Occupy LA: 'Occupy The Ports! A Day Without Goldman Sachs!'

Occupy LA has asked for help spreading the word of this upcoming event: On Dec. 12, as part of the March and Boycott for full legalization and jobs for all, Occupy LA, Occupy Long Beach and the Occupy movement are holding a port action,

occupy_los_angeles

Occupy LA has asked for help spreading the word of this upcoming event:

On Dec. 12, as part of the March and Boycott for full legalization and jobs for all, Occupy LA, Occupy Long Beach and the Occupy movement are holding a port action, "Occupy the Ports! A Day without Goldman Sachs!" This legal rally, march and community picket will gather at 5:00 AM at Harry Bridges Park in Long Beach, 1126 Queens Highway, right outside the Queen Mary.

There are several ways to get there:

Join us the evening before at Occupy Long Beach on Pacific in downtown LB. The General Assembly is on Sunday at 4:00 PM, and the General Strike Preparation Committee of OLA will hold its final planning meeting at 6:00 PM there. We'll also be making signs for the protest, but bring your own, too, as well as noise-makers, drums, etc.

Carpool down with us from First and Main Sts. in downtown Los Angeles, commencing at 4:15 AM. Drive down on your own - take the 710 to the Queen Mary, park in the Queen Mary lot ($12 flat rate) and walk right back out to Harry Bridges Park.

Or take the Blue Line to its southernmost stop in downtown Long Beach and take the C shuttle bus to the Queen Mary (this will probably get you there a bit late because the trains don't run early enough to get there at 5:00 AM).

Why are we taking this action:

In solidarity with port workers, including the port truck drivers, we are focusing on SSA Marine, a global company owned by the investment bank Goldman Sachs, as an example of the corporate greed that is ruining the lives of the 99%.

Goldman Sachs, the parent company, was the recipient of billions of dollars in bail-out money.

SSA Marine which has multiple terminals in LA and Long Beach and other facilities in the area, as well as terminals in other ports, is a major military contractor that ran the port in Iraq under the US occupation. In Bellingham WA, where they are trying to build a dirty coal terminal, they were found guilty of illegally building an access road without a permit. In Oakland, they were discovered to have been carrying potentially explosive cargo without warning the numbers. Here in L.A., their Shippers facility in Carson denies union representation with the ILWU to internal workers, even though the facility is legally part of the port and under ILWU jurisdiction. They were also exposed by CBS News for treating the truck drivers as independent contractors, avoiding FICA taxes and workers compensation, and denying the truck drivers the right to organize.

We will be conducting a legal rally, march and protest and putting up community picket lines at one or more SSA Marine facilities on Dec. 12.

We are demanding economic justice for all. The 1% have pursued conscious policies of globalization, deindustrialization of the US, capital flight and super-exploitation of workers in other countries, with the result that "trade" at LA & Long Beach ports means eight or nine containers of imports for every one of exports. Rebuilding the economy and engaging in real, fair trade would mean good jobs for all, and plenty of work for everyone!

Why we are acting independently of the unions:

We are building towards a general strike by organized and unorganized workers, as a path of direct action by working people and the 99% to define and protect our own interests. We understand that because of reactionary labor laws, rulings and court decisions, dating back to the Taft-Hartley Act and other cold war legislation that tried to limit workers' collective power and rights, unions are constrained from taking job actions based on solidarity or political demands. Just last week, the Clerks local of the ILWU was forced back to work over a technicality after they went out on strike. We are standing up for the rights of labor to organize by undertaking a "third party" community picket. The longshore and other port workers are threatened with fines and imprisonment. The port truck drivers are threatened with prosecution under anti-trust laws if they try to organize. But as concerned residents and working people, we are able to act independently and are doing so. We understand that our action on Dec. 12 will not shut down the ports of LA and Long Beach, and we never claimed we would. Only the working people of the ports, drivers, longshore, warehouse, clerks and others have the power to do that. That is why we see this as only a first step towards a General Strike on may 1, 2012, and we invite all of organized and unorganized labor and all communities to join in building towards that goal.

For more information call 323-901-4269 or email occupytheports@gmail.com

About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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