Our "APL: Jump Ship" action aimed at American President Lines, huge war profiteers operating out of the Oakland Ports, took place today, Friday, Oct 19th, which is also Iraq Moratorium day.
Slight drizzle but mostly mild, white, gray & black cloud-filled skies with sun peaking through accompanied us on a beautiful march from the West Oakland BART station down 7th St through the ‘dangerous’ streets of West Oakland to APL headquarters downtown Oakland Friday: lots of folks were in costume, carrying various props as a Bush mask, a small boat with fake money sprouting from the bows, and a large replica of an APL cargo ship with “War Profiteers” painted on it and pictures of the Real Face of War attached.
Dressed as the perpetutors (wealthy war profiteers) or victims of war (soldier, iraq womyn and baby), we sang and chanted as we marched, dialogued with neighbors and store-owners, passed out flyers about war profiteer APL, and gave peace symbols to passers-by honking and waving.
When we reached the APL office (and the Bechtel Office housed in the same building) at 1111 Broadway, we spread out on the raised plaza in front of the entrance to the building and continued chanting.
When it was time to go inside to speak with APL representatives, we placed our banners, props, and signs in a pile and about 8 hot-pink-clad womyn started toward the entrance. Security guards, seeing us coming, raced to lock the doors preventing our entrance!
We attempted to negotiate with the guards and a smiling white male who identified himself as the owner of the building, entreating them to allow us to visit APL, then to at least call to allow us up. They refused to allow us to come inside or give us the APL number, and ended up calling the Oakland police on us!
An extremely polite, friendly Oakland cop eventually showed up, wanting to know if everything was okay with us, making sure we were not hurt. We reassured him we were not hurt physically but wanted access to the building. He seemed very surprised that they would not allow us entrance to the building but they can keep out whomever they want!
We continued to demonstrate out in front until all our flyers were handed out and the slight drizzle threatened to turn into rain!
APL is one of the biggest war profiteer shippers from the Oakland Ports making 6 billion last year!!! They are willing to ship ANYTHING, including nuclear materials as well as weapons.
We have a call into their media person, asking for an appointment to speak with him so we can write a story about what is being shipped from our port!
We are intending to eventually organize a left-coast picket of all the docks that house war-profiteers that continue to ship supplies and weapons to Iraq and supply war!