Seminary of the Street

Why We Shut Down the Port on December 12, 2011
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The Port of Oakland Does Not Answer to the Public

The following is a summary of the reasons we targeted the port during the holiday season. There is an excellent article here that explains the ways in which the port profits the 1% and does not answer to the 99%.

1. WORKERS WITHOUT RIGHTS: Oakland is a union town! In oakland, longshoremen, port workers & truckers break their backs bringing in the products for the 1%, yet these workers have very few rights & make very little money. One exam...ple: port truck drivers (93% are latino or south east asian immigrants) are not ...allowed to unionize; they make $7.64/hr & still have to pay for their own worker’s comp, insurance, payroll taxes, & safety & health compliance - while the Oakland Port brings in $8.4 million daily & corporations make billions selling the products coming into the ports.

2. POLLUTING POOR PEOPLE FOR PROFITS the Ports pollute the communities they are in. One in five West Oakland children has asthma, & West Oaklanders are hospitalized for asthma 2.5 times more than Alameda County. The 1% refuses to reduce diesel pollution. Pollution from the port results in 360,000 missed days of work, 1.1 million missed days of school, 2,400 premature deaths each year in California. All this adds up to an estimated $19 billion impact in Cali

3. CORRUPT CORPORATIONS 1% retailers like Wal-Mart, Target & Costco need our west coast ports to get their products into the U.S. – products made by exploited & slave labor. From the ports, the 1% distribute & sell across the u.s to get millions. Despite all the money the Port & the consumers make them, the 1% don’t care about our cities or the people. These corporations have been putting mom & pops stores out of business, sending our production jobs overseas, selling us cheap marked up products, fighting & breaking strong environmental & labor laws.

4. THE 99% vs. THE 1%. The government must stop serving the interests of the corporations & banks bleeding this country dry! Stop spending money on war,prisons, police, anti immigration & bank bailing! Start spending on quality & affordable food, shelter, clothing, education, health care, recreation, the abilty to make a decent living! On an average day, a 1 day shutdown in Oakland will keep $8.5 million from entering the U.S. We are in the middle of gift giving season. Which means these days are not average days for the port of Oakland – they are peak season. & we are not just shutting down Oakland on Dec. 12. We are shutting down the West Coast. Texas is calling for ports shutdowns in the South. & inland occupations are calling for a boycott of major stores. We are sending a message to the 1% that its time for them to share and stop destroying LIFE. & we’re serious.

We regret that we do not know who first wrote this. If you do, please let us know so that we can give credit!