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Protesters At Port Of Oakland Declare Win In Israeli Cargo Boycott

Above photo: Oakland, CA. June 4: Hundreds of protesters supporting Palestinians march in front of the employee parking lot to Berths 30 through 32 at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, June 4, 2021. The protesters effectively stopped cargo from being delivered and shipped to Israel. Dylan Bouscher/Bay Area News Group.

Demonstrators prevent deliveries, will gather again in afternoon.

Hundreds of picketers and protesters marched Friday morning in front of the Port of Oakland to keep cargo on an Israeli ship from being delivered.

Approximately 1,000 people from the Arab Resource & Organizing Center and the local union for longshoremen spread out across six gates at Berth 30 near the Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in the 2700 block of Middle Harbor Road.

“Our goal today is to show the city of Oakland that we do not want them to do business with and allow Israeli apartheid money to come into our city,” group spokesman Wassim Hage said by phone. “It’s part of an international picket movement at port cities around the world that will be going on over the next couple of weeks.”

The group declared victory on Twitter at about 9:25 a.m. after no cargo cleared the area. The demonstrators retreated and planned to return around 4 p.m. to picket the next shift, Hage said.

Port spokesman Robert Bernardo released a statement saying Port officials support free speech as well as the right for people to assemble peacefully.

“At the same time,” Bernardo said in the statement, “federal policy dictates that international commerce cannot be stopped. This means that groups can protest, but they cannot disrupt commerce. The Port has been engaged with our public safety partners to maintain safety and security while ensuring the timely flow of commerce at the Oakland Seaport.”

During the protests, demonstrators chanted, “Back up! Back up! We want Freedom, Freedom!  All these Zionist attacks, we don’t need ’em, need ’em.”

“We wonder if doing business with ZIM is worth it to the Port of Oakland, employers at the Port and other shipping companies,” AROC executive director Lara Kiswani said in a statement. “We honor the workers here in Oakland and Palestine and are sending a clear message that profiteering from Israel’s apartheid and ongoing violence against the Palestinian people will not be welcome in the Bay Area.”

ZIM is a publicly held Israeli international cargo shipping company with headquarters in Haifa, Israel, and a North American headquarters in Norfolk, Va.

According to Hage, members of the International Longshore and Warehouse’s Union Local 10 were amid the picketers at the Port as “a huge show of solidarity between organized working people and the struggle for Palestine liberation.”

None of those workers crossed the picket lines, according to a Tweet from AROC.

Calls to union headquarters went unanswered Friday morning.

According to Bernardo, the Port contributes to 84,000 jobs in the region, most of them within the city and that preventing commerce will only jeopardize local jobs.

“Many Port truck drivers only get paid if they pick up and drop off containers,” Bernardo said. “If they get blocked from going in and out, they won’t get paid. This will impact their livelihood and their families.”

Protesters arrived around 6 a.m. to prevent the ship operated by an Israeli shipping company from unloading its cargo. The Israeli owned ZIM-operated Volans ship docked Friday morning.


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