Up and down West Coast, protesters have begun a massive blockade on the Pacific Ocean ports as part of a day of action under the umbrella of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
In cities such as Oakland, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Seattle and Anchorage, demonstrators awoke early Monday morning to storm shipping facilities in America’s ports, in what organizers say is an attempt to “disrupt the economic machine that benefits the wealthiest individuals and corporations.”
Approaching its fourth month of ongoing demonstrations, protesters aligned with Occupy Wall Street launched a similar campaign earlier in the movement, effectively closing shipping ports in Oakland, California. In that protest in November, the fifth-busiest port in all of America was successfully shut down for the day.
“We will not stand for corporate profits at the expense of working people, we will not stand for attacks on workers, and we will not allow our schools to be closed, social services slashed, and families to be impoverished by your greed!” Kari Koch, organizer with Shut Down the Ports Working Group of Occupy Portland, says in a statement to the press.
In the days since the movement began, demonstrations on the Pacific Coast have grown, with Oakland, California becoming an integral locale for the protests, serving as a West Coast hub of sorts for the demonstrations. The movement itself was launched back in September from New York City’s Zuccotti Park.
“We are occupying the ports as part of a day of action, boycott and march for full legalization and good jobs for all to draw attention to and protest the criminal system of concentrated wealth that depends on local and global exploitation of working people, and the denial of workers’ rights to organize for decent pay, working conditions and benefits, in disregard for the environment and the health and safety of surrounding communities,” organizers for the slew of events write on their website.
The protests of the ports launched as early as 5 a.m. California time Monday morning, and are expected to continue into the day. Off of the Pacific Coast, activities are slated to continue in more centralized cities, including Salt Lake City, Utah and Houston, Texas. Additionally, demonstrations in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada are also slated to occur.