Activists, Port Officials Disagree on Whether Israeli Cargo Ship was Blocked in Long Beach

Categories: Long Beach

See the update at the end of this post where activists claim victory in blocking an Israeli cargo ship at the Long Beach port, where officials counter operations went off without a hitch.

Zim-ship_International-Longshore-and-Warehouse-Union.jpg
International Longshore and Warehouse Union
A Zim ship from Israel is the target of a protest Saturday.

ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 22, 5:22 P.M.: An Israeli cargo ship will be prevented from loading and unloading cargo at the Port of Long Beach Saturday morning, a coalition of activists in solidarity with the Palestinian people has vowed.

Protesters from the labor movement; ANSWER Coalition Los Angeles; Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions-LA; American Muslims for Palestine; US Palestinian Community Network; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network; Global Women's Strike; Jewish Voice for Peace-LA, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (Al-Awda) and others plan to gather at 6 a.m. at the corner of Pier A Way and Pier A Plaza in Long Beach.

"Every week the Israeli-owned Zim shipping line docks and unloads its cargo at the Port in Long Beach. Let's turn this boat around and tell them that companies profiting from Israeli Apartheid are not welcome in LA!" reads a joint statement from the groups.

A Zim ship was just blocked for four straight days at the Port of Oakland.

You can follow the protest via Facebook and Twitter.

UPDATE, AUG. 25, 6:02 A.M.: A coalition of activists claimed victory Saturday in blocking the Israeli cargo ship Zim Haifa from loading and unloading at the Long Beach port. Here's part of their statement:

Over 250 people from throughout Southern California took part in the community picket at the entrance to the pier called by the Block The Boat-LA Coalition. We were there to show strong community support for the recent call by the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) asking workers around the world to stand in solidarity with Palestinian workers, particularly those in Gaza who have been targeted so brutally by Israel over the last month, by refusing to handle Israeli goods. We were asking dock workers from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) to stand in solidarity with their Palestinian sisters and brothers and refuse to unload the Zim Haifa.   The picket started at 6 a.m. and was very colorful and boisterous from the beginning. At around 8 a.m. port workers began to leave and shortly it became clear that the day shift had been called off, meaning that the Zim Haifa would not be unloaded today. Our actions today have sent a clear message that the people of Los Angeles and the surrounding counties will not stand for companies that profit from apartheid, colonialism and occupation to do business here!
  But business was not stopped, according to David Siegel, Israeli Consul-General in Los Angeles, who reportedly told Haaretz during the height of the protest, "The information regarding this morning is completely baseless and the port is proceeding as usual this point. The ship is being unloaded now."

A spokesman for the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach confirmed for the Jewish news site that "peaceful protestors" left Long Beach by 9 a.m. and "there was no operational interruption or delay."

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!



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