In all my years of marches and demonstrations, I had never been on a picket line at 3 a.m. Yet here I was on this oh-so-early Tuesday morning, out on a quiet street on Oakland’s waterfront alongside hundreds of my fellow Occupy activists. All of us were cold, tired — and cheering louder than ever. Why the noise? We had just received word that the port authority had cancelled yet another work shift, and the docks would be closed till morning.
“We did it!” a young woman behind me shouted.
And indeed we had — not just here in the Bay Area, but up and down the West Coast, the Occupy movement claimed victory in undoubtedly its boldest action so far.
From San Diego, CA, to Anchorage, AK, and over a dozen cities in between, the Occupy movement staged a coordinated day of action on Monday, December 12, aimed at disrupting the coast’s various ports, dubbed by activists “Wall Street on the Waterfront.” Occupy Oakland had already shut down the Port of Oakland once as part of its general strike of 40,000 people on November 2, and put out the call to action for this protest to our sister Occupy cities. We had done it before locally, but this time, with the national focus and possibility for heightened repression, the stakes were even higher.