Some 200 anti-Israel protestors prevented the Israeli cargo ship Zim Shanghai from unloading its goods at the Oakland, Calif. port on Sunday morning, Sept. 28. It was the second such attempt in the past two months staged by the pro-Palestinian “Stop ZIM Action Committee.” In August, the group blocked Zim Piraeus from unloading at the Oakland port for five days. The Piraeus feigned a return to sea before doubling back secretly to port.
In addition, American and Canadian BDS activists have been working since August to prevent Israeli cargo ships from docking at the ports of Oakland, Seattle and Vancouver, as part of a protest called “Block the Boat.” Al Jazeera quoted the organization as stating that, “From its founding in 1945 by the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Histradut, Zim has served Israeli settler-colonialism, bringing settlers to Palestine and serving as Israel’s only maritime connection during the 1948 war, supplying ‘food, freight, and military equipment’ used of course to carry out the Nakba. The worldwide commerce conducted by Zim today funds the occupation of Palestine with revenue generated on every continent.”
The International Longshoremen and Warehousemen Unions (ILWU), who refused to unload a Zim ship’s cargo in 2010 as a response to the Mavi Marmara incident, said that it has no plans to participate in this year’s protest. Approximately 50 police officers were on hand at last week’s protest, but did nothing to intervene.