Occupy Strikes Back – West Coast Port Blockade

In solidarity with Occupy Oakland, Occupy cities across the West Coast will begin their 12-hour blockade of western ports.

The first Occupy Oakland march that shut down the ports occurred on Wednesday, November 2, 2011, as part of their Oakland General Strike. You can read about the action here.

Here is Occupy Vancouver’s solidarity call out as a participant in the West Coast port blockade protests.

Occupy Vancouver’s action starts on Monday December 12, 2011 at noon from Callister Park, Vancouver.

Media Releases
Occupy the Ports! 
Date: Wed. Dec 7, 2011

Call out to all groups concerned with equality, social justice, and environmental sustainability; join Occupy Vancouver in a 12-hour Shut Down the Ports! Action next week!

On December 12, Occupy Vancouver will join in solidarity with Occupy movements up and down the west coast of North America to shut down the ports and send a strong and clear message to the global 1 per cent: this economy belongs to ALL of us — not just those who disproportionately profit from trade.

In the United States, Longshoremen are fighting a long and difficult battle for wages and rights against the global elite. Why should we stand in solidarity with them here in Canada? The answer is simple. The economy is global, and our neighbour’s fate will soon be ours.

Studies show that the gap between the richest and poorest families in B.C. has grown “dramatically” in the past 30 years, while other studies note the relationship between increasingly open and “free” trade and income inequality. This gap is growing faster in B.C. than anywhere else in Canada, and faster in Canada than in the United States.

The Port of Vancouver trades 75 billion in goods annually, and generates 10.5 billion in GDP. It is the largest port in Canada, and the fifth largest in North America. Who benefits from our port’s traffic? We all do… but not equally.

There are numerous environmental concerns surrounding the port, from its impact on local ecosystems to its contribution to global climate change. The proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Westport facility on Burrard Inlet could see in increase in tar sands oil tanker traffic from 22 vessels a year in 2005 to 288 in 2016.

Our ports are where the global economy opens its doors. But not everyone is invited to the party. We want to slam those doors shut for a day, and send a resounding message.

We are calling out to every individual and organization that believes people should come before profits to join us in Occupying the Port of Vancouver. We are seeking endorsements from unions, community organizations, prominent individuals, local businesses, policy institutes and other organizations.

We are also asking all community groups, unions and organizations, anyone with a stake in this action, to attend a spokes council assembly on Thursday Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. at SFU Harbour Centre room 3000 to bring endorsements, get information, raise questions and concerns.

We need your support; this action won’t be successful without community support

In Solidarity,

Occupy Vancouver Direct Action Committee

For more information on the West Coast Port Blockade, please check this website: http://www.westcoastportshutdown.org/


Here is the Original Call to Action from Occupy Oakland:

Greetings and Solidarity from Occupy Oakland!

We present this call to you because we believe it is time the occupation movement begins to work together to carry through coordinated, pinpointed actions. We want to disrupt the profits of the 1 per cent and to show solidarity with those in the 99 per cent who are under direct attack by corporate tyranny.

Occupations throughout the US have been evicted through nationally coordinated police raids. It is time for us to respond with our own coordinated actions. Our aim is to shutdown the West Coast ports:

— On December 12, the occupy movements in different cities will stage mass mobilizations to march on the ports, create community pickets, and effectively shutdown the hubs of commerce, in the same fashion that Occupy Oakland shut down the Port of Oakland on November 2, the day of our general strike. The Oakland Port Shutdown was a historic and effective action, and the memory of that night on the port lives in the hearts of people across Oakland and around the country.

— The message to you from Occupy Oakland in the face of police raids and continued disruptions of workers lives by the 1 per cent is the following: The Occupy movement will strike back and rise again! We will blockade all of the West Coast Ports on December 12 in solidarity with longshoremen, port workers and truckers in their struggle against the 1 per cent! Together we are unstoppable! Strike while the iron is hot!

The following is the call for a coordinated West Coast Port Blockade to be carried out by the Occupy movement. It is this call which we wish for other Occupies to endorse and carry out. West Coast Occupations will have full political and material support for each other in whatever ways are necessary before, during, and after the port blockades. This call was passed unanimously at our Occupy Oakland General Assembly on Friday, November 18.

Find out more at: http://www.westcoastportshutdown.org

Proposal for a Coordinated West Coast Port Blockade Passed Unanimously at the Occupy Oakland General Assembly 11/18/2012:

In response to coordinated attacks on the occupations and attacks on workers across the nation:

Occupy Oakland calls for the blockade and disruption of the economic apparatus of the 1 per cent with a co-ordinated shutdown of ports on the entire West Coast on December 12th.

The 1 per cent has disrupted the lives of longshoremen and port truckers and the workers who create their wealth, just as co-ordinated nationwide police attacks have turned our cities into battlegrounds in an effort to disrupt our Occupy movement.

We call on each West Coast occupation to organize a mass mobilization to shut down its local port. Our eyes are on the continued union-busting and attacks on organized labour, in particular the rupture of Longshoremen jurisdiction in Longview Washington by the EGT. Already, Occupy Los Angeles has passed a resolution to carry out a port action on the Port Of Los Angeles on December 12, to shut down SSA terminals, which are owned by Goldman Sachs.

Occupy Oakland expands this call to the entire West Coast, and calls for continuing solidarity with the Longshoremen in Longview Washington in their ongoing struggle against the EGT. The EGT is an international grain exporter led by Bunge LTD, a company constituted of 1 per cent bankers whose practices have ruined the lives of the working class all over the world, from Argentina to the West Coast of the U.S.

During the November 2nd General Strike, tens of thousands shutdown the Port Of Oakland as a warning shot to EGT to stop its attacks on Longview. Since the EGT has disregarded this message, and continues to attack the Longshoremen at Longview, we will now shut down ports along the entire West Coast.

— Participating occupations are asked to ensure that during the port shutdowns the local arbitrator rules in favour of longshoremen not crossing community picket lines in order to avoid recriminations against them.

— Should there be any retaliation against any workers as a result of their honouring pickets or supporting our port actions, additional solidarity actions should be prepared.

— In the event of police repression of any of the mobilizations, shutdown actions may be extended to multiple days.

We ask that you bring our proposal to your next General Assembly, as it is urgent that each Occupy begins to organize and mobilize for this major offensive ASAP. Please let us know if you have questions or need help. Most importantly, please copy us on your support resolutions passed at your GA’s.

In Solidarity and Struggle,
Occupy Oakland


Krystalline Kraus

krystalline kraus is an intrepid explorer and reporter from Toronto, Canada. A veteran activist and journalist for rabble.ca, she needs no aviator goggles, gas mask or red cape but proceeds fearlessly...