Occupiers Vote To Block Port Of Oakland Through Tuesday Morning

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Occupy protesters at Monday night’s general assembly meeting voted to extend a blockade at the Port of Oakland through the early morning on Tuesday.

In a news briefing Monday night, Mayor Jean Quan said this action was “economic violence” and not fair to port workers or the community.

“I want to thank everyone for being peaceful today…but after the unofficial vote of the general assembly to continue the economic punishment of the Port of Oakland, I just have to say this—while we have not had physical violence, the economic violence to this city is not fair.”

“The labor community has already said they do not support this and still a small group of people are going to hold this port, this city, this community hostage,” she said.

Police Chief Howard Jordan said no violence or arrests were reported Monday night and police are continuing to monitor the situation and will take action if needed.

Port officials said no truck or gate operations are planned for Monday night, which is typical for evening activity. However, no ILWU members were asked to work for the three vessels that are berthed at the port Monday night.

“Today’s disruptions have been costly to Port workers and their families in terms of lost wages and shifts, to Oakland and the region in terms of lost tax revenue, and to one of the most progressive Ports in the country in terms of draining already limited resources that should be focused on real solutions to the problems plaguing our economy,” port officials said in a statement.

Port spokesman Issac Kos-Read told CNN the protests, “disrupted workers trying to get to work and impaired the port’s ability to operate.”

On a normal night, several hundred people would be working the graveyard shift, Kos-Read said. Dayshifts involve several thousand, he said. He said the protests have cost workers their wages, cost the city and region some revenue and could cause shipping firms to divert vessels to other ports.

“What has this accomplished?” he asked. “This is disrupting the 99%”

The march began at Frank Ogawa Plaza around 4 p.m., while more demonstrators began to march from the West Oakland BART station around 5 p.m.

Officers cleared the roads Monday evening to make way for demonstrators who were holding signs, waving flags and chanting slogans like “The system has got to die, hella hella Occupy.”

The crowd appears to be blocking about a dozen trucks from entering and exiting the port.

The daylong protest began early Monday morning when hundreds of protesters marched to the port and blocked several entrances.

Port of Oakland Executive Director Omar Benjamin said the protest caused “sporadic disruptions” and delays but that all terminals were open early Monday afternoon and traffic was flowing in and out of the port.

Jordan said the protest was mostly peaceful but that two people were arrested outside the port’s America Terminal at 1599 Maritime St. shortly before noon for failing to comply with a police order to stop blocking a driveway.

Jordan said seven people were blocking the driveway and five of them complied with police orders to move.

He said there haven’t been any reports of violence associated with the protest but that there was one report of vandalism.

At mid-morning, dozens of trucks were lined up outside at least two
of the port’s entrances as hundreds of protesters blocked drivers’ paths.

About 150 longshoremen at the Port of Oakland were sent home without pay Monday because of the protest at the port, according to a union spokesman.

Craig Merrilees of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union said terminal operators at the port had asked for about 200 union members to come to work for them on Monday but only about 50 members were able to work without disruption.

Merrilees said the other 150 union members “ran into protesters and police officers” when they tried to report to work and felt that it wasn’t safe for them to enter marine terminals.

He said those workers stood by in a safe area for about an hour before the terminal operators decided to send them home because they agreed that it wouldn’t be safe for them to work at the port Monday.

“If workers feel any condition is unsafe they will stand down,” Merrilees said.

According to Merrilees, no longshoremen workers have been requested to work at the port Monday night.

He said he doesn’t know how many longshoremen workers terminal operators will request for shifts at the port Tuesday.

Many longshoremen work on a day-to-day basis and terminal operators often don’t request them until a few hours before a shift begins, Merrilees said.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

Port and city officials and International Longshore and Warehouse Union leaders have criticized the protests, saying that the action will hurt Port workers.

Joel Hume, a driver for C.R. England, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, was waiting in line at Berths 30-32 with a truckload of beef and pork Monday morning.

“Raising awareness about income inequality is good, but I don’t agree with their methods,” Hume said. “I want to see things changed as well, but they shouldn’t prevent people from doing their jobs. They’re taking food out of peoples’ mouths.”

Hume said he had been waiting to get into the port since Sunday night to drop off the food he is carrying.

“I’m trapped,” he said.

Protester Shake Anderson, who said he has been involved in the Occupy Oakland movement since the beginning, said the demonstrators’ strategy is to keep a large crowd at the port to make it difficult for police to make arrests.

“It’s all about numbers,” he said.

The action is part of a coordinated shutdown of West Coast ports, and has been endorsed by Occupy movements from Anchorage to San Diego, with each city planning a shut down of its own.

Occupy Oakland previously shut down the Port of Oakland overnight during a daylong “general strike” action on Nov. 2.

Charles Smith, 68, of Richmond was one of the porters who took to the streets Monday to show his support.

Smith, a Vietnam War veteran, who has been protesting since 3:30 a.m. is representing the United Public Workers for Action. Smith said he was active in Vietnam War protests and noted some key differences between demonstrations then and now.

“The people are a very unusual mix of people. You didn’t have that kind of mix then,” he said.

Citing lack of jobs and increasing debt from college tuitions, Smith said, “The thing that’s different is the young people have no future.”

Not everyone who turned out Monday was in favor of the protests. One man who stood at the corner of 14th street and Broadway held a sign that read “Occupy attacks working people.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Bartolicious

    Who creates the cell phone service that these protestors use? Business. Who paves the streets or keeps BART running? Government uses OUR tax money and the tax money from businesses. If no one works, and businesses close, how do they expect to keep carrying on their activities, let alone their daily lives? Only chumps do so brain-dead things.

  • Peter B. Towle

    How long are we going to tolerate anarchy ? Bring in the National Guard as Gov. Reagan did in 1969 to clean up the campus in Bezerkely!

    • Brain Lee

      the mayor of oakland should be fire for letting this protestto happpen and l;etting it go so far. This has reach more the the freedon of speech.what ever happen to others work are still going to work paying taxes for these idiots with no lives to protest. what are the real issue they have no issue but to find way to protest. I suggest if they want to make a very very good point is to march on congress and white let see if they get to stay more then a day. they are just ruing the lives of honest working american so are struggling to make it. Who are paying for these protestor? are they supported by communist or marxist regime. Somebody should put an end to this nonsense.

    • JED

      YEAHHHHH! I remember that “gassing of “People’s Park” … Reagan should have dumped a bunch of soapy water to help clean up the joint.

      THIS COUNTRY NEEDS ANOTHER REAGAN – not another term of the Magic Monkey.

      • Patrick

        another reegen? why cause he was like a cowboy? he was a puppet for one, drastically cut taxes on the rich, raised taxes on the middle and lower class, deregulated banks(what led to this crisis) and, working with the CIA, let noreaga bring hella coke into the country for money, which he then used this secret money to purchase weapons(to fight the russians,as though they were ever an actual threat) and those weapons are the very same weapons used to kill american soldiers today.we might as well just vote for toby keith for president

  • Beverly Hills

    It closed the Jack London ferry service this morning. Remember, riders are part of the 99%. Don’t hur US !!!!!!!

  • Mike

    They’re all a bucnh of spoiled little children that need to grow up. They need to buck up, man up and get ahead in life the old fashined way, by gettig a job, or creating one and going to work.

  • KEY

    OCCUPY is a BUNCH of f-ing BS you are trying to shut down the PORT with workers who SUPPORT You and you are causing the to lose $$$$$ You are all a bunch of IDIOTS!!!!! I do not think half of you even know what you are doing anymore and why!

    • JED

      WHO is going to pay the workers at the port for their LOST WAGES while these “latter day hippies” beat their drums and poop on the sidewalks? THEY SHOULD!!

      • Patrick

        your wrong Jed, Charlie Prince should. that is the point.

  • Mike

    If I owned a retail bike shop, a cafe, or a real estate office and people blocked my doors and din’t let my customers come in, I’d call the police and promptly have them arrested. After that I’d show up in court and see that they’re prosecuted and then to top it off, I’d file a civil suit against each one for my loss of revenue. The ports seem too large for the police to handle however, so I suggest Govenor Brown send in the National Guard.

    • JED

      I FULLY AGREE, MIKE>>>> but do you seriously think Gov. Moon Beam would do anything? Think Cattle prods….

  • Malik

    OBAMA stands in strong solidarity with these ECONOMIC TERRORISTS who are sworn to the destruction of the free market system and private property rights.

    • JED

      YESSIR! It’s SO easy to see this – why can’t those morons understand this? Oh that’s right, they voted for that clown in the white house.

  • simulator

    If the struggle continues, maybe we’ll win back the weekend and the 8-hour day! That’s how it happened in the past–read a book, it’s good to know about how things have changed to know how things might change again. And indeed it has been disruptive, which is precisely the point, many myopic comments not withstanding. It’s difficult to argue that there’s no problem when there’s a problem that cuts into business as usual. And there is a problem: unemployment has skyrocketed, the government spends over half of our money on adventures abroad that bring untold death to the world, real wages have DECLINED since the 1970s (paralleling the decline in union strength), and businesses that are close to policy makers (oil, war, finance, and large retailers and wholesalers) are reporting that things are quite good according to their profitability statements (read the newspaper!). So it’s only natural that people get upset and disrupt business as usual in attempt to change. But it’s not their fault. They were forced to by the corporate and government bosses who made life so intolerable. These protests are reacting to being prodded with a red-hot iron. Business as usual has done the prodding.

    • John

      I guess if I could hire a lobbyist I’d get the government to pay attention. But I can’t so I have to do stupid things like march on the port. I’ll let everyone know if I see the National Guard

  • Moline

    How about the protesters in LA stop for a while and help out. Parts of the county were devastated during the recent wind storms and now rain. Clean up efforts are falling behind, there is so much debris. Stop protesting and help out. If you want help help others.

    • Patrick

      sure, why not? what makes you think they are selfish? or lazy? i’d be happy if charlie prince III came to help too.

  • jane

    Not one terrorist protester has ever done any thing positive. They disrupt working, taxpaying peoples lives with their childish antics, Why aren’t any of them AT WORK? Because they are all living on welfare or mommy’s allowance. Maybe if they sober up and get a job, they would see reality. All they are doing is hurting hardworking people that are trying to support their families.

  • JED

    MOOCHERS all of them! The SCURVY of the HUMAN RACE. Like rats, they scurry to possible feeding holes and locations of free news coverage. Cut off Welfare – that should get their attention. Funny how many homeless shelters are funded by donations from corporations…. no appreciation from the “occupy” morons.

  • JED

    The Unions would do themselves AND the country a favor if they stopped backing the democrats and their efforts to socialize America. The republicans aren’t the answer but they are certainly LESS WORSE than the current administration.

  • Patrick
  • patrick

    update for CBS: number at the port now around 8,000

  • Oakland Taxpayer

    Isn’t Oakland the greatest? Lost wages, taxpayer’s get the bill, and the mayor’s plea, a song in the wind. Suppose what’s next to occupy? Maybe the zoo…maybe the 99% monkeys don’t get enough bananas from the 1%? Or, maybe Jack London Square. Heck those minimum wage folks, also the 99%, could use a couple of days off and lost wages too. Let’s go for broke. Let’s break Oakland. Bring in more out-of-towners-occupiers … the mayor can sing another plea song. Oakland taxpayers, small businesses, and minimum wage workers will be thrilled and can watch it all on KPIX.

  • Mike

    JED, I like your attitude and eloquence! I remember a lot of rich kids were hippies in the 60’s. When “The Summer of Love” was over they all went back to school, graduated, became responsible and went on to become leaders of this great, fantastic, free enterprise country of ours. They became adults. They took charge of their destiny. Stop, Look and Listen you childish occupiers. Start making smart decisions for yourselves. If you look around you, the idealistic 60’s hippies are now broke and on welfare, while their more pragmatic counterparts are owning the houses and businesses, they claim they can’t afford to rent and can’t afford to work at. Make a real change and set a good example for your kids. Stop whining. Rise above. Get to work.

  • PreOccupied

    “Economic violence”? What this country has been doing to it’s middle class for the last 10-15 years is Economic violence. What Wall Stree and the Banks have done to us is Economic violence. What even our employers have done to us (especially those that are shipping more and more of our jobs offshore) is Economic Violence. This is only the beginning. If the self-indulgent 1% doesn’t like what they see now, they better change their ways, because the movement will only grow larger, and find more ways to disrupt the status-quo of the filthy rich. The American middle class has had enough, and we’re not going to take getting stepped on any more.

  • http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2011/12/13/port-of-oakland-resumes-business-after-occupy-disruptions/ Port Of Oakland Resumes Business After Occupy Disruptions « CBS San Francisco

    […] (CBS SF) – Operations were returning to normal at the Port of Oakland Tuesday morning after a daylong port blockade along the West Coast, port officials […]

  • http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2011/12/20/oakland-city-council-may-move-to-block-future-port-protests/ Oakland City Council May Move To Block Future Port Protests « CBS San Francisco

    […] consider a resolution Tuesday night that would call on the city to make efforts to prevent another Occupy shutdown of the Port of Oakland. Several council members feel the impact of the disruptions is too […]

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