Three years after going bankrupt, Iceland has defied predictions by getting its finances back under control. But mountains of private debt have left thousands hopeless and skeptical of any salvation that could come from joining the European Union and adopting the euro.
Archive for December 11th, 2011
Today workers, occupiers, vets, and organizers spoke out about shutting down Wall Street on the Waterfront. Watch the videos below, and check out the accompanying press release.
Occupy Portland ready for historic
West Coast Port Shutdown
Community picket targets Wall Street on the waterfront
PORTLAND, Ore. – Today, rank and file union members, non-union workers, the unemployed, the retired, veterans, and other representatives of the 99% spoke downtown in a press conference to explain how marching on,”Wall Street on the Waterfront” is the Occupy movement’s latest progression.
On Monday, December 12th Occupy Portland will gather at 6am and 4pm at Kelley Point Park to rally and march on the terminals of the Port of Portland, with the 6am being the priority gathering time. The community picket will include traditional picket signs, but also banners, drums, food, warm beverages, and cultural activities.
Occupy has evolved beyond encampments and is now targeting financial institutions, fighting evictions, reclaiming public space, fighting for free speech rights, and now the ports. These actions offer not only an explanation of who is to blame for the global crisis, but also begin to show how people can begin to democratically craft solutions.
“We are here to say, Enough! We will not stand for corporate profits at the expense of working people, we will not stand for attacks on workers, and we will not allow our schools to be closed, social services slashed, and families to be impoverished by your greed!” says Jordan McIntyre, rank-and-file painter and organizer with Shut Down the Ports, “The 99% will stand together to shut down the ports. Trade unions & port workers have a long history of respecting community pickets, and we anticipate that Dec 12 will be no different.”
Two examples of Wall Street on the Waterfront are Goldman Sachs and EGT. Goldman Sachs, a well know Wall Street financier, is the majority shareholder of Stevedore Services of America (SSA), which has docks in Portland. SSA is responsible for inhumane working conditions and gross exploitation of port truckers. EGT, a multinational grain corporation, is refusing to honor the Longshore worker union contract in Longview, WA.
“Occupy is a tremendous tool for organizing the working class; it represents the 89% of the non-union workforce as well as the un- and underemployed, students, houseless, and rank-and-file trade unionists, too,” says Kari Koch, organizer with Shut Down the Ports working group of Occupy Portland. “Occupy is in solidarity with trade unionists under attack, but our power and possibility lies in that we are not shackled by party politics or by the restraints of laws like Taft-Hartley.”
While the community pickets of the ports are organized by the Shut Down the Ports working group of Occupy Portland, rank-and-file unionists have been actively involved in the organizing as well.
The Portland action is part of a West Coast Port shut down movement that is historic in scope. Since the call to action 2 weeks ago, over a dozen occupations across the Western and Southern United States have signed on to Shut Down the ports, including Oakland, Long Beach, San Francisco, Astoria, Seattle, Vancouver BC, Anchorage, and Longview, beyond the West Coast, Houston, TX, Denver, and the Doro-Chiba railway workers in Japan will participate.
This action was approved by Occupy Portland at the General Assembly on November 26.