Beaten on the Docks
[col. writ. 10/10/07
(c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal
It was a sunny day, right after lunch, when all hell broke loose for two longshoremen, sitting in their car, about to return to work.
Jason Ruffin and Aaron Harrison were approached by private security guards who demanded to search their vehicle.
The men asked to see the maritime security (or MARSEC) regulations, and one of them phoned the local business agent to try to clear up the matter.
Rebuffed at their search attempt, and angry that the two men didn't immediately acquiesce in this illegal and unwarranted search, the security guards called the West Sacramento cops.
While on the phone, both men were attacked, assaulted, dragged from the car, maced and jailed by the cops, without provocation, and charged with trespassing.
Trespassing -- at the job! Previously, the guys showed their Port ID, and the driver showed his driver's license!
They were also charged with resisting arrest!
If these were just average folks, perhaps it never would've made the news; but they were union members of the ILWU, the historically militant International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 10.
Local 10 didn't take this lying down. Along with Local 34, the ILWU has called for union protests against this naked, unprovoked brutality.
The union's executive committee called for a rally to support their union brothers, Harrison and Ruffin, and demanded that all charges be dropped against them. Before the first court hearing the ridiculous charge of trespassing was dropped. The committee also demanded the release of the port security videotape of the assaults.
The union's business agent, Melvin MacKay was on the phone with Ruffin when this ugly event occurred.
The ILWU looks at this assault on 2 Black union members by white security guards and cops, for what it is: racial profiling -- and parking --not even driving! -- while Black.
The ILWU says, "This is our Jena."