Hearing this, I put in a call to Cam Williams, president of Seattle's International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 19, to ask him whether his group supports the call by some in the Occupy movement to shut down all west coast ports on Dec. 12.

“Local 19 and the ILWU as a whole has taken a position against shutting down the ports on Dec. 12," Williams told me. "Obviously we support the Occupy movement as a whole and the causes they’re fighting for. But as far as shutting down the Port of Seattle, we’re not in favor of that. There’s a lot of jobs—union jobs and other jobs as well—associated with shutting down commerce, and we can’t support that.”

Williams pointed me toward a similar statement made by the entire ILWU, and emphasized: “Anybody acting independently of the ILWU is speaking on their own behalf… The Occupiers are essentially acting on their own merit. The ILWU doesn’t sanction this Dec. 12 shutdown.”