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G8 Protestors Turn Italian Ship Away

Although four weeks have passed since the G8 Summit, the anger over brutal police tactics in Genoa, Italy seems to be intensifying: last Wednesday, a handful of concerned activists set up camp at the Port of Portland's Terminal 6 entrance.

Forming a picket line at 7:00 am, the protesters turned back sympathetic longshoremen, and consequently prevented a recently arrived Italian ship--the Cielo de San Francisco--from unloading. The idea behind the protest was similar to an economic boycott: By delaying the ship's unloading, the shipping company incurred thousands of dollars in extra docking costs. These economic damages emphasized the activists' message: They will not put up with the rough handling and imprisonment of protestors that occurred during the recent G8 Summit.

Sebastion Degens from the Port of Portland said the protest caused a ripple effect. Not only did the picket keep 150 longshoremen from working, but approximately 500 truck drivers saw the picket and turned away. A train due for unloading was also delayed on the tracks.

Hungry for more, the group prepared to form an even larger picket line to stop the next shift of longshoremen. But as the longshoremen arrived for their evening shifts, the activists numbered only 35. The group discussed their options. They heard from an unidentified longshoremen union representative, who told the group that the longshoremen had been ordered back to work and, moreover, that they wanted to return.

The representative told the protesters, "We've hit them all day long. By no means am I on the employer's side. By no means do I give a fuck about corporate motherfuckers. I may burn a McDonald's on the way home."

At that point, the group decided to move across the street and form an informational picket, allowing the workers through. For the next hour, they exchanged information about future actions, including their plans for the next time an Italian ship docks in Portland.

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