West Coast Port Shutdown

Why Shut Down the Port of Seattle on Dec 12th?

Longshoremen Struggles 1985-2010, The Struggle Continues:

http://westcoastportshutdown.org/content/longshoremen-struggles-1985-2010-stuggle-continues

On December 12th, Occupy Seattle will join the rest of the West Coast Occupy movement in the West Coast Port Shutdown. We will be shutting down the Port of Seattle with a mass community picket/ blockade.

Occupy Seattle’s General Assembly voted unanimously to endorse the call to action put out by Occupy Oakland. Port blockades are planned in San Diego, LA, Oakland, Portland, Vancouver, Tacoma, and Seattle.

- We will march to the port beginning at Westlake Park at 1 PM

- There will be two rallies near the port at 3 PM and 6 PM at the Spokane Street fishing area, just to the east of the Spokane St. Bridge, near the intersection of SW Spokane St & SW Manning St, under the West Seattle bridge. (the 125 bus goes there from downtown and from West Seattle; get off at Chelan Ave SW and SW Spokane St. and walk east along the Alki bike path)

- Come to the Spokane St. fishing area anytime after 3 and Occupy Seattle members will meet you there to show you where to find the port picket lines

- If you can offer carpool transportation or need a ride please see : http://occupyseattle.org/blog/2011-12-07/port-action-car-pool-plans

If you come late, please check #occupyseattle or #occupyseattleport on twitter for the march’s current location. Information about the coast-wide day of action can be found here: http://www.westcoastportshutdown.org/.
Please invite your friends on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/318022101544266/

If you wish to donate to help the logistical funding of this operation please click

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This action is aimed only at commercial shipping and will not be targeting commuter passenger ferries used by the 99%.

Why shut down the port?

1) We will shut down the port to resist the budget cuts that
target working class people.

The 1% are confident they can cut our health care, education, food aid, and social services because they think we won’t fight back. They are wrong. If they cut our safety net to pieces, we will cut their profits. The port is a major source of profits for the 1%, especially during the holiday season when they ship goods produced by Asian workers under horrible labor conditions to American malls where increasingly broke workers buy holiday presents on credit, worried about whether we will lose our jobs, food stamps, or health care. We are tired of worrying, so now we are fighting back. A port shutdown will hit the 1% directly in their wallets. Happy Holidays you scrooges.

2) We will shut down the port to bypass the corporate-controlled politicians and confront the 1% who really call the shots.

In December, some members of Occupy Seattle will be occupying the Capitol building; the rest of us here in Seattle will occupy capital: the port facilities of transnational corporations. Together, we fight against the same cuts.

Capital means the machines, trucks, ships, stores, cafes, hospitals, etc. – all the things the corporations own, which we work on to make their profits. One of their biggest pieces of capital is the port of Seattle. We know the 1% controls the politicians who are cutting the working class’s standard of living. So instead of begging politicians to stop cutting us, we’ll do what our friends did when they occupied Wall Street and go straight to the source of the problem: the capitalists. The ports are Wall Street on the waterfront – without them running, Wall Street makes no profits. If they cut our livelihoods, we will cut their profits.

3) We will shut down the port to defend workers’ right to organize.
We assert that the Occupy movement is part of the workers’ movement.

Goldman Sachs is the 1% of the 1%. They control a majority share of Stevedore Services of America (SSA), a major player in the port of Seattle. SSA is repressing immigrant port truckers who are trying to organize in their workplace in the port of LA, which is why Occupy LA put out the call for solidarity picket lines at ports up and down the West Coast on December 12th. Port truckers in Seattle are also face low pay, discrimination, unpaid time wasted at entry gates, etc., and we are in solidarity with them.

By building this solidarity, Occupy Seattle will show that we also are part of the workers’ movement. Because the 1% uses repressive labor laws and union busting firms to disrupt organizing efforts, only 11% of US workers are organized into labor unions. On December 12th, Occupy Seattle will take a stand to defend our right to organize on the job. We also recognize that the U.S. working class is starting to get organized in the Occupy movement, which makes us part of the workers’ movement. Many who are involved in the Occupy movement are members of unions. Many of us also make up the remaining 89% of U.S. workers who are not in unions, as well as the large sections of the U.S. working class who are unemployed, underemployed, students, and homeless. Our picket lines might not have the same legal standing as official union picket lines, but when the unions first started picketing back in the day they were also considered illegitimate. Occupy Seattle’s picket lines are still picket lines organized by working class people, in solidarity with fellow workers. December 12th is the first of many actions that Occupy will take as a new wing of the workers’ movement.

4) We will shut down the port in response to the police violence and harassment the Occupy movement has faced worldwide.

The 1% uses union busting tactics to shut down our organizing on the job and their cops use pepper spray, batons, and handcuffs to repress our organizing in the streets and plazas. We know that if the 1% wanted to, they could tell the police to stop all this repression. But they are apparently not embarrassed when global media broadcasts images of veteran Scott Olson with his head smashed in, or 84-year-old Dorli Rainey with her face full of pepper spray. They didn’t care when their cops kicked Jennifer Fox in the stomach, after which she miscarried. They didn’t care when their cops and security guards murdered Oscar Grant, John T. Williams, Jesus Mejia or Aiyana Jones. And in Egypt, the US-backed military regime has killed dozens of revolutionaries
and injured thousands since November 19 alone. They have called on the American Occupy movement to stand with them in solidarity.

The global 1% does not care about this state violence as long as their goods get shipped and their profits flow. On Nov 2nd, Occupy Oakland shut down the port of Oakland in response to the police violence they faced. On Dec. 12th we will do the same up and down the coast. Let’s show the forces of repression that when they stomp the flames of freedom they just spread the embers.

5) We will send a warning to EGT, the multinational conglomerate that is trying to bust the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).

EGT Development is refusing to honor the ILWU’s contract in Longview, WA, and we wish to stand in solidarity with the ILWU in their struggle against this union busting. Our action is independent from the ILWU; we are in no way attempting to co-opt or control their struggle and they are not controlling us. However, we are inspired by Longshore workers’ direct actions against EGT, and we are angered by the repression they are facing by the cops and courts, which is similar to the repression we are facing. We know that if the 1% busts the ILWU they will try to drive down all of our wages and working conditions next. We hope our action on the 12th will show EGT that we are capable of disrupting business. They should honor the ILWU’s contract because next time it could be their business.

Our decision to picket/ blockade the port is not deterred by the recent memo written by International ILWU President, Robert McEllrath, and quoted by the Longshore and Shipping News. We agree with the statement that the Occupy Oakland Port Blockade working group put out regarding our movement’s relations with the ILWU: http://westcoastportshutdown.org/content/clarification-nature-call-west-coast-port-blockade

In particular, we’d like to highlight that ILWU Local 21, Longview, Washington, was strongly heartened and encouraged by the overwhelming support shown for them by the historic November 2 port shutdown in Oakland. Their local president spoke at Oakland Occupy’s rally last Saturday, thanking us for our support. He and other ILWU rank and file members marched with us that day.” In particular, local 21 president Dan Kaufman said:
”When Nov 2nd happened, and it was against EGT in respect to the ILWU and Local 21, you cannot believe what you people did for the inspiration of my union members who have been on the picket line for six months now!”
For video footage of this, see: ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtdQCZSQ99I )

We’d also like to highlight that: “The ILWU rank and file have historically honored community picket lines in the port — for example they refused to cross community picket lines to unload cargo from apartheid South Africa.” They honored the community picket line set up by Occupy Oakland on Nov 2nd, and the ILWU Coast Committee cautioned its members that if a similar situation develops on Dec. 12, longshoremen should “stand in a safe area and await a decision by employers to call for an arbitrator.” This is similar to past situations where ILWU members have honored community picket lines. It allows the ILWU a legal out, not to cross the lines, if the picket lines are large enough to pose a threat to their safety, as interpreted by the arbitrator.

We aim to build trust and open communication between the Occupy movement and port workers.

6) We will shut down the port as part of the second phase of our movement

With this Dec. 12th action, the Occupy movement is undertaking a transformation. When we started occupying Seattle Central Community College, many people told us, “don’t disrupt life for the 99%, go disrupt it for the 1%.” They said the same thing when we joined labor unions to occupy a bridge on Nov 17th. These criticisms missed the fact that our camps have enhanced life for the 99% by providing educational opportunities, food, and shelter, and have stood as a visible reminder of the need for deeper social change. We agree though that we should be disrupting the 1% more. That’s why we’re occupying the port, as well as abandoned buildings owned by banks, wealthy developers, etc.

We will occupy everything.
We believe everyone deserves the rights to housing, education, food and safety.
We believe our lives are worth more than our labor power.
We believe our community members should not die under the harsh rule of the 1%. We are simply laying claim to what has always been ours.
Everything for everyone.

For more info, and to give suggestions, please contact: seattleportsolidarity@gmail.com

Guide to Port Shutdown: Click here to download our PDF Guide to the Seattle Port Shut Down.

16 Responses to West Coast Port Shutdown

  • Aristokronik anarkist says:

    we need a law written and submitted as a bill to congresss and lobbied for by occupyseattle “thou shall not play one port against another to get a bettor deal,since its ongoing and libraries have to shutdown due to local taxpayers tricked into subsidizing offshore flags of convenience’ infrastructure after saturating port commisions with “travel junkets”, there will be no more cruise seasons any where in u.s. until Carnival,Celebrity,HollandAmerica,and Princess,RoyalCarribean,Norwegian,and Disney Pay $150 per passenger up front so locals can replenish squandered property taxes to cover bond payments that cruiselines promised to pay back in w.t.o.99.RE-OPEN LIBRARIES TO 21ST CENTURY TIMES!.BACKTAX CRUISLELINES AND OFFSHORE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION MEMBERS THROUGHOUT NORTH AMERICA..NO MORE 3RD WORLD SHIPPING ABUSES.

    • John Ellis says:

      Yes of course, our 51% voting majority being the 51% most educated and wealthy, they owning all the wealth, they are not happy with leaving it just the way it is.

    • REPUBLIC says:

      Stop the hypocrisy of buying these products. Stop ranting and stop occupying anything and be more creative.

      1. Create manufacturing companies in the Unites States of America start small.

      2. Look at the labels to see where they are made in, and just buy Made in USA.

      John Ellis no need to comment we know you confusing fluctuates rants. A fluctuate is a fluctuate therefore they all smell pretty much the same.

      • OccupyMarkD says:

        The working class is international. Nothing is solved by only buying American-made goods. Corporations aren’t going to start manufacturing here until our living standards are at the same level as those in rural India. And besides, they are making more than enough (for now, as we all know they will want more profit in the future) off oppressing us in our current role as a service economy. This line of thinking is nationalistic and does not take into account the global nature of the economy. Transnational corporations extract wealth from foreign manufacturing centers (staffed by the working class of those countries) while they fleece the working class of America by lowering the living standards of port workers. It’s all part of the same global business cycle/ponzi scheme. Occupy needs to act in conjunction with workers overseas to break the cycle. This action did just that. Occupy needs to participate in more actions like this to link up with the global working class so the global 99% can rise up and take back our world.

        • REPUBLIC says:

          I rather be nationalistic then messing around with other foreign workers due to the fact that eventually the United Nation becomes the world police and world government. Can anyone see the pattern here? Where do you think all these protester organizers getting the money from? Here is a hint GEORGE SOROS the puppeteer master. He may not funnel money directly, but through his puppeteers to the puppets. Wake up America!! George Soros has experience in toppling governments through the poor blind people where in the end we all get the puppeteer master shaft. You may think I am absurd, but there is lot of foreign influences in the USA and protesters.

          We don’t want to collapse our nation or someone else nation that will cause world chaos where the UN will police us all.

        • donny1020 says:

          As a wage earner and an American worker, please buy American made. Unfortunately, most American workers are not like MarkD who’s parents send him a check on a weekly basis so he can maintain his trendy lifestyle.

  • tigertheo says:

    If we want this port shutdown successful, we need to start passing out fliers and start recruiting people to help us shut this s**t down. We need to start talking to the port workers and build solidarity!!! Lets make it happen!!

    • REPUBLIC says:

      tigertheo – I just gave you a solution. Why do you still have the same mentality? Instead of thinking backwards go ahead and start American manufacturing companies.Eventually, the 3rd world products will not reach our shores anymore.
      THINK AMERICAN PRODUCTS, JOBS, AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

  • REPUBLIC says:

    ILWU and its laborers are a bunch of thugs that causes mischief, illegally stopping traffic, assaulting innocent people, and a disturbing the peace.

    • OccupyMarkD says:

      Republic, you really don’t have a good analysis of this. You are only showing your ignorance of the real issues.

      • REPUBLIC says:

        Okay, so its okay to infringe on someone else right to passage and cause traffic. It is okay for the poor union workers beating on people. Okay, all of you have the right to infringe on others rights so you can get your way. Thanks OccupyMarkD I thought you were better than that.

        I was just stating what those nice union workers did to other people’s rights that is all.

        This is not the first union disputes look at the SEIU for instance a white male kicked and bit down a black male and called him the “n” and by the way it was caught on tape!! O yes, those poor union white workers had the right to infringing on someone else right. Here is proof.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTXBOgPCh9w&feature=player_embedded#!

      • REPUBLIC says:

        OCCUPYMARKD

        You know it is sad that I am being called ignorant and I don’t know the real issue, but you cannot go and damage private property. Here is proof for those nice ILWU innocent workers they were fighting for their own rights, and not others.
        Union protester arrested following altercation at EGT terminal picket
        http://tdn.com/news/local/article_2ce822de-d2a3-11e0-8d92-001cc4c002e0.html

  • REPUBLIC says:

    Wow, I thought you were a big man with such bold answers, however I realized when someone that oppose a left wing brain dead and show concrete proof what their bodies are up to, they no longer have answers and will no longer say anything. OccupyMarkD, thank you for proving to me that the left wing don’t really know what is going on.

    Here is what I have figure out thus far about the left wing:

    1. Demonize, label, discredit by character assassination, and seclude opposition

    2. Great verbal and hand signals: calling opposition ignorant and label them as racist and other horrible names, hurling of verbal insults, bashing, use of profanity, belittling, provoking violence, harm others by using objects as projectile, infringe on people rights, damaging private property, stealing what is not yours, and flipping off.

    3. When opposition sheds to light evidence or reasons that are hard to dispute, the left will either try a crafty debate by saying it is an opposition orchestrated distortion or they just keep quite, or use the same old rants with confusing contradicting statements in the hopes that the opposition will silence or just give up. If not, use of character assassination is the key to success.

    There you have a physiological profile of a typical left wing.

  • donny1020 says:

    Gov. Gregoire announces tentative settlement between EGT and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union

    For Immediate Release: January 23, 2012

    OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today announced that EGT and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union reached a tentative settlement on pending legal issues surrounding labor disputes at EGT’s grain export facility in Longview.

    “I asked EGT and ILWU to come together in a good faith effort to overcome their differences,” Gregoire said. “Both parties should be commended for their willingness to work together and compromise. This framework reflects considerable effort to put the interests of the Longview community and the entire Columbia River basin first. I am confident an agreement can be reached that will satisfy both parties and allow the new grain terminal to become fully operational.”

    “We are pleased to announce that after a series of discussions convened by Governor Gregoire, the ILWU and EGT have reached a tentative settlement to resolve the pending legal matters between the parties and the Port of Longview,” said EGT CEO Larry Clarke. “While the parties are still working to finalize certain conditions over the next several days, we are optimistic we can resolve the dispute and get on with the business of operating the facility. From the beginning, we had two core goals – to operate this 21st Century facility safely and efficiently and to ensure the entire Longview Community shares in the economic benefits this facility will provide. We are optimistic this process will help us reach both of these objectives.”

    “This is a win for the ILWU, EGT, and the Longview community,” said ILWU President Robert McEllrath. “I want to thank Governor Gregoire for her leadership in working with both parties to find common ground. The ILWU has eight decades of grain export experience in the Northwest, and we look forward to the opportunity to develop a positive working relationship with EGT.”