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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Occupy Portland moves to the docks

The Occupiers are planning to shut down shipping ports on the West Coast tomorrow, including in Portland. Protesters are expected out at the Port of Portland facilities near Kelley Point by 6 a.m. to act up and disrupt business throughout the day. The Port police, who are mostly devoted to safety miles away at the airport, will be around, but they are not expected to be out in numbers to keep things moving. For that detail, they apparently rely on the City of Portland police.

Many in the city police rank-and-file have been champing at the bit to put a whooping on the Occupiers, and given the remote location, the darkness before dawn, and the waning public attention to all things Occupy, tomorrow could be a day when things get ugly. In any event, it won't be a short walk to the booking facility at the Justice Center downtown. From the Port facilities to the jail is a good 20 minutes by paddy wagon -- longer if there's traffic.

It's not clear why the Occupiers are targeting shipping. Disrupting import and export activity doesn't seem to match up too well with the prevailing public sentiment. Yes, it's corporate business, but at least it's straightforward, and it deals in real goods, unlike the smooth criminals in banking and the rest of Wall Street. Sure, exports are a symbol of corporate excess, but the people doing the work out there are some of the last blue-collar employees in the country who aren't flipping hamburgers or scrubbing toilets. And who sent your job to Asia? The decisions weren't made at the Port of Portland. It was done by people like Bill Clinton and Ron Wyden, who won't be there in the morning.

If you want to tell the 1% what you think, and the Port is on your mind, the glitzy new Port office building out at the airport would seem a much better venue in which to make a statement. More than one of the Port bigwigs are definite 1%-ers, and they can be pretty arrogant when they want to be, which is often.

One thing's for sure -- tomorrow's happening probably isn't going to turn into a Michael Jackson dance party. It's Monday morning, and besides, there are no good hipster bars around. The demonstrators seem likely to be far fewer, and less inebriated, than those protesting in the downtown parks. But they'll probably also be more upset and more persistent than the downtown crowd. Let's hope they all get it off their chests, they get arrested if that is what they want, things peter out by noon, and nobody gets hurt.

Comments (17)

Port facilities are spread so far apart that the "protesters" won't accomplish diddly-squat. That's a good thing - because the rest of the "99%" will keep working.

Seems like a pretty selfish and poorly constructed thought process. Is this where the oppressed become the oppressors?

If they could successfully tie up all of the ports on the west coast at the same time (and I doubt it will be successful), it would not only hit shipping, but also railroads, trucking, warehousing, and eventually, production factories. So I suppose it's all about causing maximum disruption with minimum manpower, and bringing lots of attention to the cause, without really thinking through the message that well that it would really send out.

Way to help out the 99%.

Protesting at the Port facility out at PDX is the right idea. However it's in the one percenter's own territory and they would likely claim national security was at risk and call out PPB SWAT team, TSA security, FBI and maybe the Air National Guard with Hellfire missles. Even if the protest was utterly peaceful. The Constitution doesn't apply anywhere near the Airport.

Hey protesters, GO HOME, your mom will make you a PB&J sandwich. You've gone from useful idiots to useless idiots to just plain useless human fodder. When you get back in touch with reality, drop us a postcard. I hope the lot of you get arrested and they forget where they put the paperwork needed to get your butts out of jail. GO AWAY, enough, you're unproductive, useless and a bit repulsive.

Cops champing at the bit?

Wait till they step around the corner to get a sandwich or something and meet a few of our local longshoremen. A whole new meaning to "terminal".

Exports and imports are saviors to Portland's economy. Seems foolish to protest the port. Why aren't they protesting in front of the White House? Would seem a more logical place to start.

According to the ILWU website; the Longshoreman's Union is not supporting today's OWS action...

It seems that much of the remaining support for "Occupy" comes from their sycophants in the media and this would be a good media event.

I want to personally thank the OP movement for helping me keep my job.

Just think of all the folks out there who won't be able to earn an honest day's wage.

The longshoremen, the crane operators, the truckers, the railroad employees.

With no goods coming in or going out, lots of factories will be shutting down.

That means people calling ME because they can't pay their power bill.

Of course it'll eventually hit me, when the power company shuts down, so we'll all return to the dark ages thanks to the Occupy Whatever movement. Is that what they want? For us to basically erase 1,000 years of human progress? Because they say so?

What a bad idea. They are keeping union workers - who make good wages - from work.

The Occupy 'message' must be that 'they' want occupations.

Occupy is like a hologram or something -- if you break it apart each piece grows another whole body of it. The view is probably mistaken that sees Occupy as a regimented battalion divided into logistical squads sent on tactical forays by the directions of a 'central' strategist. Occupiers are not at war, they are at their wit's end ... gotten in the situation by force of The Immoral System, not by personal weakness of character defects.

Occupy street theatre preoccupies TV news, and that's a good thing. It displaces TV time supposed to be for GOP 'debates' and 'debt crisis' fearmongering and Christian soldiering in the War on Christmas against Obama that FOX TV dictates in all TV. Occupy swarming pre-empts the regularly scheduled notch-by-notch ratcheting of hate-laced propaganda moving dumber and dumbest mobs toward 'vigilante' fascism for civil unrest according to a revised-history pretext of TVpolitics.

Before Christmas, Congress should just legislate a transaction tax on Wall Street. Then all the Occupy would recede.

Reports seem to show you got your wish, Jack -- nobody got hurt today on the docks. Occupy the air port is a plausibly good idea too, at the same time. It'd be another destination for the extra pool of destitute souls newly returned from The Immoral System assignment in Occupy Iraq.

An excellent version of counter-argument is given (in the following) against those who feel bothered by and bristle at the Occupy pandemic.

Progressives have a basic morality, which is largely unspoken. It has to be spoken, over and over, in every corner of our country.

Progressives need to be both thinking and talking about their view of a moral Democracy, about how a robust Public is necessary for private success, about all that the Public gives us, about the benefits of health, about a Market for All not a Greed Market, about regulation as protection, about revenue and investment, about corporations that keep wages low when profits are high, about how most of the rich earn a lot of their money without making anything or serving anyone, about how corporations govern your life for their profit not yours, about real food, about corporate and military waste, about the moral and social role of unions, about how global warming causes the increasingly monstrous effects of weather disasters, about how to save and preserve nature.

Progressives have magnificent stories of their own to tell. They need to be telling them nonstop. ... lure the right into using OUR frames in public discourse.

Here: Words That Don’t Work, by George Lakoff, Common Dreams .org published December 7, 2011

I was annoyed with the Occupy movement when it was downtown, but became amused when I saw how the homeless and druggies took over the parks, then ticked off that the lovely parks and restrooms were vandalized. But now I am livid that the idiots are stopping or trying to stop work at ports on the West coast. Truckers and other hard working folks are losing time and money they can't afford to lose waiting for these spoiled goons to quit posturing and go home. The police can't come soon enough to clear them out so honest workers can do just that -- work.

I guess the Port just shut down and told everyone to stay home today.

The occupiers had a dance party outside the gates.

There were a lot of pissed off truckers, small businesses that lost money because they couldn't ship their products and the longshoremen are not getting paid for the day.

The Occupiers were hoping for a confrontation and praying for a "Kent State" photo op. But all they did was hurt the people they purport to represent.

Don't worry about the longshoremen. If the Port closed down, then they can claim it wasn't their fault they couldn't work and the Port will pick up the tab for their pay. Not the truckers' or other businesses that have lost money. Will the Occupy goons be taking up a spare change to pay for their lost time and truck and gas expenses? Nope, they don't get it -what being an adult is all about.

Nolo, it is not true that the longshoreman will get paid, and it is completely irresponsible of you to pass off such inaccurate information.

One piece of broadcast video was an interview with a trucker waiting idle, who said he and many other truckers supported the Occupy blockage actions but that the leaders of the union were against it and dictated the 'angry' story-angle to the media.


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