“We are the front-line workers who haul container rigs full of imported and exported goods to and from the docks and warehouses every day.
We have been elected by committees of our co-workers at the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma to tell our collective story. We have accepted the honor to speak up for our brothers and sisters about our working conditions despite the risk of retaliation we face. One of us is a mother, the rest of us fathers. Between the four of us we have six children and one more baby on the way. We have a combined 31 years of experience driving cargo from our shores for America’s stores.
We are inspired that a non-violent democratic movement that insists on basic economic fairness is capturing the hearts and minds of so many working people. Thank you “99 Percenters” for hearing our call for justice. We are humbled and overwhelmed by recent attention. Normally we are invisible.
Today’s demonstrations will impact us. While we cannot officially speak for every worker who shares our occupation, we can use this opportunity to reveal what it’s like to walk a day in our shoes for the 110,000 of us in America whose job it is to be a port truck driver. It may be tempting for media to ask questions about whether we support a shutdown, but there are no easy answers. Instead, we ask you, are you willing to listen and learn why a one-word response is impossible?
We love being behind the wheel. We are proud of the work we do to keep America’s economy moving. But we feel humiliated when we receive paychecks that suggest we work part time at a fast-food counter. Especially when we work an average of 60 or more hours a week, away from our families.
There is so much at stake in our industry. It is one of the nation’s most dangerous occupations. We don’t think truck driving should be a dead-end road in America. It should be a good job with a middle-class paycheck like it used to be decades ago.
We desperately want to drive clean and safe vehicles. Rigs that do not fill our lungs with deadly toxins, or dirty the air in the communities we haul in.
Poverty and pollution are like a plague at the ports. Our economic conditions are what led to the environmental crisis.
You, the public, have paid a severe price along with us.
“As of November 27, 2011, the Occupy movement in every major West Coast port city: Occupy LA, Occupy San Diego, Occupy Portland, Occupy Tacoma, Occupy Seattle have joined Occupy Oakland in calling for and organizing a coordinated West Coast Port Blockade and Shutdown on December 12, 2011. Other West Coast Occupies, including Occupy Anchorage and Vancouver, Canada are planning to join the economic blockade and disruption of the 1% on that date, according to organizers.
“We’re shutting down these ports because of the union busting and attacks on the working class by the 1%: the firing of Port truckers organizing at SSA terminals in LA; the attempt to rupture ILWU union jurisdiction in Longview, WA by EGT. EGT includes Bunge LTD, a company which reported 2.5 billion dollars in profit last year and has economically devastated poor people in Argentina and Brazil. SSA is responsible for inhumane working conditions and gross exploitation of port truckers and is owned by Goldman Sachs. EGT and Goldman Sachs is Wallstreet on the Waterfront” stated Barucha Peller of the West Coast Port Blockade Assembly of Occupy Oakland.
“We are also striking back against the nationally’ coordinated attack on the Occupy movement. In response to the police violence and camp evictions against the Occupy movement- This is our coordinated response against the 1%. On December 12th we will show are collective power through pinpointed economic blockade of the 1%.”
Each Occupy is organizing plans for a mass mobilization and community pickets to shut down their local Port. The mobilization of over 60,000 people that shut down the Port of Oakland during the general strike on November 2, 2011 is the model for the West Coast efforts. Organizers state that a police attempt to disrupt the port blockade or police violence against any city participating will extend duration of the blockade on the entire coast.
“These Ports are public. People have a right to come to the Port and protest. The ILWU has historically honored picket lines at the Port.” stated Clarence Thomas, a member of ILWU Local 10.
ILWU longshore workers are involved as individuals in the planning of the Shutdown. “I am a longshoreman and I support the December 12th Blockade against EGT. EGT is a threat to the survival of the ILWU,” stated Anthony Leviege, a member of Local 10. Dan Coffman, the president of Local 21 in Longview, has publicly thanked the Occupy movement and Occupy Oakland for its actions on November 2nd.
Further interviews and details can be obtained through local Port Blockade committees and the Oakland West Coast Port Blockade Assembly.
Taken from Sparrow Media
“Media outlets have attempted to dismiss Occupy Wall Street as a movement without a message. This baseless indictment falls apart once you have read their declaration, and this is why we think it is so important to publish it and distribute it widely!
We are going to need your help to reach our goal of printing and distributing 100,000 copies!
This document is the first and only official declaration to come from the New York City General Assembly at Liberty Plaza, the epicenter of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. It is a summation of the grievances expressed by the occupiers, it is a call to action, and moreover it is a historic mile marker in the global fight for social, environmental, and economic justice. The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City, as transcribed and edited by Ryan Hoffman, Lex Rendon, and the Call to Action Working Group of Occupy Wall Street is a powerful reference for blossoming social struggles everywhere. In this second printing of 100,000 copies we will be including two other texts from the New York General Assembly, The Principals of Solidarity, and OWS’Statement of Autonomy, we also will be including a letter from the activists at Tahir Square to the Occupiers at Zuccotti Park. The Declaration of the Occupation, The Statement of Autonomy, and The Principals of Solidarity, are reflections of every voice amplified by the people’s mic at the NYC General Assembly at Liberty Square. You own this document. …Everyone owns it.
Please consider donating to our printing and distribution, and please share this fundraising effort with others on facebook, twitter, tumblr, etc…We love you!
You can read the declaration in its entirety here.”
Saturday Nov 19, 2011
Liberate Oakland, Shut Down the 1%
DAY OF ACTION TO EXPAND THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT
Out of the Plaza and Into the Streets:
Converge on Downtown Oakland
Oakland United for People’s Needs!
MASS RALLY & MARCH
14th & Broadway! 2:00pm
LONG LIVE THE OAKLAND COMMUNE
• Solidarity with the worldwide Occupy Movement
• End police attacks on our communities
• Defend Oakland schools & libraries
• Housing for all, No more foreclosures
• Against a capitalist system built on inequality & corporate power that perpetuates racism, sexism & the destruction of the environment
called for by Occupy Oakland & Bay Area Labor
A lot has happened the past few days for the Occupy Movement. In the past few days, Homeland Security have encouraged coordinated police raids to take place at occupations all over the country in an attempt to finally put an end to the movement. I realize I cannot discuss every single action that has happened at occupations across the country, so I am only going to cover a few recent events.
Occupy Oakland . Wow, where do I start? From the very successful General Strike, to their camp getting raided for the second time, Oakland has been a very busy, some even consider Oakland the ‘epicenter’ of action for the OWS movement. If you are in the area, and haven’t yet, we urge you to take part! In case you didn’t know, Oakland Occupy has a mass rally and march planned for Nov 19th.
The city of Portland, OR & PPD raided and evicted the Pdx Occupy camp a couple days ago. The city said that they would be evicted at 12:01 am, but by that time the city came down to support the occupation with numbers around 6,500 – 7,000 people. The police did not see this coming at all, minor clashes between the people and the cops took place, nothing major. The police ended up waiting until morning when people had tired and people had left to evict the occupation. This only strengthened the movement and made them more determined to take further action.
I think one of the most important thing to come out of this weekends eviction is Occupy Portland’s diminishing relationship with the police. Up until now, the movement in Portland has been working with the police, claiming that the police are a part of the 99%. Its not unusual to see people hugging police, taking pictures with the police, giving high fives and respecting them in general. But today, PDX OWS put out a statement declaring that their city/police liaison to the movement have resigned. The main reason being that the actions of the city and police this weekend showed their true intentions, ending the camp, and stopping the occupation.
“You claim to support us and yet you tell your police force to destroy us. Peaceful citizens are being injured in the process.”
If you want to stay updated with Portland Occupy, you can do so here.
A group in Chapel Hill, North Carolina took over an old abandoned building with plans to use the building as a community space. They put banners up with some saying “Capitalism Left this building Dead” and “And we brought it to life”. The occupation was only able to last overnight, in the morning it was raided by a SWAT team that used unnecessarily excessive force. Some frightening pictures of the event were captured, along with photos and video of the whole press conference with the cities mayor and police telling their story about what had happened.
Last night Occupy Wall Street was evicted from their camp at Zuccotti Park in New York City. Mayor Bloomberg’s reasoning to evict the camp was that that he was worried about sanitation problems, and that he was declaring the occupation a fire hazard and was ‘worried about the safety of the movement’. We have learned that the department of homeland security and the fbi have advised cities with occupations for reasons to evict them such as zoning laws, or curfew. They were also told to evict with force, and to do so when the press was less likely to be there. They were only given a mere 10 minutes to break down camp and leave the occupation without arrest. A group of 200-300 people had decided to stay and defend camp, a few of them even locking down in the camps kitchen to make it harder for the police to evict them. During the eviction, police used tear gas, pepper spray, and their batons on peaceful non-violent protestors. After everyone was removed, the park was cleaned, and barricaded with police on guard. This morning they were allowed back into the park without tents or sleeping bags. This is a really exciting time for the movement, and we would encourage you to take part!