce, we disrupt the process by which our bosses realize the fruits of our labor as their profit.

Action: Rally in Solidarity with the West Coast Port Shut Downs

Meet us at: Thomas Square, Ward and Beretania corner

Time: 6AM carpool to Sand Island – 6:30AM banner drop and hold signs crossing the cross walk

Bring: signs, literature, passion, solidarity

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