Tomorrow the Occupy movement will perform its largest coordinated strike to date against the 1% – the West Coast Port Shutdown. Occupy movements all along the west coast of the U.S. will be shutting down their respective ports, Occupy movements in Texas will be collectively demonstrating at the Port of Houston, Occupy Denver will shut down a Wal-Mart distribution center, and Japanese rail workers will be protesting Itochu, a Japanese firm which is a partner with EGT, which has been in a longstanding dispute with the Longshoremen in Longview, WA. Negotiations between the Longshoremen and EGT broke down when EGT demanded that the Longshoremen work 12-hour shifts without overtime pay.
The Dec. 12th action is not simply an action in solidarity with the struggle for workers to negotiate for fair pay for a hard day’s work. It’s also a strike back at the attacks on Occupy and peaceful protesters around the country. It shows the 1% that the 99% are serious about social, economic, and political change. The 1% would prefer that this contest be decided purely at the ballot box, because there they have a distinct advantage. It has been shown that electoral contests are decided (with between 85-94% probability, depending on the office) by the candidate which raises the most money. The Citizens United Supreme Court decision opens the flood gates and allows money to dominate the political process. Instead of counting votes, it’s about about counting dollars. Direct actions like the Port Shutdown sidestep this issue and take the struggle to the streets, largely bypassing the advantages of concentrated wealth. The disruption of economic activity, of ‘business as usual’, reduces the profits of the 1%. At some level of profit loss, they will be forced to conclude that it is simply cheaper to pay their fair share of taxes.
See below and the West Coast Port Shutdown site for more details on the historic events of tomorrow. Hope to see you in the streets! (Spoiler: It’s going to be hella fun).
Occupied Oakland Tribune: http://occupiedoaktrib.org/2011/12/08/12-reasons-to-shut-down-the-port-of-oakland-on-december-12/
Salon article: http://www.salon.com/2011/12/09/occupy_vs_big_labor/