Press Release: Occupy Portland Stands with Longview to Stop Grain Shipment

January 18, 2012
By

* Note: This is the first in a series of releases over the next two weeks explaining the role of the Occupy Movement in the struggle against EGT Development and their parent company Bunge Ltd that is developing into a large-scale action in Longview, Washington. All releases will be posted at www.OccupyTheEGT.org *

For immediate release – Jan 18, 2012
Contact: Kari Koch or Jess Kincaid - (503) 567-8694portland-media@occupytheegt.org

Caravan, flotilla, and protest planned in response to the labor struggle, food justice issues, and environmentally destructive practices of EGT and Bunge corporations

Portland, OR – Occupy Portland and other West Coast Occupations are mobilizing caravans to converge in Longview, Washington when the first ship to be loaded for export arrives at the new EGT grain terminal later this month.  Occupy Portland, Oakland, and Longview all passed a resolution calling for the Occupy movement to come together in Longview to stop “EGT’s attacks on our communities, our food supply and the jurisdiction of West Coast Longshore workers.”

Occupy is partially responding to the call to action from the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Counties Central Labor Council that asked “friends of labor and the 99% everywhere come to the aid” of the Longview community. EGT recently completed construction of a tax-payer subsidized grain elevator at the Port of Longview that the company is attempting to operate with non-Longshore Union workers.

EGT Development is owned primarily by Bunge Ltd, an international agribusiness holding company. Bunge has been accused of tax avoidance and of breaking labor laws in Brazil and in Argentina. Bunge North America has a history of union disputes and union busting in the United States. According to Greanpeace and Rainforset Action Network, Bunge, though soybean production, is a major contributor to rainforest destruction. They have also been accused of buying soy from plantations in Brazil blacklisted for using slave labor.

“Our demands of EGT and Bunge are based not only in worker’s rights, but also in food justice, environmental justice and international solidarity. Bunge is a Wall Street firm that has long history of bad business practices – exploiting workers and resources for profit, and now they are targeting the people in our community,” says Kari Koch with Occupy the EGT working group.

The empty grain ship is expected to arrive sometime in January with a US Military escort. This is the first known use of the US Military in a labor dispute on the side of management in 40 years. The San Fransisco Labor Council has condemned this use of the US Military.

Thousands of people, members of Occupy, union members, activists, the 99%, from all over the West Coast are expected to join Occupy Longview and the people of Longview to protest the loading of this ship and the actions of EGT and Bunge corporations.

The next meeting of the Occupy the EGT Working Group of Occupy Portland to organize Portland’s part of the West Coast caravan to Longview is at 6 pm Wednesday Jan. 18th at 6401 SE Foster.

More information can be found at www.OccupyTheEGT.org.

This action is endorsed by the Occupy Portland General Assembly

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