Thanks to planetwaves.com.
Occupy Update and a new hat in the presidential ring (circus?)
December 13, 2011
by Amanda Painter
The Occupy Wall Street movement moved from the streets to the docks on Monday with a series of actions along the West Coast, including San Diego, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, Portland, Tacoma, Longview, Seattle, Bellingham, Anchorage and Vancouver. Many actions led to confrontations with police, resulting in scores of arrests, and in some cases, the use of pepper spray and flash grenades on demonstrators. Several ports were forced to temporarily cease operations, with terminals in Portland and Seattle completely shut down. In Oakland, an evening march to the port was led by Scott Olsen, the Marine Corps veteran struck in the head in October allegedly by a police projectile.
You can find more of the story here, including an interview with Anthony Leviege, a dockworker at the Oakland port and member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. He makes an important point that often gets lost in the shuffle: When workers side against a movement that is on their side because taking action with the movement would mean missing a day’s pay they cannot afford to lose, that points compellingly to the very reason why action needs to be taken.
That kind of economic discrepancy and desperation are why involvement and unity matter. And at this page, you can read An Open Letter from America’s Truck Drivers on Occupy the Ports, signed by five long-haul truckers selected by committees at their home ports on both coasts. They speak to the economic conditions they share with the Occupiers, their admiration of the movement, their love of their jobs — despite some of the hardships and conditions, and their desire to change their industry from within. They write, in part, “But we believe in the power and potential behind a truly united 99%. We admire the strength and perseverance of the longshoremen. We are fighting like mad to overcome our exploitation, so please, stick by us long after December 12.”
At the other end of the political process, a new political party has entered the fray as an alternative to Democrats and Republicans ahead of the 2012 elections. On Monday, former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson announced he will run for president with the newly formed Justice Party. Although hailing from a solidly red state, Anderson has been known as one of the most progressive mayors of any major U.S. city in recent years. During his two mayoral terms from 2000 to 2008, Anderson was an outspoken champion of LGBT rights, environmental sustainability, and the antiwar movement in opposition to the Iraq War.
There is more from Anderson here, including his take on Mitt Romney’s flip-flopping on global warming and Roe v. Wade. Anyone feel inspired to check out the astrology of his announcement? Does the Mercury storm indicate a compromised start to this campaign, or are there stronger factors in the charts that may help Anderson along? Let us know if you can dig up a time for his announcement, thanks!