imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

F29 Walmart Warehouse Shutdown: Victory at Dawn

by Rockero Saturday, Mar. 03, 2012 at 5:03 PM
rockero420@yahoo.com

Wednesday, February 29, 2011
EASTVALE, California - Nearly 300 people arrived at six in the morning in this desolate inland city with the intent to shut down the world's largest distribution center for Walmart goods. Activists from Occupy Riverside, Occupy LA, other Southern California occupys, community activists, and student groups arrived at the Schneider warehouse only to find that the management had closed the facility of its own accord. Having tasted victory at dawn, the group soon set its sights much higher.

Ever since Occupy Los Angeles called for a general strike on May 1 to counteract the repression of the occupy movement, stand for principles of democracy and liberty, and inspire the working class to recognize its own power, Occupy Riverside has been organizing to make the day, now just two months off, a success.

The buildup strategy unfolds in many ways, but one important part of it is to have large actions every month. January saw the large mobilization in defense of public education at UC Riverside, and the plan to target the Inland Empire's sprawling logistics industry was hatched well before then after occupy activists decided to do something about the labor and human rights abuses rampant in the warehouses in our area.

Many Occupy Riverside activists have worked in the warehouses themselves and know firsthand the plight of the workers, who are processed by temporary agencies like products through a mill. Those who have not been there themselves have family members who work there. And even those of us whose connection to the industry is not as direct must still suffer the impacts of depressed prevailing wages, weak labor protections, and the environmental racism of contamination from the trucks and trains that deliver merchandise from the ports to our warehouses before they are shipped to the rest of the country--mostly by "independent contractor" (that is, non-union) truckers.

After shutting down the ports on December 12, it natural for us to want to do something here, at the next leg of the supply chain. We made contact with labor advocates struggling to organize the warehouse workers and learned that the most egregious abuses were occurring at facilities moving goods for the corporation that is the bane of justice-lovers worldwide: Walmart. After exploring with them how to best keep the workers safe, we proceeded to coordinate with comrades from Occupy LA and elsewhere, who endorsed the action and pledged to participate.

At an early OLA general strike committee meeting, we heard of Occupy Portland's call to shut down the corporations on February 29. "Leap into action" was the tagline for the national day of nonviolent direct action, which focused on the corporations comprising ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.

(ALEC is a consortium of corporations and state legislators that drafts and passes pro-corporate, anti-worker legislation and subsequently "exchanges" it by passing the same or similar laws in other states. The anti-union law signed by Governor Walker of Wisconsin, which prompted the pre-Occupy occupation of the capitol in Madison, was an ALEC brainchild, as was the racist Arizona law SB 1070, which was dreamed up by corporations operating private prisons and detention facilities. Walmart, as the most anti-union force in the world, is a major player in ALEC.)

Workers at the Schneider warehouse were scheduled for dismissal on February 24 for simply speaking up and demanding their rights. The timing and climate was perfect, and the call to action was made.

A court later enjoined Schneider from firing the workers, but that order did nothing to change the desperate conditions of the workers or correct the undemocratic practices of Walmart and ALEC.

So after a rough night of intensive know-your-rights and non-violence training, followed by a campout (complete with camp fire) in the backyard of an Occupy Riverside comrade, the swarm of resilient occupiers arrived. We marched down Hamner, taking the street from the get-go. Our goal was to shut down the warehouse during peak trucking hours, from six until noon. The empty parking lot was a dead giveaway that the warehouse had closed for the day, but we set up a picket line regardless. Not only was there no resistance from the company, but there was none from the police, either. There was not a uniformed officer in sight.

Number of warehouses shut down: 1

Soon, however, we grew impatient. Our researchers had identified another Schneider warehouse just around the corner from the primary target, as well as another nearby Walmart distribution center. As we made moves to create a presence at these secondary targets, our scouts informed us that they were also abandoned, also shut down for the day.

Number of warehouses shut down: 3

We had enough people to secure the non-operation of the first Schneider warehouse, so another group set out southward on Hamner Avenue to blockade the entrance to an Ingraham-Micro warehouse, which moves goods for IBM, Apple, and other high-tech companies who also happen to be ALEC members, where observers spotted trucks entering and exiting and they decided to blockade the entrance there.

Number of warehouses shut down: 4

Soon after the Micro warehouse shutdown, police seemed to be responding by blocking off traffic at a great distance away--as far north as Riverside Drive, and as far South as Cantú-Galleano Road. It was difficult to tell because they were so far away. Regardless, truck traffic was no longer entering the road, effectively shutting down operations at six more warehouses.

Number of warehouses shut down: 10

It was at the Micro entrance that a small conflict arose about what to do about a trucker who wished to exit the grounds. Many people blocked his exit. He explained to them that his container was empty, that he wasn't hauling for Walmart, and that he was an independent contractor who, unlike the unionized UPS truck stuck inside, was not being paid. This persuaded several people who argued that in addition, the action was to prevent the warehouses from profiting from the exploitation of its forklift drivers and order-pullers by preventing the delivery of merchandise, not to prevent the truckers from profiting.

Those in favor of maintaining the blockade argued that the objective was to shut down commerce entirely, not just the warehouses, and that if we let one person go through, where would we draw the line? It took a while, but eventually those in favor of letting him go won out.

By then it had become clear that police were amassing at the ends of road and lining up. But they were still a ways off, so to pass the time, a local alternative rock band came out and played a set.

Before they finished, a police line approached the intersection where people were blocking the entrance to the Micro building and asked them to leave. The people held the street and held their ground. After what seemed like an eternity of facing from opposite sides of the intersection, the cops started moving forward. Slowly, maintaining its line, the crowd backed up. The sheriff's deputies barked at us to get back, and futilely ordered us walk up the sidewalk back to the protest.

It took them quite a while to push us down the long and wide street. But by about 11:30, we were already within a hundred yards of the main group at the Schneider and in danger of being surrounded at close quarters. It was then that many people began to enter the grounds of a natural foods company across the street. Earlier, medics had secured permission to use the grounds if anyone needed to be evacuated for medical purposes. But the presence of people on either side of the open gate prevented police from advancing because to do so would have left them exposed on one side.

Eventually the owners herded the occupiers out politely but the move had bought us some time. We were then pushed back to the street of our original picket line and ordered onto it so we could "continue our peaceful protest." When we refused to do so, we were ordered to disperse and began exiting up the sidewalk, which police lined on one side to keep us off the street.

But they did not line the whole street, so after the police line ended, we retook the street. This time the police used a different tactic. We continued to retreat peacefully from their line, moving slowly to ensure everyone's safety. But they became aggressive and hostile. On one side of the line, near the bushes lining the Schneider warehouse parking lot, an officer charged the man in front of him with his truncheon. The deputies on either side of the aggressor likewise rushed out just behind him, in a sort of "V" formation. Some people were thrown into the bushes and likely sustained injury, and some individuals appeared to have been a bit trampled in the melee as well. Two of them were arrested.

Two other charges were made after the same fashion: one towards the middle of the line, and another just afterward, from the side. Officers targetted individuals to jab with their batons, to strike at in the legs, and to grab by the head. At least one pig fell while running and knocked his face shield off.

These rushes caused panic and extremely unsafe conditions but protesters remained as calm as possible and regroup. They condemned the police violence and vowed to return.

As with any action, there are lessons to be learned, but for the most part, the activists expressed satisfaction with the day. Surpassing by tenfold the goal of shutting down the warehouse, successfully remaining nonviolent and working together, holding ground, and never once asking for permission to do any of it from anyone.

Report this post as:

Local News

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de martyrologie J17 8:00AM

[NEW HOT] World Soccer King Hack Coins and Gems J17 4:32AM

Asian Countries:Cambodia, Vietnam, N. Korea do not permit unlawful immigration J16 8:06PM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Cleanup J13 4:14PM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) J09 12:44PM

Google, World's Biggest Censor, Was Founded By The CIA J09 10:25AM

For a World Free of Nuclear Risks J09 8:29AM

Corrupt CDC Ignores Meat Fish Recalls J09 4:55AM

The (Temporary) End of Globalization J09 3:03AM

Aternatives to Abortions such as Plan B the pill, condoms and IUD J08 4:03PM

U.S Congressional Legal Minds Know Better Than Allowing Texas To Murder Hank Skinner J08 3:37PM

ACLU in many US states defends in court KKK and American Nazis Sometimes for Money J07 11:28PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy