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support occupy the ports

December 13, 2011

I understand why some people are critical of the port shutdowns. For one, it ends up financially hurting front-line workers like longshoremen and truck drivers. That said, the plight of the working class is generally ignored unless something big happens, and drastic actions such as port shutdowns and strikes seem to be the only way to get people’s attention.

Nobody seems to take notice or care, especially the 1%, until the flow of commodities and capital stop, or at least is impeded. One of the few nonviolent tactics the working class has at its disposal is to withhold its labour and/or impede the flow of noncritical goods and services. Yes, it hurts the working class more in the short-term; but it also makes enough noise to really get people’s attention and make them realize that the 99% is serious about addressing pressing socio-economic issues.

Furthermore, purely electoral solutions are limited. The logic of the present system itself seems to produce toxic accumulations of debt, wealth, and power (especially in the sense that money equals social power). That’s why it seems to me that, even when people who profess to have the best interests of the 99% in mind gain political office, the system often forces their hand and they end up being like every other politician, catering to the needs of the 1%, or else the system just runs them over (metaphorically speaking, of course).

So, in the end, I support these kinds of tactics, and I hope to see them spread to more than just ports. The working class needs to unite in this fight. That way, maybe we’ll actually see some real solutions to these problems instead of business as usual in Washington and Wall Street, which, for all intents and purposes, are practically one and the same.

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