Supporters of the Occupy movement gathered at the West Oakland BART station at 5 a.m. today as part of a coordinated effort to shut down all major ports along the West Coast, from the Port of Alaska to the Port of San Diego.
Kase Wheatley, a student at UC Davis, came down to attend today’s events with other members of Occupy Davis. The dramatic increase in tuition and fees is one of the reasons why Wheatley has became involved with the occupy movement.
“We’re here to shut down the port, we’re here to stop the flow of capital non-violently,” said Wheatley. “We want to see changes in the country and this is the means,”
Wheatley was also one of the students who was pepper sprayed and arrested at the UC Davis campus on November 18.
Charles DuBois, a member of Labor Black and Brown, an organization pitted against police brutality, was among those present with the intent of shutting down the port.
“The occupation movement needs to understand that when you want to call work actions, it’s a smart idea to talk and organize the workers first, as opposed to presenting the workers with your time frame,” said DuBois. “The working class needs to learn how to unify and fight, the workers aren’t here, but when we get the workers and the community joining picket lines we’ll all start learning some things,”
The Port of Oakland released a statement Monday evening stating that no terminal activity had been scheduled for the evening and that union workers would not be working on any of the three ships berthed at the port.
The statement released by the Port of Oakland claimed that disruptions caused by protesters “have been costly to port workers and their families” and were a drain on “already limited resources.”
Devery Scheffer contributed to this report. Photos taken by Samantha Battles.