#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.
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.
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.
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.
Labels: BDS, Oakland, San Francisco