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Calif. protesters to block Israel-owned ships at Port of Oakland

- The Washington Times - Monday, July 28, 2014

Pro-Palestinian activists in the San Francisco Bay Area are planning to block the Port of Oakland this Saturday to prevent two commercial shipping tankers partially owned by the Israel Corporation from docking and unloading.

Protesters plan to block two Zim Integrated Shipping Ltd. commercial vessels, because 32 percent of the company is owned by Israel Corporation — Israel's largest holding company, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Organizers of the event include the Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace and Justice, which describes itself as an anti-war group that "works actively to promote a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." It says its membership includes trade unionists, labor and social justice activists and retired union members from around the Bay Area.

A Facebook event for "Block the Boat for Gaza" says the demonstration is meant to show activists' "solidarity with the Palestinian People."

Protesters will meet at the West Oakland BART station at 5 a.m. Saturday and march to the Port of Oakland at 5:10 a.m. sharp, organizers said.

The hashtag #BlockTheBoat is being used on Twitter to promote the event.

A flier for the event read: The Palestinian people are under attack by the state of Israel, with the support of the U.S. government. Palestinian children are being murdered, their hospitals are being bombed, and Palestinian workers are being fired, beaten, arrested, and killed for striking in response. We call on a broad coalition of Pro-Palestinian labor, human rights, and anti-war organizations to join us for direct actions and pickets against the Israeli Shipping company ZIM!

A similar protest against a Zim ship in 2010 was held by hundreds of Bay Area activists condemning Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, the Mercury News reported.

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