When Occupy Oakland shut down the port (VIDEO)

Photo by Rebecca Bowe

The grand finale of a day of rallies and marches scheduled for Oakland's Nov. 2 General Strike was a shutdown of the Port of Oakland, in which hordes of protesters accessed the property from different entry points, standing atop train cars and trucks while whooping and chanting. Clusters of groups blocking each gate of the sprawling property featured something different: Brass bands, small assemblies using the "human mic" style of communicating as a crowd, dance parties, and impromptu reunions.

Hours later, things had taken a far more serious turn, as police were amassed near 14th and Broadway and dispersing teargas and reportedly firing rubber bullets in yet another nighttime clash in the streets.

But in the hour or so just before sunset, the march was happily advancing toward the protesters' intended target, causing delays to the 7 p.m. longshoremen shift. Here's a video of scenes from the port shut down, including an interview with a truck driver, Andres, who had several people standing atop his truck and flying signs while we interviewed him.

Video by Rebecca Bowe


First of all no protesters actually entered the port, which is a federal crime and not necessary to shut down activity, so no there were no people on cranes or heavy equipment as you report. We only filled the main street into the port and picketed at each gate. Secondly, the goal was to stop incoming traffic for the evening shift and incoming trucks. The longshoremen decided not to cross the picket lines and went home. Several trucks also turned around and left with the cooperation of demonstrators. All vehicles and personnel leaving the port were allowed out safely. Thirdly, there were thousands more people than reported. New people kept coming in on foot from around five PM up through about 10PM. Most people had left by 10PM. The trucker interviewed supported the demonstration. He and 5 other truckers actually helped shut down the port by blocking all but one lane of the 6 lane street inbound and outbound to the port. Those were the trucks that a few people climbed up on with permission from the truckers. Fourthly, the small group of people who started the violence tried to do so earlier in the evening and were blocked repeatedly by real Occupy Protesters. We believe some of them were government infiltrators trying to ruin the power of our message.

Posted by Guest sharon on Nov. 03, 2011 @ 8:36 am

when someone would try and pull that rabbit out of the hat!

I'm sure you do "believe" that. But there's isn't a shred of evidence that it's true. It's not like riots are that rare in Oakland.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 03, 2011 @ 10:03 am

great video! thanks!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 03, 2011 @ 10:19 am

Someday we will march on that port and take it back for good. Someday that port will bring wealth to all of us, not just 1% of us.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

Meanwhile, I'm not holding my breath,

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

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