By Dave Welsh
Published Dec 3, 2011 10:31 AM
Organizing is under way for a coordinated mass blockade of West Coast ports on Monday, Dec. 12, targeting “Wall Street on the waterfront” — the major companies owned and controlled by “the 1 percent” ruling elite.
Initiated by Occupy Oakland, the Dec. 12 West Coast port shutdown is being jointly organized by Occupy movements in Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle and other ports along the coast. The multiport shutdown has three main objectives:
1) Solidarity with longshore workers in Longview, Wash., who are facing vicious police and state repression in their struggle to preserve the union there. These workers are fighting a union-busting transnational combine called EGT that is 51 percent owned by Bunge Ltd. — part of the Wall Street-backed grain cartel that controls most of the world’s trade in food products. EGT has hired scabs to break the jurisdiction of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in an attempt to drive down the price of labor on the docks and destroy the union.
2) Solidarity with independent truckers and other workers in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, targeting SSA, an anti-union port terminal operator majority owned by Goldman Sachs, the notorious Wall Street investment bank.
3) In response to the brutal, nationally coordinated police attacks on the Occupy movement organized by the 1 percent and their agents in government. “Now we will strike back,” read an Occupy Oakland statement, “with our own coordinated attack on the 1 percent —
a West Coast port blockade and shutdown on Dec. 12th to economically disrupt Wall Street on the waterfront.”
The West Coast Occupy movements are taking inspiration from the general strike and port blockade in Oakland on Nov. 2 when 30,000 people marched into the port and shut it down. No cargo was loaded or unloaded on the evening shift. Ships at dock lay idle, as ILWU rank-and-file workers, following the great traditions of their union, honored the picket lines at every terminal.