Occupy demonstrators move against ports

Jill Dunn | December 12, 2011

Demonstrators converged on West Coast ports Dec. 12 for “Wall Street on the waterfront,” to show solidarity for ironically, two groups which have mostly not supported the occupy movement.

Media reports and updates from participants posting live feeds indicated larger assemblies for Oakland, Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. The action was planned for numerous ports and Portland, Ore., Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., were among the ports where the event took place.

According to the movement’s website, the Dec. 12 occupation is to demonstrate “solidarity with longshoremen and port truckers’ struggles against Export Grain Terminal and Goldman Sachs.”

Goldman Sachs was a major investor in Carrix, which has the subsidiary SSA Marine, the largest U.S.-owned port terminal operator.

Michael Shaw, a California Trucking Association vice president, said the Dec. 12 demonstration “threatens to hurt the very ’99 percent’ that they claim to represent.”

“The hard-working men and women who haul containers in and out of our ports stand to lose a day’s earnings due to misguided attempt to hit Wall Street between the eyes,” Shaw said. “Port truckers, many of whom are small business owners, depend on their ability to make as many trips to and from a port as safely as possible.”

Robert McEllrath, president of the International Longshoremen’s Association, said the West Coast port occupation groups were trying to link their efforts to the ILWU’s labor dispute with employer EGT. “Simply put, there has been no communication with the leadership and no vote within the ILWU ranks on EGT-associated Occupy actions,” he said.

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