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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

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US protesters partially close West Coast ports

US: US "occupy" protesters claimed victory yesterday in blockading ports along the West Coast and shutting down a major trade cargo hub in a new front on the anti-capitalist campaign.

At least one port was fully closed down, while freight traffic was disrupted at several others including in Oakland, where thousands of demonstrators rallied after a day of action from California to Alaska.

Seventy-five percent of longshoresmen -- 150 out of 200 -- were sent home due to companies shutting docks due to safety concerns in Oakland, said a International Longshore and Warehouse Union spokesman.

"We've been mistreated by the government for too long," said lifetime Oakland resident Paula Brown, who was on her way home when demonstrators gave her a sign and convinced her to come to the port. "I agree with what the Occupy movement is doing," she added at the massive port near San Francisco where cargo operations were shut down overnight at one point last month.

The Port of Oakland said in an end-of-day update that there had been disruptions and delays at "several" of the Port's seven terminals during the day, and a few chose to close early to avoid further disruption.

"No terminal activity (is) scheduled for tonight," it said, while insisting that this was typical for overnight, but adding that workers were not asked to come in for three vessels berthing in the evening "due to protest activity." AFP

 

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