On May Day, Port Workers Say Black Lives Matter
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 in Oakland organized a work stoppage to protest police brutality
PROTESTER: Brothers and sisters in Baltimore, the ILWU Local 10 in Oakland, San Francisco Bay Area got your back. We marching for y’all today. So don’t think you’re alone. We all in this together. One love.
ROGER HILL, REPORTER, TRNN: May 1st, 2015, May Day. Port of Oakland, California. Members of the International Longshore Workers’ Union, Local Chapter 10, organized a work stoppage among their members in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests in Baltimore.
PROTESTER: The Baltimore policemen have been charged. We’re here because we’re tired of it. Labor has a role to play in social justice.
SABRINA GILES, ILWU LOCAL 10: This isn’t a strike for the ILWU. This is a stopped work day. We acknowledge May Day, and along with it we implemented the Black Lives Matter.
PROTESTER: We are not here to destroy property. We are not here to commit acts of violence against anyone. We are not here to pick fights with the police. We’re not here for no other reason but to affirm the humanity of black people, brown people, oppressed people throughout the gutters of America, and indeed the world. The fact that we have withheld our labor from a system that refuses to give justice is big enough. All we need is unity and a will to overcome.
HILL: The ILWU, the International Longshore Workers’ Union, has a long history of labor and social justice organizing, beginning in the early 1930s.
PAUL, ILWU LOCAL 10: When it comes to strikes and solidarity, we come in numbers. And we fight together as a union. We can go way back to 1934, police brutality. When we had a strike, in 1934. And how two longshores was assassinated and killed by police during the union, union strike. And it’s still going on today. You got too many cops out there that’s trigger happy. You know what I mean? They act like they’re getting a star or a mark by taking someone’s life. You know what I mean? It’s just, it’s not fair. It’s not right.
KAYLA, PROTESTER: So May Day rally, International Workers’ Day. And labor against police terrorism. We have a small victory, but we can’t be pacified. Some indictments, which are–which haven’t been seen before in cases like, at least in cases like this.
JENELLE HAMPTON, PROTESTER: Yeah, that’s not typical. So that’s a win.
KAYLA: I say police terror equals white supremacy because the system that protects them is the racist, white supremacist system that affects all institutions and all branches of American life. So we need to recognize that if we want to make a step forward, otherwise we’re just going to stay on a hamster wheel.
HAMPTON: And I think what I just learned about this sign and about Kayla’s understanding of white supremacy is that some people may call white supremacy white privilege now, and that might be easier on the ears, but they’re just as destructive. They are basically the same thing. And what I really learned today is that until we address white supremacy in America through concepts like reparations–.
KAYLA: Get real.
HAMPTON: Get real, then nothing’s going to change.
HILL: Led by the Longshore Workers’ drill team, the May Day protest against police terror concluded their march at Oakland City Hall without incident.
For The Real News Network, from Oakland, California, This is Roger Hill reporting.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.