About the early-morning protest heard in north West Seattle

Some readers on the north side of the peninsula asked about what sounded like protesting/chanting early this morning. While we were trying to sleuth the source, a one-line alert from the Northwest Seaport Alliance that Terminal 5 was closed for the day helped us zero in on the port. The resulting inquiries finally pointed us to a tweet (since deleted) in which Climate Action Families took credit, saying “Today we shut down SSA Marine Port of Seattle Terminal 5. Cargo carrier MSC could plug ships into shore power, but chooses not to.” MSC is the shipping line that uses the recently overhauled north berth at Terminal 5 in West Seattle. In the initial months after it opened, we followed up repeatedly on whether the shore-power capability was being used; the answer was “no” last time we checked. Early on, it was described as an issue caught up in labor negotiations. We’re following up to learn its status; we also have an inquiry out with Climate Action Families.

17 Replies to "About the early-morning protest heard in north West Seattle"

  • SleeplessInSeattle September 21, 2022 (3:44 pm)

    If shutting down Terminal 5 reduces the train noise, then let’s do it.

    • Neighbor September 21, 2022 (4:48 pm)

      Have you lived in the area since before the rail lines went in?  If not it sounds like a personal problem.  You moved next to a port, what did you expect?

      • Eddie September 22, 2022 (7:42 am)

        I’ve been waiting to try out that argument on all the Texans uptight about immigration: Was there another country next to your state when you moved there/were born? if so, it sounds like a personal problem. You moved next to an airport, dragstrip, smelter, immigration path, what did you expect?

  • Larry September 21, 2022 (3:50 pm)

    Thank you WSB.

  • Mike September 21, 2022 (5:01 pm)

    Sooooo, they prefer delaying the unloading and loading of other ships, forcing more toxins to be emitted while they wait offshore?  SMH 

    • Jeffrey September 22, 2022 (8:49 am)

      So you blame the workers and not the CEOs for this? All they have to do is pay more and no delay happens. I think you have cause and effect backwards.

  • 937 September 21, 2022 (5:31 pm)

    FWIW I recently learned the power adaptors for cargo (I would imagine same goes for cruise lines) ships are not STANDARD. As in the plug mechanisim may not fit the power port in the ship itself. Necessitating the need to continue fuel burning at port.

    From my understanding the shipping lines prefer to utilize shore power. It would allow them to perform much needed maintenence.

  • clinker September 21, 2022 (5:54 pm)

    For the health of our community’s air, we should collectively demand that Port of Seattle prioritize enforced switching to shore power for all large docked vessels. Good on our activist organizations and WSB for shining more light on this issue.

    • anonyme September 22, 2022 (6:47 am)

      I completely agree.  Shore power should be mandatory, and any ship that doesn’t have it should be fined big time and forced to comply if they wish to return to this port.  Climate change is not a joke; there are always a million reasons not to do this or that right now.  There will never be an action against climate change that is not painful; to continue to do nothing guarantees unimaginable pain compared to the sacrifices that are needed immediately.  And that includes small, individual actions – like drivers who sit in idling vehicles while talking on cell phones.

      • 937 September 22, 2022 (8:56 pm)

        I wonder if you’re writing this on a shared device? Have you eschewed all fossil fuel derivatives? Are you rain wise? Hunting your own protein and/or raising your own crop?

        My guess is probably not. The hallmark of the bourgeoisie. “Everything YOU do is bad. And I’m gonna tell you why” Never mind how dirty MY kitchen is.

        Enough is enough.

  • Morgan September 21, 2022 (7:01 pm)

    How does the power switching relate to labor?

    • Neighbor September 21, 2022 (8:32 pm)

      Probably because someone has to actually plug it in.

      • Mike Davis September 22, 2022 (7:42 am)

        This is likely the issue. If a task isn’t in the CBA, it likely won’t get done. The union will likely want to have two workers allocated for four hours to do the ten minute job.

    • JH September 22, 2022 (12:29 pm)

      Seems like the workers would have an interest in limiting dirty bunker fuel emissions.

  • Sam-c September 21, 2022 (7:04 pm)

    WSB, thank you for your reporting on the protest (I heard it, but wasn’t close enough to hear what the issue was/ hear everything they were saying). And thank you Climate Action Families for sounding the alarm.  i definitely agree they should be required to use shore power when available.

  • Trung Nguyen September 21, 2022 (8:38 pm)

    The west Seattle area needs to economically  recover from the bridge being closed for 900 days. 

  • Js September 21, 2022 (9:53 pm)

    SSA Marine to cheap to pay longshoreman to plug  in shore power is what it boils down too!!! 

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