Despite claims by Occupy Oakland, officials say the shutdown of an important west coast port Friday is a routine event, not a way to disrupt commerce.
Noting a history of standing up for downtrodden people, Occupy Oakland praised Local 10 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) for shutting down a major port in Oakland, Calif. to disrupt commerce in an effort to protest recent actions by police against black individuals.
According to reports by the Port of Oakland and the ILWU however the claims appear to be very misleading.
“In has stepped the ILWU,” the Occupy group said on its website. “For a day, they will shut down the flow of commerce in Oakland, clogging up the arteries of the one percent. A symbol that this is not an issue that will wither, but which is growing.”
“With this latest action, ILWU Local 10 is sending their message to the powers that be that the murders of Tamil Rice, Eric Garner, and the hundreds of others since Michael Brown will not longer be tolerated without consequence,” the group added.
ILWU and officials for the Port of Oakland told The Daily Caller News Foundation that the shutdown is part of a routine meeting that takes place every month and is designed not to disrupt commerce. Demonstrators for Local 10 used this already scheduled time for a peaceful rally to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
When the meeting was rescheduled from Thursday to Friday, union officials made sure to notify employers at the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) a month in advance for the express purpose of not disrupting operations. From May of last year to this past February, the ILWU and PMA were involved in a labor dispute which disrupted much the economy. After pressure from the White House, the two sides were able to come to an agreement.
Port officials noted individuals who used the time to protests were peaceful and no problems arose.
“According to published reports, some dockworkers used the time to participate in a demonstration in Oakland,” a press release from the Port of Oakland said. “Scores of demonstrators marched from the Port area this morning to Oakland City Hall. The march was peaceful, Port officials said. No incidents were reported.”
Margaret Mire, a research fellow at the Center for Worker Freedom, who originally reported on the protests, says Occupy Oakland must take responsibility for the misleading information.
“If the information is wrong, it’s their responsibility to take it down,” Mire told TheDCNF.
Occupy Oakland did not respond to a request for comment from TheDCNF.
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