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Citywide ‘swarm’ ride planned to support port blockade

Posted by on December 8th, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Detail from “Bike to Blockade” poster

The ‘bike swarm’ is at it again. Organizers behind the growing movement to use masses of people on bicycles to support the Occupy Portland protests, are planning several “feeder” rides that will end at an action to shut down the Port of Portland.

The “Bike to Blockade” event is part of the local Shutdown the Port action, which is Portland’s involvement in a coordinated attempt to shut down trading ports along the entire west coast.

The goal of the shutdown is to support longshoremen and port workers “in their struggle against the 1%!” (according to the website).

“U.S. ports have thus become economic engines for the elite;” reads the organizer’s website, “the 1% these trade hubs serve are free to rip the shirts off the backs of the 99% who turn their profits.”

Swarm organizer Katherine Ball says riders will run “scout missions” between terminals and circle in front of the entrances. “We will be biking legally but we hope there will be enough of us that it will create a traffic jam of sorts — or at least a lot of confusion.”

“One of the main missions of a swarm for this action,” Ball adds, “is just to get people up there! I think what happens when we get there will be somewhat improved based on what is necessary.”

‘Bike to Blockade’ will support the event by leading feeder rides from all five quadrants of the city. The groups will meet up at Peninsula Park in North Portland, then ride together for a 4:00 pm rally at Kelley Point Park (which is smack dab in the middle of port terminals on the Columbia River).

Check the event flyer below or visit PDXBikeSwarm.com for more info.

(NOTE: The quotes from organizer Katherine Ball were added after this post was first published. – JM)

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Comments
  • 9watts December 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Nice work, bike swarm. Bikes are the means and the end!

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  • Stretchy December 8, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Obviously only the rich use the bicycle components that are shipped into Portland through the port. Only the rich eat the food that is off-loaded at the port. Only the rich manufacture goods and grow agricultural products that are sold around the world by shipping them out of the port.

    Thank you for looking out for my best interests by making it more difficult and expensive for me to buy the basic necessities of my daily life. Thank you for causing economic harm to the company that employs me. It just stands to reason that the worse my employer does, the better I do.

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    • Spiffy December 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      you should probably figure out what the Occupy movement is all about so you can understand this call to action…

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      • Stretchy December 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm

        Go ahead and enlighten me about the occupy movement. Tell me something I don’t already know.

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    • 9watts December 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm

      “making it more difficult and expensive for me to buy the basic necessities of my daily life.”

      Stretchy,
      if your ‘basic necessities of daily life’ now come through the Port, you’ll want to be thinking about where they will be coming through/from in the future. Regardless of how the longshoremen or the bike swarmers feel about the 1%, we will be sourcing ‘the basic necessities of daily life’ from closer to home in the future. We used to and we will again. It is hard to see how it could be otherwise.

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      • Mike December 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm

        So shutting down the port for a day (week, month, year) will do what?

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        • SilkySlim December 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm

          Remind the millions of people that hear about it of the wacky oil-driven global economy?

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          • Mike December 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm

            So this is about bringing the oil industry into light?
            If they wanted to protest the oil driven economy, why don’t they swarm fueling stations? Or Freightliner?

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        • A.K. December 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm

          It will raise prices for everyone as businesses scramble to switch time-sensitive shipments from sea to air, at a substantial cost increase.

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          • Mark December 8, 2011 at 4:06 pm

            Yeah, you’ve gotta worry about all those time-sensitive shipments delivered by sea. It will be there in two months or you money back!

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            • Richard December 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm

              Months? What century are you in? Shanghai to Los Angeles is 10 days in a modern freighter.

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      • Richard December 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm

        “we will be sourcing ‘the basic necessities of daily life’ from closer to home in the future.”

        And i make those decisions to “buy local” (or not buy at all) every day. How about trusting me to make my own decisions, instead of blockading the ports in order to make those decisions for me?

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        • 9watts December 9, 2011 at 11:42 am

          Shutting down the port isn’t about you or about me, or about Otto’s avocadoes, Richard.

          Bull Connor’s neighbors were probably annoyed too because they had to pay for all the water in those firehoses. Just as some here were concerned about all the ecological havoc wrought upon our parks downtown.
          How hard is it to rise above the little details and inconveniences here and appreciate that some people see this as part of a larger set of interconnected issues, something worth fighting for, worth risking a bit.
          I’m not saying that shutting down the port is necessarily the most strategic thing to be doing, but many of the comments here opposing it seem to come from a place that fails to appreciate that, actually, some folks may have thought this through, planned it, know that they are doing.

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      • Otto December 9, 2011 at 8:44 am

        Oranges are not grown locally. Bananas are not grown locally. Avacados are not grown locally. Mangos are not grown locally. Most of the raw materials we all use are not local. I could go on.

        I’m all for being local when it’s practical. But the idea of pure localism and being 100% “self-sufficient” is greatly mistaken and an even more dangerous idea than the problems we have now.

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        • 9watts December 9, 2011 at 9:15 am

          Otto: “I’m all for being local when it’s practical.”

          Do you mean ‘when it is convenient?’

          How do you sleep at night, worrying about the ‘dangers’ of an avocadoless future?

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          • Otto December 9, 2011 at 11:28 am

            I like to eat food that’s nutritious. Not everything is grown here. This should be simple for you to understand. How do you sleep at night advocating policies that would create a health disaster?

            What are you saying 9watts? That Occupy now thinks PDX would be better off without natural oranges and vitamin C? But hey, we can just all eat buckets of local greens or take synthetic and ineffectual vitamin supplements instead because it’s all “made local”.

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            • 9watts December 9, 2011 at 11:32 am

              “What are you saying 9watts? That Occupy now thinks PDX would be better off without natural oranges and vitamin C? ”

              Otto,
              I don’t speak for Occupy or claim to know what they are up to w/r/t the port. What I am saying is that your comments about a future without avocadoes being ‘dangerous’ is foolish nonsense.

              Everything we used to eat, or very nearly everything, was grown or produced locally. The fact that we will be returning to this again (soon) isn’t something we should in my view be freaking out about. I suspect there are far worse things coming our way.

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              • Otto December 9, 2011 at 11:55 am

                You think my comment was just about avocados? I figured my few examples would suffice to make my point clear. Apparently not. Next time I’ll remember to list every single food in our grocery stores that isn’t grown here and never will be because of a little thing called a climate zone. Then I’ll include a list of all materials and products of non-native origin that does make local and regional farming possible. Then I’ll include a list of all the non-native materials that makes “Made in PDX” possible. But I suppose that would all be nonsensical to you. And there is nothing nonsensical or trivial about any nutritious food.

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                • 9watts December 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm

                  List away if you want.
                  I know what you’re saying and you know what I’m saying. We both know that our current economic system and stores are full of stuff that comes from thousands of miles away. That’s no mystery, and it is no mystery how that came about–a century of cheap oil.
                  Now that that binge is coming to an end so will the list of goodies you and the rest of us have gotten used to having at our fingertips, most of which came from Mexico, China, or somewhere else. It is coming to an end not because I or Katherine Ball or the Longshoremen are grinches but because the party’s over.

                  Besides, eviscerating our local economies in pursuit of cheap crap pumped full of petrochemicals is no way to run a country or an economy or a society. The alternative, that which we could plan for now if we weren’t so busy pretending it was all going to stick around, could be a lot more healthy (you seem very interested in health), rewarding, meaningful than what we’ve got.

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              • Mike December 9, 2011 at 12:12 pm

                Yeah, and life expectancies used to be a third of what they are currently. Avacodos, plastics from China and cheap bikes are not the only things that get shipped.

                Longer and better (healthier) living through science and through transportation of goods.

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                • 9watts December 9, 2011 at 12:35 pm

                  “Longer and better (healthier) living through science and through transportation of goods.”
                  Isn’t that Monsanto’s slogan? Yum.

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              • Otto December 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm

                In reply to your last comment because the thread limits reply buttons…

                International trade has been around for thousands of years, it wasn’t invented in the last century. It was around before oil and will be around after so-called “peak oil”. If peak oil is your premise for everything you might want to read up on the latest geological discoveries, and I say this as someone who used to believe in peak oil. But never fear, if peak oil theory is true we can always go back to killing whales for it. Yes, it wasn’t Greenpeace-style activists who got rid of whaling for oil, it was big bad oil wells that made that awful stuff obsolete.

                Also, you do understand that China owns most of the world’s raw materials now? But yeah, let’s shut down the ports and prevent Americans or Oregonians from making things. That’s a good idea… for China. Kind of makes you and the Occupiers useful idiots, no? I say this as someone who was generally sympathetic to Occupy.

                Do I want a cleaner environment? Do I want a healthy society? Do I want people to have meaningful employment and good, affordable lifestyles? Of course. Do I like over-consumption? No. But closing down the ports and turning away from the world isn’t the way to do it.

                If your ideas were taken to their logical conclusion we would be living in a closed society with a mercantilist economy. It would resemble something more like feudalism and there would be more state violence, not less.

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                • Otto December 9, 2011 at 12:33 pm

                  Why is my last comment being held for moderation?

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        • Nathan December 9, 2011 at 11:12 am

          -cough- coffee -cough-

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          • sorebore December 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm

            that is awesome, Nathan.

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      • Cupcake December 9, 2011 at 1:25 pm

        9watts, do you think your computer was sourced and built locally? what about your bike tires?

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        • 9watts December 9, 2011 at 1:33 pm

          Cupcake,
          fair question. I bought both of those used FWIW, and most everything else I buy used too. And before you say that is a copout, let me acknowledge that like you I also live in this outsourced world where many things that wouldn’t have to be imported or transported enormous distances are. Some raw materials like rubber and copper and asphalt and gasoline aren’t about to be sourced locally here in the Pacific NW, and I’m O.K. with that. All the more reason not to fritter it/them away on some voracious boondoggle like the CRC or–since you brought up these two–to continue making computers and bike tires that don’t last more than a couple of years.

          See, durability, local economies, sufficiency, living within our means, re-learning skills we have almost all forgotten… all that could be part of the plan, something we work toward as a community, a society.

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  • Frank December 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Uh… I hope the protesters are aware that the Longsoreman’s union is NOT in support of the protest. Just an FYI. “Support is one thing, organization from outside groups attempting to co-opt our struggle in order to advance a broader agenda is quite another,” (union President) Robert McEllrath wrote in a Dec. 6 letter to ILWU locals.

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    • Spiffy December 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm

      why do you hope that? why would the protesters care? it would be nice to have the support of the longshoremen, but it doesn’t change anything…

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      • Mike December 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm

        The protesters should care if “The goal of the shutdown is to support longshoremen and port workers “in their struggle against the 1%!”

        Otherwise the statement is a lie.

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      • Mike December 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm

        Unless the protesters know what’s better for the longshoremen better than the longshoremen do.

        Based on longshoremen compensation packages, I have a hard time believing that.

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    • stephanie December 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      for political reasons the union does have to make these statements. in terms of the actual workers and union members, there is full and total support which you can find from doing more research.

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      • Kevin December 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm

        Riiight, longshoreman have no problem saying exactly what they mean. Have you ever heard an interview with the union heads?

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        • stephanie December 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm

          yes i am not talking about the president or representatives of the union, i am talking about the actual workers who i have personally heard from, as have many others who are involved in this action.

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    • Kevin December 8, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      Its going to be interesting to see the longshorman thugs who busted up the port in washington start busting occupiers instead.

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    • sorebore December 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      I think it is LONG PAST DUE for Longshoremen in this country!! So It would seem that if they do not like people protesting, they are afraid to rock the boat.
      Nafta nailed the coffin shut on west coast freight movement into the U.S. nearly 2 decades ago. There is nearly nothing coming in our west coast ports, and even LESS leaving . Contrary to its promise Nafta’, exploits labor to the south with sub standard wages, and has removed nearly all dock work on the west coast. The primary avenue for freight from Asia arrives in Panama and Mexico and makes it way north by rail. I would love it if someone could provide the numbers on this topic, that I gravely suspect to be accurate. So if the Union workers here in Portland object, PLEASE show me some serious numbers to prove my theory wrong.

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  • Zach December 8, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    This kind undifferentiated anti-capitalist nonsense is so counter-productive. Capitalism is not going anywhere, and shouldn’t be going anywhere.

    It’s disappointing that these passionate people, young and old, are wasting their energy on efforts that will enable the media to discount all liberal activism as the acts of a bunch of ignorant communist wanna-bes.

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    • k. December 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm

      No it shouldn’t. But, that doesn’t mean all is hunky dory in Capitalism Land either. Many things are out of whack and unbalanced. Hence the protests. The Occupy movement could probably do a better job of advertising the fact that they aren’t against capitalism per se. Then again, most people should be smart enough to know that capitalism isn’t a black and white, on/off thing. Economic systems exist across a broad spectrum with many shades in the middle.

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      • Kevin December 8, 2011 at 4:10 pm

        They specifically ARE gainst capitalism. They are CONSTANTLY refernecing Marx. Many of the unorganized organizers list Marx as required reading. Many of them shout on the blowhorns that they specifically want to tear down the capitalist system. Where the hell have you been?

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        • k. December 9, 2011 at 8:48 am

          Not on your planet obviously.

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  • Spiffy December 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    you should also figure out what the Occupy movement is all about so you can understand this call to action…

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    • pat h December 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm

      I will once “the Occupy movement” does the same.

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      • Scott December 8, 2011 at 5:22 pm

        Touche

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  • Mike December 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    http://www.longshoreshippingnews.com/2011/12/unions-say-no-to-occupy-portland%E2%80%99s-call-for-a-waterfront-strike/

    “The goal of the shutdown is to support longshoremen and port workers “in their struggle against the 1%!”

    Where is this stated on the PDXBikeSwarm.com site? I couldn’t find it.

    It seems to me that this is “support” that is very much not wanted or needed. Isn’t pissing off labor unions kind of against the occupy movement?

    It appears that the Union best being served by the swarms is the PPA http://www.ppavigil.org/ .

    Sweet.

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  • Ian Marshall December 8, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Jonathan,
    I guess my first point would be that this post is 100% activism. A few including myself have criticized you for claiming to be an impartial journalist, and or an activist. It’s your site and obviously you will write what you want, but I feel like you should be one or the other.
    Second to Spiffy and others who think this is a good idea. You can’t tell people to figure out what Occupy is about, just because you want them to think that it’s about what your beliefs are. To me this is a stupid idea. The general public will think this is stupid.

    To me Occupy is about trying to change the way our financial system is rigged right now. It is about reinstating bank regulation like Glass Steagall, enforcing the Sherman Anti Trust act, getting rid of crazy tax loopholes that allow the biggest companies to not pay taxes, getting rid of NAFTA and raising our traffics and taxes on imported goods back to where they were 30 years ago. This list can go on and on.
    But my point is that blocking the Port is dumb. It is kicking the giant in the toe, it doesn’t hurt them, and it makes the movement look silly.
    In no way do I claim to have the answer, but the last time we went through this during the great depression, it was done by marching on the companies themselves and on the Politicians to make them write legislation.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm

      I guess my first point would be that this post is 100% activism. A few including myself have criticized you for claiming to be an impartial journalist, and or an activist. It’s your site and obviously you will write what you want, but I feel like you should be one or the other.

      Ian,

      Would love to know how you come to the conclusion that this post is “100% activism”. I just did a story about a benefit for junior racers… Is that one all about activism too? I’m seriously curious. Just by posting about an activism, does that make the post “activism”?

      As for the activist/journalist thing. Thanks for the feedback. I’m both, I’m neither, I don’t think it really matters. To me, what matters are the words on the page. I will let my very intelligent readers come to whatever conclusions they’d like.

      cheers,

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      • Mike December 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm

        If anti-occupy rides bikes to help keep the port open, will that be covered on BP?

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      • Rachel December 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm

        While I don’t think it’s 100% one or the other, I was a little disappointed to see the way this story was presented. My overall impression after reading the full write-up was that it tends more toward the side of advertising for Occupy than focusing specifically on the aspects of the ride that are relevant to bicycling in Portland.

        I like that you’re a cycling activist, and I appreciate that you present stories from that perspective. But on other topics, I’ve come to expect (and respect) the neutrality that you demonstrate. This doesn’t meet that standard, from my perspective.

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        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm

          That’s good feedback Rachel.

          I think folks are getting hung up on the part where I quote from the Port Shutdown website. I added that to avoid what I felt would be comments from readers saying, “Why are they doing this!? Why don’t you give more background on the point of the protest?”

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      • Stretchy December 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm

        I don’t mind activist journalism so long as any bias or conflict of interest is mentioned up front. If you are planning to ride or have ridden with this group in the past it would lend credibilty to disclose that relationship.

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  • 9watts December 8, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    More background here: http://westcoastportshutdown.org/
    interview on the subject of ILWU and Occupy call for Dec 12 port shut down

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  • Ian Marshall December 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Because this whole post is taken from the point of view of one group. You didn’t present a story, so it comes off that you support what they are doing. And I think it really does matter because if a news organization does a story that you think is anti bike, you and I will criticize them for not being journalists.

    The goal of the shutdown is to support longshoremen and port workers “in their struggle against the 1%!”

    “U.S. ports have thus become economic engines for the elite;” reads the organizer’s website, “the 1% these trade hubs serve are free to rip the shirts off the backs of the 99% who turn their profits.”

    As we have seen in the comments above, the Longshoremen might not want the swarm.
    Does the Union support the swarm? Does the union support Occupy? Are the ports really the engines of the elite? or are they the engine that drives our whole consume everything economy right now?

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    • 9watts December 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm

      “Does the Union support the swarm? Does the union support Occupy?”
      It seems for just a very cursory web search that there is some disagreement about the answer to those questions among the ILWU membership.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm

      Ian,

      Despite what some people think, BikePortland isn’t some big news organization. I work solo. I frequently don’t have the time or the brainpower to turn everything I post into a “story” with multiple points of view and perspectives.

      This is a post about an event. I shared links and a bit of context about the event in order to inform people a bit more. That’s all I see it as. If anyone thinks this is part of a conspiracy to promote the Bike Swarm or Occupy Portland than I…. well, I don’t how to respond to that other than to say, that’s not how I roll.

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      • A.K. December 8, 2011 at 4:21 pm

        Not to keep jabbing you from all angles, but just the other month you rode WITH the bike swarm to the occupy protest, stayed with them most of the night riding, took plenty of photos, and gave it plenty of coverage. I think that might be where people (including me) get the idea that you support the movement, whether it’s publicly declared or otherwise.

        Sorry, I don’t want to be a drag. But I think as long as you skirt this gray area between citizen, journalist, blogger, bike-activist, and neighbor people will question what the motives are for politically-charged stories. You’ll just how to figure out how to best handle those charges.

        Regarding the Occupy movement:

        I feel it has no focus and is going to slowly die a death from 1,000 cuts because of it. Successful movements have FOCUS on specific goals. Occupy is all over the map, I think partially due to it’s open nature and having a lack of any real leadership, or at least one solid cause to rally around. I know to some that may be seen as a blessing but to me that dooms the movement to failure through unfocused, random actions that don’t have any real impact on an overall goal. But that’s just my opinion.

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  • q`Tzal December 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Spiffy
    you should also figure out what the Occupy movement is all about so you can understand this call to action…

    You’ve stated this twice.

    In what way is blocking ports of commerce any different than an economic embargo? Historically these have had the greatest effect on the poor.
    See:
    THE HUMAN RIGHTS IMPACT OF ECONOMIC SANCTIONS ON IRAQ
    and
    SANCTIONS ON SOUTH AFRICA: WHAT DID THEY DO?

    Perhaps we should consider that the party most likely to be harmed by blocking ports is American workers. Globalization has helped to weaken the power of a single nation embargoing another as trade flows much easier now than in the past. See From Blunt Weapons to Smart Bombs: The Evolution of US Sanctions.

    Commerce and profits flow through points of least resistance. A blockade will cause either acceptable economic losses to the 1% or cause them to reconsider the economic viability of the Pacific coast as a place to do business. Perhaps take their business somewhere else where the government is able to control their unruly citizens. It makes strategic economic sense not to put up with rabble rousing black mail tactics.

    Doesn’t make it right but on this scale of protest there are no foreseeable positive outcomes other than on effect.

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    • Mike December 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm

      q- thank you-

      So in addition to inflicting the greatest negative impact on the 99%, it could also jeopardize too many* jobs of the 99% here in Portland.

      It seems like a lose-lose proposition. I’d like to think that there was a more constructive way to support the longshoremen than by making their jobs more difficult or jeopardizing their futures.

      *too many being 1 or more from my perspective.

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      • q`Tzal December 8, 2011 at 4:30 pm

        If we trust the wikipedia page for “embargo” a blockade of ports is an act of war.
        I know it isn’t that simple but governments historically have been established primarily to protect the people and economic interests that support the people.

        Of note – the US military Oath of Enlistment:
        Armed Forces EXCEPT the National Guard:
        “I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic … ”

        A serious blockade could count as one of those domestic threats that the military would get involved in.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Just a note: I’ve just added updated the story with quotes from bike swarm participant/organizer Katherine Ball.

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  • OnTheRoad December 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    And let’s not forget about all those laudatory news stories about the Sprockettes. Where is the balance?

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  • Frank December 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    “We will be biking legally but we hope there will be enough of us that it will create a traffic jam of sorts — or at least a lot of confusion.”

    Oh, it will cause a lot of confusion alright. How did a movement with such admirable goals lose its compass so quickly? Why do their actions poke working stiffs in the eye? As sympathy with the protesters begins to wane they need attention, so they are trying to piggyback on someone else’s protest… but the longshoremen are snubbing them. Now what should they do???? Ride about in circles… stopping blue collar workers from getting to their jobs. Confusing indeed.

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    • stephanie December 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm

      the actual longshoremen, not their union representatives, are in complete support.

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      • Frank December 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm

        Actually that remains unclear. Like Occupy, the Unions are guided by a democratic process. On Nov. 22, ILWU President Robert McEllarth issued a statement saying none of the locals had agreed to the shutdown.”We must be clear that – any actions organized by outside groups, including the proposed Dec. 12 shutdown of various terminals on the West Coast, have not been vetted by our union’s democratically led process”.

        Odd that Occupy demands consensus for its actions but seems to be casually advocating for a union that has not yet had a chance to vote on its own interests. Maybe the swarm will luck out and the union guys will say “thank you for popping in and protecting our interests”. I doubt it, but it could happen…

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  • Barney December 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    This is a bad idea and will do harm to the interests of cyclists in the long run. Whatever bad things go down with the “occupiers” plans will also tarnish the image of cyclists. If it is only traffic congestion or worse yet, violence and mayhem, the image of cyclists will be in the news as part of it. Think about the lingering images from many of the “occupy” locations. What will be remembered? Many will remember the violence, the crime and the filth left behind by the occupiers more than the incohesive message. Perhaps the image will be worse if they were personally impacted by the movement because they couldn’t get to work or were a victim of a crime or violence.

    Most people on this site want to be treated like any other road user while riding their bikes, they want to be considered “normal” by society. Well, creating a public nuisance or preventing others from getting to work and feeding their families will not win you much support among most people. The next time I have a bad encounter while riding on the road I will wonder if the driver wasn’t influenced by some event like this and now has a negative image of cyclists. Thanks in advance for all those who participate in the “bike swarm” for the harm you are likely to do!

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    • stephanie December 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm

      the crime and violence is created by the police, not the cyclists or protesters.

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  • stephanie December 8, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    also there will be swarms in the morning to block the AM shift starting at 8 am. i dont know about times and places for this, but i know they wanted to meet at kelly point park by 6 am and have a blockade forming by 7.

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    • Richard December 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      I the local longshoreman already support you, then why do you need to block their morning shift?

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  • Jbpdx December 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I’ve decided to join the bike swarm to the port. All these Republican authoritarian dopes’ misguided comments convinced me to get more involved in Occupy.

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    • Mike December 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      Not everyone who disagrees with this is a republican. Just like not everyone who supports it is a unemployable hippie.
      If you support it, great, but (mis)labeling others is not constructive.

      Why isn’t anyone talking about the payroll tax cut being shot down? Why isn’t there a ride for that?

      I’d rather be protesting something meaningful and with a direct impact on the 99%….

      Recommended Thumb up 12

    • Frank December 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      I suspect there are very few Republicans on this blog. I’m on the left and support the goals of Occupy. I also think that while initial protests (occupying the parks) resulted in some negative backlash, they also brought the issues to light in a way that no amount of “working within the system” could have.

      But its time to move on. At this point, some of the Occupy actions are setting the movement back more than accomplishing any goal. Blocking bridges, shutting down ports and Occupy Parks Part Deux, are not helping and are hurting the goal.

      Don’t worry about Republicans. Do worry when you see moderates and those on the left scratching their heads.

      Recommended Thumb up 10

      • Barney December 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm

        I suspect there are more right minded lurkers here than you think. If you look at the recommends, most of the comments here not in favor of the swarm have many recommends. the pro-swarm comments mostly have zero. That tells me that many right leaners visit here but do not pipe up for fear of being slapped down by the generally more vocal and aggressive left leaners that also frequent this site.

        I have been called a caveman and a dinosaur many times on this site so if you feel the need to do that again feel free. JM seems to allow name calling for some contributors. I just think that political activism that occurs on a bike may have a negative impact on the general issues that we face as cyclists.

        Recommended Thumb up 8

        • Ian Marshall December 8, 2011 at 5:48 pm

          I think you are so wrong. Why would being against this bike swarm make someone “Right Leaning”. I am a super far leaning progressive lefty, as are all of my friends. Nobody I know thinks this is a good idea.
          I think spiking trees and tree sit in’s are worth it.
          I think Sea Shepard is rad. I think Occupy Wall Street is awesome, because they are in front of the place that is the root of many of our financial problems have come from. Occupying a park in Portland is silly. I would get behind Occupying banks and Politician’s office’s, or GE, or any other company that doesn’t pay taxes.
          Today Occupy K Street is AWESOME! Again a place that is the root of our problems.
          Riding your bike around to block a port is just dumb. There is no relationship between the port and our financial problems. There isn’t an image that comes to the public’s mind when they read about it.
          They will just think those stupid hippy bikers are blocking the dock workers from getting to work.

          Recommended Thumb up 15

          • Cupcake December 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm

            Ian Marshall
            I think spiking trees and tree sit in’s are worth it.

            WHAT?!?!?! spiking trees?!?!?!? You CAN NOT be serious. You would KILL someone over a tree?

            Dude, what makes you think ANYBODY will agree with you about anything when you post stuff like that. There is a massive difference between direct action and terrorism.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

      • BikeEverywhere December 8, 2011 at 7:09 pm

        Think again. And while you’re at it, you might want to learn more about what Rebublicans actually believe, rather than just assuming that what you’re told by the main-stream media is true.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

        • k. December 9, 2011 at 8:59 am

          So, tell me, what exactly is it that Republicans actually believe that has been so misrepresented in the main stream media? I’d really like to know.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • are December 9, 2011 at 9:30 am

            the republican leadership believes that any substantial increase in the tax burden of people with very high incomes will “kill jobs.” their words, don’t need no mainstream media to mischaracterize it. whereas direct government spending on infrastructure projects to create jobs will increase deficits (true that), though running two wars while cutting taxes will not. oh, and something or other about paying for health care through private insurance, i forget.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Frank December 9, 2011 at 9:22 am

          Think again? I would encourage all here who are entrenched in their thinking to do just that. I may be on the left but above all am moderate and think all wing-nuts, left and right, represent the dumbing down of America. In a misguided effort to distill complex issues into something resembling a football game, rational discourse, intelligent compromise and problem-solving are tossed aside.

          As for the arrogant comment “you might want to learn more about what Rebublicans actually believe”, I think I have a pretty good grip on it actually. I respect some of those ideas and reject others like any thinking person. You are parroting a line from Occupier Spiffy above, who instructs me to “figure out what the Occupy movement is all about”. Enlighten us oh great wise ones… tell me what it is I apparently don’t know. Am I ignorant because DON”T watch mainstream media… you know; like Fox News and MSNBC?

          Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Lazlo December 8, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    “One of the main missions of a swarm for this action,” Ball adds, “is just to get people up there! I think what happens when we get there will be somewhat improved (sic) based on what is necessary.”

    So, essentially it’s a mob without a goal. Nice. Let’s create some confusion involving bikes and semis.

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    • q`Tzal December 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm

      Action for action’s sake is not a planned action.
      Scheduling unplanned action doesn’t make it planned or thought through.

      If we are going to accuse the 1% of being unwilling to be held accountable for their money grubbing profiteering then the 99% needs to likewise be held accountable for our poorly thought through actions.

      Show up on bikes, on foot, by bus or car – it doesn’t matter. The outcome is something like this:
      (too few people): no affect to minor inconvenience
      (enough people in some places but not others) commercial activity shifts to unblocked ports once it becomes clear that the problem will not resolve it quickly
      (enough people in all Pacific ports) after 2 days of frenetic media coverage of the blockade the Federal government will have received a message from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, each effected state chamber of commerce and all Fortune 500 companies. It will state that companies are currently planing on moving their US based divisions overseas. The world is a small place and most large corporations profits come from foreign business; they will sacrifice the US portion of their profits to hold on to the worldwide market.
      (If it continues) The US military WILL be called in to establish “order”. Take this however you like. Order WILL be established and trade will resume whether the blockade’s goals are met or not.
      (If protesters are injured or killed) public opinion will be less favorable than it was with the OW protests because the protesters’ actions will have negatively impacted most citizens.

      In summary: tactically this protest is similar to deciding to solve your cockroach infestation in a gunpowder locker with a flame thrower.

      Recommended Thumb up 6

  • A.K. December 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    So you’re saying shutdowns on a port have no bearing on delivery time that may have been promised, even if is two months out?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • A.K. December 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      Oops, this should have been a reply way up the thread. Sorry.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • steve December 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    thanks for the story! i was just curious about the bike swarm. the port shutdown needs to happen at 6am, but the flyer only mentions the second (less important) meetup time. will there be a “bike bus” i can catch in the morning?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Lazy Spinner December 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Just imagine the changes in our legislative bodies if the Occupy crowd actually registered to vote and then cast ballots! I see lots of enthusiatic young people at Occupy events but the under 30 crowd still can’t seem to get their act together at election time.

    If youngsters really want to make change, then they need to get active with candidates of their own to move some of the grey haired corporate sponsored deadwood out of the way. Camping and bike swarms won’t do that.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • Hart Noecker December 8, 2011 at 9:34 pm

      Just imagine if you actually got involved with an Occupy event and talked to the people there and realized they are the most politically active community in this country. Don’t confuse the ‘Nobody for President’ signs the crusters carry around for a lack of enthusiasm for participatory democracy, far from it.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • CaptainKarma December 8, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I’ll be there.
    The more some folks nay-say and create reasons why you shouldn’t participate, the more I know that we need to get on with the changes. Attempted suppression by police or by propagandizing the public will only make things “worse” before they get better.

    Of course, camping and bike swarms *are* making a difference, but those are just the beginning. That’s why so many in power are scared and going so quickly to violence to try to intimidate the spirit of change.

    I’ll be there.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • CaptainKarma December 8, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    I hope all the folks trying to demand BP be somehow 100% “objective” and non-partisan on any and all issues also apply that same lens to the OreGronian “news”paper and FOX “news”. Both laughable in terms of objectivity.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Mike December 9, 2011 at 8:02 am

      We all know those sources will not be objective and we have no expectation that they will be (hence the reason I read BP instead of Fox).
      Are you suggesting that we should not expect more from Jonathan?
      That seems like a rather immature mentality: “Fox is biased and tells lies, so Jonathan should too.”
      Take that stance and we may as well go to reading FOX and the O.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

  • A dockworker December 8, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Somehow they dont get the whole “Port” part of Portland. You are just going to hurt a few transloaders, a ash loader, and a grain company. Which btw are brought in by barge, rail, and not many trucks at that time of night. Should this rubbish even be on a bike website?

    Recommended Thumb up 10

  • Mike December 8, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    So let me get this straight, you are going to support an organization that holds commerce for ransom so they can be overpaid. Check out how much they make and ask yourself if they need your help. THEY ARE OVERPAID!!!! If you support these thugs then for crying out loud, the next time there is a teachers strike get on you bikes and do your little swarm. I guess you are running out of things to do!!! Where else can an uneducated worker make 6 figures just because they have connections? P.S. They don’t give a rats arse about a bike swarm.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

  • Hart Noecker December 8, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    This is port shut down of the entire WEST COAST, and there will be similar events all over the WORLD. The critics of Occupy PDX seem to forget this a global social movement that is taking action. BIKE SWARM is a small but newsworrthy component, and I’d be sorely disappointed if something this important was ignored by Portland’s most read bike blog. Don’t like Bike Swarm?, they don’t participate. Don’t wanna read about Bike Swarm?, then click a link and enjoy the rest of the innernette.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Otto December 9, 2011 at 8:30 am

      You know Hart, you sure speak a lot for someone who seems to know very little.

      Recommended Thumb up 8

  • Rick Hamell December 9, 2011 at 6:57 am

    Is Marine Drive still closed at Kelly Point park? When I was there a few weeks ago it was. If so, bikes are going to have to ride through a construction zone over the bridge that is being repaired.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ralph Cabeza December 9, 2011 at 8:30 am

    The inability to look at the long term effect of short term activities is the achilles heel of this movement. Sure, showing support for the Longshoremen may be noble; but what about the effect on the other people down the line from them who just need the things that come through the port in order to do their jobs?

    Dumb.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Otto December 9, 2011 at 8:34 am

    So it’s now about supporting longshoremen? Didn’t know employed – and mostly white – local longshoremen were in such dire straits. This is like privleged white Christian men saying that they’re underprivleged.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Mike December 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm

      Employed white men working for six figures and a full pension need support too!

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • DK December 9, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Shutting down the port of Portland seems a mis-guided step with no clear objective. What points are trying to be made by standing in the way of commerce and people out working to support their families?

    The banks took bailout money and stopped lending and wall street is under-regulated…OK, I get that…but what did the longshoremen do? What did the truck drivers’ picking up/delivering to the port do? What did the sailors do?

    Unprovoked protests with no clear public message will be short-lived. A point to consider if your movement has any real objectives or causes you’re trying to further.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • dcufan December 9, 2011 at 10:26 am

    This is a silly waste of time. These people need to realize that the rest of us will be working that day to make a living rather than complaining about how their needs aren’t being met and looking for handouts. The worst part is that they will just make it easier for people to cast cyclists as lazy hippies who don’t work and just fight the system any chance they get. I commute over 4k a year, but am constantly disappointed by the choices made by my fellow cyclists. Weather running red lights or just acting like jackasses. I vote democrat and support people who want to make change, but these type of events do more harm than good.

    Recommended Thumb up 10

  • Frank December 9, 2011 at 11:12 am

    God I would love to operate a crane. Wanted to since I was five. Can any of you swarmers pick up a job application for me? Because as long ago as 2002, longshoremen made $100k on average, PLUS had a benefits package worth $42k on top of that. Please try not to clip their Hummers with your bikes!

    I’d go myself but like most 99-ers I have a job to go to (but not a $100k jobby-job-job like that!). Say… why is this on a Monday anyway? Don’ the ports run 24/7?

    Recommended Thumb up 8

  • Harvey December 9, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    “The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that’s what an army is – a mob; they don’t fight with courage that’s been born in them, but with courage that’s borrowed from their mass and their officers. But a mob without any man at the head of it, is beneath pitifulness.”
    - Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn

    And thus the occupy movement with die a slow death of 1000 cuts. Get a leader, get a message and do something. I’ll be your bolshevik if you be my Lenin!

    Closing the port means children will miss their Christmas presents because they could not be delivered. Presents often include bikes, and sometimes trikes.

    Christmas – 0 Bike Swarm – 1

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Hart Noecker December 9, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Sure seems like a lot of anonymous first time posters have discovered bikeportland.org on this thread. I do wonder who linked to on Drudge Report.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

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