Striking is one thing, but violence and damage? Ben, do you think less than peaceful protest is acceptable? I would not want to work with anyone violent…they just seem like unreasonable crazy people. Why reward violence? That would just be a form of positive reinforcement for unacceptable behavior.
Striking during a recession? Or while heading back into a recession? Are these people not reading about the economy?
The ILWU is making a stand just as the Occupy movement throughout the world is. OH, OWS, OO has much in common with the events today in Cairo where there are people losing their lives. So I guess the question is – How much of a stand do you want to take? How firm is that line in the sand?
Should protest be peaceful? Of course it should. But I remember a line from the 60's, something about having the "courage of your convictions." How far do you take reaction, and how far do you take non-reaction? Take the gunman in the park last night, if the police weren't readily there to take him down, what should the occupiers have done, especially if they were to have been fired on? Do we throw up our hands and plead for mercy or do we take action and risk safety and take him down ourselves? Personally, I opt for the latter.
Now about striking during a recession? Again, what's the alternative? Roll over and take huge losses on what is contractually agreed upon or shut down the operation and let the grain run on the ground causing hurt in the only place shippers ever feel it – their bottom line.
In Egypt, in Syria, on Wall Street, in Oakland, in Houston and all across this country and world people have had enough. Promises have been made and broken. There's supposed to be this American Dream that we work for, where we can succeed and prosper. Yet the vast majority of Americans fall further and further behind each year while those at the top prosper in ever greater wealth. People have taken a stand and made it clear they want change and they see that it is only with change that the ills of our country can ever be reversed. It takes determination and sacrifice to get to the point that those changes will become reality.
Understand please that I come from the perspective of a child growing up in the 50's and 60's, not only a time of great turmoil but also a time of great strides in organized labor. My Dad was a union man and he made decent money, but only because of the union. I now have family who are Longshoremen and are directly impacted by the Longview actions. Look at the fingers on your hand. If one is broken do not the others defend it and work harder until it is healed again? Now what of the Occupiers in Davis being pepper sprayed, or the encampments across the country being torn down, do not the Occupy Houston people come to their defense? Of course you do for an injury to one is an injury to all.