Occupy protests targeting ports in California spread up through the Pacific Northwest on Monday, shutting down two main shipping terminals at the Port of Portland before leading to a boisterous march on the Port of Seattle.
Portland’s main container terminal, the largest and busiest shipping facility at the port, closed early in the day as about 200 protesters marched in at dawn, setting up a tent and portable toilets.
Demonstrators also shut down nearby Terminal 5, which handles grain and potash shipments. “We’re going to see some lost hours, lost shifts — people won’t be able to work today because of this,” Josh Thomas, spokesman for the port, told The Times.
Demonstrators linked to the Occupy Wall Street movement set up pickets from San Diego to Anchorage on Monday as part of a coordinated move to shut down ports across the West Coast. In Portland, they carried signs and shouted slogans near trucks waiting to enter the terminals, effectively blocking operations as many port workers refused to cross their lines.
“Sorry for any inconvenience while we fix our democracy,” said a sign waved in front of one blocked truck. …
In Portland, port administrators said they were fielding growing expressions of frustration over the shutdown, which affected at least five ships and hundreds of trucks poised to load or offload goods at the port.
“The lost wages, that’s a real concern for a lot of people, and we’ve also heard from some customers today who are really fed up and upset about why they’ve not been able to get service today, or why things are being delayed as a result of the protests, and we share in that frustration,” Thomas said.