Update on Occupy Oakland


Crowds are beginning to gather and Occupy Oakland campers are crawling out of their tents this morning to join what has been billed as the nation’s first general strike since 1946. Protesters began organizing the citywide strike after last week’s violent clashes with the police, during which tear gas canisters were repeatedly fired into the crowd. All week protesters circulated strike posters and leaflets reading “No Work. No school. Occupy Everywhere,” and “Liberate Oakland and shut down the 1 Percent.”

During the day, protesters plan to amass in the square outside city hall and picket corporations and banks, including Wells Fargo, in the city center. Then at 4:00 p.m. local time and again at 5:00 p.m., the strikers plan to march to the Port of Oakland, the nation’s fifth busiest shipping port, and shut the port down. On Tuesday, port officials said they intended to conduct business as usual on Wednesday. Port authorities even issued a statement begging march participants to remain peaceful. “From our maintenance staff, to our custodial workers, our truckers, to office workers and dock workers, the Port is where the 99 percent work,” the statement said.

Some businesses here put up signs in storefront windows announcing their intention to close on Wednesday. The marquee of Grand Lake movie theater replaced movie titles on the marquee with a statement reading: “We proudly support the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Closed Wed. to support the strike.” Still, it seems many businesses and city offices intend to remain open.

While several major unions, including local units of the port workers’ International Longshore and Warehouse Union, have voiced support for the strike, union members have not been authorized to strike. The port was the site of clashes between police and antiwar protesters in 2003 that left dozens injured.


Categories: Government, Labor, U.S. News, Workers Struggle

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