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Shots on the Docks - the April 7 Oakland police riot - see it July 14th & 15th

Monday, July 14 and Tuesday, July 15, Portland Labor for Peace & Justice and portland indymedia present a video about the April 7, 2003 protests and police riot in Oakland, CA with a discussion led by eyewitness Jack Heyman, ILWU Local 10, San Francisco.

Monday, July 14th @ 8pm
Clinton Street Theater

SE 26th & Clinton
Other films to be shown: Kendra James Rally and "Sacramento Rough Cut"
$5 Donation

Tuesday, July 15th @ 7pm
ILWU Local 8 Hall

2435 NW Front Avenue
Other films to be shown: Day X, a film about the day of bombing protests in PDX
$5 Donation

On April 7, in the most brutal attack yet on antiwar demonstrators in the U.S., authorities in Oakland attacked protesters with shotguns firing wooden dowels, rifles shooting "beanbags" full of birdshot, and "stingballs"--a rubber grenade filled with approximately 80 .45 caliber rubber balls surrounding an explosive charge. Hundreds of the wooden bullets and bean bags and dozens of stingball grenades were fired at protesters over a period of more than two hours during an antiwar protest at the Port of Oakland. 500 protesters blocked a gate at the Port of Oakland. The police arrested 31 people and dozens were injured, including six longshoremen who were waiting to go to work. Some of the injuries were severe. A longshoreman required surgery after being hit in the hand. Several protesters were hit in the head and had blood streaming down their faces. Other protesters lifted their shirts to reveal a number of large discolored welts caused by the wooden bullets. Sri Louise was shot in the face by the police as she sat on the ground doing yoga at one of the entrances. At a city council meeting the day after the protest she held up a picture of herself, published in newspapers nationwide, showing a huge purple golfball-sized welt to her jaw and a large crescent shaped bruise on her neck.

"This picture is all over the world," Louise said. "The entire world is watching." We are writing this letter to ask you to join us in protesting the police violence against a peaceful community picketline at the Port of Oakland the morning of April 7 and in demanding a thorough investigation by the Oakland City Council of this police misconduct. As you may have read in the media, or in the postings we sent out yesterday afternoon, the Oakland police used brute force to disperse a crowd of more than 500 antiwar activists who had assembled peacefully in front of two shipping companies -- APL and Stevedore Services of America -- to protest their role in the U.S.-led war on Iraq. This was a case of unprovoked violence on the part of the police. Indeed, the police had assembled in riot gear, even though the protesters -- in all their calls for the action -- had insisted this was to be a peaceful exercise of their First Amendment rights to picket and protest. The protesters had established a moving, legal picketline. There was no attempt by any workers or any truckers to get through the line.

The longshore workers were standing by, waiting for a determination from an arbitrator as to whether it was safe for them to go to work that morning. Such a "health and safety" determination is required under the union contract, as longshore workers in the past have been injured in similar situations. When the police issued their order for the activists to disperse within three minues to clear the entrances to the terminal, the protesters began to disperse -- as they had pledged to do in advance to avoid any confrontation. Activists on the scene report that the police began shooting their para-military projectiles (wooden bullets, concussion grenades, etc. -- many of them fired directly at the body at close range) 30 seconds after issuing this dispersal order. The universal message from the protesters was that they were not given ample time to disperse.

The demonstrators categorically deny the police claim that someone from the crowd had thrown rocks at the police, or that they had refused to disperse. But not only were the protesters on the picketline shot at. Nine members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union were shot by the police, though they were standing by at a safe distance awaiting a determination from the arbitrator. Five ILWU members had to be taken to the hospital, with one member requiring surgery on his thumb. Many were shot in the back. Moreover, when a business agent of ILWU Local 10, Jack Heyman, went to the police to inform them that two ILWU members had been shot and that he was going to instruct all ILWU members to leave the area, he was dragged from his car, thrown onto the pavement, handcuffed and then sent to jail, where he remained for 14 hours. These acts of police misconduct are outrageous and must be condemned as yet another attack on civil liberties and democratic rights. Working people have the right to peaceful assembly and protest, including picketing. We in the OWC call on the labor movement across the United States and internationally to send statements of protest addressed to Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, calling for a full investigation into this police violence on the Oakland docks.

Link to Legal Action - Oakland Police Terrorism 09.Jul.2003 17:07


Following is a link to the National Lawyers' Guild press release re the lawsuit filed against the City of Oakland and various police officers June 26 for acts committed by the police - <a href=" http://nlg.org/news/statements/oakland_pr.htm"> Link </a>

A link to the Complaint in this case is at the bottom of the National Lawyers' Guild press release.

Here's the Link - My Bad... 09.Jul.2003 17:15


I saw this movie 09.Jul.2003 20:26

Film Critic

I saw this movie...and it is pretty darn good. The police go absolutely berserk, and the video does a real good job documenting that. It also does a good job speaking to why workers and union activists should oppose Bush's "war on terrorism". In addition, it's a high-quality production.

I recommend that folks check it out.

"Shots On The Docks" Available From Labor Video Project 12.Jul.2003 21:43

Labor Video Project lvpsf@labornet.org

New Video From
The Labor Video Project

"Shots On The Docks"

The stepped up repression of anti-war demonstrators and trade unionists took a new turn in the US on 4/7/03 when Oakland, California police attacked a peaceful picket on the docks. The Labor Video Project was there, when Oakland police fired over a hundred shots of rubber bullets and wooden projectiles as well as concussion grenades to attack the anti-war protest. This new 28 minute video interviews the workers on the picket line as well as ILWU longshoremen who were standing by and were also targeted by the police and the company.
It goes behind the pictures to expose the reasons that trade unionists joined the line and the reaction of ILWU Local 10 members to the attacks and arrests of their business agent.

To Order the video send $20.00 check or money order to
Labor Video Project
P.O. Box 425584
San Francisco, CA 94142

The Labor Video Project produces "Labor On The Job" the longest running labor cable show in the United States. It has been programmed since 1983. It is also programmed in Sacramento, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Labor Video Project has also produced documentaries on PBS stations around the country.
It is a member of the Union Producers and Programmers Network (UPPNET).

For more information
Labor Video Project
P.O.Box 425584
San Francisco, CA 94142
Phone (415)282-1908
Fax (415)695-1369

P.O.Box 425584, San Francisco, CA 94142

Discust 14.Jul.2003 14:16

d Marion

It sickens me to know that while our Government claims such magnanamous efforts in trying to rid the world of terror that they encourage the terrorist activities of the civil forces that we pay for- to inflict harm towards our own citizenry.

It is no better than the actions that took place in Tienamen Square- violence whether or not leads to death is still violence. The Peaceful demonstrations are representing a segment of the population that doesnt agree with violence should not be attacked by the Government when they do not pose a physical threat. They arent to harm anyone physically and the police whom are supposed to be protecting our rights should be held to the same accord.

The police are to protect and serve the rights of the people, not to impose tactics that keep the people in fear.