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Brothers & Sisters,

    TODAY, AT 5AM, I JOINED hundreds of men and women, trade unionists and students, mothers and fathers in a peaceful picket line and protest at the Oakland docks in front of the American President Lines (APL) and Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) piers.  The protest was vocal and militant with brass bands adding color and music.  Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) honored the lines and their business agent relayed information between the lines and the union ranks.

     At approx. 7:30AM the police on motor cycles and on foot charged the picket lines and began shooting rubber bullets and concussion grenades at the mass of people on the lines in front of the APL piers. At 8:00AM they moved down to the SSA piers (where i was stationed at the time) doing the same thing.  Bullets were fired and two of my close comrades were hit.  A concussion grenade just missed my head.  i was just informed that Jack Heyman, a business agent for ILWU Local 10, was hauled away and arrested.

      Now i've been on plenty of picket lines and this was as peaceful as any i've been on.  This was organized by Direct Action Against the War in an attempt to bring the message to America that the corporations are getting rich as the bombs, soldiers and civilians fall in Iraq.  When such a line is dispersed in the manner it was today you can only assume that Corporate America is ruling the docks and the country for their benefit and look out world.  If they can invade a sovereign nation and try to "shock and awe" it into submission expect the same to occur here when we struggle for our rights.

In Struggle For A Workers' America

Charles M. Minster
Member, Laborers' International
Union of NA, Local 261

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