Labor guy: ‘If I wanted to shut down the port, I could do it without Occupy.’

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The scene in Portland, Oregon, yesterday.
The scene in Portland, Oregon, yesterday.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Judging from the local paper in Portland, Oregon, I’d say the Occupy movement lost a PR round yesterday. The Oregonian reports that Occupiers made a “target” of a relatively small family-owned company when it jammed the Port of Portland. One trucker told the paper, “Everybody’s got their right to protest – I just won’t get paid if I can’t pick up the load. I’m just a guy trying to make a living.”

You could kind of see this coming. The local alt-weekly, the mighty Willamette Week, previewed the occupation with this from the Longshore and Warehouse local.

“If I wanted to shut down the port, I could do it without Occupy. I don’t need ‘em,” says Jeff Smith, president of ILWU’s Columbia River District Council. “This is a question for the Occupy movement: Why would I want to send my people home? Why would I take a job away from somebody?

“I don’t get what they’re thinking. It’s my job to put people to work. I’ve got jobs for ‘em, so I’m going to put ‘em to work. And I’m going to take some of Wall Street’s money.”

Dave Weigel writes that maybe Occupy will drag the labor movement into asking for more. As Melissa Harris-Perry said on the show last night, it’s complicated. And it’s way not over.

(Below, Code Pink in Oakland taking a collection for truck drivers who lost their pay. Photo: @LastStarWriter.)

Labor guy: 'If I wanted to shut down the port, I could do it without Occupy.'

Labor guy: 'If I wanted to shut down the port, I could do it without Occupy.'

Updated