Occupy demonstrators are attempting to shut down every major port along the West Coast this morning, including the Port of Oakland.
Protesters are hoping to make a statement and cause a significant profit loss for EGT Development, the operator of a new grain terminal at the Port of Longview in Washington, and Goldman Sachs, one of the most profitable banking and securities firms in the world.
According to the movement’s website, they are taking drastic action because “the ports play a pivotal role in the flow and growth of capital for the one percent in this country and internationally. For that reason alone it is the ideal place to disrupt their profit machine.”
The 11 ports that are scheduled to be shut down span from the Port of Anchorage to the Port of San Diego.
Related activities are also said to be underway in eight other locations.
These actions include a rally at Occupy Honolulu, action against Goldman Sachs by Occupy Wall Street, a proposed Port of Houston shutdown by Occupy Houston and demonstrations by Doro Chiba Railway Workers in Japan.
The International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union, which represents the longshoremen and dock workers on the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska and British Colombia, Canada, are not in support of the port shutdown.
According to a statement posted Dec. 6 on ILWU’s website, President Robert McEllrath explained that even though he is in support of Occupy Wall Street, he doesn’t feel the movement should adopt IIWU’s struggle with EGT as their own.
“These groups seek to link these shutdowns 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,” McEllrath said.
The Occupy movement plans on shutting down the ports by staging massive marches and by creating picket lines. They hope to produce similar results to the last shutdown of the Port of Oakland Nov. 2, the day of the general strike.
More than 3,000 people RSVP’d through Facebook to the West Coast port blockade and more than 1,000 plan to attend the Port of Oakland blockade specifically.
The first march to the Port of Oakland is scheduled to take place at 5:30 a.m. today from West Oakland BART Station.