Oakland Cops Shoot Protestors And Longshoreman With Wooden Bullets

In an unprovoked attack today, in Oakland, cops attacked a peaceful picket, of anti-war protestors at the Oakland docks. Several people were wounded, including 6 longshoreman, who weren't even participating in the picket. Work was shut down at American President Lines, when an arbitrator ruled that the picket excused longshoreman from working due to "health and safety". APL was targeted as a result of it's transport of military material to the Iraqi war zone. Another picket line was set of nearby at the gate of SSA. As far as I can figure out, the police began their violent attack before an arbitrator could rule. Local 10 Business Agent, Jack Heyman was arrested.

As most of you know the ILWU has a proud history of not crossing picket lines with a police escort. I'm sorry to inform all of you, based on available information this tradition ended today, when ILWU members crossed the line after the brutal police attack. After 6 of their own members were hit with the wooden bullets, and after a local 10 officer was arrested.

I know that we have different opinions on the war, and not everyone in the union agrees with my anti-war position. I respect that. But to go into a job site, after a picket has been dispersed with an over reactive amount of police violence, after 6 of our own members were victims of this cowardly, yes cowardly, police barrage, and after one of our officers was arrested-well, all I have to say to those of you at SSA today....You better have a damn good excuse!

If I sound a little emotional and hot headed, well, I was there. I saw a young woman beside me, who was doing nothing provactative get hit by a wooden bullet. I saw the cops firing concussion rounds for no reason. When they attacked us at the SSA gate they gave a "3 minute warning" to disperse, and 60 seconds later opened fire. I saw a man with a head wound, from one of these projectiles laying on the ground in pain, between two cops, and not receiving any medical attention. I saw a young man, with welts and gashes on his back, from these rounds. Do me a favor everyone. Never, never, use the words, "brave and police" in the same sentence. Those two words are a contradiction in terms. Could I ask another favor? Please don't tell be Democrat wooden bullets aren't as bad as Republican wooden rounds.

Concerning that "great friend of labor" Jerry Brown. Being a veteran I understand the concept of "command responsibility". As Mayor, he is the "commander in chief" of Oakland's armed force. In other words the Oakland PD is his garbage. Allow me if you will, but, fornication upon Jerry Brown, and the jackass he rode in on. To all of you in Local 6, Mayor J. Brown, who spoke at the last Local 6 convention, should be banned from Local 6 property, and any union gathering from now on. If I catch Jerry Brown, in any of Local 6's building, he will be physically ejected.

Ken Morgan, ILWU Local 6 and Labor for Peace and Justice

#file_2#
A protestor, who refused to give her name, bears the wounds after she says was hit by Oakland police weapon during a anti-war protest in Oakland, Calif., Monday, April 7, 2003 outside the port area. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

#file_3#
Berkeley resident Clay Hinson (R), who was shot once in the chest and twice in the back during an anti-war protest, shows his wounds to an Oakland Police sergeant (L) who takes his statement at the West Oakland train station, April 7, 2003. Oakland police fired rubber bullets and wooden pellets on Monday to disperse hundreds of anti-war protesters in what was believed to be their first such use against U.S. protesters since the American-led war on Iraq began. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

#file_4#
An Oakland Police officer fires a shotgun towards a group of anti-war protesters near the Port of Oakland, April 7, 2003. Oakland police fired rubber bullets and wooden pellets on Monday to disperse hundreds of anti-war protesters in what was believed to be the first such use against U.S. protesters since the American-led war on Iraq began. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne