Occupy Protesters Announce They Will Shut Down Port Of Long Beach Monday

LONG BEACH (CBS) — Occupy activists have announced plans to shut down the Port of Long Beach on Monday in hopes that it will disrupt business for the “1%” whose business relies on the port.

Organizers say the shutdown is a coordinated effort to close cargo ports on the West Coast from Anchorage to San Diego. Dock workers say the move will cost shipping companies millions of dollars in losses.

The organizers’ goal is “to disrupt and blockade the economic apparatus of the 1%,” according to the Occupy the Ports website.

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Activists said they plan on gathering at a park near the Queen Mary at 5 a.m. Monday, and then march to a dock facility owned by SSA Marine, a shipping company that is 51 percent owned by Goldman Sachs. They said they would likely disperse by 11 a.m.

Members of the International Longshoreman Workers’ Union were expected by Occupy organizers to honor the community march as a union picket line and not cross it. This raises the possibility of a closure of part of the twin port complex at Long Beach, and possibly adjacent San Pedro.

A spokesman for a group of largely Latino truck drivers, who ferry containers from the docks to nearby factories or freight yards, said those non-union drivers will honor the Occupy protest line as well. Franklin Serrano told Telemundo station KVEA that the drivers know “we will lose a day’s pay” but said the shipping companies that will be affected “will lose millions in profits.”

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Occupy organizers said the Long Beach march would also be to support 26 non-union truck drivers who they said were fired for wearing Teamsters jackets at port terminals, and said SSA Marine was known for being “anti-union.”

No other protests were publicized for the Port of San Pedro, but other Occupy marches were planned in San Diego and Port Hueneme, west of Malibu.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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