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It was a different story in November, when unions supported Occupy Oakland port action (ThinkProgress / yfrog)
We've heard a lot about the fears of Occupy Wall Street protesters that their movement will be co-opted by unions or other groups. Now, with Occupy Oakland once again planning to picket and shut down Oakland's port and calling for coordinated actions at other ports on the west coast, the president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union is turning that concern back on them:
"Support is one thing," Robert McEllrath, president of the International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union, wrote to his members last week. "Outside groups attempting to co-opt our struggle in order to advance a broader agenda is quite another and one that is destructive to our democratic process."

The Longshore union tacitly supported the early November picket of the port, as did other unions. But this time, the port shutdown action is being done against the expressed wishes of several unions:

"We're extremely supportive of the message of Occupy Oakland, and we did come out to support the Nov. 2 general strike, but we're not behind this one," [secretary-treasurer of the Alameda Building and Construction Trades Council Andreas] Cluver said. "When working people aren't involved in the decision on whether to shut down their jobs at the port, that's problematic. And we weren't consulted. Losing a day of wages is hard."

Occupy Oakand doesn't seem to see it that way:

“Taking on and blocking the 1 percent at the port is also taking on the global issue of exploitation by capitalism,” said Occupy Oakland blockade organizer Barucha Peller.

It's true that there are some terribly exploitative conditions at ports, especially for short haul truckers. But doing something in the name of workers without consulting the workers involved, and despite opposition even from a very militant union, is disrespectful of workers at best.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Union "leadership" opposition (30+ / 0-)

    there are many times when the positions of union "leaders" reflect neither the views nor the interests of the union rank and file.

    If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. ~Malcolm X

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:07:29 AM PST

    •  Sometimes the union... (15+ / 0-)

      ...can't officially reflect the union leaders' views either.

      Does the union's contract, and applicable state and federal law, permit it to officially strike under these cirucmstances?

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:11:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  For the ILWU, those times seem to be rare (9+ / 0-)

      It seems forever ago that they sent a delegation to the WI uprising, but they were here within a few days, before many Wisconsin unions even.

    •  Because it is possible, that proves it is certain. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe from Lowell, sockpuppet, quill

      I've heard a similar line of reasoning regarding climate change. The scientists might be wrong, so logically it follows that they are wrong.

    •  We need to trust Oakland OWS. (8+ / 0-)

      They have obviously made a calculation that says that the union "opposition" is only to keep certain contract loopholes open. They must think that the workers are really with OWS.

      Maybe they're right. They are the guys on the scene, I hope to God they know the local vibe better than we do. We have to trust them.

      Besides, I like the historical parallel. Remember when Paul Revere shut down a port?

      All that port is doing is bringing in stuff America doesn't need, didn't make, and can't pay for. As long as there's no violence, I say shut the m'f'r down.

      •  No, we need to trust the unions. (13+ / 0-)

        I believe what the unions tell me about their membership, much more than what someone in a conflict with the union tells me.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:55:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How about trusting actions? (4+ / 0-)

          If the ILWU shows up for work, accedes to requests from the port authority to keep the port open, or asks for the police to help keep the port open or to let them get to their jobs, then they don't support the OWS move.  If the ILWU does show up to join the strike or an epidemic of 24-hour flu mysteriously confined to dockworkers breaks out, then they support the OWS move.
           

          "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

          by Yamaneko2 on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:10:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, that's not how it works. (7+ / 0-)

            Unions respect pickets.  That's not a statement of support for the cause, but a statement about respecting pickets.

            Your comment is yet another demonstration of how distant from, and ignorant of, the OWS is from working people and their experience.

            You've never belonged to a union, have you?

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:28:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, yes. (0+ / 0-)

              UFCW, 1984-1987.  Mother in AFSCME, father in USW.  

              Unions respect other unions' pickets.  OWS is not a labor union.

              Since I wrote, there were indications that an organized group of "independent" drivers had serious complaints with and Australian corporation who hires them.  They may not be a union by the Wagner Act or Taft-Hartley, but perhaps more in the spirit of the IWW or other labor organizations uncovered by US labor law.  Such strikes are "wildcat strikes" by definition, and it appears that the ILWU has honored that picket.

              My guess is currently 85% in agreement with the OWS fans and 15% with the front-pager.  The ILWU by their actions appears to have endorsed the shutdown.

              "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

              by Yamaneko2 on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 02:40:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Hubris. While I tend to agree with you (14+ / 0-)

        about the shit that's coming in there, it looks like the GA's are starting to vote on stuff that is outside of their sphere of expertise and influence. That is hubris, and it will bite them in the ass.

        "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mohandas Gandhi

        by 2dimeshift on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:05:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here's what NPR told me today... (6+ / 0-)

        Yes, I know.. it's American media and I'm not saying I believe it.  But it's what millions of Americans other than me heard.

        The professed intention of this action was "to prevent corporations from making profits".

        Seriously.  That's not going to win the support of the American people.  The action has BAD BAD BAD optics w/o the support of the unions.  It's destructive.

        •  Boycotts are also intended to create corporate ... (5+ / 0-)

          losses.  Lots of people support boycotts directed at various corps.

          •  Targetted to a specific company (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SoCalSal, Neuroptimalian, Loge, coffeetalk

            for a specific wrong that people can support.  

            "Striking" the ports w/o the support of the actual union workers does not come across as "supporting labor".  It comes across as "anti-capitalist".  It's not a winning message.

            •  don't the fools at ows who pushed this idea (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Neuroptimalian, coffeetalk

              realize that corporations SUPPORT this economy - that not ALL corporations are "bad"?!?!?

              this is my issue with ows - you just clarified it.

              the "leaderless leaders" are unable to distinguish between what damages and what aids this economy.  they generalize - JUST like they "generalize" their decision making process through the general assemblies.  by allowing ill-informed ideas and opinions to direct the movement, they damage as much as the villains in the corporate world do.

              mob rule, i believe it used to be called - and the loudest, pushiest in the mob ruled, NOT the best informed or educated.

              i am reminded of the little fool who blocked john lewis in atlanta through his single objection over the saner members of that group.  ego and hubris, as mentioned above, screamed out from his behavior as he had the "power" to stop someone as powerful as lewis from speaking.  in doing so, he alienated a large number of us (me, included) from ows.  now, the same egos are directing this port shutdown, claiming to be keeping the "evil corporations" from making money without realizing how many of the rest of the population WORK for those corporations!

              this behavior is no better than the republican mantra of starving government to shut it down and shrink it.  the effect is the same - real people are hurt and damaged!

              when, btw, did the ows become the nihilist movement?  or was it always?

              Is GlowNZ back yet?

              by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:39:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you say it enough times, it becomes a "fact." (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wsexson, ManhattanMan, priceman
                i am reminded of the little fool who blocked john lewis in atlanta through his single objection over the saner members of that group.  ego and hubris, as mentioned above, screamed out from his behavior as he had the "power" to stop someone as powerful as lewis from speaking.  in doing so, he alienated a large number of us (me, included) from ows.

                IF "YOU" SAY IT ENOUGH, it's true.  Exactly like the Fox channel.

                Lewis wasn't blocked from speaking.  He wasn't given special privileges to speak out of turn.  Nor should he have been given those privileges.  One either understands OWS and supports it or they don't.  Sure, disagreements happen all the time.  But to distort what happened, yeah, I see it all the time, but it doesn't make it true.

                Lewis could have, would have spoken at the appropriate time, set by OWS rules at that venue, had it fit into his schedule, but he couldn't wait his turn.  That was a shame  he couldn't wait, because I would have loved to hear what he had to say.   But no one gets extra attention or privileges.  We've had too FSM much of that.

                We delivered. They failed us. We have moved on. (h/t to my good friend)

                by gooderservice on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 03:43:38 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  watch the video. i did. the sucker with the (0+ / 0-)

                  black beard stopped lewis from speaking despite many people shouting "let him speak"!  then the ridiculous finger waggle and the total disrespect for lewis that was shown by that crowd was right there on the video.  not my "interpretation" - but the actual FACTS that are shown on the video.

                  spin it any way you like, he was stopped from speaking and disrespectfully told he could come back later.

                  yep.  john lewis has nothing better to do than kiss the boots of the braindead bearded guy on a power trip.

                  that is how i viewed that tape.  it is my interpretation and that of many others, btw.

                  Is GlowNZ back yet?

                  by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 04:14:07 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Clue: (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    priceman

                    We delivered. They failed us. We have moved on. (h/t to my good friend)

                    by gooderservice on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 04:20:49 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  i'm sorry - but i totally disagree with the (0+ / 0-)

                      salon spin.

                      the video shows one person - an idiot, imho, power hungry idiot, impo - stand and block an invitation being issued to one of the most influential civil rights leaders of the 60s.  

                      what a lost opportunity - and for WHAT!  so that ONE person, i don't care if he is pink and purple, this "bi-racial" excuse is just that - an excuse for rudeness, disrespect and downright stupidity.

                      having john lewis come by and then NOT offering him a chance to speak to the group is pure and simple lunacy.  what better way to gain positive support and reinforcement for the movement than to have someone of john's experience lend his voice to the group - but NOOOOOOOOoooooooo, HE has to wait his TURN to "speak"...

                      that is disrespectful and rude and, again, downright stupid.

                      why stupid? because it has turned quite a few of us who understand the value of john lewis into serious skeptics of this entire movement.  when the long-term goals of the ows movement could be greatly aided by having the support of john lewis, turning him away in front of cameras is a VERY stupid move.

                      it discredits the true goals and motives (that have never been fully defined) for the greater populace.

                      and, as for lewis saying he supports the movement, he is much too classy to stand and say "hey, those fools dissed me!"  he recognized the importance and potential good the movement could have done - if only it stopped shooting itself in the foot, ass, hand, and head.

                      and, as for that bearded guy - he showed himself to the entire world as a power grabbing, short sighted, ignorant of real world politics, naive, power-hungry idiot.

                      you don't have to take my word for it - read the responses that occurred after the clip was shown - how most people found him to be .... (hate to repeat myself here, but...) ... an idiot.

                      when ONE individual can do that much damage to a nascient movement, that movement is in trouble.  all i hear now are excuses about how the ga set aside speaker time, mic check, blah blah blah blah... but the damage is done and cannot be undone - no matter HOW much YOU spin it.

                      Is GlowNZ back yet?

                      by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:35:21 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  oh, i also read joan walsh' entire article... (0+ / 0-)

                        and now, more than ever, i hold joe diaz to be stupid.

                        stupidity can be fixed, though.  he needs a serious education in real life instead of his arrogant interpretation of the world.  that he states in answering walsh's questions

                        A lot of people seeing the video had strong feelings — that a civil rights hero was being disrespected. In hindsight, given the reaction to the YouTube clip, would you reconsider blocking him?

                        I would not. I think very soon this will be seen as a tone-setting moment for the Occupy movement. I have personally been very involved in reaching out to the black community here in Atlanta. The real black community.

                        OK, you realize that sounds condescending: “the real black community.” Who’s the real black community? Who decides that?

                        That might have been crude. I’m talking about the segment of the black community here that feels ignored and disenfranchised. Here in Atlanta, there’s very much a class divide. I think a lot of black leadership, and black church leadership, tends to be separated from the urban poor black community. Politically, things have to be pretty non-controversial for many in the official black church to get involved, and when they do, their answer is, go out and vote for the Democrats! That’s very unsatisfying to a lot of us.

                        walsh questions are bolded.  diaz' answers stand for all to decide whether or not he is an egotistical maniac who thinks only HE knows the "real black community"... and he is completely correct when he then says that "might have been crude".

                        yep.  my opinion of this loser stands.  read the salon article and decide for yourselves... folks!

                        Is GlowNZ back yet?

                        by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:49:43 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  oh, and by invoking the name of FOX (0+ / 0-)

                  doesn't make your version "accurate".

                  sorry.  doesn't wash.  still stinks.

                  Is GlowNZ back yet?

                  by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 04:14:45 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  If you want to read what you are trusting (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        edrie, DB55, Loge

        check out the webpage of the Oakland Commune, which has been one of the most active participants having the most control on the ground at the GA. These people are destroying occupy, not helping it. They are positively delusional.

        http://www.bayofrage.com/...

        •  Wow, that page calls for violent action. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jeff Simpson

          It took a bit of reading to get to it. These folks are gonna get squished.

          The dominant discourse of peaceful protest bears a more troubling implication. Many who advocate for peaceful protest, actually do so quite cynically. It isn’t out of a desire for an absence of violence (as evidenced by their violent efforts to police others and enforce their peace). Rather, these peace-warriors operate on an assumption that so long as they are sufficiently meek, their cause will be just. Following from this, so long as they are passive, the inevitable violence enacted upon them by the police will appear illegitimate. This attempt at self-victimization, beyond being a foolish tactic, is a specific measure to invalidate resistance and to justify the operations of the police state. Any criticism of peace discourse must also be centered around an understanding that this language originates from, is advocated by, affirms the position of, and is in itself the State.

          Not big fans of Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. I'm guessing.

          And here is their rational for violent revolution....a very laze-faire attitude for a Commune:

          To quote a comrade here in Oakland: windows are shattered when we do nothing, so of course windows will be shattered when we do something; blood is shed when we do nothing, so of course blood will be shed when we do something.

          I don't want to be standing with these guys in a protest.

          "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mohandas Gandhi

          by 2dimeshift on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:21:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  "WE" need to trust oakland ows? (5+ / 0-)

        uh, no, "WE" don't.  are YOU from the bay area?  i am and i don't like this one bit!

        this is impacting MY home territory to the tune of millions of dollars and large wage losses for the working people of this area right before a critical major holiday where most small businesses make their entire year end nut!

        ows is alienating more than just the unions here.  i am getting fed up with this "leaderless" movement... movement by a majority of a minority is not effective... and ows IS a minority within the 99%.  what gives them the right to totally disrupt and damage the lives of others - doesn't that make them akin to the 1% they so loudly (and appropriately) villify?

        Is GlowNZ back yet?

        by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:31:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Do not target the port (0+ / 0-)

        This only creates a union v. the hippies confrontation that Karl Rove would love.

        Target foreclsoure sales instead.

    •  The don't seem to be here. (4+ / 0-)

      Sometimes what you're talking about is true, but in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, the reasonable thing to believe is that the union represents its members.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:53:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  that's also the line (0+ / 0-)

      the GOP uses to delegitimize union participation in Democratic party politics; all the union members who vote R.  It's not a line of logic that can be pushed too far.

      Anyway, it's good that there's now a legal process to mediate union/management disputes, through NLRB-sanctioned elections, and it's also not clear to me what the port of oakland has to do with the financial meltdown.

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 11:37:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sure... (0+ / 0-)

      ...let's just 1 percent everything and plow ahead.

      A quant and damned proud of it.

      by Cera on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:26:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As union workers we often disagreed with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanneleon

      leadership. They came to us to issue orders that we should wildcat strike for their reasons without a vote of union membership. But when it came to worker safety, they were invisible.

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 02:04:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Since I can't, for some reaon, rec this comment (0+ / 0-)

      let me state here that I agree wholeheartedly with Acticistguy that

      "there are many times when the positions of union "leaders" reflect neither the views nor the interests of the union rank and file."

      The labor movement is as plagued by infiltrators and sellouts as the Democratic party. And I certainly don't trust or support any international unions - where international trade often pits American labor with that of foreign countries and divided loyalties serve no worker, here or abroad.

      But with all that said, occupy Oakland's failure to coordinate with it's allies, shipping workers, demonstrates the dysfunction of a leaderless movement.

      For all the good OWS has done, and there is plenty, it is destined to be ineffective because of two fundamental flaws in the plan:

      1. There has NEVER existed a successful leaderless movement. Ever.

      2. The absense of leadership has resulted in the absence of a powerful, concise voice with which to build consensus for our movement.

      Obviously, point 2 could be taken as a subset of point 1. But it is important enough that I think it deserves its own mention.

      While I'm all for trying new things and, especially, abandoning old, failed methods, some things work for a reason.

      If I throw 10 people in a room for 2 hours, 99% of the time, within the first 15 minutes, a leader will emerge. This is especially true if the group has a problem to solve together. This is a well documented sociological observance.

      And on a different subject somewhat, if you put two people in a debate, and allow only one to speak, the one speaking will win. Every time.

      OWS's lack of PR abilities has allowed the movement to be defined by its enemies. This was to be expected, even if OWS had a team of PR people full time, our enemies control the airwaves. It was always going to be a challenge.

      But as it is, OWS is pretty much voiceless to those who aren't already part of the choir.

      That's a powerful thing in itself. There are so many choir members, people who have lost complete faith in the economic system and the political system, that OWS didn't need a manifesto to rally support. All it had to do was to blow, ever so lightly, on the fuse.

      But that has its limits. The vast majority of Americans are still under the spell of their televisions. And OWS has zero means of message that will reach those people.

      That doesn't mean there isn't a message and a means. But marching, camping, and shutting down ports isn't going to work.

      As I said in Robert Cruickshank's excellent appeal to branch outside of OWS tactics and to start organizing, the problem with that is we need an idea to organize around.

      OWS, or any other attempt at a movement will always fail until we have a powerful, catalyzing idea to rally around.

  •  ah the influence of internationalists... (5+ / 0-)

    not the best way to build a student-worker alliance in the US context

    It's true that there are some terribly exploitative conditions at ports, especially for short haul truckers. But doing something in the name of workers without consulting the workers involved, and despite opposition even from a very militant union, is disrespectful of workers at best.

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare."

    by annieli on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:10:25 AM PST

    •  this is not supposed to be a "student-worker" (0+ / 0-)

      movement.  frankly, i would not TRUST a totally lead "student" movement because they do not yet have the life experience to be able to accurately assess the real world.

      enthusiasm is great - we need it - but experience also matters, something that students lack.  they need to listen to those who have "been there, done that" and incorporate that into the idealism for any movement to work.  when those who have lived the real working world share what those experiences are, the students need to friggin' listen and take notes!

      Is GlowNZ back yet?

      by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:42:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You should read jpmassars diary on this. (0+ / 0-)

      Short haul truckers are being seriously attacked, and are fighting back. They have no union, and are trying to get representation.  Their letter is in that other diary.

      Plenty of sideline critics here, where are the voices of the participants?

      If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever, you're dreaming. *YUP!* h/t Hamden Rice

      by BeeDeeS on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:11:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  ILWU can't overtly support it, but they wink/nod (18+ / 0-)

    according to Boots Riley.  I also hear that at least one local has told its members explicitly not to cross the picket line; the ILWU everywhere has a policy of not crossing any picket line, because they are awesome.  The blood of the IWW flows in the ILWU's veins.

    •  That's not exactly true. (6+ / 0-)

      As a matter of fact, "the unions" have explicitly stated that they do not consider the occupiers' actions to constitute a "picket line".

      OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

      by hillbrook green on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:37:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was wondering about that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Radical def

        How is a "picket line" defined? Clearly it can't be just any group of people. I would think that it applies to an official union picket line. However, there are references in the OO propaganda about "community picket lines" and a supposed precedent in 1938 where local citizens came out to block ore shipments to Japan and that line wasn't crossed.

        •  My understanding is... (2+ / 0-)

          ...that even if a particular community/protest picket line does not meet legal parameters for direct official union participation, individual members may still choose to participate.

          And if the confrontation develops to a point that they can claim hazardous conditions for workers, the union can officially stop work at that location.

          Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle. Information is the ultimate key.

          by Radical def on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:20:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here's a precedent (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            grover

            ...from 1939:

          •  Just as the occupiers (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SoCalSal, urbazewski, RanDomino

            have made it very clear that they make their own decisions and are not bound by others' policies, unions in general do not allow other groups to dictate the actions of the unions.

            There is no hard and fast rule about things like "picket lines". People can say all they want about "historical precedents". Unions generally look out for their own members and make decisions based on the greatest good for their own members.

            I would note that NO unions elected to honor the PATCO picket lines at airports during the PATCO strike of 1981, a little more recent "precedent" than the 1939 actions which reflected a protest against Japan's war actions in the far east rather than any kind of solidarity with "anonymous" protesters who set up a "picket line".

            The bottom line is: ILWU has a clause in their contract that specifies the conditions for a strike and this scenario is not one. PATCO had a similar clause prohibiting all strikes in their contract in 1981 and every single member who participated in that strike was fired.

            Unions have not been the same since...

            OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

            by hillbrook green on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:13:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  It's not a strike, it's a protest. (8+ / 0-)

        Union workers have no obligation to respect a protest, even if they agree with it, since it wasn't called for by their Union.  It's, therefore, not breaking a picket line.  It's breaking a protest line.  There's a big difference.

        "Stupid fucker."- Erica Zwick (FB poster referring to Newt Gingrich).

        by rainmanjr on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:02:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Blood of Ages... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      "Where working men go out on strike, Joe Hill ia at their side!" - Pete Seeger

      The Army is the Heart and Conscience of the Nation - Oliver Cromwell

      by joe wobblie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 03:08:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I predict this will get ugly. (15+ / 0-)

    Will spillover here.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:17:10 AM PST

  •  This is bothersome (34+ / 0-)

    Nearby, changing a tire on his rig before he also left with a load of paper, Hai Ngo 0f San Leandro said he resented the loss of income.

    "The Occupy people handed out flyers to us, but never asked what we thought before they planned this," Ngo said. "I will lose about $350, and at holiday time that hurts. It's just a waste of our time and money, and won't accomplish anything."

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/...

    Perhaps Mr. Ngo is a minority in his views of the OWS port shutdown. But, if there are significant numbers of other workers who think as he do, then OWS is failing in its claim that it represents the 99%.

    •  I'm not sure if this action is a (4+ / 0-)

      great idea or not, but this:

      But, if there are significant numbers of other workers who think as he do, then OWS is failing in its claim that it represents the 99%.

      Is kind of silly.  The 99% is, obviously, a mix of people.  So trying to represent all of them in any given action is impossible.  Plus there is a sizeable minority that would say that NO action by OWS will ever represent them, so other than ignoring them, there's not much you can do for that group.  There's also the fact that some people are going to be inconvenienced by any act, no matter how well planned.  And finally, there's the fact that doing nothing in our current situation isn't going to help the 99% either.  So unless you have some evidence that Mr Ngo is representative of a majority of workers AND he has evidence that doing nothing is the best course of action, I don't see why one guy's opinion is so important.  

      I support Barack Obama, Occupy Wall Street and having a Happy Holidays!

      by satanicpanic on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:49:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think his opinion is important (14+ / 0-)
        So unless you have some evidence that Mr Ngo is representative of a majority of workers AND he has evidence that doing nothing is the best course of action, I don't see why one guy's opinion is so important.  

        I have zero evidence that he is representative of a majority of workers. But, I'm not the one claiming I represent the 99%.

      •  So what are the strikers going to do... (8+ / 0-)

        ...to help drivers like Mr. Ngo?

        Is a collection being taken up to give to the everyday working folks who are missing out on a day's income because of the strike?

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:06:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know, I'm not their publicist. (7+ / 0-)

          I'm just saying every time OWS does something people say "well so and so is going to be inconvenienced."  That's a bummer. But a lot more people are being inconvenienced by the status quo (you know, those people without jobs, healthcare, homes...).  If there is some way to continue the status quo and make it work for people, I would love to see the plan.  

          I support Barack Obama, Occupy Wall Street and having a Happy Holidays!

          by satanicpanic on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:49:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I support OWS but not this action. (12+ / 0-)

            I do support protesting at the Ports but not shutting down the workers.  OWS didn't shut down the NYSE for even an hour so why should workers at a Port lose pay?  They could protest at the Port without shutting it down and that would have kept Union support...smart for everyone.

            "Stupid fucker."- Erica Zwick (FB poster referring to Newt Gingrich).

            by rainmanjr on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:09:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I tend to agree. (0+ / 0-)

              I'm not sure this is a great action and I said so.  The new left drove a wedge between unions and liberals back in the 60's to the detriment of everyone and I would hate to see that repeated.   It's just silly to see the same people who never supported OWS to concern troll every diary without ever offering a good alternative.  

              I support Barack Obama, Occupy Wall Street and having a Happy Holidays!

              by satanicpanic on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:01:01 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  your point about the 60s is spot on - however (0+ / 0-)

                saying that those of us who are concerned about the actions of ows "never supported" ows is a generalization that you cannot make with accuracy.

                Is GlowNZ back yet?

                by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 11:35:58 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Amen. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                I don't get to this blog much, anymore--FB has taken its place--so I'm surprised to hear that some didn't support OWS.  I sure did, and do, but your right about the non-alternatives.

                "Stupid fucker."- Erica Zwick (FB poster referring to Newt Gingrich).

                by rainmanjr on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 02:40:13 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  This isn't just about "inconvenienced," though. (5+ / 0-)

            If Mr. Ngo is correct, this is costing him and the other drivers real money. Money that could mean they can't buy their kids presents for the holidays, or can't afford the mortgage that month, or have to ignore that cough instead of going in to have it checked out.

            When unions organize strikes, they generally set aside some funds for the purpose of helping workers out who are going without pay.

            It would seem to me that if this kind of action is going to become de rigueur for the various Occupy movements, it would be wise of them to set up some kind of structure for helping 99%ers who undergo financial loss due to such actions—if for no other reason than to make allies of them, rather than enemies.

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:22:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And our current (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cybrestrike

              system of government and our broken economic system are costing people real money.  Do you or Mr Ngo have a plan to fix that?  I would love to see it.   I think it would be great if OWS could help compensate people for this kind of thing, but OWS doesn't exactly have a lot of money and I'm pretty sure you know that.  I said in my original post I'm not sure this action is the best one.  Rather, I am objecting to the fact that people keep complaining about how this is going to inconvenience someone (they'll lose a days work, or their commute time will get longer, or something) while we are in a depression and millions are out of work, losing their homes, etc.  Let's have some context here.

              I support Barack Obama, Occupy Wall Street and having a Happy Holidays!

              by satanicpanic on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:42:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  You shouldn't say "inconvenienced" (7+ / 0-)

            Losing a day of wages while still incurring operating expenses as a driver is a bit more than "inconvenient" for Mr. Ngo and his family.

          •  "Inconvenienced" Is a mightly light word (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            askew, coffeetalk, fcvaguy

            for hard working people who may have children at home and Christmas is 12 days away.  A day's pay might be more than an inconvenience.  Way more.

          •  so, depriving someone of their rent money (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            askew

            to fight the status quo helps how?

            does putting another family on the street "fix" the problem?

            you need to start looking at the real world and the real situation people are currently in - not some distant goal... and your goals of change ARE distant! they can NOT be solved overnight or by staying outside the political process.

            this is ALL about voting, btw - and which party you vote for - AND you only have TWO choices.

            so? what are you doing about registering people to vote and getting people out to the polls?

            Is GlowNZ back yet?

            by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 11:34:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  It's hard to represent the 99% when you don't (20+ / 0-)

        think it's important to consult them.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:26:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Considering that Occupy is a democratic (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          satanicpanic, ay88

          organization and that anyone can go to an assembly meeting then the fact is that they have the chance to voice their views.

          That someone can't be arsed to get off their couch does not create a responsibility to go knocking on their doors.

          The unions have been perfectly happy thus far to let the Occupy kids do most of the heavy lifting on this they don't get to start whining now.

          •  Oh sure. Of course. After all, people who think (15+ / 0-)

            it's more important to feed and shelter their kids than drop by a meetiing of people who might just decide to go shut down their employment (or might talk about the weather instead) should all be lined up and shot anyway.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:44:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Excuses are like.... (0+ / 0-)

              sometimes when one really cares about their kids well being you have to make some hard choices for a little short term suffering today.

              Believe me I understand the problems faced by working people after all I'm one my damned self. I'm lucky today that my job mostly involves sitting in front of a screen pounding qwerty keys but that wasn't always the case.

              I'm also a parent of a high need child(aspergers, ADHD, P.A.N.D.A.S) as well as a 3 year old (which is a challenge in it's own right) so I understand those challenges as well.

              So I'm not personally able to attend such meetings (nor do I live in the bay area so I'd not be going to those particular ones either)

              But one of the organizers of our local Occupy group works in my office and if I had a concern I could take it to her and get it passed on.

              If that didn't work and I saw something coming that I thought was really a problem I'd work something out. I'd find a way to go to the meeting to get my opinion heard.

              Then if that didn't work. Well life is full of adversity what's a little more.

              Democracy is a messy imperfect process, some people will always be unhappy with the outcome.

              The current economic situation is untenable, and sternly written letters, politics as usual, and even peaceful occupation of public places have not been sufficient affect any change to make it more bearable.

              As such more direct tactics are needed. Some of those tactics are going to inconvenience people. Because sadly things are structured in such a way that the elites can not be touched without causing some harm to those who's backs they are standing on.  

              Particularly when those bearers have been trained that their station and survival is contingent on maintaining the status quo.

              The fact remains that even if individual circumstances may make it inconvenient for someone to attend a general assembly that does not mean that they don't actually have said option.

              Finally failure to personally poll every member of an affected population does not de-legitimize the actions of the Occupy movement.

              Hell the fact that the workers are the ones who end up bearing the brunt of the action is in and of itself an indictment of the system where only us little people suffer while the elites just squeeze a little more blood out of us elsewhere.
               

          •  Brilliant attitude. (9+ / 0-)

            Fast track to irrelevance when you insist people come participate in every assembly in order to protect their interests (like feeding and clothing their children).

            "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mohandas Gandhi

            by 2dimeshift on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:14:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  That's the voice of privilege speaking there. (14+ / 0-)
            anyone can go to an assembly meeting then the fact is that they have the chance to voice their views.

            No, anyone can't go to an assembly meeting.

            Going to such a meeting requires that one (a) not have to be at work when the meeting is taking place, (b) be childless, have someone available for childcare, or take one's kids along, (c) have the means for transporting oneself to and from the meeting, and (d) have the relevant communication skills, including linguistic skills, for participating in the meeting.

            If conditions A-D aren't met for a person—as they are for many of the 99% who aren't in the same position as the "kids" (your words) at Occupy—then he or she can't participate in an assembly meeting.

            It betrays a pretty profound volume of privilege to presume that those who aren't at assembly meetings aren't present at them simply because they "can't be arsed to get off their couch." You need to check your privilege and consider whether or not you're considering the experiences and lifestyles of the "kids" at Occupy to be the norm.

            How much outreach have the Occupy movements done to working people and immigrant communities? More importantly, how have the Occupy movements changed their practices in order to make their assemblies more accessible to the populations of the 99% who currently aren't attending them, many of whom are directly affected by actions like this?

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:32:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Whatever (0+ / 0-)

              Listen I have a full time job, I have two kids one of whom has Aspergers, ADHD and P.A.N.D.A.S so yeah I understand the problems that can face someone going to an assembly. Hell mostly due to the above I've not been able to be involved in the movement in any way other than offering moral support.

              Of course they threatening to picket my workplace, if they did and it seemed like a bad idea to me, I'd take time off to get down to the meeting and try to talk some sense into them.

              Or delegate someone from my workplace to sent to represent that opposition.

              BTW my understanding is that quite a bit of outreach was done between Occupy and the Unions and workers involved reports to the contrary seeming to be mostly political white wash to avoid being accused of wildcatting.

              The reality is that there are going to be some subset of the affected group of this action who are going to be against it and some subset who will be for it. And short of taking a vote you can't say which is dominant.

              Occupy is doing what they are equipped to do and I support them as have many of the workers who were affected.

              In fact listening to the news reports after the fact suggests to me that the majority of those workers affected were in favor I assume this from the fact that only the ones who were mad got interviewed directly, while those who supported it were only mentioned in passing.

              Even the ones they found who were irritated about the tactic were sympathetic to the issues raised they were just mad that they were personally being inconvenienced.

          •  that is just BS (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            edrie, dinotrac, askew
        •  Well let's do nothing then! (0+ / 0-)

          Approximately a third of the 99% are Republicans, should we consult them too?

          I support Barack Obama, Occupy Wall Street and having a Happy Holidays!

          by satanicpanic on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:47:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you're going to do something in their name, it (7+ / 0-)

            might not be a bad idea.

            You do, however, hit the nail on the head about the 99% claim, and completely miss it with regard to legitimacy.

            It's easy to decide that you are going to hurt others when you don't care if you have any legal or moral authority to do so.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:03:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So I suppose you (0+ / 0-)

              would say that, women's suffrage was not a legitimate movement and had no moral authority because not all women supported it, right?

              I support Barack Obama, Occupy Wall Street and having a Happy Holidays!

              by satanicpanic on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:29:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So I suppose you would say logic doesn't matter? (4+ / 0-)

                Let's see just how silly your statement is:

                1. The women's suffrage movement didn't force anybody to vote, and didn't cause women to lose their wages, etc against their will.

                2. The leaders of the women's suffrage were women who were organizing for their own rights rather than pretending to represent, say, men.

                3.  The argument could be made -- and it wouldn't be illogical -- that women's suffrage actually hurt men by diluting their power.  In that sense your silly statement has at least a little bit of weight, but...

                women's suffrage became law only after it was voted on by those men.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:39:37 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Haha (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  andrewj54

                  nice try, but no.  You demolish your own argument in your comment.  Women didn't have the right to vote because it hurt men's interest.  If it didn't matter, no man would have opposed it.  And there were, and are, women who oppose allowing women to vote for various reasons, but those people were, rightly, ignored.  Ann Coulter is arguing, in the present day, that women shouldn't be voting. Should we roll back the 19th amendment until she changes her mind?

                   Men who supported women's right to vote were either saying "this is the moral thing to do" or "women aren't going to give up, so we should allow them to vote our they'll make more trouble for us."  See how that works?  

                  I support Barack Obama, Occupy Wall Street and having a Happy Holidays!

                  by satanicpanic on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:57:40 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Just can't get that logic thing right, can you? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    edrie

                    So...did you notice that your statement

                    If it didn't matter, no man would have opposed it.

                    Doesn't contradict me, or is that too difficult for you?

                    Men who supported women's right to vote

                    Those men -- AND the men opposed --  got to vote on whether women could vote (or do so indirectly by voting for their state legislators.).

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 11:25:45 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  OK, let's take a step back here, (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      andrewj54

                      because you're missing the point:

                      *Was it or was it not in ALL women's interest to get the vote?

                      *Would it have been wrong for anyone to say "I speak in the interest of all women when I say that women should have the right to vote"?

                      *Was women's suffrage harmed morally by not having 100% agreement by all women?

                      I think most people would answer Yes, yes and no.  

                      I know what you're trying to argue- that women weren't harmed by suffrage, therefore it would be OK for other women to ignore them when fighting for the right to vote.  Let's just set aside what men did or didn't do in regards to women's suffrage for a moment because either way, it's pretty silly to argue over what men's feelings in this case.  Some women argued that they were going to be harmed by having the right to vote.  Ann Coulter makes the argument that women are to emotional to vote wisely, therefore allowing them to vote is a bad idea because they'll vote for things that are not in their own interest.  I don't agree with this, obviously, but that's not the same as saying the argument doesn't exist.   So again, should we ignore her?  Why or why not?

                      I support Barack Obama, Occupy Wall Street and having a Happy Holidays!

                      by satanicpanic on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 11:45:53 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  In the case at hand, a group of demonstrators (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        coffeetalk

                        decided that union workers should not get paid.

                        If a group of union workers had said "we shouldn't get paid", and tried to rally other union workers around them, your women's suffrage example would fit fine.

                        The problem comes when your point is that "I am willing to sacrifice you for my benefit".

                        BTW -

                        I haven't seen that argument from Ann Coulter.  Got a link?

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 11:55:14 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No one is denying that (0+ / 0-)

                          some short term (or even long term) problems for some workers are going to arise, in the same way that the women who organized women's suffrage knew that some women would suffer for it.  Do you think no women got preemptory beatings to prevent them from possibly joining the movement?  

                          Here's one of many Coulter quotes on why women shouldn't vote at the bottom of this page.

                          I support Barack Obama, Occupy Wall Street and having a Happy Holidays!

                          by satanicpanic on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:32:57 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

      •  "One guy's opinion" that is also the position of.. (6+ / 0-)

        the union he belongs to.

        And against the statement of the leadership and of this member, we have...what?

        An OWS statement explaining why the union should support the action?

        I know which case I find more convincing.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:58:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The notion that ILWU wasn't consulted is... (17+ / 0-)

      laughable considering that representatives from ILWU have been working daily with Occupy Oakland since nearly the very beginning and still do today. Flyers have been posted publicly and this has been in the planning stages for a month. In fact, the original form of this strike was originally proposed as a sympathy strike in response to 25 union workers in Long Beach getting laid off. A comment I made on Nov 12th:

      The most interesting thing to come out of GA tonight was when a member of Occupy LA wanted to test the waters on a possible combined Long Beach/Oakland port closure. Someone from the crowd yelled "Shut down Seattle!". The idea seemed to have a fair amount of vocal support. A total West Coast port closure.

      LAURA: Please try to confirm your facts pitting one group of progressives against another. As jpmassar mentioned below the information is clearly posted on the West Coast port shutdown page.

      http://westcoastportshutdown.org/...

      "To the People (aka the 99%): Our only demand is an invitation: Join Us!" -- Occupy Oakland Demands 10/13/2011

      by mic check oakland on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:40:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  very good point (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arizonablue, fcvaguy, edrie

      I had mixed feelings about this--was leaning in the direction of OWS  -- having seem the union opposition and this post -- I think this could be a bad move.

      Working to help save people from foreclosure -- that seems like a winner to me..for one reason it engages-- in some cases folks who might not otherwise be supportive of OWS.

  •  The Occupy movement has been a fascinating (6+ / 0-)

    political case study so far.

    However, I really think that with the first stage of the movement(Physical Occupation and Protest) coming to an end, the movement is looking to transition on into the next step.

    Of course the question remains: What is that next step? How do we get there? And will there be enough unifying force to move the entire movement to that point?

    Unfortunately, like a lot of protests movements on the left spectrum, it runs the risk - and I believe that is what is occurring now - of breaking down

  •  Unbelievable that Daily Kos should spew the MSM (30+ / 0-)

    propaganda without even attempting to find anything that contradicts it.  E.g.

    We are hearing from ILWU rank and file that they have recieved a text message from the President of ILWU Local 10, telling them not to cross the picket line on Monday.

    This indicates that the ILWU international leadership's strategy of trying to divide workers from occupy and discredit the shut down is FAILING.  Prominent members of the ILWU have already stated that the rank and file will not be crossing the picket line or crossing with police protection.

    Not crossing community picket lines has been standard practice since 1937 when longshoremen refused to load iron ore onto ships headed for Japan.

    This is not a rumor, this is fact, confirmed by ILWU members at the Occupy Oakland shutdown meeting last evening.

  •  Other unions are in support (19+ / 0-)
    Today, I am speaking on behalf of the OEA Representative Council to reiterate our union's support for the 90 plus % of Oaklanders, predominantly working people, who are seeing their standard of living decline due to the cutbacks in both the public and private sector economies of this city, state, and nation.

    Our union voted on Monday, December 5, to endorse next week's "blockade" of the
    Port of Oakland.

    http://westcoastportshutdown.org/...

    And claims have been made that the Teamsters will not be working at the port today.

  •  More (21+ / 0-)
    "The rank and file of the ILWU I've talked to say there is no way they are going to cross a community picket line." said Anthony Lavierge, a member of ILWU Local 10. "When I'm working on the port, 90% of the truckers I talk to are enthusiastic."

    http://westcoastportshutdown.org/...

  •  Occupy Oakland (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, joe from Lowell, edrie

    They rationalize going against the wishes of the workers quoted by saying that any of the worker struggles in the past could have been criticized on the same basis (loss of income) by the capitalist press finding and quoting a few people opposed.

    Is the old time Marxist religion really a basis for a modern movement? That's what they seem to be channeling. Even the "general strike" of last month drew on an old Wobbly theme.

    •  Marxist religion? Wobbly theme? (9+ / 0-)

      Oooo, teh scary.

      In any action of any kind there will be some who are not in accord.  Proceeding without unanimous approval is not a dangerous lefty religion or mythos.  There will always be some who would like the best of all worlds in these conflicts between different elements of our society; abandoning any action until one finds the elusive please-all tactic (that does not exist) is not an option anymore, no matter how much you may desire it.

      •  It's less scary (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leoklein, Plubius, tgrshark13, edrie

        ...than farcical.

      •  Totally agree. (7+ / 0-)

        Did anyone really believe the Occupation movement would be painless?

        Things need to change in this country.........things need to be turned around..............things need to be overturned.

        When you "shutdown" anything-------- there is always a loss.

        Should we allow things to continue as they are?

        More business as usual?

        More foreclosures?

        More attacks on Social Security?

        More attacks on the social safety net?

        More failing public schools?

        Less for the people and more for the pentagon?

        More of the same sad and sorry legislation that caused this mess to begin with?

        Did anyone really think the Occupations wouldn't cause some deprivation.....some loss of income......some inconveniences?

        Is business as usual a better option?

        "Power is a fleeting thing. One day your souls will be required of you." Bishop Peter Storey---Central Methodist Mission, Johannesburg, June 1981

        by lyvwyr101 on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:39:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Connect the dots for me. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          edrie, denise b

          You state that the goals of the Occupy movement are to stop foreclosures, save the social safety net, save public education, etc.

          If that is the case, then each and every action should be evaluated in light of the following:
          (a) the extent to which it makes that goal more likely to be realized;
          (b) whether the extent of movement is worth the resources (organizational, financial, energy, time, goodwill) being spent on the action, or whether those resources could be used on a different action that would move the ball forward more; and
          (c) the chances of the action's success or failure in moving the goal forward.

          Simply saying "this stops business as usual," or "of course protests are going to be disruptive," does not logically make it so that each and every disruption of business as usual productive. A more disruptive action is not automatically more successful than a less disruptive one, unless the goal is purely to disrupt; if your goals are more constructive than that, as you suggest, then disruption alone is not a benchmark for success. In fact, disruption alone can often result in the ball being moved further back rather than further forward.

          So you need to connect the dots between this (or any) action, and the goals. How does it make them more likely to be achieved? What does it do for the movement? Is it the best use of the movement's resources?

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:39:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And what would your suggestion be? (0+ / 0-)

            What would actually move the ball forward for hungry- homeless-jobless-Americans?

            Do we really have time for dot-connecting and evaluating?

            Yeah---that's worked great so far.

            No sale.

            I stand with the Occupiers 100%.

            How long should we wait before we "challenge" ----as the quality of our lives in this country continues to swirl around the bowl?

            You can only bend over and hold your ankles for just so long.

            What would you suggest we do---and how long should we wait?

            God forbid-------- we should disrupt?

            That's rather the point of protest---isn't it?

            And we have plenty in this country to protest.

            Plenty.

            So.....do we protest......or do we continue with our bent-over posture?

            Choice is yours.

            Me---it's Occupy----Occupy---Occupy!

            Dot-connecting---evaluating---and "fear of disruption" only has so much value.

            The Occupiers are doing what needs to be done.

            I'm sorry you have an issue with it.

            Me...I'm grateful to them.

            "Power is a fleeting thing. One day your souls will be required of you." Bishop Peter Storey---Central Methodist Mission, Johannesburg, June 1981

            by lyvwyr101 on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:43:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Disruption is not necessarily success. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              edrie, denise b
              Do we really have time for dot-connecting and evaluating?

              I would hope so. Seems to me that fitting action into an overall plan, and determining whether it's effective, is a pretty important part of strategic action.

              How long should we wait before we "challenge" ----as the quality of our lives in this country continues to swirl around the bowl?

              I'm not saying "wait." I'm saying that there needs to be a plan, a strategy, with end goals and a means of getting there. That enables more effective action and makes it more likely that the end goals will be reached. Isn't that the point?

              God forbid-------- we should disrupt?

              That's rather the point of protest---isn't it?

              Is the point of the protest to "disrupt" generally, or to achieve the goals you articulated above (saving the social safety net, stopping foreclosures, etc.)?

              If the point is simply to mindlessly disrupt, then stop pretending that it's in the service of those larger goals, because disruption in and of itself will not achieve those goals. If the point is to achieve those goals, then the benchmark for success isn't the extent of the disruption, but rather the extent to which the disruption makes it more likely that your goals will be achieved.

              "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

              by JamesGG on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:59:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And how many angels can dance (0+ / 0-)

                on the head of a pin?

                A-total-waste-of-time.

                If the point is simply to mindlessly disrupt, then stop pretending that it's in the service of those larger goals, because disruption in and of itself will not achieve those goals.

                Talk about a mindless disruption.

                I'm not big on banging my head against a brick wall-that too--only has so much value.

                Good luck to you in your endeavors.

                "Power is a fleeting thing. One day your souls will be required of you." Bishop Peter Storey---Central Methodist Mission, Johannesburg, June 1981

                by lyvwyr101 on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 11:08:14 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  WHOA! shaking head and backing slowly away... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  coffeetalk

                  THIS is another major problem of ows - impatience!

                  "...we want change and we want it NOW!"

                  sorry, friend, change doesn't work that way.  it takes time to break the inertia and to put in place replacements to what exists already.

                  destruction simply to destroy without replacing that which is destroyed with something better (and real) never works.  it only opens a vacuum that allows for more destruction to take place by the most virulently powerful who fill that void.

                  Is GlowNZ back yet?

                  by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:01:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe they could have asked. (0+ / 0-)

        It's a lot easier to get broad approval when you ask the relevant stakeholders what they think.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:06:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What I find interesting is how (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          susans, andrewj54

          Union leaders consult with the assemblies, and "rank and file" members are taken to be in support. The Union leadership definitively speaks for them? Isn't this entirely contrary to the idea of assembly? Is it representative or is it direct democracy, I guess I'm getting confused.

          "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mohandas Gandhi

          by 2dimeshift on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:29:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Local TV in Portland reporting (10+ / 0-)

    Terminals 5 & 6 are shut down due to protests.

    "Nonviolent in the face of police brutality." Scott Olsen's email signature

    by BOHICA on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:53:30 AM PST

  •  Is there going to be any live coverage? At Dkos? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, leonard145b
  •  I have some concerns! (6+ / 0-)

    I mean, doesn't this affect people working there?  People who probably have life threatening diseases that require the medication that will be only given to them if they turn over EXACTLY 8 hours worth of labor in cash to the pharmacy?

    And what about the wal-mart workers that won't have anything to stock?  They'll be sent home!  And no work means no milk for random_ethnicity_baby.

    While I Condescending_random_approval, I cannot in good conscience approve of such violent tactics against the people who cannot afford it.

    /snark

    One of these days, I'm gonna learn that I'm only really good at convincing people when I'm being a wiseass. Reviewtopia.net

    by detroitmechworks on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:19:15 AM PST

  •  Bad bad tactics-divisive and extreme (11+ / 0-)

    This really hurts OWS and its image, and its support among labor.

    •  OWS is not... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ay88, rabel, askew, coffeetalk

      ..a pro-labor movement.

      OWS is an-anti 1% movement.

      To its discredit, Daily Kos have never articulated that  distinction.
       

      When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

      by wyvern on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:33:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You can speak for yourself there. (9+ / 0-)

        I am not "anti-1%".  I don't give a shit how much money someone has.  I just want them to come by it legally and honestly, and there are some in the 1% who have.

        And, it is not up to dkos to articulate something OWS itself hasn't.

        •  I'm speaking facts.. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vicky, askew

          ..OWS is currently protesting ports against the wishes of the labor unions.

          That not me "speaking for myself," that a fact that is verified by this very diary.

          And if is not up to dkos to articulate something OWS itself hasn't, then it's also not up to Daily Kos to play overbearing mother to the OWS movement when OWS goes down a path Daily Kos doesn't condone.

          BTW, I AM anti-1%.  Not willing to split hairs on that.

          When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

          by wyvern on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:09:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The diary was a REPORT on (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fcvaguy

            the tension between OO and unions IN OAKLAND, CA.  Nowhere else.

            You can be anti-1% all you want.  But, please do not ascribe your motives to everyone in OWS.  

            •  This (0+ / 0-)
              But doing something in the name of workers without consulting the workers involved, and despite opposition even from a very militant union, is disrespectful of workers at best.

              is not "just reporting".

              Read much?

              "Fighting for us, good. Winning, better. Talking about fighting? Not so good."--Atrios

              by andrewj54 on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:13:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  thank you for stating what SHOULD be obvious! (0+ / 0-)

          totally agree with you about the 1%.  SOME of the 1% are honorable and decent people.  some are not.

          generalization - broad generalization - fits with the "general assembly" mindset - majority rules even when the majority is ill informed and uneducated (either by willful or blissful ignorance).

          Is GlowNZ back yet?

          by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:04:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You can't pretend to represent the 99% (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DollyMadison, 2dimeshift, edrie, askew

        if you don't embrace unions and their membership.

    •  sometimes some labor is with you sometimes not. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PsychoSavannah

      while it is important to try to meld the two sets of interests together it is not always possible. think about unionized workers manufacturing cluster bombs....there are no simple alliances and the contradictions are many...

      •  Is the opposition from port Unions or independent (0+ / 0-)

        truck drivers? And if the Longshoremen support the action and the independents don't, maybe the Teamsters should be asked to come in to recruit these non-Union drivers or at least engage them and try to win some over.

         

        •  Just learned it is an owner operator scam (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Radical def, ay88

          run by shipping companies that prevent truckers from Unionizing by LAW. These "independent" drivers are "contractors" driving company owned trucks, which they"lease" from the shipping company. So the non-Union divers are really employees without any worker protections because they have been made artificial "owners" by some creative legal work by the shipping companies.

          Good luck getting the msm to explain this.

    •  This is horsepucky...you don't know what has been (0+ / 0-)

      going on for months on the ground in West Coast ports.

      The unions are rallying all who can be rallied to spread their message and defend the workers still working, often in very difficult conditions.  Teamsters got 26 sympathizers, organizers fired recently.

      Now there is this thread of expert advisors, Kossacks, who aren't even at these actions or who have no history there.  Lecturing what should not be done.

      Same people who ignore the labor issues in general now jump in to wag fingers at the activists taking the fight in this economic crisis to where it should go.

      Do you see Democrats impelled to defend the unions in congress in the face of fierce attacks on federal agencies, on the Dof L?     Card check? No, I didn't  see that happen, either.

      It will take mass actions to light a fire under some of these weak links to get them moving.

      If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever, you're dreaming. *YUP!* h/t Hamden Rice

      by BeeDeeS on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:27:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good post, Laura. (6+ / 0-)

    This brings up issues of vanguardism and worker democracy.  

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:23:38 AM PST

  •  Oh brother (19+ / 0-)
    It's true that there are some terribly exploitative conditions at ports, especially for short haul truckers. But doing something in the name of workers without consulting the workers involved, and despite opposition even from a very militant union, is disrespectful of workers at best.

    I can only speak for Occupy Seattle, but we DID talk to the workers and the bureaucrats, more than once.  And then one of them went into a meeting and blatantly lied about that.

    About the day's pay....we were told that if the workers come to the terminal and they are called back by  dispatch because it would be "unsafe" to cross the picket line they would get paid.  Same with port truckers - they get paid by load not by hour.   The loads will still be there after the blockade.

    So what's up?  Who is being honest about these things?  I sure would like to know why I am reading what I feel are deliberately dishonest statements from labor and labor writers.

    Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper spray soon to be declared a vegetable.

    by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:24:52 AM PST

    •  And if the "load" (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Radiowalla, arizonablue, fcvaguy, edrie

      Had to be delivered to comply with contacted delivery, and it's late...the producer, delivery service and the consumer are all penalized.  This is a good thing?

      Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

      by EdMass on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:38:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is just irresponsibly false (5+ / 0-)
      About the day's pay....we were told that if the workers come to the terminal and they are called back by  dispatch because it would be "unsafe" to cross the picket line they would get paid.  Same with port truckers - they get paid by load not by hour.   The loads will still be there after the blockade.

      Its fatally obvious that you have no understanding of what happens in a dockyard. But thats not the worst part. The worst part is the hubris and arrogance of stating that workers aren't financially impacted. Lets put it in most simple terms - if Joe is scheduled to deliver 1 load a day, 6 days a week, and it takes him a whole day to pick up that load, drive to the destination, deliver the load and then return, when is he going to deliver the load that he missed today? Answer - he's not. The shipper will make other arrangements to deliver the load and Joe is out a day's pay.

    •  Because the ILWU gets the benefit of the doubt (0+ / 0-)

      "Humanity won't be happy until the last capitalist is hung with the guts of the last bureaucrat." - Paris, 1968

      by turthlover on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:18:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Troubling (13+ / 0-)

    If the public message/face of Occupy becomes "Capitalism = Evil" it's just a question of whether they get to the dustbin before they get to the loony bin.

    “Taking on and blocking the 1 percent at the port is also taking on the global issue of exploitation by capitalism,” said Occupy Oakland blockade organizer Barucha Peller.

    OWS doesn't owe any fealty to the unions but the day will probably come when they will need a hand and be reminded of this.

    •  Is Occupy anti-capitalism? (0+ / 0-)
      •  I Don't Know (0+ / 0-)

        I'm just reading the quote about "exploitation by capitalism."

        •  I read that too and wondered.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          edrie

          If the Occupy movement is anti-captialism then I wonder if it isn't disingenuous to claim to represent the 99%.  Even with all of the talk in these comments about not having to consult with all 99% to claim to represent them I'm not sure there is any honest way to claim to represent the 99% in this country if you are anti-capitalist.

          But the shut down of the port seems to be more "anti-capitalist" to me than about income inequality or illegal or immoral interference with the democratic process by the 1%.  I hate it that the Occupy Movement has moved so far from what I thought was a very inclusive and positive message.

      •  what i've read around these orange parts (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stellaluna, askew

        would seem to indicate that - but that is from a select number of ows participants.

        i doubt that the true "99%" of this nation are opposed to capitalism at all!

        when i read posts by folks claiming to be anarchists, communists, marxists, etc., i don't take them to be the "99%", i see them as the extreme fringe on the left side of the equation.  

        the MAJORITY of this nation are NOT left or far left or extreme left - they are solidly in the center, slightly left, slightly right.

        the claims that capitalism is "bad" is not representative of the views of this nation or the majority of people in it.

        Is GlowNZ back yet?

        by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:11:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wish I knew... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          edrie, denise b

          Early on I was a big fan of Occupy because I thought it really was the beginning of a recognition by people that the things that divide the 99% are not nearly as important as the things that make us the victims of the 1%.  And I truly hope that is what it is all about.  But beginning with the tepid response to violence in Oakland and seeing the posts here from the anarchists, marxists, etc. I've been concerned with the notion of what it exactly represents as a movement.  A violent revolutionary movement will do more to hurt the 99% in my opinion than doing nothing.  The sort of elitist talk I hear now from the supporters hasn't done anything to reassure me.  What would be tragic is if the movement really was representative of the 99% but has been co-opted by  the "fringe" for the promotion of their own fairly discredited political theory.  These questions don't mean I am against the movement.  They just mean I don't understand it.  And that I think it is foolish to support something that you don't understand.  Especially if you believe, as I do, that support for a movement that would be unpopular with the 99% is more damaging than doing nothing at all.

  •  This is a mistake (15+ / 0-)

    The Occupy movement did a great thing by getting people -- and the mainstream media -- talking about income inequality.  But they run the risk of alienating large swaths of blue collar workers if they start shutting down ports.  Angering the very people they claim to represent will only breed more ill will and lend credence to the right's argument that these are nothing but an intellectual elite claiming to know what's best for the working man.

    "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

    by Jon Stafford on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:27:03 AM PST

  •  Whatever it takes... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ay88

    to get change. In any case the occupation movement is not “striking”, they're an occupation force. Their intentions do not have to match those of unions.

  •  "Disrespectful?" (13+ / 0-)

    How bout "Self indulgent?"  "Out of touch?"  "Tone deaf?"  "Off the reservation?"  

    This is exactly the way the OWS "movement" will end with an ugly whimper for the Progressive movement.  The people who think we're gonna have a "worker's revolution" and "end capitalism" this way are gonna muck up any chance to forge a lasting resonance with working class America.  As they always do.

    •  Well said. (5+ / 0-)

      I agree with you completely.  This is a bad move on the part of OWS and bodes very poorly for the future.

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by Radiowalla on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:48:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some of these people (0+ / 0-)

        are the same guys who like to break windows, turn over paper racks, and spray paint "revolutionary slogans" on people's stores.  They show up at every demo here in the Bay Area (and have for years) and surprisingly, after all their fine work, we still have capitalism, and working class Americans still feel alienated from "Progressives" and votes for Republicans...

    •  This movement can learn. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      2dimeshift, DollyMadison, fcvaguy

      They've already shown themselves to be quite agile and able to adapt.  Yes, this was a mistake, but it seems a bit early to proclaim that it dooms them, or that they can't do better.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:14:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i see the majority of folks having to return (0+ / 0-)

        to their real world of struggling to make a living, leaving the ows movement in the hands of those most dedicated/radical who try to keep it in the news with the old adage "any press is good press".

        those that thought provoking the police into reacting was a good thing forget that there is a large segment of this nation that actually BELIEVES the police acted appropriately with excessive force.

        forgetting that is forgetting the lessons that SHOULD have been learned in the sixties and seventies.  it also means ignoring the message so clearly set forward by mlk, jr - that non-violence is the ONLY way forward... and also choosing which and where protests should be focused to make the greater point.

        Is GlowNZ back yet?

        by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:19:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  and the sad thing here is that this movement (0+ / 0-)

      may do to "progressive" what the extremists in the 60s did to the word "liberal"... the politicians who portray every dollar lost by the low paid worker the fault of "progressives" will use this to set back change for decades!

      progressives will be the new "dirty word/label" instead of a champions for change.

      why? because a few misguided fools tried to push their own narrow agendas under it's umbrella.

      sad, really.  really sad!

      [having lived through the time when "liberal" became a cursed label for all politicians, i am so sad to see this happening again.]

      Is GlowNZ back yet?

      by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:16:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Also, it's a shut down for ONE DAY (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fly, Skex, Keori, ay88, goobop, andrewj54, joanneleon

    Give me a break.

    This is all about elitist like behavior from unions, who have become terribly ineffective in managing their own problems and almost all of them (except the ILWU) are beholden to Democratic party politics, or in other words business as usual.

    Unions have been notoriously divisive for years.  YEARS.

    Occupy movements are the working class, and we are able to do things unions can not because we have no union bosses telling us what we can and can't do.  

    Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper spray soon to be declared a vegetable.

    by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:28:46 AM PST

    •  Wow (19+ / 0-)
      Occupy movements are the working class, and we are able to do things unions can not because we have no union bosses telling us what we can and can't do.

      Union bosses controlling everything?  That's rhetoric I'm not unfamiliar with.  I think I heard it a few times in some recent televised debates.

      •  They control their members (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        andrewj54, joanneleon

        or at least they try to.  And look where that has gotten unions today.  I wish more than anything that this wasn't true (I am a Wobbly for christsake so my whole thing is power in unions) but we cannot wait for them to wake up  and do something about our problems.   Things have gotten too severe for that.  

        Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper spray soon to be declared a vegetable.

        by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:37:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They Try to SPEAK FOR Their Members (8+ / 0-)

          And they want to speak with a unified voice.  

          Union bosses controlling the members??? SERIOUSLY?

          •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            andrewj54, joanneleon

            So you think SEiU taking huge sums of money from their members to fund a "grassroots" organizing front so they can run around doing big, well funded actions to make themselves look good, all the while their service worker members are struggling to survive is a GOOD THING for workers?

            Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper spray soon to be declared a vegetable.

            by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:43:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  You just don't understand how (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DollyMadison

          Unions work or are organized IMHO

          Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

          by EdMass on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:41:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh but I do (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JayRaye, joanneleon

            Most of them are organized from the top down, and everyone knows it.

            I believe in the power of unions, as I stated above.  Unions that organize from the BOTTOM up.  Big unions today are bloated with waste and upper management, while the great majority of their members struggle to survive and get forced into accepting their less than adequate representation.  However, I would love to see rank and file force their leadership out and reorganization from the bottom up so they can be what they once were again.  

            Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper spray soon to be declared a vegetable.

            by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:46:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Then why not Occupy the Unions? (4+ / 0-)

              If they're so corrupted by a "top down"  oligarchy?

              I really appreciate your passion, but you need to step back and rethink here IMHO

              Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

              by EdMass on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:51:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So, where was the union support (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ay88

                for the 25 port truck drivers in LA/Long Beach who were fired for wearing Teamster jackets to work?  I don't remember any of our fine union writers here making a big case over that, but maybe I missed it.

                They've been trying to organize into the Teamsters for a while, and SSA is busting that up.

                What say you union folk about that?  Are you ok with SSA/Goldman Sachs doing this to people who make like $8.00 an hour when you average their contractor pay minus expenses?

                Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper spray soon to be declared a vegetable.

                by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:55:32 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You keep stepping into issues (0+ / 0-)

                  of which you have no experience or knowledge.  The Unions know better than you as to how to advance their issues/cause.  Why can't you accept this?

                  Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

                  by EdMass on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:30:47 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  something smells here. there is too much (0+ / 0-)

                    of the anti-union flavor of this one's conversations for my liking.

                    i really wonder what justjennifer's agenda really is?

                    maybe, justjennifer, you could clarify your opinion on the labor movement and the need for unions in this country and why, if you feel unions are not helpful, you think so.

                    i keep thinking reagan/bust unions/walker/destroy unions/republicans/anti-union/corporate deregulation/offshoring.....

                    and, what again is bad about unions?  and protecting the american workers? earning living wages? not being exploited?

                    for her argument above about a janitor having to pay union dues, she neglects to mention that the janitor would be making minimum wage at best without the union, so any dues taken out are offset by the increased wages that janitor earns.

                    something really stinks about the uninformed opinions and views being spouted by that poster.  i don't think it is really about being "uninformed" - imho, it is about the political affiliation of the poster.

                    draw your own conclusions here....

                    Is GlowNZ back yet?

                    by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:32:04 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  She is not (0+ / 0-)

                      anti-union as she has explained several times in her comments.  Her gripe is with the union leadership in some unions and that is a very valid gripe.

                      Stop smearmongering and trying mischaracterize Jennifer's words.

            •  Exactly why we need to OCCUPY OUR UNIONS! (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Radical def, DollyMadison, joanneleon

              Attend Labor Notes Conference May 2011.

              If there's a reason for the rich to rule, please Lord, tell us why. -Battle of Jericol, Coal Mining Woman

              by JayRaye on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:14:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Sure you do. Which union were you ever in? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DollyMadison, fcvaguy

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:17:20 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Just said above (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ay88, andrewj54, joanneleon

                I am a Wobbly.   I know my labor history, thanks.

                Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper spray soon to be declared a vegetable.

                by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:46:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  why should we accept your statement when (0+ / 0-)

                  you have so clearly demonstrated that you do NOT "know" your history - and you continually make right wing talking points your message?

                  Is GlowNZ back yet?

                  by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:32:47 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Who are you to question (0+ / 0-)

                    whether or not she belongs to that union?  She has told us that she does.  She has a difference of opinion on the relative importance of some of the founders of that union.  That does not mean that she doesn't know her history.

                    She's a respected and trusted member in good standing here.  She's been here a long time and has written a lot here. She deserves to be taken at her word.  She does not deserve the treatment and disrespect that you have jumped in and dished out repeatedly in this thread.

        •  When were you ever in a union? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DollyMadison, fcvaguy, edrie

          I've been in a union.  How about you?  Which one?  What's the name of the local?

          You're speaking with such certainty, clearly you know of what you speak.

          Right?

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:16:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Heh (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ay88, andrewj54

            Is this like "show me your papers"?  

            Already answered.  I am a Wobbly, and I've studied labor history extensively.  

            Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper spray soon to be declared a vegetable.

            by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:47:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  What workplace? What local? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              edrie

              Joining an activist group that calls itself a union, and reading a lot of books, doesn't make you a unionist, and it doesn't make your group a union.

              Haver you ever been in an organization that has been chosen by the workers in a workplace to represent them?

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:06:59 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  I was thinking the same thing. What's next, thugs? (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vicky, TooFolkGR, DollyMadison, fcvaguy, edrie

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:16:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And so we see how, in the end, the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jiffypop, Vicky, edrie

      narcissist Left will meet and agree with the cynical Right.

    •  Not your call to make, Jennifer. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DollyMadison, fcvaguy, edrie, askew

      And no, the occupy movement is not the working class.  You're just deluding yourself.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:15:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I love a good paternalistic foe (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ay88, andrewj54, BeeDeeS

        Thanks for the dismissive and condescending attitude Sir.  I can assure you that I have been doing all of my own thinking since I was at least 30!

        You are wrong - the occupy movement is more concerned with the working class than any other "organized" (or in this case, disorganized) group around today.  

        Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper spray soon to be declared a vegetable.

        by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:49:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pfft. Spare me your pre-packaged note cards. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          edrie, askew

          Take your favorite VERY BIG WORD and shove it.

          It's not your call to make, because your went over the heads of the local unionists.  You didn't ask them, you didn't get their buy-in.  You decided to swoop in, and act for them instead of with them.

          Condescending is you telling them they should be grateful and not complain.

          Condescending is you thinking your "concern" - your sympathetic feelings from on high - for the working class is an acceptable substitute for actually involving them and their unions in the decision-making process.

          Condescending is you thinking you know better than those unionists who, oh yeah, actually work at the port.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:17:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Disgusting (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edrie, askew, Bailey2001

      just ONE DAY????  Did you read the comment from the one trucker who is saying he is financially screwed? If there is someone being arrogant and elitist its YOU. And, your attacks on the union leadership is very telling. Is OWS now anti-union?????  If you're part of OWS, you should probably lay low, because you are representing them very poorly right now.

    •  you DO realize that SOME people need (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, Bailey2001

      every single penny they earn JUST to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table?

      one day?  that can be devastating to the lowest earner or someone with a large amount of debt.  

      it must be great to live in a world where you can throw out a days pay and not feel the impact.

      or, are you a student? married? or single supporting yourself totally. just curious.  and, no, i'm not "student-bashing" - but until you have lived on your own and had to pay for everything yourself, you really don't have a clear perspective of what a day's pay can mean when money is very tight!

      Is GlowNZ back yet?

      by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:22:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So it begins... (17+ / 0-)

    ..Daily Kos constantly encourages OWS to "take the next step." but once that next step is taken, Daily Kos wags a finger.

    OWS has sworn no blood oath to unions.

    OWS is fighting against the 1%, & if unions feel compelled to defend their segment of the 1% that favors unions, then that's not OWS's problem.

    Word to Daily Kos:  If you encourage OWS to take the next step, you can't begin playing a finger-wagging Bill O'Reilly when OWS takes your advice & takes the next step.

    It's also amazing to think Daily Kos was naive enough to think "taking the next step" would not entail clashes with 99% allies.

    Taking the next step is always messy.

    You either back the ensuing messiness or you don't.

    When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

    by wyvern on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:30:23 AM PST

  •  Wrong Target. Ill Advised. (10+ / 0-)

    Only hurts the 99% - dock workers, truckers, consumers.  As we learned with SC Boeing let the Unions do their own negotiation.  They wanted WA state union jobs and contract really didn't care about SC - witness the cave when objectives in WA achieved. If they want help, they'll ask for it.  Doesn't seem to be the case here.

    Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

    by EdMass on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:32:34 AM PST

  •  This are worthy thoughts for consideration. (0+ / 0-)

    And they were expressed well. Nutritious food for thought.

  •  Hardhats versus hippies. (6+ / 0-)

    Where did I see this before?

    The revolution will not be privatized.

    by Bush Bites on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:35:57 AM PST

  •  a buddy got beaten and hospitalized by union (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Involuntary Exile, andrewj54

    construction workers in nyc in the 1960's when he was protesting the war in vietnam. sometimes the agendas of various groups intersect, sometimes they don't. municipal trade unions are often more in synch with students, environmentalists and socialists than some of these other groups. all have more in common with each other than with the bankers and brokers who crashed our economy out of greed and stupidity.

  •  Occupy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plubius

    needs to show discipline and work with the unions.

    They only call it a class war when we fight back

    by al23 on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:37:29 AM PST

  •  Bet Newt runs on a "law and order" platform. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edrie

    If this goes where I think it's going.

    He's knows his political history.

    The revolution will not be privatized.

    by Bush Bites on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:37:52 AM PST

    •  yep. ows is handing him a very powerful (0+ / 0-)

      club with which to batter them in the next election cycle.

      the far right and the middle right who are nervous about this movement will listen to his rhetoric and he will gain support that he should not have.

      Is GlowNZ back yet?

      by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:39:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Instead of shutting down the port, (18+ / 0-)

    how about occupying Tiffany's?  How about occupying the St. Francis Yacht Club?  The Olympic Club?  How about occupying any of the big bank buildings? A port is not a symbol of the 1%!  

     

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:39:00 AM PST

    •  Exactly--hard to understand why... (7+ / 0-)

      ...anyone thinks it's a good idea to hurt unionized working people rather than the actual objects of your indignation.  Because they're more convenient?

      But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

      by Rich in PA on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:42:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's Some Kind of Bizarre 1% Doctorine... (6+ / 0-)

      If there's a 1% chance an action will hurt the 1%, there's a 100% chance we go ahead and do it?

      I'm not seeing it.  There are so many more direct targets than this.

    •  You think the Waltons got rich how, exactly? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      goobop, tgrshark13, wsexson

      All that China-made shit has to get here somehow......

      •  And the "shit" we Americans make (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arizonablue, 2dimeshift, fcvaguy, edrie, askew

        has to get out of the port.  If you want to mount a movement against Chinese made sh*t, there are much better targets than the Port of Oakland.    

        It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

        by Radiowalla on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:13:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are so many targets, it is (0+ / 0-)

          hard to choose one when so few people are willing to get out and do it.

          •  I boycott Chinese products every day (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            edrie

            of my life.  I just don't buy them.  Wouldn't that be a movement to bring back jobs to America?  If I can't buy American, then I at least try to buy from a democracy.  

            It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

            by Radiowalla on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:43:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  yep - like voting to get a congress (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Radiowalla

          that will actually TAX corporations that off-shore and use cheap foreign labor after buying and moving companies to china, mexico, indonesia, phillipines, thailand (although, with the recent floods, they are pretty much out of business for a few months), etc.

          this is ALL political - and while the republicans control the house and have a filibuster proof majority in the senate, absolutely NOTHING will change.  nada. zip. zero.

          IF the ows movement organized on political lines, we would be able to begin to reverse the damage done to this nation by the multi-nationals who are, right now, considered "persons" and control the money going into elections.

          the ows movement has the ability to draw into the voting booth enough people to counter that ussc giveaway - but are they doing that? nope.  too busy staying apolitical.

          sadly, what ows doesn't realize is that politics are ALSO power - and politicians have the ability to control the corporations IF we put the right ones into office with enough majority to pass the damned laws and regulations needed!

          Is GlowNZ back yet?

          by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:44:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  China-made shit (0+ / 0-)

        Gee, that sounds strangely nationalistic.

        Good to know OWS is a new thing....

        •  Maybe its the way it's made more than (0+ / 0-)

          where it's made. China and it's policies should make all of us sick. They have the modern equivalent of a caste system and are a nation of sweat shops....a real workers paradise.

          "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mohandas Gandhi

          by 2dimeshift on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:45:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  china is where we were at the (0+ / 0-)

            beginning of the industrial revolution.  the chinese people are moving upward in an economic society that is opening up slowly.

            before we cast stones on their society, let us not forget the triangle shirtwaist company and fire, the child labor laws passed to protect our youngest (that newt thinks are damaging to the kiddies, btw) as our own nation evolved.

            china is at it's beginning - it, too, will change.

            the real question is whether we can change by voting into office those who will restore our own protections or whether we will rail against the wind and claim all politicians are the "same" and walk away and hand over our nation to those who would destroy it.  reagan and bush and those behind them (multinationals) have a good foothold - it is up to us to remove those in the house who are continuing to kill our economy by holding it hostage to defeat the dems.

            same goes for the senate, btw.

            Is GlowNZ back yet?

            by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:47:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That doesn't address the caste system (0+ / 0-)

              that exploits people born in rural areas.

              Furthermore, free trading with them is no guarantee that they will advance. They aren't a third world nation.

              "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mohandas Gandhi

              by 2dimeshift on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 01:54:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  port does not equal wall street (7+ / 0-)

      Our ports are heavily unionized and a source of good paying jobs for the coast.  This is absolutely RIDICULOUS place to focus a protest.  I have been supportive of OWS but this action I cannot defend.

      It was mentioned above OWS wasn't a pro-labor movement but an anti-1% movement.  Maybe OWS isn't the right avenue then.  I want a real pro-labor movement because that is what is truly needed.

    •  Ports are exactly the domain of the 1%... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ay88, Diebold Hacker, andrewj54, wsexson

      unrestricted movement of cheap goods across borders. Making it cheaper in countries with weak or no labor and environmental laws and shipping it here breaks the back of American labor, depends on non-renewable energy sources and pollutes fiercely. This is why the international banks have worked so hard to keep labor local...international brotherhood would have the ability to resist, even overcome, the designs of the 1%.

      •  Might add that it supports the enslavement of (0+ / 0-)

        workers in the countries of origin of those cheap goods, and the program is that we will eventually get all those jobs back, but they will not pay enough to support anybody. Labor everywhere will be slave labor.

    •  Better yet, instead of deciding themselves.... (0+ / 0-)

      what the actions will be, how about involving other segments of the activist left - unions, civil rights groups, etc. - in the decision-making process?

      Maybe a port-shutdown action could be a useful event, that the longshoremen would support and help with, and help get the message out.

      But OWS didn't ask.  

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:23:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gotta side with the unions there. (9+ / 0-)

    'Co-opting'' works in both directions, and such events should be a result of joint decisions, not unilateral ones.

  •  Shutdown banks not working people. (11+ / 0-)

    Ports have had massive layoffs, the people working the piers are living paycheck to paycheck and having people kill their jobs for the sins of Wall St bankers is really bad behavior by the Occupy organizers.

    Camp out on some bankster's mansion's lawn, that makes a point.

    Putting truck drives and port workers in bankruptcy is wrong.

  •  If OWS is starting to lose supporters here. (10+ / 0-)

    You can bet they'll be losing them among the 99 percent.

    Be interesting to see how this goes.

    The revolution will not be privatized.

    by Bush Bites on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:42:43 AM PST

  •  This will only be effective (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe from Lowell, Vicky, arizonablue

    in driving the hearts and minds of many the Occupy(tm) claims to represent out of the way.

    NEWSFLASH Occupy(tm) does not "represent" 99% of the thinking in this country or even a majority of it. Just because the organizers of this particular "stunt" cant seem to see the obvious conflict of taking an "action" that will only hurt others really in the 99% too, who are like the MAJORITY of the 99% who are still at this time working and trying to make a living and are the ones being buggered by the FINANCIAL SYSTEM, NOT EACH OTHER OR THE UNION THEY CHOSE TO REPRESENT THEIR VERY 99%-ish values, doesnt mean the very same majority of the 99% percent wont get it and see that the Occupy(tm) "leadership"  represents a small MINORITY of the 99% who cant seem to focus on the optics of their actions. Today the people who take part in this will clearly show a small photogenic part of the 99% DO NOT speak for most of us. (or not, seems real convenient to diverge to "we dont have specific leaders or goals" when Occupy(tm) shits the punch bowl on occasion). Fight the power, not the powerless.

  •  Good grief! (9+ / 0-)

    Even NPR this morning was willing to mention that Goldman Sachs is part of the problem at the Port of Oakland.  Occupy is trying to get the message out that Wall Street has a big boot heel on the necks of 99%ers, and we're being distracted on whether or not union leadership supports a one-day action.

    Getting distracted this way let's the 1%ers bury the real story.

    •  Yep, Occupy stepped on their own message with this (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plubius, Vicky, arizonablue, 2dimeshift, askew

      You're exactly right about the message that's coming out of this, and how it's the wrong one.

      Even setting aside the substantive problem of the occupiers ignoring and sidelining the union, they completely blew the message.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:51:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why are you (0+ / 0-)

        spending so much time on the notion that only unions have "the right" to stand up for workers generally?

        Not everyone gets to be in a union. Some are in trades that have no unions at all.

        Some work for non-union shops because those jobs were available. Some, like the O/O truckers, aren't entitled to unionization because they're independent, despite getting screwed by the shipping companies.

        ILWU is the one that is wrong for acting like the activities of the ports and the shippers only affect them. They don't. They affect many, many more people than ILWU -- all the way to the people in Bethlehem PA who no longer make steel beams, down to the people shopping at WalMart buying foreign made, poor quality goods.

        And the banks that invest in the companies that offshored our manufacturing (and then some) and in the shipping companies that profit from ballooning the US's trade deficit, laugh all the way to the-- well, all the way to themselves.

        There isn't some wall of separation between the financial sector and any other sector -- shipping, technology, manufacturing, truck driving, construction, real estate, transportation. Quite the opposite -- they have their hands in nearly everything, and as a result, everything and everyone is affected -- negatively -- by their malfeasance.

        So quit pretending like port activities (and shutdowns) affect only ILWU. It's a crock. So what if ILWU doesn't approve. Who said they have to? The unionization of America has been on the downswing for over three decades, and the ones that are left still want to pick nits over who gets to take actions?

        What about the union workers who vote against a union-sanctioned action? Who represents them? Who cries for them and insists they should have had to approve? No one -- that is, except for the corporatists that quickly jump on any sentiment that makes the unions look bad. Have you never heard the whinging about"the people who don't want to strike" during a strike? That's the same argument being presented here against OWS.

        Terrorists can attack freedom, but only Congress can destroy it.

        by romulusnr on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 11:13:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  hopefully the unions will be forgiving (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe from Lowell

    and chalk this up to a rookie mistake.

  •  About three weeks ago, I got into this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2dimeshift

    hot and heavy with my own mother about them NOT having a cohesive message and that she had been listening to Liberal Talk Radio (Randi Rhodes) who said it on the radio.

    I am inclined to agree with my mother and Randi Rhodes that Occupy needs to Occupy the outside part of Congress, and drive the message home.

  •  jpmassar's post upthread says it all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, cloudbustingkid, ay88

    disappointing to see dkos carrying msm water so readily

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:48:30 AM PST

  •  This harkens back to some ugly history. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vicky, arizonablue, Jeff Simpson, askew

    Upper-class progressives have often, with the best of intentions, decided that they were going to swoop in and do something for working people, as opposed to with working people.

    It's elitist and condescending for OWS to try to bypass the longshoremen, and then lecture them on how their action is good for them.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:49:03 AM PST

  •  These union guys got their heads caved (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Diebold Hacker

    in decades ago to get where they are. An established, strong union doesn't have to necessarily agree with a new, fledgling movement that is still trying to define itself and determine where it needs to go next. The longshoremen know what they need to do.  Welcome to the world of disagreement and negotiation and time to work it out.

    I still say worldwide unions working in solidarity with hundreds of millions of workers is the way to go. Call me a dreamer. Organize!

    "...be still, and cry not aloud; for it is an unholy thing to boast over slain men." Odysseus, in Homer's Odyssey

    by Wildthumb on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:50:24 AM PST

  •  More sense than nonsense (12+ / 0-)

    Read the whole essay here

    Let's ignore how the #Occupy movement has inspired people around the world. Taking nurture from the Arab Spring, the Israeli protests and Wisconsin, it has in turn provided psychological support for others around world -- in Egypt recently, in Syria, in Moscow just today, even some laborers on a Japanese railroad, so that they may continue to feel like there is hope.

    Let's ignore how the #Occupy movement has shown that people can be inspired to protest the power of the one percent here at home instead of sucking up their propaganda while watching the four NFL games of the week. Or how it has shown myriad small labor and progressive groups -- each off in their own little corner of the world -- the power of joining together.

    Let's ignore how the #Occupy movement was instrumental in getting the Governor of New York to change his tune about taxing the rich, and not just his tune, but his actions; something the New York Times could not achieve.

    Let's ignore how the #Occupy movement has almost singlehandedly changed the tone of discussion in the entire country from deficits to inequality, and quite possibly changed the fulcrum of the 2012 election.

    Let's ignore how the #Occupy movement has managed to change even the President of the United States' rhetoric, and perhaps managed to create a backbone in the White House where before there was rubber.

    Let's ignore how the #Occupy movement has illustrated the hypocrisy of the United States government in calling for freedom to protest abroad while remaining silent while its citizens are beaten, pepper-sprayed and tear-gassed from coast to coast while attempting to do the same.

    Let's ignore all that and just go with the Chronicle's assertions that the December 12th action makes "zero sense", and "these struggles... aren't enough to justify shutting down the entire West Coast..."

    Let's concede the premise: maybe it does make no sense.

    Any yet the actions taken by respectable so-called liberals to date have made even less sense.

    Being willing to put Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid on the chopping block? Accepting anti-stimulus budget cuts while there is 9% unemployment? Extensions of tax cuts for the one percent? Being unwilling to put up a fight as labor protections are stripped all across America? Standing by while the Bill of Rights gets fed into the NSA's shredder?

    Sign me up for the no sense, thank you.

  •  OWS is the unions' only hope. (4+ / 0-)

    Otherwise prepare yourselves for oblivion - which is where you are on track to go if you hadn't noticed. True Story

  •  Strike at the heart of the beast OWS!!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lyvwyr101

    meanwhile local bank execs have a smoother commute to the office/golf course in the area because of the Occupy(tm) "action".  Too bad the good part of the movement takes a hit too.

  •  Now we are beginning to see the real power and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ay88, romulusnr, lyvwyr101

    authority of OWS and its' sisters across the country and around the world. Banks and the governments they own have cause to be nervous at the thought that this may truly be an international movement, pushing back everywhere the banks make inroads. Labor has, sadly, allowed itself as an entity, to be compartmentalized into competing factions rather than fulfilling its' promise of international brotherhood and strength. American unions have become the new Mamalukes, castrated and left to rule slaves. We are going to see more repression, by any and every means possible, and I pray the movement doesn't break. I can guess the unions are experiencing some pressure from the union busters in government as well as business, and from the banks that handle their money, including their pension funds. Union workers who still have jobs are probably afraid of losing them to low-wage scabs. They eventually will lose them to lower-wage non-union workers, anyway. The banks will not be satisfied until they own everything, including us. Union leaders are showing yellow when offered the only chance they have to survive as anything that benefits their membership.

  •  Occupy is wrong on this one. (7+ / 0-)

    I think the Union's stance is correct.  Their workers should have a say in their working, or striking, conditions and reasons.  Occupy is stepping on their jobs and, therefore, the port workers (who are not part of the 1%) have a right to vote on such a shutdown.

    "Stupid fucker."- Erica Zwick (FB poster referring to Newt Gingrich).

    by rainmanjr on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:58:22 AM PST

    •  The shutdown isn't only for those workers (0+ / 0-)

      ..it's for all workers exploited by globalization, offshoring, and lack of environmental regulations.

      Unions never seem to mind if THEIR demonstrations and pickets cost people work. In fact, when people try to work in spite of their demonstrations, they call those people "scabs." If workers in other businesses are inconvenienced or lose work or business because of a union demonstration--well, screw them.

      This is why unions are so weak these days. They fight amongst themselves, and fight allies. They don't see the big picture.

      If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

      by rhetoricus on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:21:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The diarist should haveread this before reporting (8+ / 0-)

    How Goldman Sachs and Other Companies Exploit Port Truck Drivers — Occupy Protesters Plan to Shut Down West Coast Ports in Protest

    After deregulation, union companies were forced out of the market, and new companies found a way to squeeze even greater profit at the expense of workers. They sold their trucks back to drivers, Bensman explains, and then made them "independent contractors," meaning that the drivers would not make an hourly wage but instead would be be paid per load, and companies would no longer be responsible for costs such as health care, social security, worker's compensation, pensions, and payroll taxes.
    just four years after the industry was deregulated, wages dropped 15-20 percent and fell to 30 percent lower by 1995. According to the report, today contract drivers make an estimated $11.91 per hour, compared with $14.71 for employees. Even despite the several dollar difference in pay each hour, real wages for contractors are even lower — closer to $8 an hour.

    "While these figures represent net earnings after truck expenses, they do not include tax burdens, a fact that widens the gap between independents and employees," according to The Big Rig's authors. "Independent contractors must pay the employer's portion of Social Security, Medicare, and similar taxes, as well as their own." Drivers surveyed for their report also worked nearly 60 hours a week. "Average net earnings before FICA, income, and other taxes was $28,783 per year for contractors and $35,000 per year for employees. Minimum wage violations appear to be widespread," they wrote.

    Well, I been around the world, and I've been in the Washington Zoo. And in all my travels, as the facts unravel, I've found this to be true.... ...they don't give a f^ck about anybody else

    by Zwoof on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:03:09 AM PST

  •  Some of the Left believe anti-Union propaganda (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arizonablue, lyvwyr101

    The authentic roots of Left Progressivism is the Labor Union movement.  OWS must respect labor and not  try to over rule it in the name of ideology.

    •  yeah right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lyvwyr101, DSWright

      Most especially reticent Union members/leaders.  

    •  "The way things have always been" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lyvwyr101

      is a direction that is neither leftist nor progressive.

      Unions and Occupy have their basis in the identification of the same problem -- one that becomes more dominant and pointedly apparent in economically troubled times.

      The difference is that Unions are about 150 years old.

      "It's been around longer so it deserves to be paramount " is a pretty piss-poor progressive argument. In fact, the sentiment is not at all progressive, but definitively conservative -- keep things the way they are and eschew what is new.

      ILWU wants to run the show? It's not their show to run alone. Corporate greed and financial recklessness and inhumanity affects everyone, not just longshoremen and truckers.

      Let's say ILWU may have finally got (or are close to getting) EGT to hire ILWU, instead of IUOE which served only as a wedge between labor. Again, corporate dividing and conquering, which they are very good at, particularly with labor and leftist groups. So perhaps they suddenly don't want to piss off EGT as a result. Well, what about IUOE now? What about Teamsters? What about the import (through these very same ports!) of cheap, slave-labor Chinese goods foisted on an economically depressed American people?

      It's not all about ILWU. So tough shit if they don't want to approve. It's not their fight, it's every 99%er's. We'll see if there are any ILWU members at the shutdowns. Wanna bet?

      Terrorists can attack freedom, but only Congress can destroy it.

      by romulusnr on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:58:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Could be the fact that longshoreman actually (0+ / 0-)

    work for a living, and get paid very well for it.  

    •  The occupiers have been understandably confused by (0+ / 0-)

      Every ILWU officer and international staffer reiterates the union’s solidarity with the Occupy movement and its goals. But the December 12 action has annoyed many.

      Cameron Williams, president of Local 19 in Seattle, said, “It’s kind of like if I planned a party at your house and didn’t ask about it.” Local officers say occupiers circumvented the union’s democratic process.

      “The occupiers have been understandably confused by mixed signals from individuals in the ILWU,” said Craig Merrilees, communications director for the international. He believes some members are speaking to occupiers without the backing of the organization’s internal democratic process.

      President Scott Mason of Local 23 in Tacoma, Washington, said he hasn’t “felt much movement either way” from the members.

      “Local 8 officers aren’t in support of it,” said Jeff Smith, president of the Portland longshore local. “If it went to a rank-and-file vote I don’t know what would happen.”

      Rank and filers won’t get a chance to have their say. Local 8’s next membership meeting is December 14.

      Occupiers leafleted the dispatch hall but members say they might have succeeded in convincing more of the Portland rank and file if outreach had started before the action was set.

      Levens expressed support for the Occupy movement’s goal—to confront corporate power—but not its approach in this action.

      “The lack of communication with the members and union officials leaves the Occupy activists and union members without the benefit of sharing our [earlier] Oakland experience with shutting down the port and community pickets,” said Levens, who has been active in Oakland general assemblies.

      Parker said the constraints on unions are too great to expect a better process.

      “Even if Occupy Oakland were the best, most democratic it could be, there is no way that they could consult with elected leaders of the ILWU,” he said. “Unions are faced with a choice of gambling everything [by openly supporting a strike] or of protecting themselves by disclaiming responsibility and honoring lines by using loopholes.”

      It doesn’t help that the institutions assessing liability—right-wing courts—are not on labor’s side.

      Parker says the occupiers may have to look for new ways to hit the 1%.

      “The continued focus on the docks, because it is easy and takes advantage of the solidarity traditions of the dock workers, makes the dock workers themselves the targets and the targets start resenting it,” Parker said. http://labornotes.org/...

  •  I believe this action is ill advised (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vicky, arizonablue, rsmpdx, denise b

    Not because the unions at the ports are against it, but because it really takes the focus away from where it should be. There may indeed be exploitation and injustices at the ports, but that is not what tanked the economy. That distinction belongs to Wall Street and the banking sector at large.

    This movement can not be all things to all people and retain its momentum for very long. All free market enterprise (i.e. capitalism) should not be the target. It's the unfettered capitalism and unbridled greed of the Financial sector that should be the primary and consistent target.

    Branching out to the ports seems to me to simply dilute the entire effort, draining it of it's potency.

    "crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

    by Phil In Denver on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:15:35 AM PST

  •  Union Bosses pledge allegiance to WH (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    romulusnr, lyvwyr101

    and the corporate monsters they "negotiate" with to give workers reduced pay and benefits.

    Doesn't anyone wonder why union after union is agreeing to lower pay?

    No guts. No gonads. No future.

  •  I don't care for the mixed ending in the diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Diebold Hacker, romulusnr, lyvwyr101

    Why is this being criticized as though OWS intends this to be on behalf of dockworkers when its pretty clear they are going after Wall Street ownership?  Therefore, discussing the action in narrow labor terms is very misleading.  A one day shutdown, if they even accomplish that, is very small impact on the workers there who might lose wages.

    So, there seems to be a framing error here.  OWS is going for a show of power by disrupting ports, a pretty smart choice because there are limited numbers of them on the west coast and we are asia trade dependent.  They want to take a shot in particular at Goldman who own sizable interests in the ports.  As far as how all this relates to conditions and wages for workers at the ports you could argue that is longer term or simply that it doesn't even concern them.  So why is all this about the port workers and how their aims are being met?  Are we then somehow agreeing that all this supposed resistance and social movement stuff can never ever even temporarily impede the immediate self interest of any working person or any other person for that matter?

    That's going to be impossible.  Might as well quit now with standards that strict as nothing could ever succeed with those restrictions.  I understand that the workers impacted might be unhappy they happen to work in an area particularly ripe for this kind of action, but quite frankly that's the way it goes.  So, why has quite admirable sympathy and empathy for affected workers turned into concern trolling?  If you are unsympathetic to OWS to begin with you go this routs.  If you are sympathetic to OWS you would frame with the larger issue and goals and realize that you ultimately can't disrupt without disrupting, and that has costs.  And, unfortunately, today workers at the ports bear some of those costs.  And when it comes down to it, they don't get veto rights over a diverse social movement because of those negative impacts.  Such is life.

    I suppose in a similar vein we will be seeing front page diaries urging people to move their money back to big wall street banks to forestall the possible loss of teller jobs at those banks?  No we wont.  Such is life.  

    •  Dividing workers from anti-corporatists (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lyvwyr101

      is precisely how corporations routinely keep the people from standing together against them.

      Divide and conquer is their tactic, and it is because it works so well.

      "These people protesting your shitty pay and conditions are going to cost you money you can't afford."

      Never mind that is directly because they get paid and treated like shit by the people telling them this.

      The reality is, if you don't ever oppose it, it won't ever get better.

      Terrorists can attack freedom, but only Congress can destroy it.

      by romulusnr on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:31:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The arrogance of OWS supporters in (6+ / 0-)

    the comments here is very typical of the vile they spew with anyone who disagrees with them or tries to provide constructive criticism.

    I think it is arrogant to attempt to close the ports without the workers and their union's involvement.

  •  The turnout (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rsmpdx

    ...at the various places shown in the livestream so far looks tiny. In Portland they're showing a conga line in the street of maybe 12 people I suppose Oakland is yet to be heard from.

  •  Sorry no sympathy for the 1% Union leaders... (6+ / 0-)

    they've failed their workers for the past 2, 3 decades. They are as responsible for the failure of the middle class as are politicians and the corporate world.

    "Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave." - Thucydides

    by JasperJohns on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:48:17 AM PST

  •  Open letter from port truckers (9+ / 0-)

    If someone wants to diary this feel free to use it.  I have to get ready to go to the action now.

    An Open Letter from America’s Port Truck Drivers on Occupy the Ports

    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, and Seattle 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. One of us is a mother, the rest of us fathers. Between the four of us we have six children and one more baby on the way. We have a combined 31 years of experience driving cargo from our shores for America’s stores.

    We are inspired that a non-violent democratic movement that insists on basic economic fairness is capturing the hearts and minds of so many working people. Thank you “99 Percenters” for hearing our call for justice. We are humbled and overwhelmed by recent attention. Normally we are invisible.

    Today’s demonstrations will impact us. While we cannot officially speak for every worker who shares our occupation, we can use this opportunity to reveal what it’s like to walk a day in our shoes for the 110,000 of us in America whose job it is to be a port truck driver. It may be tempting for media to ask questions about whether we support a shutdown, but there are no easy answers. Instead, we ask you, are you willing to listen and learn why a one-word response is impossible?

    We love being behind the wheel. We are proud of the work we do to keep America’s economy moving. But we feel humiliated when we receive paychecks that suggest we work part time at a fast-food counter. Especially when we work an average of 60 or more hours a week, away from our families.

    There is so much at stake in our industry. It is one of the nation’s most dangerous occupations. We don’t think truck driving should be a dead-end road in America. It should be a good job with a middle-class paycheck like it used to be decades ago.

    We desperately want to drive clean and safe vehicles. Rigs that do not fill our lungs with deadly toxins, or dirty the air in the communities we haul in.

    Poverty and pollution are like a plague at the ports. Our economic conditions are what led to the environmental crisis.

    You, the public, have paid a severe price along with us.

    Why? Just like Wall Street doesn’t have to abide by rules, our industry isn’t bound to regulation. So the market is run by con artists. The companies we work for call us independent contractors, as if we were our own bosses, but they boss us around. We receive Third World wages and drive sweatshops on wheels. We cannot negotiate our rates. (Usually we are not allowed to even see them.) We are paid by the load, not by the hour. So when we sit in those long lines at the terminals, or if we are stuck in traffic, we become volunteers who basically donate our time to the trucking and shipping companies. That’s the nice way to put it. We have all heard the words “modern-day slaves” at the lunch stops.  

    There are no restrooms for drivers. We keep empty bottles in our cabs. Plastic bags too. We feel like dogs. An Oakland driver was recently banned from the terminal because he was spied relieving himself behind a container. Neither the port, nor the terminal operators or anyone in the industry thinks it is their responsibility to provide humane and hygienic facilities for us. It is absolutely horrible for drivers who are women, who risk infection when they try to hold it until they can find a place to go.

    The companies demand we cut corners to compete. It makes our roads less safe. When we try to blow the whistle about skipped inspections, faulty equipment, or falsified logs, then we are “starved out.” That means we are either fired outright, or more likely, we never get dispatched to haul a load again.

    It may be difficult to comprehend the complex issues and nature of our employment. For us too. When businesses disguise workers like us as contractors, the Department of Labor calls it misclassification. We call it illegal. Those who profit from global trade and goods movement are getting away with it because everyone is doing it. One journalist took the time to talk to us this week and she explains it very well to outsiders. We hope you will read the enclosed article “How Goldman Sachs and Other Companies Exploit Port Truck Drivers.”

    But the short answer to the question: Why are companies like SSA Marine, the Seattle-based global terminal operator that runs one of the West Coast’s major trucking carriers, Shippers’ Transport Express, doing this? Why would mega-rich Maersk, a huge Danish shipping and trucking conglomerate that wants  to drill for more oil with Exxon Mobil in the Gulf Coast conduct business this way too?

    To cheat on taxes, drive down business costs, and deny us the right to belong to a union, that’s why.

    The typical arrangement works like this: Everything comes out of our pockets or is deducted from our paychecks. The truck or lease, fuel, insurance, registration, you name it. Our employers do not have to pay the costs of meeting emissions-compliant regulations; that is our financial burden to bear. Clean trucks cost about four to five times more than what we take home in a year. A few of us haul our company’s trucks for a tiny fraction of what the shippers pay per load instead of an hourly wage. They still call us independent owner-operators and give us a 1099 rather than a W-2.

    We have never recovered from losing our basic rights as employees in America. Every year it literally goes from bad to worse to the unimaginable. We were ground zero for the government’s first major experiment into letting big business call the shots. Since it worked so well for the CEOs in transportation, why not the mortgage and banking industry too?

    Even the few of us who are hired as legitimate employees are routinely denied our legal rights under this system. Just ask our co-workers who haul clothing brands like Guess?, Under Armour, and Ralph Lauren’s Polo. The carrier they work for in Los Angeles is called Toll Group and is headquartered in Australia. At the busiest time of the holiday shopping season, 26 drivers were axed after wearing Teamster T-shirts to work. They were protesting the lack of access to clean, indoor restrooms with running water. The company hired an anti-union consultant to intimidate the drivers. Down Under, the same company bargains with 12,000 of our counterparts in good faith.

    Despite our great hardships, many of us cannot -- or refuse to, as some of the most well-intentioned suggest -- “just quit.” First, we want to work and do not have a safety net. Many of us are tied to one-sided leases. But more importantly, why should we have to leave? Truck driving is what we do, and we do it well.

    We are the skilled, specially-licensed professionals who guarantee that Target, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart are all stocked with just-in-time delivery for consumers. Take a look at all the stuff in your house. The things you see advertised on TV. Chances are a port truck driver brought that special holiday gift to the store you bought it.

    We would rather stick together and transform our industry from within. We deserve to be fairly rewarded and valued. That is why we have united to stage convoys, park our trucks, marched on the boss, and even shut down these ports.

    It’s like our hero Dutch Prior, a Shipper’s/SSA Marine driver, told CBS Early Morning this month: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

    The more underwater we are, the more our restlessness grows. We are being thoughtful about how best to organize ourselves and do what is needed to win dignity, respect, and justice.

    Nowadays greedy corporations are treated as “people” while the politicians they bankroll cast union members who try to improve their workplaces as “thugs.”  

    But we believe in the power and potential behind a truly united 99%. We admire the strength and perseverance of the longshoremen. We are fighting like mad to overcome our exploitation, so please, stick by us long after December 12. Our friends in the Coalition for Clean & Safe Ports created a pledge you can sign to support us here.

    We drivers have a saying, “We may not have a union yet, but no one can stop us from acting like one.”

    The brothers and sisters of the Teamsters have our backs. They help us make our voices heard. But we need your help too so we can achieve the day where we raise our fists and together declare: “No one could stop us from forming a union.”

    Thank you.                                                            In solidarity,

    Leonardo Mejia

    SSA Marine/Shippers Transport Express

    Port of Long Beach, 10-year driver

    Yemane Berhane

    Ports of Seattle & Tacoma

    6-year port driver

    Xiomara Perez

    Toll Group

    Port of Los Angeles, 8-year driver

    Abdul Khan

    Port of Oakland

    7-year port driver

    Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper spray soon to be declared a vegetable.

    by JustJennifer on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:02:10 AM PST

  •  Port of Longview Labor Dispute at Issue? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox, lyvwyr101

    Perhaps this is all more complicated than the "arrogant occupy didn't ask for union permission!" blather being pushed in corporate media and on Daily Kos.

    From Oakland's local PBS affiliate:

    "In Oakland, protesters gathered around 5:30 a.m. at the West Oakland BART station. Our reporter Andrew Stelzer estimated about a thousand who then marched through the streets of west Oakland. He noted a lot of signs supporting longshore workers at the Port of Longview, Washington. The longshoremen are in a dispute with grain exporter EGT, which wants to hire workers outside the ILWU to staff a new terminal."

    http://blogs.kqed.org/...

     

  •  With all due respect unions, get (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    romulusnr, lyvwyr101, Diebold Hacker

    the fuck outta the way.

    If OWS is about real change, then we dont need Dem politicians voicing approval and we dont need union leaders who are more interested in status quo Dem money support.

    The US is flat out strange. We cheer at ME democracy, up to the point when we realise we cant control the outcome and then we get concerned.

    We boo and hiss the tyrants in the ME who oppress and murder their own citizens.

    But when we inconvience coffe shop owners in Manhattan, then, gasp, the Occupy thingy has just gone too far. When the movement doesnt genuflect to union leaders, we are instantly on opposite side of the battle.

    •  "unions, get the f*ck outta the way." ??? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Luschnig

      Oh, that's good.  That'll work.  

      When the movement doesnt genuflect to union leaders, we are instantly on opposite side of the battle.

      Please tell us what "battle" you are talking about...OWS and Unions?  Union Members?  Truck Drivers?  

      Take a deep breath, step away from keyboard...sheesh

      Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

      by EdMass on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 11:02:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Took you advice and stepped away. (0+ / 0-)

        I still feel the same way so dont quit the day job.

        If you read the port story and the dairy, there were divisions bewteen union members and OWS on the port protests. Plus there are many here, yourself included, that apparently are against the port protest. Fair enough.

        OWS need not seek the approval of Dem politicians or union leaders for site locations or topics for protest.

        "Seems like too many people in this country would rather be fucked by business (in many cases repeatedly) than helped by government." BF

        by A Runner on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 10:07:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Do you want a movement (0+ / 0-)

      that has more public support than the Tea Party has, or less? Or do you not care?

      We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

      by denise b on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 06:40:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So this is a popularity contest between baggers (0+ / 0-)

        and OWS?

        And frankly, I read a lot about how effective OWS has been. Thats encouraging because Im not seeing where OWS methods, message etc is resonating with many beyond twatter toobz blogs. Now matter how much I may want things to change, we still need everyday Joe's to take up the message.

        Union and Dem leaders are by and large part of the problem, not the solution. That is unless both decide to change and represent the people instead of institutions.

        "Seems like too many people in this country would rather be fucked by business (in many cases repeatedly) than helped by government." BF

        by A Runner on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 10:03:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Occupy Oakland: THEY DID IT!!! Port is SHUT DOWN. (7+ / 0-)

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Despite all the naysaying, despite all the warnings from the one-percent, despite the ridicule from the mainstream media, despite lukewarm (at best) support from the union leadership, despite even the Daily Kos front page railing against them, despite the cold and the wet, a ragtag bunch of crazies meeting out in the freezing cold for the last three weeks managed to once again demonstrate that

    The Whole World is Watching (Occupy Oakland)

    •  Define "success"? The issue is not that the port (0+ / 0-)

      was or was not shut down. It is what the optics of this looks like to everyone and it is, at best, a muddle.

      While I agree with you, jp, that the coverage on the front page here has not been "fair," it is also not right to let Occupy Oakland off the hook for its undemocratic tactics and principles, which as you know, a large majority of members of OO share (just from the vote on the St Paul Principles alone).

      Erosion of union support for Occupy seems to be the outcome of this action and that is hardly something we want. To claim that this is the result of the mainstream media and not of OO's own issues and internal problems is disingenous.

      It would have been very easy for OO to get the unions involved. The reality is something that neither you (nor the diarist on the front page) seem to want to confront: that OO has been taken over by a group of people who are authoritarian  and support authoritarian principles. The GA in which this action was voted on and announced came after the disaster of the General Strike last time (and before OO ever dealt with that mess). People were paying attention and waiting and waiting and waiting for them to deal with it and they never did. Instead, they passed resolutions like the one authorizing this strike without consulting the unions and refused, over and over again, to denounce the black bloc and the members of the Commune who support those tactics.

      For me, this is not about unions or not unions. It is about the representational structure of Occupy, which is itself inherently reactionary and opposed to what Occupy even is (which is non-representational). Occupy Oakland has alienated a large number of committed people. People who still support Occupy, are part of the 99% and identify with the Occupy movement, but not with Oakland.

      It is simply not true that there is nothing wrong on the ground and that this is a mainstream media myth. There is a lot of trouble on the ground. One does not have to buy into the media memes in order to see this and point to these problems.

      •  I hope I was not too ungenerous. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BeeDeeS

        I believe that Occupy is non-representational and disruptive of everything that we take or assume for granted in politics. That means that these problems I am pointing to are incapable of subsuming Occupy. They may dent it here and there, but Occupy is too big to be stopped by these mistakes and errors and problems (I hope). Moreover, Occupy is NOT a heterogenous group. There are many people who do not agree with the Commune and others at OO. I am trying to give voice to some of them, many of whom have been silenced both at the camps and here on Dkos.

    •  "Watching" is not "supporting" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mindtrain

      "The Whole World is Watching (Occupy Oakland)"

      Maybe, but most of the world probably thinks the protesters are assholes.

      Shutting down a port for a day or two does nothing but cost some working people a day's wages. To the 1 percent, it's a tax write off. This is accomplishing nothing.

      You might want to check out the history of "the whole world is watching." All the 1968 Grant Park protests did was help elect Richard Nixon. Whoop-dee-doo.

  •  laura, you've hit the nail on the head! (5+ / 0-)

    some in this "leaderless" movement think that they know better than those they claim to "represent".

    this is a very bad idea - shutting down the port.  it hurts people who work there, people who are affected by the movement of goods, the entire region.

    the worst part is there is no clear "purpose" for shutting down this port - none, whatsoever.

    again, SOME in the ows movement are turning their grievances over legitimate issues into a "mythical" 1% instead of the real culprits who are damaging this nation.

    IF this movement turned to politically hold the republicans (who put legislation forward to protect the people the ows movement accuses rightly of destroying this nation and the global economy) accountable, then perhaps things could change (through real legislation, regulation, prosecutions).

    but as long as the focus in unfocused and wasted in useless symbolic, misdirected demonstrations, the movement won't move forward and will only alienate those who will move away from that 99% ows claims to represent.

    right now, the ows does NOT represent the 99% - they are a part of the 99%, but this current group in oakland is driving away many who would otherwise support their concerns.  

    [please note i didn't say "support their cause" because i, like many others, still don't know what the hell that amorphous "cause" is - other than to excoriate the 1% who seem to morph with each demonstration: corporatists (of whom not all are bad), police, authority, ports, property owners, etc.  to succeed, a movement needs to be able to show not only why it exists but where it is headed!  ows hasn't done this because of this false claim that it is "leaderless" - but someone sure the hell is directing people to shut down major ports.  now,would someone in ows please explain to the rest of us why this is productive and not DEstructive!]

    Is GlowNZ back yet?

    by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:25:34 AM PST

    •  Right on as usual (0+ / 0-)
      ows hasn't done this because of this false claim that it is "leaderless" - but someone sure the hell is directing people to shut down major ports.  now,would someone in ows please explain to the rest of us why this is productive and not DEstructive!]

      Heh...oh but, but, it's leaderless, organic, consensus is only reached at the GA --- but which one(s)?  

      And more importantly, what did happen with GlowNZ?  I miss her?

      Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

      by EdMass on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 11:10:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  miss her? --> miss her. (0+ / 0-)

        Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

        by EdMass on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 11:12:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  she got caught in the kospurge when she asked (0+ / 0-)

          a question that he took to be "racist".  as a southern woman in my sixties, i found her question to be legitimate - but she made the mistake of using the term "uncle tom" when she asked her question.

          she was not "banned" but given a time out, according to the thread elfing answered, but she came up as banned.  all she had to do was ask to be reinstated.  she is refusing to do that.

          i would like to see kos fix this - i really think he misinterpreted her comment and that's really too bad for the site!

          this is a shame because hers was a great voice around here.  she is on facebook - if you want to follow her, pm me and i'll let her know.  

          Is GlowNZ back yet?

          by edrie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 01:04:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I Figured This Post Would Start A Sh*t Storm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Luschnig

    And it did.

    So I thought I would put in my 2 cents.

    Occupy should be careful and work with Unions when planning needed actions of civil discbedience. Why?  Two reasons:

    1.  There is nothing that will make those one percenters on Wall Street more happy then to see Occupy Protesters at odds with unions.  They will take any crack we give them in a Union/OWS coaltition and use it to divide and conquer.  It allows them to feed into the (false) narrative that Occupy is an ultra-left fringe movement out of step with working class union folk.

    2.  Occupy needs to make sure that when they plan events of civil disobedience, those events don't hurt the 99%.  I fear this Port shut down will hurt the 99% more than the 1%, which I know is not Occupy's intent.

    Bottom Line:  United We (must) Stand!

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:30:22 AM PST

  •  Oops... the talking points are wrong. (0+ / 0-)

    If the 1% aren't job creators, shutting them down wouldn't hurt workers. Wait, it does? Oops.

    Of course, it's more subtle than that. OWS shouldn't try to claim they support the union here or say they're doing this in solidarity. They aren't.

    They seem to be opposed to globalization. While workers may be better off as a whole with less globalization, these workers would surely suffer from a more sustainable economy. That's just the way it goes, and why any effort to effect that sort of change must include a plan for the workers who will be displaced.

  •  "micrological moral myopia" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mindtrain, lyvwyr101

    is a phrase TW Adorno coined, I can't remember where.  That's what popped into my head when I read this diary.  How inconvenient are union strikes to other working people or to consumers?  Has the labor movement alienated the broader population before?  

    Many times.  Continually.  To the point that they have been collectively sidelined and the members of these vaunted unions can't miss a day of work because they make so little money.  Wow, impressive.  

    Now this talk of Johnny-come-lately.  Do you know who is new on the seen?  People who are actually striking.  

    It's very depressing.  

    Excuses, excuses.  How's their next holiday going to be?  

    micrologica,l because they think of individual actions rather than the larger, international struggle against organized robber barons.

    Moral, because people who cower at the thought of resisting the powerful cover their asses by rebuking the courageous rather than lending a hand.

    Myopia, because they think some how things will get better or even remain the same if they do nothing while the economy and climate close in on near simultaneous event horizons.  

    And lastly, I can understand being concerned that individual actions may be misguided or backfire, but to say "disrespectful of workers at best" is true cowardice and treachery.

    •  Protest Smart, or Not at All (0+ / 0-)

      "people who cower at the thought of resisting the powerful cover their asses by rebuking the courageous rather than lending a hand."

      I don't think anyone here, or the unions, are "cowering at the thought of resisting the powerful." Some of us are saying that this particular protest is likely to be counterproductive.

      If you live long enough, you start to notice that badly thought out protests can just turn the public against you, which is not the effect you are going for. If you are  standing up to powerful people, the only leverage you could possibly have against the powerful is widespread public support.  Because that's the only thing they fear; if a critical mass of the public turns against them, they might be forced to change. Otherwise, you are just a nuisance to them.

      On the other hand, when demonstrators come across as hotheads and punks, the public will side with the powerful every time. I've seen this over and over.

      IMO the port protests aren't "courageous" as much as they are self-indulgent and stupid.

      •  Then go make suggestions at a GA (0+ / 0-)

        It is cowardly what you're saying.  You've seen it all before and you are concern trolling people who have already done you favors you can't repay, like confuse the propaganda of the need for deficit reduction.  

        You talk about alienating the broader public, and then you model that alienation in case people don't know how to do it, because a group of committed people have come to a group decision to put themselves in harm's way in an action that you personally think is unsmart.  Now, everywhere you go you will say, in effect, "I know a lot.  I have such and such bonafides.  OWS is not smart.  I know how people feel.". Thanks for nothing.

        I'll model behavior in return.  If you were worried that they were onto something but now they will fail, you might say something like this ---> "I respect OWS and can't thank them enough for what they've already accomplished, but I worry that this action will backfire."

        I've been down to Occupy Albany, but I am not a dedicated, courageous person in a tent who takes actions against a woefully corrupt situation.  My father, who is almost 70, who marched in the Civil Rights marches and later in marches against Vietnam, has gone down and spent the night in a tent.  A distinguished professor, a scholar, and a man who has lived that history.  

        From my less distinguished vantage point, I would say that there are a number of dominoes that are likely to fall, waves of foreclosures, unrest in Europe, a global financial crisis, etc., that will put millions of people already scraping by against the wall, and there will be OWS, a group that is organized, motivated, and democratically run, and there also will be Masa, who cashed his bonafides in on concern trolling the only thing we had going.  in the Sixties, so far as I understand, people had unprecedented wealth AND income equality.  

  •  Disrespect? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ay88, rhetoricus, lyvwyr101

    The union is helping exploitative globalization by handling slave made cheap products. The longshoremen need to respect labor in this country and elsewhere if they want to be respected.

    Reform the Democratic Party. We've been lulled to sleep by false promises of hope from a corporatist cabal for too long.

    by masswaster on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:56:36 AM PST

    •  I do believe that the major unions (0+ / 0-)

      have international outposts and activities in Asia and South America and elsewhere to support workers and their rights.  

      Among many others, Longshoreman's dues goes to furthering that effort.  The workers movement is GLOBAL and always has been.  

      Wake the  f' up please....unless of course you are an anarchist, which would mean none of that matters to you anyway...

      Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

      by EdMass on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 11:21:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Speaking of disrespect. Look in the mirror, pal. (0+ / 0-)

        Perhaps it should be the longshoremen shutting down the port to protest cheap labor.

        Anarchist? Are you kidding? I don't think anyone has been called that since the before the Russian Revolution.

        Reform the Democratic Party. We've been lulled to sleep by false promises of hope from a corporatist cabal for too long.

        by masswaster on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:33:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  We're all helping (0+ / 0-)

      exploitative globalization simply by participating in the society we live in. We work and we shop, so we support it. Let's not start attacking people for making a living.

      We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

      by denise b on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 06:48:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I attacked no one. (0+ / 0-)

        I was referring to the concept of disrespect. There's more than enough of it to go around.

        Reform the Democratic Party. We've been lulled to sleep by false promises of hope from a corporatist cabal for too long.

        by masswaster on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:29:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It is not just ILWU's fight (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rhetoricus, lyvwyr101, Diebold Hacker

    it is the 99%s fight.

    Occupy doesn't want to shut down the ports just for the sake of longshoremen or truckers. That's a distraction, and the amount of black pixel dedicated to that distraction in these comments show just how effective a distraction it is.

    Offshoring of manufacturing. Unloading of cheap, poor-quality goods. Massive and increasing trade deficits. Underpaid workers of all stripes (not just longshoremen or truckers). Skyrocketing energy costs (not helped by long-distance shipping). Manipulation of Americans by the 1% who majority-own such shipping and manufacturing conglomerates.

    That's a whole ton of reasons. There isn't one bigger than the other.

    A lot of people, annoyingly enough, insist that OWS dumb it down, that their issues are too diverse and too complex.

    The fact is that the PROBLEMS are too diverse and too complex. To pick one at the cost of all others would be to ignore the entirety of the problem.

    And frankly, having everything being dumbed down has led to us just becoming dumb -- and ignorant of who is screwing us and how.

    OWS is not screwing the longshoremen, or the truckers, or the factory workers. The 1% is.

    Terrorists can attack freedom, but only Congress can destroy it.

    by romulusnr on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 11:22:31 AM PST

    •  how about the exports? Yes OWSis screwing (0+ / 0-)

      dock workers. some have has a loss of income because of these protests.

      •  They have a loss of income from union pickets, too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rhetoricus, lyvwyr101

        even if they don't personally want them. Do they leave the union then?

        Occupy has supported Labor, but Labor won't support Occupy, because Labor insists on calling all the shots. The problem is, Labor is largely irrelevant in the US today. How many people do you know in your personal life that are actually in a union? Perhaps if you are a longshoreman or trucker and know mostly other longshoremen or truckers, it's pretty high. But if you're the average American, it's probably about 1 in 100.

        But we can all just sit by while Labor fails, again and again, to effectively oppose the greed and gluttony of the 1%, to make concession after concession while CEOs reap bonuses and stockholders reap gains and dividends, to see it's share of unionized workers in their industries dwindle, and, perhaps most importantly, to drive a wedge between unionized and non-unionized workers by focusing only on it's own and not on the general populace.

        Unions only care about their members in their specific trade(s). Occupy cares about every worker in every trade. Occupy's scope circumscribes Labor's, even versus the big guys like AFL-CIO.

        Labor doesn't fight corporate greed generally. It only fights it when labor is involved; mainly when it is their own members. This is a pea-shooter approach to a massive national and international problem.

        If Labor wants Occupy's support, then Labor needs to provide its support to Occupy. Otherwise, they are no better than the greedy corporations -- all take and no give.

        Terrorists can attack freedom, but only Congress can destroy it.

        by romulusnr on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 11:49:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  stupdist OWS protests as it causes loss of income (0+ / 0-)

    The port creates jobs, not only at the port, but for those businesses  that are shipping goods in and out of the port. Besides this is hurting the very people that OWS claims to support, the 1%. OWS is alienating a lot of progressives with some of their the stupid actions.

    The real problem lies with the republicans in DC.
    Do something positive, take some real action and volunteer for Democrats and Obama in CA to help get out the vote in battle ground states, like NV and AZ.

    •  Most union strikes and OWS acts cause income loss (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diebold Hacker

      ..all those workers who couldn't get to their jobs because of marches, workers whose businesses suffered because of the proximity of Occupy camps, etc.

      You're making the 1%'s argument for it. You're making a scab argument, in fact.

      Sometimes strikes, shut-downs and demonstrations are necessary to bring attention to larger problems, as unions generally understand.

      If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

      by rhetoricus on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:16:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •   Port Shutdown Sparks Heated Debate between Unions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    denise b

    Occupy vs. Big Labor
    In the Dec. 12 port shutdown campaign, the rank and file are leading organized labor, not the other way around http://www.salon.com/... West Coast Port Shutdown Sparks Heated Debate between Unions, Occupy http://labornotes.org/...

  •  Union leadership works for the system (0+ / 0-)

    Unions themselves are tools of exploitation now, used as red herrings by the ruling class, and incapable of being effective on their own.

    Personally part of me hopes the Republicans are successful in eradicating them simply so that the existence of unions can't be blamed anymore for how shitty it is. The more scapegoats get taken out, the more clear it is who is at fault for the whole system. Like how in Alabama after chasing out the unions, the regulations, and the illegal immigrants, suddenly it became clear that the owner-exploiters wanted people to work shitty dangerous jobs for low pay and no benefits, and SURPRISE nobody wants to do that, and without workers the owner dies.

    Unions in their present form are roadblocks.

    "I am for Socialism because I am for humanity. We have been cursed with the reign of gold long enough" -Eugene V Debs

    by jabbausaf on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:12:02 PM PST

  •  My question is (0+ / 0-)

    Why are the Ports sudden;y the Nexus of OWS? When was the vote on that being the next phase? Why the Ports instead of the Lexus dealerships, or the Louis Vuitton stores, or private Learjet airports?

    By concentrating on the Ports, are we not doing Wall Street and the pro-1% people a favor? We're creating media narratives of OWS vs the Unions and Workers, we're arguing among ourselves, and we're hardly inconveniencing the 1% which stays as far from the dirty work as possible. What happened to, you know, WALL STREET? The policies which send US money out and bring cheap, foreign goods in need changing, but the thousands of blue collar workers at the ports aren't going to change that.

    According to the TeaBaggers, the wrong side won the Civil War. Kinda says it all.

    by Beomoose on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:15:44 PM PST

    •  OWS is all over the place (0+ / 0-)

      They are loosing my support.  Without a clear message or purpose - i have no idea why they wanted to close the ports. They are starting to come accross as a buch of people who just want to protest.

  •  wow (0+ / 0-)

    what a whole lot of people grossly over-estimating their own opinions about other people's opinions!

    this is the most ridiculously hypberbolic thread I've seen here in a while. everyone drawing HUGE massive conclusions about entire large groups of people based on what 2 or 3 people here are saying.  calm down, folks.

  •  What a sad thread (7+ / 0-)

    Does anyone on it know a damn thing about the ILWU, how it works and its proud history?

    The amount of baseless shit-talking and self-righteous judgment is really pathetic.

    The whole issue was also answered a long time ago: in all likelihood the ILWU wink-wink, nod-nod, approves this action, but cannot officially endorse it for legal and contractual reasons.

    There may be some bureaucratic unions that are part of the problem, but the ILWU isn't one of them.

    This Labor Notes article tells the story better than any.

    "Humanity won't be happy until the last capitalist is hung with the guts of the last bureaucrat." - Paris, 1968

    by turthlover on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:28:58 PM PST

    •  Excellent link turthlover (5+ / 0-)

      showing all the complex interchanges between Unions and OWS. Officially and legally, the unions cannot support the shutdown, actually and on the ground:

      Huge numbers showed up at the gates this morning in Oakland and shut three port gates. Occupiers, who plan to disrupt the afternoon shift as well, reported no animosity from ILWU members and port truckers.

      Strange that there is so much animosity shown to OWS from posters on this democratic blog.

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 02:16:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A diary like this does serve a purpose (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Agathena, BeeDeeS

        It gives certain people a place to go and whine about Occupy, slap each other on the back and share Mojo.

        Its also a stage for certain groups of people who have had to chill since kos had his last crackdown on pie fights between the purists and the pragmatists.

        They dont have to acknowledge that Occupy has transcended political party, dont have to acknowledge that Occupy has changed the conversation from deficit to income inequality and then to foreclosures by banks.

        People need an outlet, as venal as this tirade of a thread is, it serves a purpose.

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 04:20:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Reagan Left is Anti-Organized Labor (0+ / 0-)

    Reagan tore the heart out of America's labor movement with scurrilous propaganda that the leadership was essentially corrupt and anti-worker.  Many who style themselves as Progressives have been steeped in those lies and so ridiculous think they are supporting real American workers by tearing down organized labor.  Working for a living to support a family is very hard under the best conditions and requires compromises that American workers have to do everyday.  People who only have a tenuous ideological understanding of American labor should not try to make workers lives worst.

  •  Remember “Fraternité” (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BeeDeeS

    In the discussion of possible Democratic slogans over the weekend, one of the most popular was the classic French Republican slogan, Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.

    The fraternité part was a reminder that (in effect) all who participate in the progressive movement are brothers and must cooperate and support each other.

  •  Response to this article (0+ / 0-)

    I have written a diary post that is, in many ways, a response to this diary post. It is here:

    Perspective: Unions, OWS, & Blocking the Ports

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