Port of Oakland maritime operations shut down during protest

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Updated Nov 3, 2011

Maritime operations at the Port of Oakland on Wednesday, Nov. 2, were shut down as Occupy Oakland protesters gathered at the facility, but the facility is now open again.

“There have been no injuries, no property damage and no major security problems,” the port said via a press statement. “All entrances to the port are open. There are truck traffic lines at some gates, and terminal operations are processing backlogs from the disruptions.”

The port had reached out to Occupy Oakland protesters in an attempt to quell any unrest before it could get out of hand. “These are challenging times, with high unemployment and tremendous uncertainty in the economy,” the port said Tuesday, Nov. 1, in a letter attributed to Executive Director Omar Benjamin and President Pamela Calloway. “At the same time, this is our home, and it is our responsibility to respect it and ensure that others do too.”

Occupy Oakland participants, elected officials and business leaders all had expressed hopes that the movement’s general strike would be a peaceful event for a city that became a rallying point last week after police used tear gas to clear a group at City Hall and then clashed with protesters in the street.

Wednesday’s events in Oakland began at 9 a.m. PT when the first of three rallies scheduled by strike organizers kicked off downtown. The activities culminated with a march to the port to stop work there before the 7 p.m. PT evening shift.