Occupy Oakland and the Golden Gate Bridge

The following is a statement by the Occupy Oakland Golden Gate Bridge Shut Down Committee, including members of OO Labor Solidarity and the OO May Day Assembly.

On May 1, workers and students throughout the country will walk out of their jobs and schools in an unprecedented General Strike. As a part of this day of action, thousands of nurses in Northern California will be striking Sutter hospitals. ILWU Local 10 will also be shutting down the Port of Oakland for eight hours in honor of the historic May Day struggle for the eight-hour working day. There will be protests in Oakland, including a mass march for immigrant rights and an evening convergence on Oscar Grant Plaza.

For over a year, workers in the Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition (a multi-union body of Golden Gate Bridge workers) have been fighting for a contract to defend their healthcare and to resist other concessions demanded by the Golden Gate Bridge District. While they have strike sanction from various labor councils and are planning a mass action on May 1, it is still not clear if they will be striking. Last night, the Golden Gate Labor Coalition requested the Golden Gate Bridge shut down action be called off. Occupy Oakland called for a bridge shut down on May 1 only if these workers were on strike. As reiterated last week, our plan has always been to take this action in solidarity with the workers, not in place of them.

Since the conditions for the action will not be met, we are no longer organizing to shut down the bridge. As always, any action taken by the workers at their workplace or against their employers will be met with our support and solidarity. Although we will no longer be organizing a bridge shutdown on May 1, we encourage all individuals, labor activists, and supporters to stand with workers on the picket lines at the ferry and bus terminals and any other locations they attempt to shut down. These workers are among many in the public sector whose jobs and benefits are being attacked. They deserve our full support.

A General Strike will not just occur at one workplace or one thoroughfare but throughout the whole Bay Area. There will be May Day worker and student protests and strikes in Oakland, San Francisco, small and large U.S. cities, and around the world. The status quo is unacceptable and May Day actions will demonstrate that the working class is no longer willing to abide by it.

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