In a direct action targeting the pocketbooks of some of the most profitable corporations in the world, Occupy Wall Street protesters blocked access to several shipping ports along the West Coast on Monday.
“The ports of the West Coast are a huge source of profits for these modern day robber barons, who have closed our factories and outsourced our jobs, who poison our oceans and rivers, who exploit our brothers and sisters in their insatiable quest for profit, reads the OccupyThePorts.com website.
“In solidarity with the Longshore Workers and truck drivers and their struggles against companies like Goldman Sachs and EGT, we call on the people of the 99% to join us in this historic day of action. From San Diego to Los Angeles to Portland to Anchorage, we will show the economic overlords and financial vultures the true scope of our combined power.”
Port of Oakland: SeattlePI.com reports that several hundred people picketed at the port before dawn and blocked some trucks from going through at least two entrances. A long line of big rigs sat outside one of the entrances, unable to drive into the port.
Port of Long Beach: The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) arrived at the scene about an hour after the protest began. Police have declared the protest unlawful assembly and are ordering protesters to stop blocking the road and move back to Harry Bridges Park. Should protesters fail to disperse, they will be arrested under section 409, which is the same charge used against Occupy L.A. arrestees during the November 30 raid. Riot gear police are also on the scene. Occupy L.A. tweeted this morning, “LBPD threatening tear gas, rubber bullets and dog bites.”
Port of Vancouver, Canada: The action got started early in Vancouver, as a dozen protesters briefly blocked two port entrances during morning rush hour. A blockade spokeswoman who identified herself as Mya Mayhem said the two brief blockades were in no way sanctioned by the Occupy movement, but that protesters wanted to educate Vancouver’s longshoremen about their counterparts’ ongoing labour struggles south of the border.
Port of Portland, Oregon: Hundreds Occupy Portland protesters effectively shut down two of the Port of Portland’s busiest terminals, preventing about 200 longshore workers from going to work today.The demonstrations began about 6 a.m. and have been largely peaceful so far.
Port of Los Angeles: Hampered by driving rains and dozens of police officers in riot gear, the action at the Port of Los Angeles didn’t last long, and was peaceful.
Here’s a video update from the Associated Press:
Image Credit: Flickr – Nathan Jongewaard