From an article in the Daily Kos:
EGT bets. Occupy Raises. EGT folds……..
For months EGT, a wholly owned subsidiary of multinational corporation Bunge, Inc, kept ILWU Local 21 members from working the Port of Longview, WA. They had been replaced by other grain elevator operators in violation — as claimed by the ILWU — of a contract EGT had signed with the Port.
On December 12th, the Occupy Movement again demonstrated its ability to mobilize by shutting down the Port of Oakland, affecting other ports on the West Coast, and turning out protesters all over the world. Part of that action was in solidarity with ILWU Local 21.
ILWU workers had engaged in militant protests and pickets over Longview that eventually led to arrests, court injunctions and massive fines against the union. Yet as the grain terminal was about the become operational, the ILWU remained shut out. The first ship to be loaded was due to arrive some time in January.
In mid-December, Occupy Longview, Occupy Portland and Occupy Oakland began organizing “Stop the Loading of the Ship”. This action was aimed at getting thousands of people to Longview, Washington at a moment’s notice when news of the grain ship coming down the Columbia River first hit, in an attempt to prevent the ship from being loaded. Coupled with statements of support and mobilization actions from various local unions, it began to appear that Occupy, operating hand in hand with these other labor groups, might pull off another coup — even if everyone had to wade through snow, slush and tear gas in southern Washington to do so.
When the reality of what was about to hit Longview sunk in, strange things started to happen. The Coast Guard announced that a cutter (right) would escort the ship into port, a use of the US military in a labor dispute that had not happened for decades, even though no one had, or has, at any time, ever, in any way, threatened the ship itself. Governor Gregoire of Washington, who had attempted to intervene previously with no effect, tried to restart negotiations. And this time EGT came to the table willing to negotiate.
About a week and a half ago, as Occupy Oakland was doing practice runs of its convoy to Longview, the ILWU and EGT announced a tentative agreement. On Friday a contract was signed giving the ILWU workers jurisdiction over grain loading operations at the new terminal.
“This is a victory for Occupy in their involvement in forcing negotiations. Make no mistake — the solidarity and organization between the Occupy Movement and the Longshoremen won this contract,” said Jack Mulcahy, ILWU officer with Local 8. “The mobilization of the Occupy Movement across the country, particularly in Oakland, Portland, Seattle, and Longview were a critical element in bringing EGT to the bargaining table and forcing a settlement with ILWU local 21.”
“It is clear that the port shutdowns on November 2nd and December 12th, and the impending mobilization in Longview, is what made EGT come to the table. When Governor Gregoire intervened a year ago nothing was settled — non-ILWU workers were still working in the port. It wasn’t until rank and file and Occupy planned a mass convergence to blockade the ship that EGT suddenly had the impetus to negotiate.” said Clarence Thomas, an officer of ILWU Local 10…
EGT itself made evident the company’s concern about Occupy’s role in the conflict in the January 27 settlement agreement: “The ILWU Entities shall issue a written notice to The Daily News and the general public, including the Occupy Movement, informing them of this settlement and urging them to cease and desist from any actions…”
Author: Lotus Occupied
Editor: OE Communications
This opinion piece was approved by the OE Communications committee by receiving the minimum number of at least 6 votes needed for publication.
Hey you! Yes, you. I want you do do something for me: REVOLT!!
Wake up. Wake up and join the revolution!
Wake up and realize that unless you get mad at the system, you will never be able to break out of this docile little box you’ve been numbed into. Turn off your television–better yet, KILL YOUR T.V. It is the single most hypnotizing tool used by the 1% to keep you ignorant of the current state of our world and the more you allow its images to permeate your brain and consciousness, the further from revolution you will find yourself.
I laugh to myself now because I know that far from the revolution is right where you would like to be–pushing reform, much to the chagrin of the 99%. I get it that you disagree with situations, actions, and disobedience of those around you; I know that you disagree with the current trajectory and actions of Occupy Eugene; I get it that you would like to see an end to the tension between the governments you reside under and your fellow community members but I CANNOT and WILL NOT sit around and listen while members of the community I live in are torn down for their courage and asked to PLACATE the “powers that be” in the interest of “respect and trust”. No. My answer is no.
To those who prefer to “reform” the system instead of feed the “revolution” I offer this:
Tell me how many people were evicted from the camp that had no where else to go, how many lost their homes (tents), how many starved because they did not have regular access to food, how many froze into the cold evenings following Christmas because there was no more shelter for them, how many scurried back to their bushes and bridges alone, and dejected, and REjected, and then tell me that you don’t think we need revolution. Look into the eyes of children who spend their time playing video games instead of spending time with the family at dinner and SEE the dysfunction, look into the eyes of the elderly who are stuck eating cat and dog food because they are too poor to support themselves, look into the eyes of the addicts and alcoholics wandering rootlessly, look into the eyes of the upper-middle class glazed over with consumeristic stares while they buy more CRAP they don’t need, look at the way our men drool over our women, and the way little girls grow up thinking they’re fat while little boys beat them up on the playground, look into the eyes of the zombie in the mirror and ask yourself WHY?! WHY DOES IT ALL FEEL *SO* WRONG?!
I’ll tell you why:
Our food is poisoned and full of chemicals, our water supply is tainted and will soon be owned by huge corporations, some people don’t have enough energy to heat their homes, our marine life is dropping because huge corporations like BP pollute our oceans illegally which are now covered in slick oil, forests are being torn down for their timber and never replaced, wildlife is dwindling while cattle is bred for mass murder, human beings are getting sicker and sicker while pharmaceutical companies invent more and more “miracle pills” with side effects a mile long, health care is a joke and owned by BIG PHARMA who prospers on–you guessed it–illness.
Our corporate governments have been weaving this tight little nest of laws that actually work to suppress your constitutional rights, but before I get there, lets talk money. You wake up one day and find a job so you can go out and support yourself and have a family…you know, house, car, job, wife (husband), 2.5 kids, picket fence, the works. The American dream. So you get the house, wife, and subsequent *stuffs* and raise children who also want to grow up and live the American dream, and then one day you realize that you were born into this giant, disgusting, continually cycling machine that keeps people as slaves to capitalism by encouraging breeding (sexualizing EVERYTHING) and consumerism (selling EVERYTHING). You realize that when you walk into that job you perpetuate the cycle, you must check your morals at the door, forget you make $8 an hour and then help *huge* corporations swindle your fellow human beings out of their HARD EARNED money and hand it lovingly, and with a smile, over to the 1% and their corporations…and then teach your children a good work ethic. It’s revolting in that I-just-threw-up-in-my-mouth kind of way.
The money they get is used to buy influence on legislation–they buy votes, they buy congressmen, they buy anything and everything they can–“they” get bigger and bigger. You realize that your time is valuable–corporations want it. They want you to spend it making money to buy their things, they want you to spend it watching T.V., they want you to fetter it away on meaningless Big Macs and fries, while they addict you (and your children) to cheap food with chemical additives. Yellow #5 anyone? Laws are passed like the Patriot Act and National Defense Authorization Act allowing your fellow Americans to be indefinitely detained without trial or even charges simply because they are “suspected of terrorism”. Terrorism is anything said or done that can be perceived as “against the government”. PIPA and ACTA seek to censor your internet, penalizing you and protect corporations. You see your local Eugene councilman (I won’t mention names here, lol) call a group of silently protesting topless women “TERRORISTS”, and their acts “TERRORISM”, right before you see American cops BEATING peaceful people protesting those same corporations monopolizing your time and the confusion sets in. Protesting is terrorism? or is it a constitutionally protected right called *free speech*? Who do the police work for? How can the government imprison its own citizens–doesn’t it work *for* the people? How can local CIVIL SERVANTS be so blind to wars and real terror and so bent on fear-mongering that they call breasts terrorism thereby marking the breast owners enemies of the state? What if that was your wife, aunt, friend, daughter? What if these elected officials bending to corporate will are your grand-father, father, uncle, friend, or son?
One day, there isn’t enough money for you or for your children and you lose your home which was illegally foreclosed on by Bank of America. After that, you find yourself sleeping on a bench in a park and your children wards of the state. You are now a criminal considering you don’t pay monthly rent nor do you have a physical address. As if that weren’t bad enough, you’ve become “what’s wrong with the world” and you didn’t even know it was coming. It slowly invaded while your children were being sold into the same capitalistic slavery that put you there. It is a system of oppression and control sold to you for three monthly installments of $9.99, expressly delivered to you at the low price of your free will. No thanks necessary, just your loyalty will ensure your “regularly scheduled programming”.
So here you sit while so many of your fellow human beings eat shitty food, watch violent television full of hyper-sexualized images, and view the world from Facebook, happily numbed from the brain down, while real activists are on the streets revolting against the state, being chased by the Bicycle Brigade, and reacquainting themselves with their civil liberties. They realize that this system of slavery with its oppressive laws must be torn down because it *IS* slavery, it is corrupt, and it is *too big* to re-form into something good for humanity. They rage against the machine. They are not afraid because they are too many to fail. Join them.
Occupy. Revolt. Smash Capitalism.