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New- Updates can be found at the end of this post.  Most current info will be on twitter, hashtag #blocktheboat

Charleston, SC- Activists will be preparing to #blocktheboat on Wednesday at the Port of Charleston, as the Carolina Maersk, a containership bearing clothing made by the 112 workers burned to death in the Bangladesh factory fire approaches the port of Charleston to berth there the following day at the Wando Port terminal in nearby Mount Pleasant, SC.  The clothing, made for 28 cents an hour before the fire,  is bound for Walmart and other retailers.  

Offshoring to factories like those in Bangladesh has devistated the SC Textile industry, eleminating 93 thousand jobs in this state between 1990 and 2005 and destroying entire towns.  Near many of those towns, massive now Walmarts close this cycle of destruction by selling imported goods and levelling competing businesses while once proud textile workers accept jobs or shop there because there are no survivign alternatives.  

Forge the Chain! Wednesday afternoon and evening, activists are asking the public to bring small items of clothing not made in the United States to be attached to a chain to be used in the demonstration at the Wando Port terminal the following day.  Activists will be on Marion Square from 12 noon to 7 pm, Wednesday, Dec. 19th. between the fountain and the Calhoun Monument, to accept the clothing and attach 112 items to the 180 foot chain, one piece of clothing for each person killed in the fire.  

The chain symbolizes the supply chain which undermines human dignity by destroying American jobs and denying workers in other countries safe dignified employment, a chain of bondage.  After the demonstration, the clothing items will be donated to charity. Online signup http://www.corporateactionnetwork.org/...

Planning Meeting, Wednesday Night Participants in the #blocktheboat Charleston effort are asked to attend a briefing and organizing meeting at the Club Room of the Sgt. Jasper Apartments (310 Broad Street Charleston, SC 29401) on Wednesday, December 19 at 8 pm.  The club room is located on the North end of the building.  Parking can be found nearby around Colonial lake.  The meeting will last about an hour.

The briefing will be conducted by Brett Bursey of the SC Progressive Network with the assistance of other leaders and organizations involved. Bursey has been a leader of the activist community in South Carolina since the Vietnam War and has lead hundreds of demonstrations and protests. Online signup http://www.corporateactionnetwork.org/...

Thursday, #blockthebaot Charleston The ship is currently expected to arrive at the terminal about 7 am.  

Getting to the #blocktheboat Charleston Picket and Protest on Dec. 20

Please note that the arrival time of the ship may change so check back for updates and monitor twitter has code #blocktheboat for updates.

The Gate of the Wando Welch Port Terminal at 400 Long Point Road, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 is 10 miles from Downtown Charleston.  A van will leave for the Picket from in front of the Charleston Visitor’s Center on Meeting Street (Across from the Charleston Museum) at 6:40 am.  There is a bus shelter there.  Please request a ride from this location prior to the end of the Organizing meeting on Wednesday night so we can put you on the list.  There is no parking available near the port gate.

Those arriving by car can gather at Starbucks at nearby Belle Hall Shopping Center, which opens at 5 am.   There should be plenty of parking in that area.  https://plus.google.com/...

We’ll shuttle people from and to the gate from the Starbucks.  Call 843 870-5299 when you arrive there.  Remember to get some refreashment and use the bathroom.  Access to a restroom may not be available at the port gate.

The Starbucks is also a block from the nearest transit stop.  Persons needing to use transit would take the 6:35 am CARTA 40 from the Mary Street Transit Center in Downtown Charleston to Houston Northcutt Blvd. in Mount Pleasant.  Dismount at the stop in Mount Pleasant near Whole Foods and cross the road to the two concrete benches on the opposite side (there is no shelter at that stop.  The #401 East Cooper Connector bus will pick them up at Seven minutes after the hour and bring them to Bell hall, where they'll have to cross long point road to get to the Starbucks.  It's not a terrible trip.  The earliest you can get to this location on transit would be about 7:30 am.  Service runs once an hour.  The trip cost $2.05 with transfer. Here is the bus trip on Google Transit.  

https://maps.google.com/...

I’m aware of the reality that some activists are participating in a boycott of Starbucks, but options in a suburban area like Mt. Pleasant are very limited.

We'll make signs and review plans for the morning, which are quite dynamic at the Wednesday night meeting.

Organizers are in contact with local law enforcement and no violence is planned or anticipated.  Petigru Free Speech Defense has a page on the legal effort associated with Thursday.  http://www.facebook.com/...

Challenge Walmart, Saturday there will also be an action at three local Walmarts in the Charelston Area
Online Signup- http://www.corporateactionnetwork.org/...

Updates on the effort in Charleston and other ports along the East Coast can be found by following the twitter hash code #blocktheboat or by checking http://www.scpronet.com/

Tue Dec 18, 2012 at  7:46 AM PT: Mount Pleasant Patch first to break story in local Media.  http://mountpleasant-sc.patch.com/...

7 am Thursday is Tentative time to begin the picket at the Wando Welch Port Terminal in Mount Pleasant.  Time may change due to events in Newark where unloading of part of this cargo is currently stalled due to blockade there.  Longshoreman are apparently not working the ship.  It will take over a day for the ship to steam from Newark to Charleston so keep checking back.

SC Progressive Network distributes call from SC Workers Rights Coalition to over 2500 friends and organizations on #blocktheboat Charleston.  https://app.e2ma.net/...

Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:02 AM PT: Getting to the #blocktheboat Charleston Picket and Protest on Dec. 20

Please note that the arrival time of the ship may change so check back for updates and monitor twitter has code #blocktheboat for updates.

The Gate of the Wando Welch Port Terminal at 400 Long Point Road, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 is 10 miles from Downtown Charleston.  A van will leave for the Picket from in front of the Charleston Visitor’s Center on Meeting Street (Across from the Charleston Museum) at 6:40 am.  There is a bus shelter there.  Please request a ride from this location prior to the end of the Organizing meeting on Wednesday night so we can put you on the list.  There is no parking available near the port gate.

Those arriving by car can gather at Starbucks at nearby Belle Hall Shopping Center, which opens at 5 am.   There should be plenty of parking in that area.  https://plus.google.com/...

We’ll shuttle people from and two the gate from the Starbucks.  Call 843 870-5299 when you arrive there.  Remember to get some refreashment and use the bathroom.  Access to a restroom may not be available at the port gate.

The Starbucks is also a block from the nearest transit stop.  Persons needing to use transit would take the 6:35 am CARTA 40 from the Mary Street Transit Center in Downtown Charleston to Houston Northcutt Blvd. in Mount Pleasant.  Dismount at the stop in Mount Pleasant near Whole Foods and cross the road to the two concrete benches on the opposite side (there is no shelter at that stop.  The #401 East Cooper Connector bus will pick them up at Seven minutes after the hour and bring them to Bell hall, where they'll have to cross long point road to get to the Starbucks.  It's not a terrible trip.  The earliest you can get to this location on transit would be about 7:30 am.  Here is is on Google Transit

https://maps.google.com/...

I’m aware of the reality that some activists are participating in a boycott of Starbucks, but options in a suburban area like Mt. Pleasant are very limited.

Tue Dec 18, 2012 at  2:25 PM PT: Met with representatives of the Press at Charleston City hall this afternoon.  All the local press is aware of the Protest and picket planned for Thursday.

Meetings with port and law enforcement representatives in the morning.  Everyone is tryng to be very careful to avoid misunderstandings.

Tue Dec 18, 2012 at  4:53 PM PT: Julia Hamilton has gone forth into the wasteland of Home Depot retail and after two stops, we now have 150 feet of yellow plastic chain. I wanted some grey chain, with big rustic looking links used in film and theatrical productions, which was actually cheaper, but we didn't have time to order it. If your planning something like this try to order plastic chain early.  We'll start putting the chain together on Marion Square tomarrow at noon and the effort will continue there until seven and at the planning meeting thereafter. We need 112 small items of clothing not made in the US. Socks, gloves and children's items are all fine. Nothing really large or heavy. Red and green are the colors of Bangladesh and we'll try to put a section together honoring them.  You quickly find that nearly all the clothing in your home is made overseas now.  We'll donate these items to charity after the demonstration.  Those participating in the picket Thursday will get a short segment of the chain to take home as a momento.  We plan to hang our on our Christmas tree as a reminder of the year we did this.  We have many such objects on our tree.

Wed Dec 19, 2012 at  7:18 AM PT: Met with Port Security at the Demonstration site this morning.  Very busy area with lots of visibility which is good for us.  We'll be positioned on the West Side of the rodd, facing the sun which should produce good, clear video and photographs.  Media will be parked across the street, but will have access to the demo and both sides of the road.  Still working on finding a few parking spaces close by, but it's a dense industrial area and huge numbers of people are using the limited parking already there, all on private propert so we'll need to plan to shuttle to and from the Starbucks at nearby Belle Hall Shopping Center.  I've just posted images of the demonsration area on the Facebook event page.  http://www.facebook.com/...

Ship still expected at 7 am, Thurs. Dec. 20

Getting calls from allied organizations that they're planning to come.


Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 7:25 PM PT: We'll meet up at the Starbucks in the Belle Hall Shopping Center on Long Point Road and shuttle from there at 6 am. There will be a pickup downtown in front of the Visitor's Center on Meeting Street at 6:40 am, but space will be limited. Our goal is to have a legally valid picket line deployed outside the port gate shortly after 6 am, well before the port gate opens at 7 am. If you get there after 6 am, you can walk to the demo site in 20 minutes or call 843-870-5299.  Google Maps link to the Starbucks https://maps.google.com/...

Originally posted to wjhamilton29464 on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 01:00 PM PST.

Also republished by WE NEVER FORGET, Invisible People, Protest Music, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Anti-Capitalist Chat.

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