'Occupy' Protesters Disrupt Ports in Oakland And Portland

Dec 12, 2011
Originally published on December 12, 2011 12:07 pm

"Occupy" protesters on the West Coast moved Monday to disrupt ports in Los Angeles, San Francisco and elsewhere. The action fizzled in Los Angeles, as the AP reports:

"Heavy rain dampened the protest and the demonstrators, who were flanked by dozens of police, have now moved off, effectively making a peaceful end to a four-hour protest."

The AP says about 200 people showed up for the protest at the Port of Longbeach and that there was one arrest related to the gathering.

The "Wall Street on the Waterfront" protests seem to have had more success in Oakland. KQED says that a crowd their reporter estimated to be 1,000 strong marched through the streets of West Oakland this morning. At the port, protesters were able to disrupt operations:

"Caitlin Esch, who is at the port now, says at least three of the six gates at the port are effectively blocked, with nothing moving in or out as protesters clog up the entrances. Trucks are lined up, some trying to drop off, some trying to pick up."

You can follow tweets and regular updates on the protests in the Bay Area on KQED's News Fix blog.

In Portland, Oregon, the Occupy movement also managed to block some shipping operations, as The Oregonian reports:

"Hundreds Occupy Portland protesters effectively shut down two of the Port of Portland's busiest terminals, preventing about 200 longshore workers from going to work today."

"The demonstrations began about 6 a.m. and have been largely peaceful so far."

The protests, which have generated tension between the Occupy movement and unions representing affected truckers and dock workers, are aimed at facilities the movement sees as part of a system supporting "elites," the AP reports:

"The protesters say American ports have become 'economic engines for the elite.' They are most upset by giant West Coast port operator SSA Marine and grain exporter EGT, which they say epitomize the big corporations that make up the '1 percent.'"

"Goldman Sachs owns a major stake in SSA Marine, and the bank has been a repeated target of Occupy protesters since the movement began."

Other ports targeted by Occupy protesters today include San Diego; Seattle, Tacoma, Washington, and Anchorage, Alaska.

We'll update this post as developments warrant.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.