"I'm for whatever gets results." – Malcolm X
We started on a Saturday night, only a handful of us, talking back and forth on email, and it went on well into the dark hours of Sunday morning. Type email address, copy, paste, send; type email address, copy, paste, send; again and again, until my fingers were sore.
I was one of a handful who were mass emailing the press release. We were in Oakland, but there were people from up and down the West Coast involved in the planning of the action that we expected to be coming soon. We were sending out a statement announcing the mobilization of the Occupy Wall Street groups from a number of west coast cities to support International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 21 in Longview, Washington, in its fight against the grain exporter EGT. There had been months of planning and discussion, often quite heated, leading up to the anticipated action.
The press release announced our coming to meet the first grain ship that was to be loaded, and with ILWU Local 21 and other organized labor groups, we were going to try to stop it.
The next day Governor Chris Gregoire of Washington ordered EGT to the table and the ILWU took down its picket lines. While we claimed to still be in a ready state, most knew it was over. In a week or so, word came that a contract had been signed in some strange circumstances and that the contract included some really bad things that might be precedents in future ILWU contracts. There were lots of opinions among people who followed the event but of course most of Main Street America didn’t even know the whole thing had happened.
While I had played only a small and peripheral role in the whole thing, it had dominated my thoughts for weeks and I wanted to know what the port workers themselves thought and what had actually happened there. So when I had some time off in early May, I went up to see what I could find out.
Read more here.