The Occupy movement succeeded in shutting down operations at California’s port of Oakland last night following a day of similar protests in other cities as well.
The Oakland-area protests have “disrupted workers trying to get to work and impaired the port’s ability to operate,” said port spokesman Issac Kos-Read. Craig Merrilees, a spokesman for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, said the port told its members not to report for overnight work due to the interference from protesters.
Earlier in the day, the port authority said there were “some delays of truck traffic” but said the port was still operational.
“Today’s disruptions have been costly to port workers and their families in terms of lost wages and shifts,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Omar Benjamin, who suggested the Occupy protesters should instead focus on “real solutions to the problems plaguing our economy.”
He said the protests have cost workers their wages, cost the city some revenue, and could force shipping companies to divert vessels to other ports.
“What has this accomplished?” he asked. “This is disrupting the 99%”
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan agreed, saying the Occupy protesters aren’t thinking about the consequences of their actions.
“They are saying … they have to get the attention of the ruling class. I think the ruling class is probably laughing and people in this city will be crying this Christmas,” Quan said. “It’s really got to stop.”
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