Thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters blocked cargo trucks at West Coast ports from San Diego to Anchorage Dec. 12, forcing terminals in Oakland, Portland and Longview to halt operations. Police used "flash-bang" percussion grenades to disperse protesters who blocked an entrance to a Port of Seattle terminal. Protesters responded with hurled debris, and several were arrested. The march to the Port of Oakland was led by Scott Olsen, the Marine Corps veteran who was gravely wounded when he was struck in the head by a tear-gas canister during a clash between police and Occupy Oakland protesters in October. While the protests attracted far fewer people than the 10,000 who turned out Nov. 2 to shut down Oakland's port, organizers declared victory and promised further such actions. "The truckers are still here, but there's nobody here to unload their stuff," protest organizer Boots Riley said. "We shut down the Port of Oakland for the daytime shift and we're coming back in the evening. Mission accomplished." (San Diego Union-Tribune, CBS, AP, Dec. 12)
Both the Bottom Line business blog at the San Francisco Chronicle and the On Deadline blog at USA Today make note of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union's apparent dissent from the Occupy Wall Street movement's call for a West Coast Port Blockade on Monday Dec. 12. In a call to action, the Occupy movement states:
Thousands of activists attended the 21st annual protest against the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly the US Army School of the Americas (SOA), in front of the US Army's Fort Benning base in Columbus, Georgia, on Nov. 20. The SOA Watch movement, which sponsors the protests, opposes the army's training of Latin American soldiers, noting that SOA graduates have been among the region's most notorious human rights violators.
In the fourth Internet edition of the Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade, World War 4 Report editor Bill Weinberg interviews legendary songster and activist Darryl Cherney and film-maker Mary Liz Thomson on their new work Who Bombed Judi Bari?—documenting the life of the fighter for Northern California's ancient redwoods who was targeted in a car bomb attack and then framed by the FBI. Darryl and Mary Liz talk about Judi's legacy in light of the Occupy Wall Street movement on the eve of their sneak-preview screening of the movie at New York's Anarchist Forum.
Several hundred protesters, some wearing goggles and gas masks, marched through downtown Portland, Ore., late Nov. 13, after riot police forced Occupy Portland demonstrators out of two encampments in nearby parks. Mayor Sam Adams had ordered the camps shut, citing unhealthy conditions and thir supposed attraction of drug users and thieves. More than 50 protesters were arrested in the eviction. (AP, Nov. 13) Denver police in riot gear one day earlier cleared protesters out of Civic Center park, tearing down tents and arresting 17. (Denver Post, Nov. 12) In Chapel Hill, NC, riot police wielding assault rifles stormed an abandoned downtown commercial property that had been occupied by protesters. Eight were arrested in the Nov. 13 raid. The Chapel Hill Transit bus used to take away the arrestees had a Wells Fargo ad, prompting the chant, "Who do they serve? Wells Fargo! Who do they protect? Wells Fargo!" (ThinkProgress, Nov. 13)
Thousands of protesters blocked the Port of Oakland Nov. 2, bringing work there to a halt. "Maritime operations are effectively shut down at the Port of Oakland," port authorities said in a statement. "Maritime area operations will resume when it is safe and secure to do so." Protesters, who streamed across a freeway overpass to mass at the port gates, stood atop tractor-trailers stopped in the middle of the street. Others climbed onto scaffolding over railroad tracks as a rock band played using amplifiers powered by stationary bike generators. Protesters also blocked streets near City Hall. The general strike was called by Occupy Oakland and supported by residents, a few small businesses, teachers and nurses with the California Nurses Association. The Oakland Education Association (OEA) executive board unanimously endorsed Occupy Oakland's "General Strike/Mass Day of Action" call, urging members to participate by "taking personal leave to join actions at Frank Ogawa Plaza, doing informational picketing at school sites, and holding teach-ins on the history of general strikes and organizing for economic justice." The general strike is the first event of its kind in Oakland since 1946.
Police fired tear gas late Oct. 25 into a crowd of several hundred protesters backing the Occupy movement who had attempted to retake an encampment outside Oakland City Hall that officers had cleared 12 hours earlier. Police forces from throughout the Bay Area were mobilized for the pre-dawn eviction, which was carried out with smoke grenades, with 75 arrested. Authorities cited "sanitary and public safety concerns" in the eviction. In the evening, hundreds of protesters met outside the public library, a few blocks to the east, and then marched on the police-held Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of City Hall—which the protesters had renamed Oscar Grant Plaza. An online video shows police repeatedly firing tear-gas canisters into the crowd. As we write, the plaza remains in police hands, with helicopters circling above, while protesters are regrouping again at San Pablo Ave. to the west. (Gawker, San Francisco Chronicle, IndyBay, Oct. 25)
In an Oct. 12 podcast from Death Row at SCI-Greene "super-max" state prison in western Pennsylvania, Mumia Abu-Jamal issued a statement of support for the Occupy Wall Street movement and its sibling encampment in Philadelphia. In the statement, online via Prison Radio, Abu-Jamal compares the Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Philly demonstrations to the revolution in Egypt, as well as this year's political protests in Wisconsin: