Picket the Zim Shanghai From September 27 at Port of Oakland!

End the Siege of Gaza!
Picket the Zim Shanghai Starting September 27 at the Port of Oakland!

Israel and Hamas agreed to a set of conditions for a ceasefire on August 26th, after Israel had killed more than 2,100 Palestinians in Gaza – mostly civilians, more than a quarter children – and destroyed much of Gaza’s infrastructure, housing, hospitals, schools and water supply.

Israel claims it does not “occupy” Gaza, yet it has complete control of Gaza’s land crossings, seacoast and air space. Israel severely restricts Palestinians’ movement and their access to food, medical supplies, and construction materials.

In 1984, protesting against South African Apartheid, the Bay Area longshore workers union, ILWU Local 10, went on strike for 11 days against the Nedlloyd Kimberley, a ship carrying South African cargo.

In 2010, responding to the deadly Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, Local 10 honored a picket of an Israeli-owned ZIM ship by 1,200 community and labor activists, refusing to unload the ship for 24 hours. In August 2014, Palestinian, community and labor activists, in an historic victory, blocked the Zim Piraeus for five days and forced it to leave the Bay with most of its cargo still on board.

We ask the ILWU to carry on its long historical tradition of opposing injustice and honoring community picket lines. Let’s keep the pressure on and continue this tradition of labor blockades against oppression.

Please come to a sustained community and labor activist picket beginning on September 27th to stop the Zim Shanghai from unloading or loading any cargo – from when it arrives in Oakland until it leaves. This will also send a message to stevedoring companies such as Stevedore Services of America (SSA) who are pushing for concessions right now against longshore workers who are working without a contract.

Picket Lines Mean Don’t Cross!
An Injury to One is an Injury to All!
Solidarity with the Palestinian people!

Stop ZIM Action Committee

Text “Join” to 88202 for alerts on ship location and picket status
Twitter: @StopZIMOak
Webpage: snurl.com/stopzims27
A “sustained picket” means we will picket the Zim Shanghai from when it arrives until it leaves the Bay.

Morning assembly: 5am, West Oakland BART (starting September 27th)
Afternoon assembly: 4:30pm, West Oakland BART

Carpools will be available. The ship is expected at the SSA terminal in the Port.

Typically, each picket will last only a few hours until longshoremen decide not to cross the picket. It may last longer depending on the situation. Volunteers are need for all shifts, but especially morning shifts and the first day (morning of September 27th).

Please check your phone/Twitter/FB for updates on the ship location and picket status, particularly the day before. ZIM may delay the ship’s arrival to avoid picketers.


Block the Boat Vancouver

Account of what happened in Vancouver, Canada, written by Vancouver activists. September 10  2014 Four years ago, after the attack on the Freedom Flotilla and the solidarity port action in Oakland, Vancouver Palestine solidarity activists attempted to block a ZIM ship at Deltaport. The action was successful in bringing attention — especially among truckers and longshore operators — to the destruction of Palestine by Israel, and to ZIM’s connection with the Israeli occupation. Although the action may have caused some delay, the ship unloaded and left. Israel’s massacre in Gaza during July and August this year refocused attention on ZIM as a Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) target. It’s one of Israel’s largest corporations and Israel itself, until 2004, retained equity in the company. Since then it has been owned by the Israel Corporation which is controlled by the Ofer Brothers Group. ZIM Integrated Shipping Services operates dozens of container and bulk ships globally. Late in the summer, an ad-hoc group of Palestine solidarity activists, responding to the massacre in Gaza and inspired by actions in Oakland, California, decided to reinvigorate the anti-ZIM campaign under the banner of Block the Boat. With very little time before the arrival of the ZIM Djibouti at Vancouver’s Deltaport (Roberts Bank), the activists set to work. In the absence of a relationship with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), Local 502, the group decided to conduct a Port Information action including sign display and distributing leaflets to workers, without blocking traffic on Deltaport’s access roads. This approach was based on the group’s assessments of available people for the action and the likely perception of it by Local 502. Although somewhat different, Oakland, Long Beach and Tacoma also had port campaigns to educate workers prior to their actions to Block the Boat. On Friday, September 5, the ZIM arrived at Deltaport on schedule. We took the opportunity to photograph five members of the group holding the signs we planned to use the following day with the ZIM Djibouti in the background. That evening, as we tracked progress on an AIS reporting web site, we were surprised to see the ship leave the dock at Deltaport after about five hours. Since the Local 502 had at most a couple of hours work on the ship before it left, we assumed that very few or none of the containers left the ship. The ZIM Djibouti surprised us again, a little later in the evening, by sailing toward Victoria rather than the next scheduled landing at Tacoma. Obviously, our planned demo on Deltaport Way would take on a different character. The intention from the beginning had been to concentrate on information delivery to workers, but the absence of the ship itself gave the day a different cast. We rallied according to plan, both individuals as well as members of various groups. By 6:45 AM, signs were brought out, leaflets were folded and our action was underway. Police and private security attendance was relaxed. Activists had formed into a long line on the shoulder of the road holding 4-foot signs. The messages were “Let Gaza Live”; “Block the Boat”; “Free Palestine”; followed by “No ZIM”, and there were Palestinian flags and Keffiyehs. Traffic was moderate and, by exploiting a pedestrian crossing light, we were able to hand leaflets to workers on their way in as well as truckers heading for deliveries and pickups. Some of us also ventured into the employee parking lot and left leaflets under windshield wipers. Judging by the honks, we were understood and appreciated — hardly surprising as the massacre had been in the news for more than 40 days and the Canadian public is not generally sympathetic with the current Israeli government or the IDF. But the ZIM Djibouti was nowhere in sight. By 9:00 am Saturday, as we were beginning to wrap up, the Djibouti was heading west to a point about 300 km away from Deltaport in the distant approaches to the Strait of Juan de Fuca which separates Vancouver Island from the North West corner of Washington State. Its destination was still advertised as “Vancouver”; ZIM’s web site was still showing an arrival of September 5 and a departure for Tacoma of September 8. We tracked the ship through Saturday and Sunday, attempting to keep our Facebook page up to date twice each day as the calculated return time kept changing. The only change in the ship’s advertised status via AIS was the addition of “Hazardous A” as a cargo note. We had no contact with the local through the weekend although we noted that three previously scheduled Zim work shifts were cancelled and no new work shifts were announced. On Monday morning we were surprised again when the AIS track showed Port Angeles P. Station as the new destination. Port Angeles has no large container facilities, but there is a power station close by — though not accessible from the sea. As scheduled, the ZIM Djibouti began, Tuesday morning, moving toward Port Angeles, which is directly south of Victoria. Abruptly, later in the day, it made a 180-degree turn just outside of the Port Angeles spit, continued to turn west and having hardly slowed down, headed back out the strait. We were mystified. Operating and moving a 349 meter ship (1,145 feet) that carries more than 1,000 containers is extremely expensive. A day lost represents millions of dollars of delayed or lost revenue for ZIM and for all of its customers as well. Images of its track have been published on Facebook (Block the Zim Djibouti – Part II) and Twitter. Hour by hour, we anticipated a change in track and a subsequent rushed reassembly of the protesters on Deltaport Way. But the ship has spent Monday, the latter half of Tuesday and all of Wednesday under a controlled drift in the open ocean. Late on Tuesday, the AIS report changed. The destination was “Vancouver” once again, but the ETA is 14:30 (2:30 pm) on Tuesday, September 16. At the time of this writing, the ship is still drifting and the meter is still running. September 10 2014

Block the Boat: The Inside Story, part two


Continuing the story of the block the boat boycott action at the port of Oakland, August 16-20 2014:
Having been delayed for four days, the Israeli ship, the Zim Piraeus, finally left for Russia on Wednesday, August 20th. The block the boat action was a huge success. Contrary to what the mainstream media and Zionist press reported, much of the cargo was NOT unloaded at Oakland. This information was given to us by the dock workers themselves. It has since been verified by many of the Zim customers whom we have been phoning over the last two weeks. Several of them have confirmed that they never received their cargo, that Zim has told them it was going to the Far East, and that they would not get it back again “for some months”. Full details of some of our conversations with the customers are given in this excellent report here:

The Oakland boycott action has had a cumulative effect, as the ship, currently anchored in the bay outside Vostochnyy port in Russia, cannot take on more cargo until it has got rid of the stuff supposed to have been unloaded in Oakland. It has been at anchor there since at least Monday Sept 1st. (I am writing on Thursday Sept 4th.) We can only assume it is waiting for another ship to take its cargo back to Oakland before it can continue to China. Having been delayed both in Oakland and now in Vostochnyy, it is running way behind schedule. You can track its progress (or lack of it) on the cell phone app FindShip, and also here

and also here:
Thursday NOON PDT UPDATE: After a delay of several days, Zim Piraeus has finally moored at the port of Vostochnyy! (It always moves when I am in the shower. )