Ocupados Shut Down Oakland, Other West Coast Ports (VIDEO)
Thousands of Occupy protesters all along the West Coast gathered at ports Monday in support of the International Longshore Workers Union and their ongoing workers' rights battles with Goldman Suchs and other corporate goblins (although members were forbidden by contract from formally joining the protests, which the union officially was not allowed to support because of ...um, anti-union legislation). As one trucker in the video above nicely points out, however, "we wouldn't cross a community line."
Shutdowns in Oakland and Portland had the most success according to the as usual excellent play-by-play coverage from the Guardian Occupy blog, and Mother Jones has more on some of the truckers and union port workers who were, uh, against support for unions?
Anyway, here is an open letter from five truckers at the Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports who supported the action:
Today's demonstrations will impact us. While we cannot officially speak for every worker who shares our occupation, we can use this opportunity to reveal what it's like to walk a day in our shoes for the 110,000 of us in America whose job it is to be a port truck driver. It may be tempting for media to ask questions about whether we support a shutdown, but there are no easy answers. Instead, we ask you, are you willing to listen and learn why a one-word response is impossible?
We love being behind the wheel. We are proud of the work we do to keep America's economy moving. But we feel humiliated when we receive paychecks that suggest we work part time at a fast-food counter. Especially when we work an average of 60 or more hours a week, away from our families.
On the other end of the spectrum in the "not reasonable and super mean" category, America's littlest Ocupados in New York City made 5,000 paper hearts to represent each of the OWS protesters who've been arrested since the movement began and then hung them up outside City Hall, which NYPD cops immediately trashed as the children watched in tears: