Occupy Oakland seems to be going all out in their attempt to win the title of Douchiest Occupation Ever. They’re supposedly protesting the wealthy and government corruption yet their solution is to disrupt business at ports on the West Coast:
Heady with their successful attempts to block trucks and curb business at busy ports up and down the West Coast, some Occupy Wall Street protesters plan to continue their blockades and keep staging similar protests despite requests to stop because they’re hurting wage earners.
Protesters are most upset by two West Coast companies: port operator SSA Marine and grain exporter EGT. Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc. owns a major stake in SSA Marine and has been a frequent target of protesters.
Demonstrators say they are standing up for workers against the port companies, which have had recent high-profile clashes with union workers. Longshoremen in Longview, for example, have had a longstanding dispute with EGT, which employs workers from a different union to staff its terminal. The longshoremen’s union says the jobs rightfully belong to them.
Emphasis mine. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that Occupy Oakland has been hijacked by unions. One thing I noticed numerous times at Occupy Minneapolis was the attempt by unions to co-opt the movement and turn it from a mostly aimless airing of grievances to another puppet in the machinery of the national unions. Occupy Minneapolis avoided the hijacking attempt, likely because it fizzled our pretty early, but Occupy Oakland appears to have fallen right into the union’s trap.
Many of the antics pulled by the various Occupy movements have been entertaining as they usually involve people screaming, chanting, and otherwise being politically disruptive without actually interfering with private entities. Blocking privately owned ports is not a peaceful protested but a direct violation against the port owner’s right to property. Were I the port owners I’d be demanding the local police force remove these protesters from my property and if they failed to act I would take action to exercise my right to defend my property. There is a vast supply of water at that port and high-pressure hoses are pretty effective means of making the lives of trespassers miserable enough to cause their retreat from the premises.
Unions in this country are not voluntarily cooperations of employees coming together to fight for better working conditions. Instead unions in this country are large national corporations where bigwigs at the top make six figure salaries by stirring up unnecessary trouble between employees at employers. I’m on record on this blog of brining up the fact that these national unions more often than not cause long term problems for the employees they supposedly represent. While they manage to get higher wages, pensions, and other benefits for union employees they are usually far above a sustainable level causing the company to eventually face bankruptcy or fire the union employees (because the unions will almost never accept reducing employee pay). Regardless of the direction taken by the floundering business jobs are lost. This problem heavily contributed to the destruction of auto manufacturing in this country.
The fact of the matter is national unions in this country are big businesses and by being puppets for these unions Occupy Oakland is now a puppet of big business. If you fight something too long you often risk becoming that thing you’re fighting.