Protesters rally in Oakland, shut port operations

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
By Paul Martin

By Dan Levine and Noel Randewich
Wed Nov 2, 2011

Thousands of protesters shut down operations at Oakland’s port and blocked traffic on Wednesday to rally against economic inequality and police brutality in demonstrations marred by scattered vandalism.

The protest fell short of paralyzing the northern California city that was catapulted to the forefront of national anti-Wall Street protests after a former Marine was badly wounded during a march and rally last week.

But as evening fell, an official said maritime operations at the Oakland port, which handles about $39 billion a year in imports and exports, had been “effectively shut down” by the thousands of marchers.

“At this time, maritime operations are effectively shut down at the Port of Oakland. Maritime area operations will resume when it is safe and secure to do so,” the port said in a written statement.

Port spokesman Isaac Kos-Read said, however, that some activity may continue at the port, which was typically slower in the evening than during the day.

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