United States: Blockade stops Israeli ship unloading

US activists successfully prevented the unloading of an Israeli cargo ship at the Port of Oakland. Photo: The Electronic Intifad

On June 20, US group Act Now to Stop War and Racism (ANSWER) released a statement, abridged below, on the blockade of the docks in Oakland that prevented an Israeli ship unloading its goods as part of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign targetting apartheid Israel.

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In a historic and unprecedented action today, more than 800 workers and community activists blocked the gates of the Oakland docks in the early morning hours, prompting longshore workers to refuse to cross the picketlines where they were scheduled to unload an Israeli ship from the Zim Israeli shipping line.

From 5.30am-9.30am, a protest was held in front of four gates of the Stevedore Services of America, with people chanting, “Free, free Palestine, don’t cross the picket line” and “An injury to one is an injury to all, bring down the apartheid wall”.

Citing the health and safety provisions of their contract, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union workers refused to cross the picketline to report for duty.

To loud cheers of “Long live Palestine!” Jess Ghannam of Free Palestine Alliance and Richard Becker of the ANSWER Coalition announced the victory. Ghannam said, “This is truly historic, never before has an Israeli ship been blocked in the United States!”