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About 150 Occupy protesters picket Port of Hueneme

December 12, 2011 |  8:05 am

A crowd of about 150 soggy protesters held signs and formed a picket line Monday outside the entrance to the Port of Hueneme, a deep-water port in Ventura County, just south of Oxnard.

They were protesting shipments Monday by Del Monte Foods, which is owned by KKR, a private equity firm specializing in leveraged buyouts. Marshall Getto, an Occupy organizer out of Santa Barbara, called the firm "one of the worst companies representing the abuses of the 1%."

Getto said protesters tried to get the longshoremen to join the demonstration, but the union declined.

"We understand that they have to work and feed their families," he said. "We know they support us in spirit."

As the group picketed back and forth, flatbed trucks entering the port sounded their horns.

Michael Bridges, 33, said he arrived from Fresno at 1:30 a.m. and has supported several Occupy events, no easy task in the conservative Central Valley, he said.

He is out of a job after his electronics company dismantled and sent its jobs overseas.

"I feel our votes are counted, but they do not matter anymore," Bridges said. "I voted Obama, I voted change. Where's our change?"

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-- Catherine Saillant in Port Hueneme

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