Thousands turn back Israeli ship from Oakland port

Press release from the Block the Boat Coalition, Aug. 19.

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 the International Longshore and Warehouse Union for standing with us against Israeli apartheid by honoring our pickets and letting the ship go from the SSA terminal this afternoon!

Saturday [Aug. 16] 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 toward 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 the 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 the racist exclusionary state of apartheid Israel has no place in our port, and will soon find that it has no place in any port on the West Coast.

Oakland feels firsthand the brutality of Israeli war-making. And Palestine knows too well the role the U.S. 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 U.S. 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 to bring down every wall, every apartheid system and every racist state.

Palestine will be free!