Topic: Occupy the Port
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December 12, 2011 at 1:48 PM
UPDATE: 8 p.m.: Seattle police say 11 protesters were arrested at the Port’s Terminal 18. Earlier reports had but the number at more than a dozen.
Police said some protesters hurled items at officers, and one was struck in the face with a bag of paint.
Evening shift workers at Terminals 5 and 18 didn’t come in, though the Port sent out a news release saying there was minimal impact to cargo movement.
“We’re claiming victory because we shut it down,” said protester Chris Eaton.
The protest is continuing at Terminal 5.
UPDATE 5 p.m.: More than a dozen protesters have been arrested on Harbor Island, as a clash with police included the use of pepper spray and at least one flare thrown toward officers on horseback.
By 5 p.m., many protesters had moved toward Terminal 5 for a 6 p.m.rally, but some stayed behind at Terminal 18 and were clashing with police.
At least two concussion grenades also were used.
UPDATE 4:15 p.m.: Traffic is now moving off Harbor Island, where protesters and bicycle police earlier bottled up departing traffic.
“You guys should have been here in the morning,” a trucker told one of the young Occupy demonstrators who were acting as road flaggers where two lanes merge. Police and maybe 200 demonstrators were in the area. Most Port commerce was done by the time Occupy arrived here, so there was relatively little effect on trade, except to show solidarity with protests elsewhere morning demonstrations happened.
Earlier, a trucker who identified himself as Jeffrey Wheeler was stuck in a line. “I can barely make a living doing what I’m doing at $29,000.”
Truckers are now honking in apparent support of the aims of the demonstration despite being delayed, but some other car and pickup drivers earlier in Sodo yelled insults.
UPDATE 4 p.m.: A group of protesters, many with faces covered, are standing on or near barricades on Harbor Island. A few shouted “p.i.g.” In the looming standoff with police.
About 40 bicycle officers are facing them, as another part of the protest continues at a Terminal 18 gate.
UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: Police have arrested at least three people on Spokane Street near Terminal 18.
Officers holding their bicycles in front of them advanced on the crowd in the street, trying to force them off the street so they weren’t blocking traffic. Traffic started slowly moving again about 3:45 p.m.
Some protesters still are blocking the gate into the terminal, while others rally nearby.
Todd Shipyard employees Rene Velasco and Lukic Jelenko were at a dead stop in their cars stuck outside the picket line. “We’re sympathetic. We understand,” said Velasco. “But we have to work. We have families.”
UPDATE 3 p.m.: About 500 protesters are rallying near the Terminal 18 south gate at the Port of Seattle, in support of a coastal “Occupy the Ports” event that temporarily slowed or stopped truck traffic in several cities.
“Word has gone out among drivers to stay home, nothing is moving,” said Paul Marvy, a researcher affiliated with a campaign to organize or regulated port trucking.
Demonstrators at 3:30 p.m. were blocking lower Spokane Street, and traffic was stopped in both directions. Many truckers have honked in support of the march.
Police gave a warning that protesters’ actions were illegal as they blocked streets, which also are filled with Seahawks fans trying to make it to the stadium for tonight’s Monday Night Football game.
ORIGINAL STORY: About 300 Occupy Seattle supporters left Westlake Park about 1:30 p.m. marching south, and will eventually gather at one or more Port of Seattle terminals as part of “Occupy the Port” rallies up and down the West Coast.
Port rallies are expected at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Seattle police have officers at all Port entrances. At Terminal 18, where protesters activities could disrupt business, police began gathering and setting up steel barricades shortly after 2 pm.
One officer said they hope the protest is peaceful, but if people are determined to break the law to be arrested, “We’ll do our best to accommodate them.”
Linda Averill, a Metro bus driver and transit union member, spoke at length against news reports that portray splits among labor unions about support for today’s protest. She called for an organizing effort that included the working class, and pointed that today’s rally is to support longshore workers and port truck drivers.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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