Trending Topics:

UPDATED: Bay Area demonstrators succeed for **fourth** day in ‘Blocking the Boat for Gaza’

ActivismIsrael/Palestine
on 57 Comments
Close to 3,000 people marched to the Port of Oakland to "Block the Boat for Gaza." (Photo: Henry Norr)

An estimated 3,000 people marched to the Port of Oakland on Saturday to “Block the Boat for Gaza.” (Photo: Henry Norr)

Update (Sunday evening, Aug. 17, 2014): For the second day in a row, demonstrators succeeded on Sunday in preventing the unloading and loading of the Israeli ship Zim Piraeus at the Port of Oakland.

The ship had delayed its arrival in Oakland to avoid Saturday’s massive demonstration and planned community picket line. Today at around 5 p.m. an emergency blast went out over the Block the Boat for Gaza text network, summoning all hands back to the Port to set up picket lines in front of the gates to the berth where the ship was to dock. Hundreds of people scrambled out to the isolated harborfront site and quickly mounted picket lines at, apparently, all four gates (I could only see two of them).

Sunday's hastily called community picket lines were substantial enough to persuade longshore workers to stay off the job. (Photo: Jessie Sandoval)

Sunday’s hastily called community picket lines were substantial enough to persuade longshore workers to stay off the job. (Photo: Jessie Sandoval)

Though the numbers were far smaller than on Saturday, the action succeeded again because most of the longshore workers who had been called in to work the ship (members of Local 10 of International Longshore and Warehouse Union) opted not to cross the picket lines. (None crossed at my gate.) At around 8 p.m. Lara Kiswani, Executive Director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) and key leader of the Block the Boat campaign, picked up a bullhorn and announced that the organizers had just received official confirmation that the shift had been cancelled and the ship would not be worked tonight.

Here’s the official victory statement from AROC:

On August 17th, 2014 Palestine was once again victorious in Oakland, California. For the second day in a row the Bay Area community held off the Israeli Zim ship from unloading at the Port. Thousands of people rallied on Saturday and successfully kept the ship at Bay on its regular scheduled day. Today we got word that the ship had arrived and workers were being called to unload it. Within 30 minutes we mobilized over 400 people back to the Port. And we won!

Workers honored our picket and stood on the side of justice, as they historically have. Oakland said no to Zionism and blocked the boat for an entire weekend. This is the first time in history that this has happened. Israeli apartheid is falling one port at a time!

Palestine will be free from the river to the sea. Long live international solidarity and the struggle for liberation!

Picketers cheer as Lara Kiswani of AROC (center left) announces victory. (Photo: Shadi Rahimi)

Picketers cheer as Lara Kiswani of AROC (center left) announces victory. (Photo: Shadi Rahimi)

 

Original report (with some edits and new photos added) on Saturday’s action: Thousands of demonstrators demanding an end to the siege of Gaza and justice for all Palestinians succeeded – if only temporarily – in preventing an Israeli-owned freighter from docking at the Port of Oakland yesterday.

A diverse and spirited crowd of between 2,000 and 3,000 took part in the “Block the Boat for Gaza” action. The plan was to set up a community picket line outside the freight terminal where the Israeli ship, the Zim Piraeus, was due to dock, in the expectation that longshore workers would honor the line and stay off the job so the ship wouldn’t be unloaded or loaded. The action was originally scheduled for 5 a.m. Saturday, just before the ship was due in port, but on Friday evening, when it became clear that it was circling outside San Francisco Bay instead of proceeding to its scheduled docking, protest organizers postponed the demonstration until 3 p.m. In the afternoon, with the ship still stalling at sea in an obvious attempt to wait out the protest, organizers decided to proceed with march to the port and declare a victory, even though the ship is now expected to dock in Oakland sometime Sunday evening.

Some 3,000 people marched to the Port of Oakland on Saturday to "Block the Boat for Gaza." (Photo: revolution-news.com)

Some 3,000 people marched to the Port of Oakland on Saturday to “Block the Boat for Gaza.” (Photo: revolution-news.com)

The action was sponsored by a long list of organizations, but two local Arab-American organizations – the Arab Resource and Organizing Center and the Arab Youth Organization – played central roles in organizing it.

Young Palestinian- and other Arab-Americans played the key roles in Saturday's action. (Photo: Block the Boat Coalition)

Young Palestinian- and other Arab-Americans played the key roles in Saturday’s action. (Photo: Jackie Brown/Arab Resource and Organizing Center)

The crowd mirrored the enormous (and ever-increasing) diversity and militant traditions of the Bay Area and especially of Oakland.

(Photo: Jessie Sandoval)

(Photo: Jessie Sandoval)

The crowd reflected the diversity of the East Bay community. (Photo: Henry Norr)

The crowd reflected the diversity of the East Bay community. (Photo: Henry Norr)

While Gaza was the main focus, numerous signs and frequent chants linked the situation there to Ferguson, Missouri: when, for example, the march reached the terminal where the ship was due and found it heavily guarded by the Oakland police, the crowd broke into chants of “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “Killing children is a crime – Ferguson to Palestine.” (The issue of police violence resonates deeply in Oakland: over the years the community has mourned numerous young men of color killed by law enforcement officers; in 2011 an Oakland Police officer fractured the skull of Iraq veteran Scott Olsen with a beanbag round during an Occupy Oakland demonstration; and back in 2003, Oakland police injured dozens, including me, by opening fire – albeit with “less lethal” weaponry such as wooden dowels – on a crowd marching on the port to protest the U.S. attack on Iraq.)

Predictably, most local media ignored the action, though it was amongthe largest protests in the Bay Area in several years. One TV station that did cover it reported that At one point the group looked to be well over 100 people” – an assessment that could only have been a deliberate  attempt to downplay the demonstration. The Guardian, however, posted a very good report.

(Photo: Justin Benttinen/The Guardian)

(Photo: Justin Benttinen/The Guardian)

Palestinian-Americans and others carried an enormous Palestinian flag. (Photo: Block the Boat Coalition)

Palestinian-Americans and others carried an enormous Palestinian flag. (Photo: Block the Boat Coalition)

(Photo: Henry Norr)

(Photo: Henry Norr)

Henry Norr
About Henry Norr

Other posts by .


Posted In:

57 Responses

  1. annie
    annie
    August 17, 2014, 9:24 pm

    great report henry!

  2. Citizen
    Citizen
    August 17, 2014, 9:25 pm

    Good move.

    Re the Gaza talks–as most here likely know, the Palestinian delegation is trying to get the blockade lifted, at least somewhat, e.g., allow the fisherman to go out a few miles more; and a higher form of this goal are things like allowing a Gaza port (and resurrection of the airfield). I read somewhere today–I think at algemeiner web site, that the head of the Israeli navy recently spouted out that a Gaza port would be a de facto Iranian port and hence a conduit for arms and military equipment to enter Gaza from Iran.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      August 18, 2014, 6:20 am

      I read somewhere today–I think at algemeiner web site, that the head of the Israeli navy recently spouted out that a Gaza port would be a de facto Iranian port and hence a conduit for arms and military equipment to enter Gaza from Iran.

      Of course they would say that. Even if the port is administered by the UN, but why let facts like that get in the way of hype and hysteria?

  3. just
    just
    August 17, 2014, 9:28 pm

    Many thanks for this, Henry Norr– friends were there!

    Bravo!

  4. anthonybellchambers
    anthonybellchambers
    August 18, 2014, 1:34 am

    No Gaza airport, no Ben Gurion airport. No Gaza seaport, no Haifa seaport. Simple. Seven years of oppression and lockdown of 2 million indigenous people is enough.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      August 18, 2014, 9:56 am

      All that and they are to be blamed, because they shot a rocket back! :))

  5. Marnie
    Marnie
    August 18, 2014, 3:19 am

    Awesome!

  6. seafoid
    seafoid
    August 18, 2014, 7:42 am

    This is really amazing. It seems as though the latest Israeli insanity against Zionism’s Untermenschen in Gaza has moved the anti Israel movement along considerably.
    Israel’s leaders have no humanity and the breakdown is going to be their own fault.

    There are just too many Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims and other decent people around the world to make Zionism viable long term. BDS is going to make a huge difference to the ‘deterrence’ the bots always talk about.

  7. Accentitude
    Accentitude
    August 18, 2014, 8:14 am

    This is awesome and even though they cannot possibly prevent the ship from eventually docking, it must be known that there is such a huge financial loss when one of these ships is completely thrown off schedule and prevented from loading and unloading when its scheduled to do so. In that regard, they really are hitting Israel where it counts most: in the pocketbooks and wallets….and that really is the only way to make Israel suffer for continuing the occupation. When Israelis begin to feel the unbearable consequences of the occupation and all the atrocities that the Israeli government has committed, that’s when things will change.

  8. just
    just
    August 18, 2014, 8:27 am

    Yeah! Huge thanks to these activists and to members of Local 10 of International Longshore and Warehouse Union!

    Brilliant mobilization and dedication to justice!

    zim zim zala bim! Many thanks Henry!

  9. hophmi
    hophmi
    August 18, 2014, 10:46 am

    “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea.”

    Will that Palestine be a democracy in which the UN-recognized right of Jews to self-determination is recognized? Or will it be a state of genocidal backwardness like the ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq? What assurances can you give that the Palestinians will not simply replace the Jews where they currently are?

    “No Gaza airport, no Ben Gurion airport. No Gaza seaport, no Haifa seaport. ”

    You’re advocating terrorism with a statement like this. The only way Ben-Gurion airport could be disabled is through the targeting of civilian infrastructure by Hamas. That’s terrorism. Suicide bombers have murdered people in Haifa.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 18, 2014, 11:37 am

      “You’re advocating terrorism with a statement like this.”

      Do you need the number for Homeland Security, Hophmi? Or do you have them on speed-dial? And did anybody ever tell you the story of the little boy who cried Wolfowitz?
      Another scratch-and-snitch Zionist, this Hophmi.

    • eljay
      eljay
      August 18, 2014, 11:44 am

      >> hophmeee: The only way Ben-Gurion airport could be disabled is through the targeting of civilian infrastructure by Hamas. That’s terrorism.

      So when Israel targets Gaza’s civilian infrastructure, Israel commits terrorism. Thanks for clarifying that.

    • adele
      adele
      August 18, 2014, 11:57 am

      So Hoppo, you recognize that bombing an airport is terrorism? Great, then we agree that Israel is a terrorist nation, afterall, the IOF bombed the Gaza International Airport….

      The [Gaza International Airport] facility ceased to operate in 2001 after the bombing of the radar station and control tower by Israel Defense Forces aircraft during the al-Aqsa Intifada.
      The airport opened in 1998. It is owned, and was operated, by the Palestinian Authority, and served as the home airport for Palestinian Airlines. It was able to handle 700,000 passengers per year and operated 24 hours and 364 days a year. The total area of the airport is 235 hectares (2.35 km2). The airport closed in 2001 after being severely damaged by Israeli military forces. The closest public airport in the area is El Arish International Airport in Egypt.
      The construction of the airport was provided for in the Oslo II Agreement of 1995. The airport was built with funding from Japan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Germany and designed by Moroccan architects (modeled after Casablanca airport) and engineers funded by Morocco’s King Hassan II. The total cost was $86 million. After a year of construction, it opened on 24 November 1998. At the time, the opening of the airport was described as evidence of progress toward Palestinian statehood. The airport got international airport codes (IATA: GZA, ICAO: LVGZ).

      The radar station and control tower were destroyed by Israel Defense Forces aircraft on 4 December 2001, after the start of the al-Aqsa Intifada. Bulldozers cut the runway apart on 10 January 2002.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasser_Arafat_International_Airport

    • Kris
      Kris
      August 18, 2014, 12:46 pm

      @hophmi: “What assurances can you give that the Palestinians will not simply replace the Jews where they currently are?… You’re advocating terrorism with a statement like this. The only way Ben-Gurion airport could be disabled is through the targeting of civilian infrastructure by Hamas. That’s terrorism. Suicide bombers have murdered people in Haifa.”

      Maybe it’s time for you to give it a rest, hophmi. Take at least a few weeks off; you need a mental health break. Eat good food, sleep, and reflect on this for 15 minutes a day:

      “What assurances can you give that the Israelis will not simply replace the Palestinians where they currently are?… You’re advocating terrorism with a statement like this. The only way a Palestinian airport could be disabled is through the targeting of civilian infrastructure by Israel. That’s terrorism. The IDF have murdered people in Palestine.”

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      August 18, 2014, 12:46 pm

      “the UN-recognized right of Jews to self-determination”

      I don’t recall the UN saying that Jews – qua Jews – had a right to self determination. Neither the partition suggestion nor the recognition of Israel imply recognition of such a right. They were only pragmatic accommodations.

    • amigo
      amigo
      August 18, 2014, 12:50 pm

      “Will that Palestine be a democracy in which the UN-recognized right of Jews to self-determination is recognized? ” hopknee

      It will be based on the ” only democracy ” and light unto the nations protected by the most moral army blah blah blah.

      Surely hoppy , you cannot find a reason to object to that and will stay there and be a good Jewish citizen of Palestine.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      August 18, 2014, 1:32 pm

      “You’re advocating terrorism with a statement like this”.

      Not necessarily. A complete boycott would shut BGA without anyone firing a shot.
      Israel has the problem that Andalus had – wrong side of the Med , surrounded by people it has nothing in common with, an enclave linked to an empire that goes the way of all empires.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      August 18, 2014, 1:36 pm

      You really don’t know when it’s time to quit do you? K’vetch, k’vetch, k’vetch. If you want to really know what terrorism is, look at the pictures by Max Blumenthal. You’ll see the lovely star o’ david souvenir the mamzerim left behind.

  10. just
    just
    August 18, 2014, 12:15 pm

    I wonder what the Zim Piraeus is carrying…

    check out the location and status (moored!):

    http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/477634800/vessel:ZIM_PIRAEUS

    LOL! Good job folks!

      • just
        just
        August 18, 2014, 2:32 pm

        I hope that this inspires others in other ports around the world to do the same.

        From wiki:

        ‘ZIM was founded in 1945,[2] by the Jewish Agency and the Histadrut (General Federation of Laborers in the Land of Israel). The first ship was purchased in partnership with Harris and Dixon (based in London) in 1947. This vessel was refurbished, renamed SS Kedma, and sailed to the future state of Israel in the summer of 1947. During her first years, her main task was transporting hundreds of thousands of immigrants to the emerging state. Some of the other ships that had been used for clandestine immigration before the establishment of Israel as a state were confiscated by the British mandate authorities and later joined the company’s fleet. The company continued to purchase more ships, among them SS Negba, SS Artza and SS Galila.

        During the 1948 war, the company was the sole maritime connection with the state of Israel, supplying food, freight and military equipment.’

        ‘Regional headquarters: Haifa (Israel), Norfolk, Virginia (USA), Hamburg (Germany), Hong Kong
        Ports of Call: 180 throughout the world’

        (come on Norfolk!)

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        August 18, 2014, 5:01 pm

        Just,

        You can do a web search for “Zim Shipping” scandal and for “Zim Shipping” conspiracy if you like to read those kinds of things.

      • just
        just
        August 18, 2014, 7:05 pm

        Thanks, but I really don’t. I found it “interesting” though. It’s a wonderful target for BDS, and these folks are doing a fantastic job in Oakland!

      • just
        just
        August 18, 2014, 7:37 pm

        W. Jones– I couldn’t resist after you dangled that bit out there!

        wow.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 18, 2014, 7:06 pm

        ” clandestine immigration”

        That little euphemism covers a multitude of sins.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        August 18, 2014, 8:10 pm

        Just,

        M.W. asks us not to feed the wildlife, but I supposed that the rangers wouldn’t mind those tidbits.

    • Pixel
      Pixel
      August 18, 2014, 10:12 pm

      .
      @just

      Thanks for link!! Didn’t know it existed.

      • just
        just
        August 18, 2014, 11:19 pm

        It’s a handy site. I hope that it gets a lot of visitors in the days to come.

        BDS! Block the Boat(s) for Gaza! Such a genius action @ so many levels.

  11. John Douglas
    John Douglas
    August 18, 2014, 1:20 pm

    Good news. Haven’t seen any of that for a while.

  12. Kris
    Kris
    August 18, 2014, 6:45 pm

    Next ports of call for Zim Piraeus: Tacoma and Seattle. Protests are being organized by “Block the Boat! Blockade of Israeli Zim Ship in Tacoma and Seattle”:

    https://www.facebook.com/events/678819478876975/683009738457949/?notif_t=like

    As far as I can tell, from http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/477634800/vessel:ZIM_PIRAEUS
    the ship is still in Oakland. Normally, from the arrival and departure info given for its other stops, this ship arrives and leaves each port within a few hours.

    • just
      just
      August 18, 2014, 7:02 pm

      For the first time today @ that site instead of status “moored” it says “underway”.

      edit–Now it’s back to “moored”.

  13. JustJessetr
    JustJessetr
    August 18, 2014, 6:45 pm

    So the dockworkers honored the picket line! Any statements from the dockworker union (the ILWU) to support this?

  14. Kris
    Kris
    August 18, 2014, 6:52 pm

    OAKLAND — For the third day in a row, protesters have apparently prevented a cargo ship operated by an Israeli company from unloading at the Port of Oakland, officials said.

    A small group of about 15 people who came out Monday morning were not part of the official Block the Boat protest but were an autonomous rally supported by the movement. Two protesters were cited and released at the scene by Oakland police for blocking the roadway, Officer Johnna Watson said.

    The group dispersed by 9 a.m. and officers were to remain on the scene to monitor events.

    The Zim Integrated Shipping Lines vessel Piraeus had docked Saturday at the port’s Oakland International Container Terminal, which encompasses berths 55 to 59, but dockworkers would not cross protesters’ picket lines to offload its cargo.
    http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_26359685/oakland-protesters-block-israeli-ship-from-unloading-again

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/18/picketers-oakland-california-port-israeli-ship-unloading

    NEWS UPDATE (Monday, August 18, 2014, 12 noon) : unconfirmed reports are saying that longshore shifts dispatched to work the ship have been sent home by SSA today as well, making it the 2nd day of the effective boycott of the ship, Zim Piraeus, owned by an Israeli firm. https://libcom.org/blog/zim-ship-unloaded-port-oakland-18082014

    • Henry Norr
      Henry Norr
      August 18, 2014, 11:18 pm

      @Kris: thanks for posting that report and links – saved me the trouble. On correction: “A small group of about 15 people” is vicious Zionist slander. I’m sure there were at least 25 of us out there :-)

      I didn’t go back tonight, but a few folks did, and apparently the workers again declined to cross. Clearly that would not have happened without the mass action on Saturday, and it’s arguable that the Sunday picket lines were big enough to be effective. But by this morning, and I gather tonight, there aren’t even any real picket lines, just a handful of folks making a symbolic presence (plus scores of cops), so when the workers refuse to work the ship, it’s they who deserve all the credit for making that choice – nobody is stopping them, effectively, from going in.

      It’s partly solidarity with Palestine, for sure, but in general it comes out of Local 10’s strong tradition of not crossing community picket lines (they’ve respected actions about Oscar Grant, Mumia Abu Jamal, the 2010 Gaza flotilla attack, and other issues – though there were problems last year with a truckers’ demo), and partly, I think, a reluctance to go work with the police escorting them, considering the OPD’s history. In addition, the ILWU is currently in contract negotiations – their old contract expired July 1 – and I’ve heard from friends with good contacts within the union that at least some of the leadership and rank and file have decided that this situation is actually a good opportunity to remind the bosses that nothing moves if the longshore-people don’t work….

      As for an unknown person (or persons) spreading misinformation, it’s certainly possible that someone(s) did so in a deliberate attempt at subversion, but it could have been honest confusion – there are all kinds of conflicting rumors, tweets, etc. flying around, particularly because the official Block the Boat coalition is not using its impressive communications network (a text-blasting system, Facebook, Twitter, and even that old carryover from the 20th century, e-mail) to spread the word about today’s “unofficial” actions. Under those circumstances, plus the fact that it was Monday morning and a lot of folks had to work, go to school, etc., the action this morning would surely have been small even if no one had claimed it was called off.

      • just
        just
        August 18, 2014, 11:39 pm

        thank you, thank you Henry!

      • Kris
        Kris
        August 19, 2014, 12:56 am

        This action is so great–thank you for being there, Henry! And thanks to the stalwart longshoremen/women of Local 10!

  15. Kris
    Kris
    August 18, 2014, 9:18 pm

    Very strange. It seems that some unknown person spread misinformation in an attempt to prevent the protest picketing Monday morning, greatly reducing the numbers of people who showed up to picket:
    http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/08/18/18760241.php

    I guess the lesson here is, once a protest is planned, show up even if someone tweets that it has been called off.

  16. Pixel
    Pixel
    August 18, 2014, 10:18 pm

    .
    This is the COOLEST thing, ever!

    GREAT job Oakland, SF, East Bay, et al!

  17. JustJessetr
    JustJessetr
    August 18, 2014, 11:18 pm

    I’ve looked all over. Is there any independent, verifiable source out there that says the dockworkers “would not” as opposed to “could not” cross the picket line? Any worker willing to go on the record as refusing to cross? I haven’t found any evidence of that so I’m a little skeptical of such claims.

    • just
      just
      August 19, 2014, 12:10 am

      This is what I have found with a quick search:

      “Representatives for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union said Monday that the union had not taken an official stand on the issue, but that individual dockworkers had decided not to cross the pickets for safety reasons.

      Past protests at the port had been unsafe when police confronted protesters, in one instance firing rubber bullets that hit some longshoremen reporting to work, according to a press release from the union.

      The protest is “nothing short of political terrorism,” and has little effect on Israel because the ship rarely goes to Israel, said Andy David, consulate general of Israel to the Pacific Northwest region.

      “The people of Oakland and of California, these are the people who will suffer with these actions,” David said.”

      http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_26359685/oakland-protesters-block-israeli-ship-from-unloading-again

      Love that Andy David calls this “terrorism”.

      “Individual dockworkers had decided not not to cross the pickets for safety reasons” sounds to me that they decided not to cross the pickets.

      • JustJessetr
        JustJessetr
        August 19, 2014, 9:34 am

        Well, this is the source of the Contra Costa Times.

        http://www.longshoreshippingnews.com/2014/08/volatile-atmosphere-at-gaza-demonstration-prevents-longshoremen-from-entering-port-of-oakland-terminal/

        “Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union were unable to report to work Sunday night at SSA Marine’s terminal in Oakland, Calif., due to volatility associated with a large demonstration and significant police presence at the gates of the facility. In 2005, Oakland police fired rubber bullets in similar circumstances, wounding several longshoremen who were trying to report to work.

        The demonstration at the Oakland International Container Terminal was in protest of Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip and was directed at the calling of a Zim Integrated Shipping Services vessel associated with the State of Israel.

        The ILWU has taken no position on the issue associated with the demonstration, but in cases when unsafe circumstances arise at the point of entry, the union must protect the safety of its members in the workplace. When it was ascertained that last night’s demonstration and associated police presence created an unsafe environment, dispatched ILWU-represented Longshoremen and Clerks that arrived at the SSA gate to work stood by instead at a safe location away from the demonstration point.

        SSA, after recognizing the safety situation associated with ingress to their gates, released all ILWU manpower at 7:30 p.m.”

        This is the closest thing to a statement found from any ILWU individual or organization. The CCTimes wove an interpretation of this article, but the article itself doesn’t mention the word “decided” at all.

        So, I’m still skeptical. I’d love to see a quote from a longshoreman, but until then it looks like the protestors are trying to portray people who may not agree with them as allies. NOT unheard of in protests movements.

  18. Kris
    Kris
    August 19, 2014, 10:51 am

    People in Seattle and Tacoma: here’s a place to find info on picketing the Zim Piraeus
    in your area:
    https://www.facebook.com/events/678819478876975/

  19. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr
    August 19, 2014, 6:08 pm

    Latest: picketers again went to the Port of Oakland early this morning, and no workers were called to load or unload the Israeli ship. In short, it’s now been sitting idle for more than four days. We’re planning to go back this afternoon, but the latest word (still unconfirmed, to my knowledge) is that the ship is leaving town this afternoon to try its luck elsewhere – it can’t unload its cargo in Oakland!

    In the video below, Lara Kiswani, head of the Area Resource and Organizing Center in San Francisco and leader of the Block the Boat campaign, stands with an ILWU worker and announces this morning’s victory.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10203593299406529&fref=nf

    Long Live Palestine!

  20. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr
    August 19, 2014, 6:38 pm

    Yes!!! The Zim Piraeus is leaving Oakland, having been unable over four days to get its cargo unloaded here! According to http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-122.2883/centery:37.79358/zoom:8/mmsi:477634800
    it just turned around in Oakland Harbor and is now “underway using engine,” destination Los Angeles.

    Let’s hope it gets a corresponding reception there!

    Viva Palestina!

  21. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr
    August 19, 2014, 6:45 pm

    Good video about Monday’s picketing:

    http://youtu.be/S6ErB8Oyv4o

  22. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr
    August 19, 2014, 7:03 pm

    Whoa, latest rumor is that the “destination LA” business may have been a trick and the ship is really just moving to a different berth in Oakland, at a location much harder for community members to get to. We’ll see – stay tuned….

    One way or another, they’re on the run….

  23. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr
    August 19, 2014, 7:21 pm

    4:12 p.m.: It now appears that the Israeli ship really is leaving Oakland, unless they’re pulling a seriously elaborate ruse. The four tugs that were with it have left it, and it’s headed west out of Oakland harbor. In fact, MaritimeTraffic.com shows it just passed under the Bay Bridge.

    Now passing Alcatraz – they could just lock themselves up there….

    • just
      just
      August 19, 2014, 7:23 pm

      A lovely idea.

      I really hope that they had perishables on board.

      • Henry Norr
        Henry Norr
        August 19, 2014, 7:47 pm

        As of two minutes ago, it has passed under the Golden Gate Bridge. Good riddance, Zim Piraeus!

        re Alcatraz: in fact there are probably few if any Israelis aboard, and while I wish no one would work for Israeli businesses, I don’t actually think ordinary sailors should be locked up because they get hired on to a Zim ship.

  24. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr
    August 19, 2014, 8:13 pm

    Statement just posted by Lara Kiswani, leader of the Block the Boat campaign:

    August 19, 2014
    For four days straight the San Francisco Bay Area community blocked the Israeli ZIM ship from unloading at the Port of Oakland. And today, we salute the rank and file of ILWU for standing with us against Israeli Apartheid by honoring our pickets and letting the ship go from the SSA terminal this afternoon!

    Saturday we mobilized thousands of our community to show the world that Oakland does not welcome racism, apartheid or Zionism, from Ferguson to Palestine. We flooded the streets and marched towards the Port only to discover that the ZIM ship decided to stay at Bay rather than dock and be confronted by the power of our numbers. The ship attempted to dock and unload on Sunday, but within a half hour’s time hundreds of us organized community pickets requesting that ILWU to stand with us on the side of justice and not unload the Apartheid ship. And as ILWU always has, and as they did during South African Apartheid, they demonstrated their solidarity with the global fight against oppression and honored our picket. Once again on Monday, and then on Tuesday morning, community pickets coupled with worker solidarity stopped the ZIM ship from unloading.

    Today we declare a historic victory for Palestine as Oakland held down the longest ever blockade of an Israeli ship. Not only did we block the boat, but we also showed the world that racist exclusionary state of Apartheid Israel has no place on our port, and will soon find that it has no place on any port on the West Coast.

    Oakland feels firsthand the brutality of Israeli war-making. And Palestine knows too well the role the US plays in facilitating the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian people. From the policing and militarization of our local communities perfected with Israeli tactics of repression to the billions that the US provides Apartheid Israel, the connections are clear and are made for us. And over the last four days we showed the world that we stand shoulder to shoulder from Palestine to Oakland to Ferguson as we struggle bring down every wall, every apartheid system and every racist state.

    Palestine will be free.

  25. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr
    August 19, 2014, 8:36 pm

    OMG! The boat has turned around and appears to be headed back into the bay! I’m signing off and headed to the port. Wish us luck…

Leave a Reply