Oakland city officials have rejected a call for city leaders to use strong tactics to prevent Occupy protestors from shutting down the Port of Oakland again.
Occupy supporters, who closed down the port on Nov. 2 and Dec. 12, said it would strike back against any retaliatory efforts used by the city, port officials and terminal operators. The latest Oakland protest was part of a broader push by the Occupy movement to shut down all major West Coast ports.
The resolution “to use whatever lawful tools we have to” prevent a port shutdown was two votes short of passage, according to the Oakland Tribune.
Oakland Police Chief Howard Johnson said it would cost about $1.5 million to protect the terminals during a two-day protest. The protest earlier this month cost the city’s trade economy about $4 million, said port officials.
Oakland Police Union President Dom Arotzarena previously said police took a "completely hands-off" approach to the protest and it's up to the city to authorize tougher tactics. Police at other ports moved relatively quickly to contain and then disperse protests, most of them smaller then the rallies outside Oakland's port gates.
Although council members are open to a resolution seeking to prevent the shutdown of terminals, they want further study and cost estimates before voting on the matter again.
Port officials showed clear consternation at the latest in a series of disruptions at Oakland. "We are committed to regaining the confidence of our partners who bring business to Oakland and the region," the port said in a statement.
Photo by Kat Zigmont