As you read this message right now, about 1,500 Palestinian people in the al-Bustan neighborhood of Silwan, Jerusalem are fighting to stay in their native homeland, resisting Israeli bulldozers coming to destroy their homes and forcing them out to make room for settlers. For some families, those bulldozers could arrive as soon as today.
Their resistance is part of a global uprising for justice for Palestinians and all oppressed people fighting against exploitation, racism, and repression across the world.
Today we’re showing up on the phones and in the streets in solidarity, alongside thousands of allies for a Week of Action to stop Israel’s ethnic cleansing. We demand that Democratic leadership quit giving Israel the green light to continue ethnic cleansing in Silwan, Jerusalem and all of Palestine. SF Bay Area, join us for a demonstration in front of the SF Federal Building this Thursday, July 1.
Please stop what you’re doing and call Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Insist they demand that the Israeli government IMMEDIATELY halt these scheduled expulsions in Silwan.
Flood their phones!
VICTORY: ZIM Ship forced out of Oakland!
Oakland and the broader Bay Area have once again achieved a historic Boycott, Divest and Sanctions Movement (BDS) victory for Palestine.
For a full day on Friday, June 4, 2021, after weeks of organizing, community members mobilized by the thousands to the Port of Oakland to block the Israeli ZIM-operated Volans cargo ship from unloading its cargo. In a tremendous show of solidarity with Palestine, dock workers in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 honored the 6 simultaneous community pickets during both the morning and evening shifts, and did not work the ship. In a dramatic move as community members watched, the Israeli apartheid-profiteering ship—knowing that it could break neither our blockade nor the workers’ demonstration of solidarity—left the port of Oakland!
Elias Al-Jelda, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) in Gaza, stated:
“It warms our hearts in the besieged occupied Gaza Strip and the rest of occupied Palestine that our comrades led by AROC, and with the solidarity of our fellow workers in ILWU Local 10, achieved this great #BlockTheBoat victory against ZIM in Oakland. We call upon all dockworkers worldwide to intensify the boycott campaign against ZIM ships and all business profiting from apartheid Israel, in solidarity with our people’s struggle for freedom and justice in Palestine.”
The significance of this victory cannot be overstated. The #BlockTheBoat campaign has now successfully prevented ZIM, Israel’s largest shipping company, from unloading cargo in the Bay Area for seven years and counting. We have made it clear that there is consensus across social justice movements: Entities that do business with, profit from, or are connected to Israeli apartheid are not welcome and will be boycotted!
“An injury to one is an injury to all. Just as ILWU Local 10 workers refused to unload cargo from apartheid South Africa in the 1980s, we honored community pickets asking us not to unload cargo from Israeli ZIM vessels,” said Jimmy Salamy, a Palestinian rank-and-file worker with ILWU Local 10. “Just last month, dockworkers in Durban, South Africa, and Italy also refused to unload Israeli ZIM vessels. Rank-and-file members of ILWU Local 10 stand against Israeli apartheid and with our brothers and sisters in Palestine.”
#BlockTheBoat is a concrete example of what powerful worker and international solidarity looks like. We responded to the call directly from Palestinian trade unions in Gaza asking workers across the world to refuse to handle Israeli goods, deal with Israeli businesses, or handle Israeli cargo. As a result of our movement and relationship building of #BlockTheBoat, port workers in Oakland to heed the call from Palestine! AROC’s International Week of Action now includes support from over 100 organizations, including the largest South African Federation of Trade Unions, COSATU, and actions in Vancouver, New York/New Jersey, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Seattle/Tacoma.
The last few months of Palestinian resistance and global solidarity have ruptured Zionist hegemony and its ability to normalize Israel’s settler-colonial violence in Palestine, its partnership with US imperialism, and its role in global militarism. Our #BlockTheBoat victory offers an alternative narrative—one of internationalism, worker solidarity, community organizing, and victory!
“Workers’ struggle is worldwide…when the workers of the world figure that out, and realize that we have to band together to make change, then it’ll be a better world, including for the Palestinian people. Worker power, economic power, is real power—it’s more powerful than those bombs Israel is dropping.” – ILWU Local 10 President Trent Willis, Friday, June 4, 2021
Long live international solidarity!
For the past 12 days, the #BlockTheBoat protest has kept a cargo ship operated by ZIM – apartheid Israel’s largest and oldest shipping company – from docking at the Port of Oakland. We are winning! Our people power is working, and sending a clear message that Israel’s ongoing settler-colonialism, occupation, and violence against the Palestinian people will come with a heavy price. Every hour that ZIM cargo ships remain undocked and unloaded is a huge victory, as it means that the apartheid state of Israel is losing enormous amounts of money.
We are now calling on communities all over the world to organize solidarity actions with Oakland, and hold a community picket to block a ZIM-operated ship at your port during this week of action against the apartheid-profiteering ZIM shipping line!
Take action to stand in solidarity with our victorious #BlockTheBoat effort in Oakland, and amplify the impacts against the Israeli ZIM company everywhere. Build solidarity with port workers, and encourage them to heed the call from labor unions in Gaza asking workers everywhere not to handle Israeli cargo or engage with Israeli businesses.Together, let’s demonstrate that we will no longer watch as the U.S. continues its business as usual to enable Israeli apartheid. Let’s make clear that ZIM’s apartheid-profiteering will not be welcome by the international community.
Just as the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement helped turned the tide and bring down apartheid in South Africa, so too will our international solidarity and actions today help Palestinians bring about a free Palestine, from the river to the sea.
Interested in organizing a local Block the Boat solidarity action? Fill out this form.
To stay up to date on solidarity actions text your name to 181BLOCKZIM, follow @AROCBayArea on Twitter or Instagram, and visit blocktheboat.org.