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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

#BDS_Fail: Zim cargo ship unloaded in Oakland

It took four days and required a fake feint toward Los Angeles, but unloading of a Zim cargo ship finally started in the Port of Oakland on Tuesday night.
Demonstrators scrambled to shore up their forces at the Port of Oakland Tuesday night after a cargo ship they had blocked from unloading as a protest against Israel's military actions in Gaza set sail for Los Angeles then abruptly made a U-turn and headed back to Oakland.
Despite the protesters' efforts, longshore workers began unloading the vessel late Tuesday.
Pro-Palestinian activists who had protested the presence of the ship Piraeus since Saturday put out urgent mobilization calls for demonstrators to head to the waterfront. Those calls came after online tracking databases showed the vessel heading under the Bay Bridge and back toward Oakland shortly after 6 p.m.
Just three hours earlier, the Piraeus had left port with a reported destination of Los Angeles. It sailed through the Golden Gate and into the Pacific, then turned around and headed back to a new berth in Oakland.
Protesters, some of whom never believed that the ship would head south, scrambled to meet the ship. About 30 marched slowly in a circle off Maritime Street, blocking the entrance to the port as longshore workers looked on from across the street. 
Longshore workers responsible for unloading the vessel refused to do so, not because they are taking sides in the fight between Israel and Hamas, but because they would not work "under armed police escort - not with our experience with the police in this community," said Melvin MacKay, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10.
On Tuesday night, however, because there was no "safety issue," longshore workers reported for work and were unloading the ship, even as protesters continued to block the entrance, said union spokeswoman Jennifer Sargent.
Union officials said longshore workers have been concerned about port safety during demonstrations since several people protesting the Iraq War were injured in a 2003 port rally.
Oakland police fired nonlethal projectiles, including wood bullets and bean bags, without provocation and without allowing protesters a chance to disperse.
Protests over the Piraeus have been peaceful.
The Israeli government owns 32% of Zim. The rest is owned by banks and shipping companies worldwide. The ship was not carrying cargo to or from Israel. Sounds like a #BDS_Fail to me.

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At 3:00 PM, Blogger debbie said...

causing delay for 4 days? I bet they are not so displeased at that. with any sense at all, they would know they couldn't stop it forever.


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