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Protesters halt operations at some western ports

December 13, 2011 • National News


Protesters set up a picket line at a Port of Portland terminal Monday, Dec. 12, 2011, in Portland, Ore., as part of a West Coast “day of action.” Anti-Wall Street protesters along the West Coast joined an effort Monday to blockade some of the nation’s busiest docks, with the idea that if they cut off the ports, they cut into corporate profits. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — More than 1,000 Occupy Wall Street protesters blocked cargo trucks at some of the West Coast’s busiest ports Monday, forcing terminals in Oakland, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Longview, Wash., to halt operations.

While the protests attracted far fewer people than the 10,000 who turned out Nov. 2 to shut down Oakland’s port, organizers declared victory and promised more demonstrations to come.

“The truckers are still here, but there’s nobody here to unload their stuff,” protest organizer Boots Riley said. “We shut down the Port of Oakland for the daytime shift and we’re coming back in the evening. Mission accomplished.”

Organizers called for the “Shutdown Wall Street on the Waterfront” protests, hoping the day of demonstrations would cut into the profits of the corporations that run the docks and send a message that their movement was not over.

The closures’ economic impact, however, wasn’t immediately clear.

The longshoremen’s union did not officially support the protests, but its membership cited a provision in its contract that allowed workers to ask to stay off the job if they felt the conditions were unsafe.

Some went home with several hours’ pay, while others left with nothing.

Oakland Longshoreman DeAndre Whitten was OK with it. “I hope they keep it up,” said Whitten, who lost about $500. “I have no problem with it. But my wife wasn’t happy about Login to read more

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