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Clarence Thomas supports jobs movement, shutting Oakland ports

Published Nov 10, 2011 6:33 PM

The following solidarity statement was written by Clarence Thomas, International Longshore Workers Union Local 10 member and Million Worker March leader, for the People’s Assembly meeting held at Hostos Community College in the Bronx, N.Y., on Nov. 5.

Greetings and solidarity,

I am exhilarated from the recent historical events here in Oakland.

In my opinion this has been one of the strongest examples of the power of the people in the U.S. and the 21st century. It is difficult to imagine that in one week’s time a call for a general strike — A Day of Action by the Occupy Oakland General Assembly — could have generated the overwhelming response from the people of Oakland.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and most certainly the thousands that marched through the fifth largest port speak volumes while … organized labor, which only makes up 7.2 percent of the private sector workers, has been incapable of calling for a general strike in response to the unrelenting war on the working class by the ruling class. It is indeed remarkable how rank-and-file union members in the city of Oakland responded so positively to the call.

The city administrator of Oakland, on Oct. 28, 2011, issued a statement that SEIU Local 1021 had been authorized to utilize various types of leave in order to participate in the stop work action on Nov. 2. This offer was extended to other city workers. It’s an example of how this call made by the General ­Assembly of Occupy Oakland Movement resonated with workers in the city of Oakland.

Although Nov. 2 fell short of being a full general strike in the truest sense of the word — the city of Oakland and the fifth largest port in the U.S. were SHUT DOWN! Only essential services continued to be provided.

In conclusion, I hope that the action of the ­Occupy Oakland movement can be duplicated in cities around the country and that issues such as jobs and the Occupy 4 Jobs movement can be put front and center at the Occupy movement.