Hundreds of protesters have gathered at the Port of Oakland to block an Israeli cargo ship from offloading. The “Block the Boat” effort has been led by the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC). The group says that they’ve successfully prevented the Haifa-based shipping company ZIM from docking in Oakland.
Last month members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union refused to offload a ZIM ship in Durban. The workers were heeding a call from the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions for solidarity. Dockworkers in Livorno, Italy also refused to load a shipment of arms going to Israel.
In 2014 AROC launched the Block the Boat coalition in response to ZIM attempting to dock in Oakland and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) refused to offload ZIM’s cargo in solidarity. The company has not tried to dock in the city again until this week. Activists throughout the country have vowed to also block any ZIM ship that tries to offload in their cities.
“Our mobilization is working!,” read a tweet from AROC’s Twitter account this morning, “We’re current picketing 6 different gate entrances with over 600 people, and workers are not crossing the pickets. The message is clear: profiteering from Israeli apartheid is not welcome in the Bay Area.”