Defend Occupy Oakland With The Muscle Of Organized Labor
|Defend Occupy Oakland With The Muscle Of Organized Labor
Statement Of ILWU Members & Retirees
DEFEND OCCUPY OAKLAND WITH THE MUSCLE OF
Demonstrators in downtown Oakland protesting the bank-driven
economic crisis were brutally attacked by police from 18 Bay
Area agencies on Tuesday Oct. 25. Mayor Quan, who was
supported by ILWU Local 10 in the recent elections, ordered this
bloody assault. Cops used potentially lethal weapons to break
up the occupation of Frank Ogawa (now renamed Oscar Grant)
Plaza just as they did in the port against anti-war protesters
in 2003. That police attack was even criticized by the UN Human
Rights Commission and ended up costing Oakland over $2 million
in civil suits.
Then-Local 10 longshoreman Billy Kepo'o was hit in the hand by
a police tear gas canister causing a bloody mess. Now, Iraqi
war vet, Scott Olsen, was hit in the head with a police
projectile, causing a fracture and putting him in critical
condition in Highland Hospital. This is exactly what killed
one of the strikers in Seattle in the Big Strike of 1934.
That history of police violence against strikers is why our
Local 10 Constitution bans cops from membership in our union.
Last year, Local 10 shutdown all ports to protest the police
killing of young Oscar Grant. This year ILWU has been
supporting Occupy Wall Street. Just last Monday the San
Francisco Labor Council declared the Occupy San Francisco
and Occupy Wall Street “sanctioned union strike lines”
offering the protesters an umbrella of union protection.
ILWU is under attack from PMA employers, not just here in
the port of Oakland but especially in Longview, Washington.
Our jobs and the survival of the ILWU as a fighting union
are at stake. We heard the report of our Longview Local 21
brothers at our union meeting last week and we pledged our
solidarity, just as we did for other unions under attack,
whether in Charleston, South Carolina or Madison, Wisconsin.
At the same time there is an outrage at the bankers and the
capitalist crisis which has caused massive hardship on the
working class. Occupy Oakland protesters have called for a
General Strike on November 2. Whether this actually means
real strike action by workers depends in large part on union
participation. Local 10 has always been in the lead in the
labor movement and all eyes are on us. As a first step, in
defending our union and others against economic and political
repression, we need to mobilize our members to participate in
the rally and occupation November 2 in Oscar Grant Plaza.
Shut it down!
October 28, 2011
Anthony Leviege #9576, Ronnie Armour #9922, Troy Bell #9837,
Tremaine Waters #9202, Richard Washington #9402, Anthony
Manning #9986, Odis Rucker #9811, Robert Grissom #101284,
Jack Heyman #8780 (ret.), Samantha Levens (S.F. IBU),
Robert Irminger (S.F. IBU), Howard Keylor #220447 (ret.),
Clarence Thomas #8718
[View the list]