West Coast Port Shutdown – Breaking News and Updates from San Diego

by on December 12, 2011 · 15 comments

in California, Civil Disobedience, Economy, San Diego

Occupy San Diego demonstrators shut down main gate at San Diego port, 12/12/11.


5:44 PM – Big Ed Schultz of msnbc mentions the West Coast ports shut down, while highlighting east coast actions around voting rights.

5:41 PM –  Protesters arrive at Port of Oakland less than an hour ago –

 As three helicopters hover overhead, as many as 2,000 protesters are entering the port, a much larger crowd than there was at the early morning action. One group of activists is carrying a tent, and there’s three helicopters overhead. There’s no immediate sign of police.

Music is blasting from a flatbed truck that was rented for the occasion. People are playing drums and dancing, about six blocks deep.

5:19 PM – And in Loveland, Colorado, near Denver … Police make arrests outside Walmart

Loveland police have made several arrests of Occupy protesters outside the Walmart distribution center near the Budwiser Events Center.   Protesters were arrested by police after blocking the intersection where trucks were trying to enter and leave the distribution center.

 “At about 12:45 p.m., demonstrators blocked the Walmart truck traffic entrance with people and tents. The roadway was cleared immediately by police and several arrests were made,” Loveland police said in a statement.   Loveland police had a heavy presence in the area all day, with more than 10 marked and unmarked law enforcement vehicles in the area of of Crossroads Boulevard and Greenfield Drive.

5:16 PM Lawyer only arrest at PortHueneme

It didn’t take long for Frank Chimienti to become the first and, so far, only person to be arrested at Monday’s Occupy protest at the Port of Hueneme.

Within an hour of joining protesters picketing outside the deep-water port, he decided to lie down in the middle of the road to block a long line of trucks trying to enter, said Chimienti, 41.   When police asked him to get up, he refused. They asked again and when he refused a second time, they arrested him.

5:13 PM – More from the Port actions:  Vancover update

Vancouver Occupiers blocked two access routes to Canada’s biggest port Monday, acting in solidarity with U.S. protesters’ efforts to shut down West Coast ports from Alaska to California.   The protest at Port Metro Vancouver began with roughly a dozen demonstrators blocking the Clark Drive entrance before 8 a.m., disrupting traffic and preventing employees from getting to work, according to police who arrived on scene.

 At about 1 p.m., dozens more gathered to block the Commissioner Street entrance but were met by a heavy police presence as they approached port property.

The port, which handles $200 million per day in cargo, hired extra security in anticipation of the protest and executive Peter Xotta said the port was “prepared to do anything necessary to see port operations continue.”

5:09 PMInjured Vet Leads Oakland Evening March to Port

Scott Olsen, the Marine Corps veteran who was struck in the head during a clash between police and Occupy Oakland protests, is leading the evening march to the Port of Oakland.   Olsen, whose speech is still a bit slow after his skull was fractured on Oct. 25, was holding a banner leading nearly 1,000 Occupy Oakland members as they left City Hall toward the port on Monday evening.

 He told the AP that it felt good to be back out in the thick of things and that he was proud of the turnout.   He said he was focused on getting better and “spreading the fruit of truth.”   The 24-year-old Iraq war veteran had been attending Occupy protests after working his day job as a security software engineer.

5:03 PMTacoma Washington update:  Occupy movement protest peaceful at Port of Tacoma

 About three dozen Occupy protesters brandished banners and passed out leaflets Monday on a key arterial leading to Port of Tacoma, but didn’t attempt to halt commerce at the port’s terminals.

 Occupy Tacoma participants said they wanted to show solidarity with Longshore Union workers seeking a contract with a new grain terminal in Longview and with non-union truck container truck drivers asking for higher wages at Southern California ports.

 Occupy protester Sarah Morken said she came to the port Monday noon to support workers’ efforts for better wages and working conditions, but not to alienate the truckers and others whose work lives would have been disrupted if Occupy tried to halt work at the port.

4:55 PM – Latest from Occupy San Diego : General Assembly will be held at Freedom Plaza at 7pm as planned. The workgroup from Chicano Park planning meeting will be presenting plan for tomorrow at the General Assembly tonight. Get down to the plaza for GA tonight and help plan tomorrows action.

4:51 PMSeattle Update:

About 100 Occupy Seattle protesters briefly blocked a street near a Port of Seattle facility.   Several dozen police cleared the road after the group stopped traffic for about 20 minutes Monday afternoon. At least one person was taken into custody.

 The Seattle group had marched several miles from a downtown shopping area. At the port entrance the crowd chanted and waved signs at Terminal 18, near Harbor Island.

4:49 PM Updates:  Bellingham WA where protesters laid down on train tracks –

About 100 protesters in Bellingham blocked railroad tracks near downtown Bellingham. Some were seen lying down, bound together by bicycle locks around their necks.

 A train expected at 3 p.m. was delayed by Burlington Northern Santa Fe, and police were arresting protesters who refused to clear the tracks.

4:26 PM PT – NYPD Still Harassing Reporters –

Tensions between the NYPD and journalists continued to run high on Monday as police officers forcefully prevented New York Times photographer Robert Stolarik from taking pictures of Occupy Wall Street arrests.

 Stolarik was covering the protests at the World Financial Center when police blocked him from getting shots of people being arrested. One police officer shoved Stolarik when ordering him off the stairs, and another pushed him back with a baton.

4:20 PM Looks like the livestream is back on. Go to the sidebar and click on OSD’s livestream link.

4:10 PM – Here’s an account by Eugene Davidovich of what happened after folks left the Midway Carrier park area:

After staying at the port all morning, we marched down the middle of Harbor Dr. to Midway where we proceeded to protest and regroup. Now the rain has passed and everyone is gathering at Chicano Park (NOT BARRIO TROLLEY). We will be planning the direct action for tomorrow from Chicano Park starting at 4pm. Get down here and join the Occupation. The Plaza is still Occupied with a core group as well.

4:07 PM – OccupySD activists are regrouping at Chicano Park – the site of San Diego’s successful early “occupation”.  No livestream yet.

3:46 pm – As Occupy San Diego protesters regroup at the Barrio Logan Trolley Station at 4pm, there does seem to be a lull for right now at the different cities on the West Coast. Protesters are gathering again ahead of action later on today. Many of the demonstrations at the West Coast ports will be repeated from 4pm PDT (7pm ET) onwards, in a bid to prevent longshore workers from entering for night shifts and continue the port shut downs.

3:43 PM – There may be efforts by the Occupy movements at the different port cities to return at 4pm to continue the blockades for the afternoon shift.

3:38 PM – CNN just gave all of 5 seconds to the efforts to shut down West Coast ports.

3:18 PM Here’s an update from Huston: 20 Arrested Near Port of Huston

HOUSTON –   Several protesters associated with Occupy movements across Texas were arrested near the Port of Houston on Monday.

 Occupy Houston protesters were joined by protesters from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth near the Port of Houston’s executive offices on the East Loop Monday afternoon.   About two dozen protesters connected themselves with PVC pipes to block the road leading to the Port of Houston’s main entrance.

 Firefighters were called in to cut the PVC pipe off the protesters. They put a tent up over the protesters to block sparks.   Police said they took about 20 people into custody. Officials have not said what charges they will face.   The protesters managed to delay three trucks and two cars that were on the ramp when the protest began. Other truck traffic was diverted to another entrance until the protest was cleared.

3:14 PM – Check out this crazy tactic (video) by Huston police and fire and rescue personnel against Occupy Houston protesters laying in the street. Cops bring up a huge red tent and cover the protesters with it in order to block the view of the arrests themselves.

2:56 PM – An unconfirmed report : OcccupySeattle cameraman just reported that 30 protestes tied themselves to the railroad tracks in Bellingham Wash to stop the trains.

2:53 pm – Big news from Bellington, Washington: Bellingham protesters block railroad tracks,

About 100 protesters blocked railroad tracks and an intersection near downtown Bellingham Monday, Dec. 12, in what they said was a show of solidarity with Occupy Oakland and other events aimed at shutting down ports on the West Coast.

 Bellingham police said they would not arrest any of the protesters unless they were still blocking the tracks when trains made their next scheduled run through the area.

 After a brief rally at nearby Maritime Heritage Park, the protesters – some carrying signs that read “Stop the 1% in their tracks” – marched two blocks to the intersection of Roeder Avenue and C Street. Most stood in the intersection, but about a dozen lay down on the tracks.

2:29 PM – Some will meet @ Barrio Logan trolley stop, 4pm.

2:07 PM – We have reports that the entire intersection of Harbor and Cesar Chavez is closed by police. People are still at the Midway Carrier park area; some have left to get warm clothes and some hot food.

2:00 PM – Occupy the Port protest underway in Seattle

About 300 Occupy Seattle supporters left Westlake Park about 1:30 p.m. marching south, and will eventually gather at one or more Port of Seattle terminals for as part of “Occupy the Port” rallies up and down the West Coast.

 Port rallies are expected at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

1:58 PM Oakland longshoremen sent home due to protests

 OAKLAND, Calif. — Most longshoremen at the Port of Oakland were sent home Monday after Wall Street demonstrators blocked entrances as part of a coordinated West Coast port blockade effort.

 Shipping companies agreed with workers’ concerns that the protests were creating unsafe working conditions and released about 150 out of about 200 workers on the morning shift, said Craig Merrilees, spokesman for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

 Workers in unaffected parts of the port remained on the job.

1:55 PM – Here is the rest of Occupy San Diego’s schedule for today:

12:30 – Flying pickets leave Cesar Chavez Park for the Women’s Picket of the USS Midway Museum

1pm – Women’s Peace Picket of the USS Midway Museum

3:30M – Flying pickets leave Cesar Chavez Park for unannounced Port targets

4pm – FLASH MOB gathers at the Barrio Logan Trolley Stop

Elegant potluck dining, extraordinary DJ’s, music, dance, and party in and around Cesar Chavez Park. All day until late! Bring a dish, sing a song, dance a dance, or just join the general merriment. Come before work, come during work, and come after work – EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO JOIN US!

1:22 PM Here is a video of two arrests of Occupy SD.

1:14 PM – An occupy supporter just tweeted that he could barely get out of his car down at the Midway Carrier park area without being harassed by cops. Be careful out there!

1:08 PM – WOW! Hear that rain!

Occupy Denver: Protesters Plan Walmart Disruption In Solidarity With Shut Down Of West Coast Ports

 Occupy Denver is planning a rally to disrupt the large Walmart Distribution Center in Loveland on Monday. The rally is intended to show solidarity and support for the simultaneous protests planned to shut down West Coast ports from San Diego to Alaska coordinated by other occupy movements, according to CNN.

 In a press release, Occupy Denver had this to say about the Walmart rally:

 On 12/12 Occupy Denver will be rallying at the Walmart Distribution Center, 7500 Crossroads Boulevard, Loveland, Colorado, in order to illustrate the problems with a globalization solely based on the interests of multi-national corporations and total disregard for human values or human beings.

12:58 PM – More updates from earlier today: (msnbc)

  • Oakland, Calif.: Tractor-trailers en route into the facility, the nation’s fourth busiest container port by volume, were backed up and idle at one entrance where protesters formed a picket line in front of police. Two longshoremen who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity outside the gate said they would refuse to cross picket lines to get to their jobs and assumed others would follow suit.
  • Long Beach, Calif.: Activists scuffled in the rain with helmeted police officers who shoved them with batons in an effort to keep the entryway clear. At least one protester was taken away in handcuffs after the skirmish, and demonstrators later left the area to block traffic along a main thoroughfare through the port. But as rains grew heavier and police converged in force threatening arrests, protesters began to disperse on their own.
  • Portland, Ore.: Motorcycle police confronted some 200 demonstrators who tried to disrupt traffic outside a terminal there. Officers later stood aside and let protesters march to the terminal entrance. The port said two of its four terminals were closed for the day due to security reasons and that 200 workers were told not to show on Monday.

12:51 PMNBC reports that in Oakland, Calif., shipping companies and the longshoremen’s union agreed to send home about 150 workers, essentially halting operations at two terminals.

In Longview, Wash., workers were sent home out of concerns for their “health and safety.”

12:25 PM (PT) Report from New York City – today:

While Occupy protesters on the west coast blocked ports, occupiers in New York staged their own demonstration, with about 200 people gathering at the World Financial Center, according to the New York Times.

 Some 17 people were arrested during the protest, which apparently sought to portray Goldman Sachs as “a giant squid with tentacles that spread throughout the global financial system”, the Times said.

 The World Financial Center is owned by Brookfield properties, which also owns Zuccotti Park – Occupy Wall Street’s base before they were cleared out by police last month.

Police in Long Beach, Calif., on Monday push back protestors blocking the road to SSA Marine, a shipping company that is partially owned by Goldman Sachs.

12:20 PM – We’re getting reports that OccupySD protesters are marching from the north gate northward to the Midway Aircraft carrier park area.

11:47 AM – We have a photo of OccupySD Bobbie getting arrested.

This photo of Occupy SD made national news - Mike Blake / Reuters Members of Occupy San Diego block a worker from driving to the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal on Monday.

11:39 AM – SignOnSanDiego reports:

Harbor police Assistant Chief Mark Stainbrook said the port was shut down about an hour and 15 minutes. Trucks that were forced to turn around at Harbor Drive and Cesar Chavez Parkway were eventually admitted about 9 a.m., Stainbrook said. …

San Diego police Assistant Chief Boyd Long said he explained to the protesters that they were allowed to protest and peacefully assemble but that officers had to balance that with the rights of workers who needed to use the roadway. “I wish we didn’t arrest anyone out here,” Long said.

11:33 AM  Occupy San Diego will be holding an emergency General Assembly at the north gate very soon.

11:30 AM – Check out this Open Letter from American Port Truck drivers:

We are the front-line workers who haul container rigs full of imported and exported goods to and from the docks and warehouses every day.

 We have been elected by committees of our co-workers at the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma to tell our collective story. We have accepted the honor to speak up for our brothers and sisters about our working conditions despite the risk of retaliation we face.

Go here for the remainder of this Open Letter.

11:20 AM – News from Vancover, Canada:

Occupy protesters in Vancouver intend to block an entrance to Canada’s largest port on Monday as a show of solidarity with a movement crawling up the West Coast.

 Demonstrators say they’re ready for a 12-hour blockade of the New Brighton entrance to Port Metro Vancouver. The protest is slated to begin shortly after noon local time.

 The spot is one of two major access points to the bustling shipping port which trades about $75 billion in goods annually with more than 160 economies, according to the port’s website.

More from Vancover:

Police cleared two port entrances of protesters Monday morning as the Occupy movement’s planned disruption of Greater Vancouver ports fizzled.   Vancouver Police Const. Lindsey Houghton said the attempted blockade began at about 7 a.m. Monday morning at several entrances to Vancouver’s port.

 But only a dozen or so protesters showed up, and after disrupting traffic for over an hour, they were dispersed by police by about 8:30 a.m.   Houghton said there were no arrests.

11:16 AM – San Diego demonstrators are all moving to the north gate as police have declared the main south gate an illegal assembly.

Bobbie's arrest, Monday morning at San Diego port shut-down.

11:09 AM – This just in from Oakland: demonstrators are pulling back.

10:53 PST OAKLAND — Protesters who successfully blocked entrances to the Port of Oakland this morning are pulling back and leaving after an unconfirmed report that an arbitrator closed the port because the protests posed a risk to worker safety.

 10:51 AM – KPBS says a Port spokesperson has reported that 5 have been arrested in blocking the port in San Diego.

10:38 AM – News from Tacomo, Washington:  Occupy Tacoma protest set for noon at Port of Tacoma

 Occupy protesters are planning an informational protest at noon today beginning at the Port of Tacoma Road bridge over the Route 509 freeway.

 According to the organization’s web site, the protesters are meeting at 11 a.m. at Pugnetti Park as South 21st Street and Pacific Avenue to carpool to the port.

 Though the original plan by the Occupy movement was to shut down ports up and down the West Coast today, it appears that the group plans only informational activities today, unfurling signs on the overpass and passing out fliers to truckers.

 10:28 AM – News from Seattle:

SEATTLE —   Occupy Seattle demonstrators planned a march and two rallies Monday as part of the campaign to shut down West Coast ports.

Organizers said on their website they would rally at 1 p.m. at Westlake Plaza in downtown Seattle then march to Port of Seattle property for rallies at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. near the Spokane Street bridge and under the West Seattle bridge.

 The website says demonstrators do not plan to break into port property or to sabotage equipment. Occupy marches and rallies also are planned Monday in Tacoma and Olympia.

10:16 AM – This from Portland, Oregon:

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 were largely peaceful. Demonstrators planned to break up about 10 a.m. and said they would return to rally at Kelly Point Park. They said they hoped to disrupt the second shift of workers at the port.

 Port spokesman Josh Thomas said longshore workers at terminals 5 and 6 were told to stay home. They will not be paid for today, he said.

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is seen in the background as protesters block one of the entrances to the Port of Oakland, Monday, Dec. 12, 2011.

10:13 AM – From Oakland:

09:26 PST OAKLAND — A group of protesters have succeeded in stopping a line of big-rigs from entering the Port of Oakland this morning during their march to shut down the busy cargo terminal.

10:08 AMReport from Port Hueneme in Ventura County:  About 150 Occupy protesters picket Port of Hueneme

A crowd of about 150 soggy protesters held signs and formed a picket line Monday outside the entrance to the Port of Hueneme, a deep-water port in Ventura County, just south of Oxnard.

 They were protesting shipments Monday by Del Monte Foods, which is owned by KKR, a private equity firm specializing in leveraged buyouts. Marshall Getto, an Occupy organizer out of Santa Barbara, called the firm “one of the worst companies representing the abuses of the 1%.”

 Getto said protesters tried to get the longshoremen to join the demonstration, but the union declined.

 “We understand that they have to work and feed their families,” he said. “We know they support us in spirit.”

10:06 am –  Here’s a report from the Port at Long Beach:

Occupy protesters who briefly blocked an entrance to a Port of Long Beach pier Monday morning were dispersed by police.   About 200 protesters blocked the south entrance to Pier J for about half an hour before police herded them out of the area and into a parking lot by Harry Bridges Memorial Park, where the protesters had assembled at the beginning of the morning.

Before moving to block the pier, protesters picketed in front of SSA Marine, a shipping company that is partially owned by investment bank Goldman Sachs.   At least two protesters were arrested.

10:04 AMHere’s the latest SignOnSanDiego brief report from this morning.

9:47 AM – The picket line at the south gate has been broken up and trucks are getting through. Police swept through the picketers, arresting at least 4 and cleared the road.  Demonstrators have gathered about a block away from that gate, along E. Harbor Drive and Cezar Chavaz Parkway.

9:40 AM – Four arrests have been made at the main (south) gate.

9:33 AM – Just back from the Port shutdown with photos; Patty has created a photo gallery at the bottom of this post.

9:15 AM: Brother Hex was arrested about 10 minutes ago, also with a young woman who was arrested for blocking traffic.

8:55 AM: Police have cleared the intersection at the south gate (Cesar E. Chavez Pkwy & Crosby Rd.) declaring unlawful assembly by circling protesters and forcing them out of the street to allow trucks to pass. Someone being arrested right now.

8:30 AM: Protesters continue to hold 2 gates in San Diego. OccupySD media group streaming live from the North Gate. Trucker who is sitting in line is supportive of the protest.

8:00 AM: Police have issued the order to disperse. Unconfirmed reports that Paddy wagons have been seen at the south gate.

Occupy San Diego and other groups show solidarity with West Coast Occupy movements in efforts to close the ports, including Los Angeles/Long Beach; Port Hueneme, CA (central coast); Oakland; Portland, Oregon; Seattle and Tacoma, Washington.

7:50 AM: Frank reports that the North Gate at Park Blvd. and Harbor Drive has been blocked also. There is a long line of cars and trucks backed up trying to enter but protesters are holding their ground. Harbor Police are also present.

7:00 AM: As a light rain falls in San Diego about 150 protesters have gathered in an attempt to block entry to the port at Cesar E. Chavez Pkwy & Crosby Rd. Reports indicate that picketers have been successful in keeping this gate closed (but that port workers may be funneled to another gate), and there are large numbers of police and media present.

We’ll report more as information becomes available.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Lois December 12, 2011 at 8:49 am

I am definetly for this shutdown of the ports. But also hoping does not affect workers to a large extent. This is, though, for their benefit.


jim grant December 12, 2011 at 9:13 am

” for the shutdown…..hoping it does not affect workers” wow great logic…the port workers just want the ows folks to go away.


Patty Jones December 12, 2011 at 9:45 am

The full quote is “hoping does not affect workers to a large extent.

If you’re going to question someone’s logic don’t quote them out of context.


jim grant December 12, 2011 at 4:29 pm

“large extent”…ok that changes everything…Just to clarify if we are going to be exact its NOT the Port Workers Its the TRUCK DRIVERS BIG DIFFERENCE….

The Port Workers DO Not Want The protesters interfering….Truck Drivers and Port workers two different issues…

If you are going to discuss an issue lets be clear what the points are. and who the parties are that are being disrupted….


Patty Jones December 12, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Jim, Jim, Jim… Lois said workers (in general). I have seen supportive statements from truck drivers, I have not seen any statements, for or against, from port workers.

I understand Lois’ logic about it affecting workers, and it’s an unfortunate side effect. Also an unfortunate side effect, are all the jobs that have been affected by the import of goods that come through these ports. My job included. I feel for the workers for the inconvenience that they’ve faced today, AND for the hundreds of thousands, or more, that have lost jobs that have been outsourced overseas.


jim grant December 12, 2011 at 8:29 pm

I believe L . Gonzales had outspoken comments in the UT this Am….


Lois December 12, 2011 at 10:02 am

You are entitled to your opinion. I am entitled to mine.


Genie December 12, 2011 at 10:51 am

I’ve been following this too ustream and livestream, and this coverage is just awesome. Thanks. Also, have been trying to get an update up here in Wa (where I presently am), about John Kenney, the guy that is on the hunger strike. I saw the article in the Reader, on line, and took it to the GA meeting here in Port Angeles, and they posted it. He was on his 33rd day the other day, and made a very good video regarding 1st amendment. Any news?


Obecean December 12, 2011 at 12:27 pm

“I wish we didn’t arrest anyone out here,” Long said.

“…but we are a spineless PD,” Long went on to think to himself.


mojo December 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm

4pm – FLASH MOB gathers at the Barry Logan Trolly Stop

OBRag, it is Barrio Logan (and for that matter, trolley). I was born and raised in SD and this only goes to show how out of touch you are with our community.


Patty Jones December 12, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Ever hear of a typo? Or two? Lighten up…


Frank Gormlie December 12, 2011 at 4:04 pm

The price of reporting: a ticket for parking in a red zone, $72; the cost of covering the Occupy movement? Priceless.


Terrie Best December 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Sorry about your tickey, Frank! Like MY typo? I love you guys.


jim grant December 13, 2011 at 6:41 pm

What ever happened to Bobby who got arrested ?


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