Protesters marched on ports in Oakland and Long Beach in California this morning as part of a planned effort to shut down ports along the West Coast as part of the Occupy movement.
According to CNN, at least one protester in Long Beach was taken into custody during a confrontation as police tried to push back protesters chanting, “Whose port? Our port!” Demonstrators in Long Beach and Oakland claimed on Twitter to have effectively shut the ports down, CNN reported.
Protesters at the scene said they planned to hold the port for 24 hours or longer if police respond violently to their blockade, according to video broadcast live on the Internet by protesters.
“We are occupying the ports as part of a day of action, boycott and march for full legalization and good jobs for all to draw attention to and protest the criminal system of concentrated wealth that depends on local and global exploitation of working people, and the denial of workers’ rights to organize for decent pay, working conditions and benefits, in disregard for the environment and the health and safety of surrounding communities,” organizers said on their website.
In addition to Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Diego, protesters planned to shut down ports in Portland, Oregon; Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, Vancouver, British Columbia and Anchorage, Alaska, according to the Occupy the Ports website. Protesters are also planning to demonstrate at the port in Houston, while Salt Lake City demonstrators are also organizing to disrupt operations of a Walmart distribution facility.
The demonstrations are part of a nationwide day of protest called in the aftermath of efforts by cities across the country, including New York, Boston and Oakland, to clear demonstrators from encampments they had set up in public parks and other locations.