Yesterday the city of Oakland was on fire as Occupy Oakland and other organizations went in on banks foreclosing on homes…It was a day of activity which including shutting down a foreclosed Housing auction at the Alameda County Courthouse and reclaiming a couple of houses the banks had foreclosed on and moving families back in..The day was pretty successful..
We caught up Boots Riley of the Coup to talk about the days activities and get updated about what we should expect on December 12th during the day of action when all West Coast Ports are to be shut down….In our intv Boots pointed out how one of the families in West Oakland had lived in their home for over 15 years.. The mother lost her job and fell two months behind on her mortage and instead of working with her the bank came in like gang busters to foreclose on the property.
With respect to the D12 Shut down.. Boots noted that momentum has been picking up and that Vancouver will be shutting down their port and that there will be an action in Houston, Tx to shut down their ports..
In this interview, Boots gives all the details as to why shutting down the ports are important.. He points out how Goldman Sach’s is a main target for these port shut downs and how they are deeply connected to the activities that occur there on the daily. He also noted the plight of many of the truckers who are paid below market wages and are denied to unionize and get health insurance..
Obviously the threat of a West Coast port shut down has caused enough concern that management at the Oakland Port paid over 10k for a full page ad asking the public not to support the strike. In the words of Chuck D of Public Enemy-Don’t Believe the Hype..
We included a a short snippet of an interview with some prominent union leaders about the D12 strike..
As pressure builds for the Dec. 12 West Coast port shutdown, the capitalist owners and their media began a battle of ideas to blunt this powerful threat to their profits and control — even for a day.
Two International Longshore and Warehouse Union members — Clarence Thomas, who is a third-generation longshoreman in Oakland, and Leo Robinson, who is now retired — spoke with Workers World reporter Cheryl LaBash. Both men have held elected office in ILWU Local 10 and have been key labor activists during their years of work in the ports.
WW: The Nov. 21 ILWU Longshore Coast Committee memorandum states, “Any public demonstration is not a ‘picketline’ under the PCL&CA [Pacific Coast Longshore & Clerk’s Agreement]. … Remember, public demonstrations are public demonstrations, not ‘picketlines.’ Only labor unions picket as referenced in the contract.” What is your reaction?
Clarence Thomas: A picket line is a public demonstration — whether called by organized labor or not. It is legitimate. There are established protocols in these situations. To suggest to longshoremen that they shouldn’t follow them demands clarification. It is one thing to state for the record that the union is not involved, but another thing to erase the historical memory of ILWU’s traditions and practices included in the Ten Guiding Principles of the ILWU adopted at the 1953 biennieal convention in San Francisco.
Leo Robinson: The international has taken the position somehow that the contract is more important than not only defending our interest in terms of this EGT [grain terminal jurisdictional dispute] but having a connection to the Occupy [Wall Street] movement in that when you go through the Ten Guiding Principles of the ILWU, we’re talk about labor unity. Does that include the teachers? Does that include state, county and municipal workers? Those questions need to be analyzed as to who supports whom. The Occupy movement is not separate and apart from the labor movement.
CT: Labor is now officially part of the Occupy movement. That has happened. The recent [New York Times] article done by Steven Greenhouse on Nov. 9 is called ‘Standing arm in arm.”
The Teamsters have been supported by the OWS against Sotheby’s auction house. OWS has been supportive of Communication Workers in its struggle with Verizon. Mary Kay Henry, International President of the Service Employees, has called for expanding the Occupy movement by taking workers to Washington, D.C., to occupy Washington particularly Congress and congressional hearings demanding 15 million jobs by Jan. 1.
LR: There was the occupation in Madison, Wis. That was labor-led. People are trying to confuse the issue by saying we are somehow separated from the Occupy movement. More than anything else the Occupy movement is a direct challenge or raises the question of the the rights of capital as opposed to the rights of the worker. I don’t understand that the contract supersedes the just demands of the labor movement. It says so right here in the 10 guiding principles of the ILWU.
Article 4 is very clear. Very clear. “‘To help any worker in distress’ must be a daily guide in the life of every trade union and its individual members.” Labor solidarity means just that. Unions have to accept the fact that solidarity of labor stands above all else, including even the so-called sanctity of the contract. We cannot adopt for ourselves the policies of union leaders who insist that because they have a contract, their members are compelled to perform work, even behind a picket line. It says picket line. It doesn’t say union picket line. It says picket line.
Folks can get more information and see the rest of the interview by going to http://westcoastportshutdown.org/
We wanted to include another interview we did last night.. This is with a sister from Egypt named Al-Shimaa’ Haidar who has been involved with the revolution at Tahir Square.. She talks to us about whats going on in Egypt and how it connects with the Occupy Movement here.. check this out below..(please forgive the mispelling in the video)