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ILWU Plans West Coast Protest On Juneteenth

Flickr / Creative Commons
Port of Oakland


The International Longshore and Warehouse Union is planning to shut down the port of Oakland on Friday, June 19th. The union is recognizing Juneteenth, a day which commemorates the end of slavery in the US. Cargo will sit unmoved and unloaded at all 29 ports across the West Coast for eight hours.

Instead of working, members of the ILWU will join labor activists and community organizers in marching against police brutality and systemic racism. Here in the Bay Area, the demonstration will travel through downtown Oakland, past the police station, and end at city hall. 

Trent Willis is the president of the ILWU Local 10. He says that police brutality is part of a larger systemic problem that affects https://youtu.be/nWYn9GuByWg" style="text-decoration:none;">more than just black people. 

“The police in this country for too many years have been used to squash movements. Not just black people’s rights. The 1% in this country that control all of the money — their knee is not just on black people’s necks. It’s just on black people’s necks disproportionately.”

The ILWU has a long history of fighting for racial equity, and was one of the first unions to desegregate its workers.

Christopher was a fellow in the KALW’s Audio Academy class of 2020. He previously interned at NPR. Among other topics, he is interested in reporting on issues of chronic illness, disability, and mental health. Christopher’s background is in film production and social impact strategy. He’s worked with major nonprofits and corporations on developing campaigns that advance social issues.