supplement (January 2012)  
January 2012

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

Click on image to left for pdf version of complete issue.

Following Dec. 12 West Coast Port Blockade
Longshore Workers, Truckers:
Shut the Ports, Coast to Coast!

Class War on the West Coast Docks

Ports up and down the West Coast were blockaded, from Seattle to San Diego. Despite a barrage of hostile propaganda in the media, opposition from union bureaucrats and heavy police repression in some places, overall the blockade was successful – this time. The blockade was called in solidarity with longshore workers fighting a union-busting assault in Longview, Washington and with port truckers seeking union recognition in the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach. This support should have been greeted. Instead, the union bureaucracy attacked the port blockade, although longshore workers respected the picket lines. But now the class war on the West Coast docks is coming to a head, and it can’t be waged from the outside. Bay Area labor has called for a caravan to Longview. The goal should be a real occupation of the terminal by the workers to prevent the loading of the scab cargo. Longshore militants have called on the longshore unions to shut down every port on the West Coast, and the East and Gulf Coasts, to smash EGT’s union-busting. Can it be done? Yes, but only though sharp struggle against the pro-capitalist labor bureaucracy. Longshore Workers, Truckers: Shut the Ports, Coast to Coast! (28 December 2011)

Militant Class Struggle Like You Haven’t Seen in Years:
ILWUers Defy Federal Injunction, Block Train, “Storm” Scab Terminal
Showdown on West Coast Docks
The Battle of Longview
Since early this year a bitter struggle has been waged in the small West Coast  port of Longview, Washington. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union is fighting a vicious union-busting attack by a new grain shipping conglomerate. The battle got national attention when on September 8, some 800 union supporters “stormed” the new Export Grain Terminal, as the big business press put it. As security guards cowered, thousands of tons of grain were dumped on the tracks and railroad cars disabled. That morning more than 1,000 longshoremen refused to show up for work, shutting down the major ports of the Pacific Northwest. The day before, hundreds of ILWUers blocked a train carrying grain to the scab terminal and held off police. So far there have been more than 200 arrests in Longview. It all harked back to the militant union action that built the labor movement and which has seldom been seen in recent years. It gave a taste of workers’ power that needs to be mobilized in sharp class struggle today. This battle affects the entire maritime industry: to win it, the dock unions must prepare to shut down ports on all three coasts. The key is to build a class-struggle leadership. Showdown on West Coast Docks: The Battle of Longview(4 November 2011)

Hands Off Occupy Oakland!
Mobilize Labor’s Power Against Racist Police Repression!
Workers and Students, Shut the City Down!

In the pre-dawn hours of October 25, police in Oakland, California violently evicted protesters camped out in Oscar Grant Plaza in front of city hall, and from a near-by satellite camp, arresting close to 100 people. That evening, facing an angry protest demonstration of several thousand the cops responded with repeated volleys of tear gas as well as concussion grenades, bean bag canisters and wooden slugs and possibly rubber bullets. The Oakland police are the same force that attacked an antiwar demonstration at the Port of Oakland in April 2003, firing the same sort of potentially lethal munitions and injuring at least six longshoremen. This is also the city where Oscar Grant was murdered by BART police on New Year’s Day 2009. The workers movement in the Bay Area, with the powerful International Longshore and Warehouse Union in the lead, should use its muscle against a threatened attempt to evict Occupy San Francisco and to enable Occupy Oakland to reestablish its camp. An injury to one is an injury to all! Hands Off Occupy Oakland! (26 October 2011)
Oakland Port Shutdown: Workers Refuse to Work the Docks (2 November 2011)
Not a General Strike, But 30,000 Occupied the Port...
And Then the Cops Struck Again
Tens of Thousands March to Defend Occupy Oakland

Following the brutal police raid before dawn on October 25 and the bloody assault on protesters later that day, Occupy Oakland called for a “General Strike” on November 2. Tens of thousands came out and blockaded the port in the evening, but the union bureaucrats refused to call strike action. This robbed the mobilization of much of its power. Soon after the demosntrators went home, an army of 400 police retaliated, attacking the occupation of an empty building. To answer this naked display of police power, it is necessary to show that the working class has far greater power, by striking at the cops’ capitalist masters where it hurts: the source of their profits. In the face of the continuing police threat, workers defense guards together with Occupy Oakland are needed, as well as real strike action to shut the city down in the face of a new attack. No “reforms” will change the character of the police as enforcers of racist bourgeois order. Since police are the backbone of state power, it will take nothing less than a socialist revolution to get rid of cop brutality, which is endemic to capitalist rule.  Tens of Thousands March to Defend Occupy Oakland(9 November 2011)

Redouble the Fight to Free Mumia Now!
Death Sentence Dropped Against Mumia Abu-Jamal
Mobilize Workers’ Power to Smash the Racist Death Penalty!
The Philadelphia district attorney has announced that he is giving up on the decades-long crusade by the state to carry out a death sentence against Mumia Abu-Jamal. But even after three decades in jail, the racist rulers are still dead-set on silencing this courageous defender of the oppressed who became known as the “voice of the voiceless.” Millions around the world have come out in support of Mumia, who has become the symbol of the struggle against the racist death penalty in the U.S. The determined international protest certainly played a key role in saving him from the state executioner. But instead, he is sentenced to life without parole. While the legal lynchers were set back, we cannot proclaim victory until Jamal walks free. Every day that he is in jail, his life is in danger. Rather than looking to the capitalist state with calls for a “new trial” and appeals to the Obama administration, we have called to mobilize the power of the working class to free Mumia Abu-Jamal. The fundamental fact is, there is no justice for the oppressed in the racist, capitalist courts. We must redouble our efforts to free Mumia now!  Death Sentence Dropped Against Mumia Abu-Jamal (8 December 2011)

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