Showdown at the Docks

On Monday, occupiers set out to shut down ports across the West Coast.  Targets included SSA, which is largely owned by Goldman Sachs, and the Port of Longview, which multinational EGT is trying to operate as the West Coast’s only port without members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).  The actions, which shut down operations at Longview, Oakland, and Portland, were opposed by ILWU leadership.  They led to intense debate among and between occupiers and unionists over tactics—who the blockades hurt, whether they’re worth the legal risks—and democracy, namely, how democratic the ILWU and the Occupy movement each are, and whether workers should have a veto over actions where they work.

This week saw the continuation of two hunger strikes, one by occupiers in New York demanding an occupation space, and another by occupiers in DC demanding full congressional representation for the district.  Activists continued taking foreclosed homes, including a “Home for the Holidays” home occupation kicked off Friday by Occupy Boston and City Life.  Occupy delegations from multiple cities converged yesterday in Fort Meade, Maryland, where PFC Bradley Manning faces pre-trial hearings over alleged leaking to WikiLeaks.  Saturday at noon, Wall Street occupiers marked their three-month anniversary with “an all-day performance event”—and some plan to begin a new occupation.

The five most important OWS pieces this week:

Union members divided over shutting down ports.

Teresa Puente says there’s more Occupy needs to do to engage immigrants.

An OWS activist warns that the post-Zuccotti movement is fracturing.

Barbara and John Ehrenreich on how “the 1%” replaced “the liberal elite.”

If Occupy’s radicalism breeds reform, it won’t be the first time.

Here's the photo of the week:

Aaron Bady

Activists at the Port of Oakland Monday.