OAKLAND, CA: Antiwar protesters marched into the Port of Oakland on Saturday, May 19 and picketed a war profiteer, SSA (Stevedoring Services of America). “The war is for profit–Longshore workers can stop it,” we read our signs and banners. We asked the longshoremen to honor our picket line, and they did. One ship sat unloaded at the dock, and two more ships waited in the harbor. Cargo did NOT move that day.
Themes and issues of the action were: Stop the shipping of war materiel. Bring the troops home now, and give them the healthcare they need. Port money for schools and social services.
It was at this very same SSA Terminal that protesters and longshoremen were attacked by police four years ago, on April 7, 2003, when 59 people were injured. Fortunately, this time all went well, and the war profiteer was successfully shut down for two shifts.
This does not happen often–not every year, not every decade.
Possibly not even during the war in Vietnam. It was more than just another major news story; it was an historical event. Several TV and radio stations reported it, but the print media somehow missed it.
Daniel BorgstrÃ¶m is an ex-Marine against the War. He lives in Oakland, CA and was a member of the community picket line on Saturday, May 19, 2007