Occupy Organizes, Targets Ports

The action is part of a wider protest across the West Coast aimed at creating a blockade at key U.S. ports from Anchorage to San Diego

By R. Stickney and Kelly McPherson
|  Monday, Dec 12, 2011  |  Updated 10:09 PM PDT
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Protesters with the Occupy San Diego movement gathered at Chicano Park early Monday, planning to shut down the Port of San Diego. The action is part of a wider protest across the West Coast aimed at creating a blockade at key ports from Anchorage to San Diego. Kelly McPherson reports.

Protesters with the Occupy San Diego movement gathered at Chicano Park early Monday, planning to shut down the Port of San Diego. The action is part of a wider protest across the West Coast aimed at creating a blockade at key ports from Anchorage to San Diego. Kelly McPherson reports.

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Four protesters with the Occupy San Diego movement were arrested early Monday while the group tried to disrupt business at the Port of San Diego.

The action is part of a wider protest across the West Coast aimed at creating a blockade at key U.S. ports from Anchorage to San Diego.

Protesters organized at Chicano Park around 6 a.m. Monday to walked to Cesar Chavez Park near the Port of San Diego to try and keep workers from arriving to their jobs.

As of 10:30 a.m., four people have been arrested and the situation was getting more heated as tractor trailers were making their way into the port.

Two were arrested for remaining at an unlawful assembly, one person was arrested for obstructing and officer or refusing a lawful order and another was arrested for an unspecified traffic violation, according to SDPD.

Port of San Diego spokesperson Ron Powell said most of the workers had already arrived for the day so the protest had little impact.

“We honor the First Amendment, we’re all in favor of that. We just don’t want them to get in harm’s way for themselves or our workers,” Powell said.

There are two entrances to the port and administrators are trying to work with the Occupy group to keep at least one open at all times so business can continue as usual.

Several hundred people began picketing at the Port of Oakland before dawn and blocked some trucks from going inside.

As many as 400 demonstrators gathered in a park and planned to march on the Port of Long Beach. Occupy protesters say they plan to head to a dock facility owned by SSA Marine, a shipping company that's partially owned by Goldman Sachs.

The local Occupy movement began Oct. 13 with a march through downtown. They set up a tent city in Civic Center Plaza for several weeks before police moved in and removed the tents citing violations of city codes and state laws.

In early November, rain and cold weather caused as many as 75 percent of the protesters to leave the effort. Occupy SD tried to reinvigorate their base by holding a funeral for banks.

Protesters once again attempted to bring tents and other items to the Civic Center Plaza so on Nov. 16, police and deputies moved in an arrested ten people during an overnight raid. 

The port protest is Occupy San Diego's most dramatic gesture since the November police raid.

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