[News] SF Bay Area Community’s Decisive Victory Over Apartheid Israel

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Oct 28 17:41:23 EDT 2014


*October 28, 2014*

*San Francisco Bay Area Community’s Decisive Victory Over Apartheid Israel*

Oakland has made history once again with another BDS victory for 
Palestine against the Israeli Zim shipping line. This latest round of 
organizing has been the most momentous and historic. Members of ILWU 
Local 10 informed Block the Boat organizers that the Zim Beijing which 
was headed to the Port of Oakland, has been re-routed to Russia to avoid 
disruptions at the SSA terminal.  For the first time ever, an Israeli 
ship has been completely turned away before reaching its port of 
destination due to sustained overwhelming community organizing.

The damage to Israel’s credibility can’t be exaggerated--the Zim line, 
though privately owned, is an Israeli “security asset.” Israel exerts 
control over the corporation through a “golden share” which it uses to 
prevent the sale of the company into foreign hands. The Zim line is 
mandated to be part of Israel’s critical supply chain during protracted 
military conflicts. The brand and economic impact on Zim has yet to be 
calculated, but is surely devastating. Goods have been rerouted, and 
undelivered for months. ILWU workers have honored our pickets and sided 
with the community against US complicity in Israeli apartheid. Zim has 
been disrupted and confronted by anti-Zionist protests in Seattle, 
Tacoma, Los Angeles, Vancouver, New Orleans, New York and Tampa. Ports 
all over North America are making it clear that Israel can no longer 
conduct business as usual because Zionism is simply not welcome on our 
coasts.

*/Zim‘s Maneuvers/*

The Zim Beijing, which was scheduled to arrive in Oakland on the morning 
of Saturday October 25, 2014, instead broke from its heading soon after 
it reached the north western coast of Mexico on Wednesday, October 22nd, 
and headed further northwest. Several sources, including Zim’s own 
online schedule, and port and union authorities confirm that the 
Beijing’s intended destination was Oakland, but that it changed its 
itinerary to avoid yet another humiliating defeat. In an article 
published on 10/26, headlined "Zim Beijing Avoids Oakland" the GulfShip 
News reported,  "The ship was due to call on Saturday, but then delayed 
its call to today [Sunday]. Reports from Oakland suggest Zim has now 
decided to cancel the call altogether. Zim has been hit by protests at 
Oakland in August and September, disrupting its schedules."

We also tracked the ship via satellite using an online marine tracking 
service and documented that the ship listed its destination as Oakland 
just minutes after it left the Panama Canal--the norm for Zim ships on 
the Asia Pacific line, which stop at either Los Angeles or Oakland 
before heading to China and Russia. Just days into its 9 day journey 
from the Canal, however, Zim abruptly removed Oakland from its online 
schedule, and headed northwest, taking it ever farther from Oakland.

*/Confronting Global Repression/*

It is clear that the Zim Beijing diverted course in response to the 
powerful Block the Boat organizing. In August, Block the Boat organized 
and inspired a series of historic night and day pickets, which with the 
support of ILWU workers, prevented the Zim Piraeus from unloading for 4 
days, and eventually forced the ship to leave before even a fraction of 
its cargo could be unloaded. In September, Zim faced another set of 
pickets that forced the Zim Shanghai to offload in Los Angeles, rather 
than its intended Oakland destination. The Block the Boat coalition 
along with the broader Bay Area community has made it clear that we can 
determine what takes place in our towns. And business with the racist, 
exclusionary, Zionist state of Israel, which works alongside local and 
federal law enforcement to repress our communities, will not go 
unchallenged.

Activists remained focused throughout Zim’s obfuscations, organizing for 
a large turnout to picket the Beijing whenever it would 
arrive--Saturday, Sunday, or any day of the coming week. Given the 
convoluted maneuvers Zim used in August, in which it left the port under 
the cover of an Israeli consulate press release, only to return to 
another terminal less than an hour later, organizers now know to be 
thorough and patient. After tracking the Zim Beijing for several days, 
Block the Boat prepared for a week of possible pickets by staging a late 
day march of hundreds on Sunday to the Port of Oakland to show the 
strength and focus of this movement. It was a warning to Zim to keep 
going as it reached the 1000-mile mark from Oakland and a promise that 
the gates would be lined again with unstoppable anti-Zionist picketers 
if it returned.

As the Beijing sails beyond the horizon, it still bears the destination 
of Oakland, though it is over 1200 miles away from San Francisco Bay at 
the time of this statement. Our efforts have paid off; Zim Beijing does 
not appear to be turning around. Even if it did reverse course and head 
back to Oakland at this point, it would be a week late, and it would 
find us once again, prepared to stop it at the port.

*/BDS Victory/*

We are declaring a historic victory in our effort to block the Beijing. 
It is very likely that Zim has been completely prevented from doing any 
future business at the Port of Oakland. Only time will tell if  Zim’s 
changes to its schedule reflect the real re-routing of its ships, or 
simply just another ruse to fool opponents of Israeli apartheid. 
Obviously, here in Oakland, we are ready for Zim’s return any time. 
Together with our brothers and sisters from Ferguson to Palestine, we 
are fighting back against state violence and apartheid and we are 
prepared to bring it down brick by brick, wall by wall, port by port.

-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org


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