Why Shut Down the West Coast Ports?


After tens of thousands shut down the port of Oakland in solidarity with ILWU Local 21 in Longview, WA on November 2, and then again across the West Coast on December 12, the first ship still approaches the port. The workers and their families have been beaten, pepper sprayed, and arrested by police armed with tear gas, rubber and live ammunitions, in order to protect EGT’s flow of capital. The power of the workers to act collectively to disrupt production on the ports will be seriously compromised by any penetration of the ILWU’s West Coast stronghold. If EGT is successful, other ports may follow and these attacks could spread to other worker organizations. As the ILWU motto states, “An injury to one is an injury to all!” We must show that workers will not tolerate attacks on ourselves, our families, or our communities. We will maintain our collective power and right to organize.