Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bay Area Labor and Community to Picket an Israeli Ship

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We are not going to "sleep in", but instead we will make history!

Bay Area Labor and Community to Picket an Israeli Ship

Sunday, June 20, 2010, 5:30 AM Pacific Daylight Time
Berth 57, Port of Oakland, California, U.S.A.

 Israel’s Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla!
Boycott Israeli Ships and Goods!
Lift the Blockade 
NOW – Let Gaza Live!
Bring Down 
Israel's Apartheid Wall!
Unions, labor federations and other organizations around the world have condemned Israel’s deadly attack against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on May 31, 2010. Nine people were killed and dozens seriously injured in the Israeli commando attack in international waters on ships attempting to bring humanitarian cargo to the suffering and blockaded people of Gaza.
Israel maintains a deadly blockade against 1.5 million people in Gaza, with claims ranging from the control of weapons to achieving demographic superiority in favor of Israel’s occupation.  The construction of the apartheid wall in the West Bank aims to create Jewish-only colonies on Palestinian territories.  Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, rose to prominence calling for the expulsion of the indigenous Palestinian people living in the borders of the Israeli green line.

Israeli Apartheid can fall too !
similar to the Apartheid State of South Africa,
Israel’s best friend

Along with dock workers from Sweden and Norway, calls from Malaysia, and following previous actions from liberated South Africa, we will picket the arrival of Israel’s Zim ship liner at the Port of Oakland.  In San Francisco in 1984, a picket line and refusal by dockworkers to unload a ship carrying South African cargo was a key event in mobilizing the anti-apartheid movement worldwide.  We will be picketing the Zim ship and asking the workers to do the same with apartheid Israel.

An Injury to One is an Injury to All
Israeli apartheid must fall! 

We call on everyone who stands for justice and against occupation and apartheid to join the June 20 picket at the Port of Oakland.

The Israeli Zim Lines ship is scheduled to dock at Berth 57 on Middle Harbor Rd. in the Port of Oakland, about a mile from the West Oakland BART station. BART does not begin running on Sundays until 6:00 a.m. There is parking available at the BART station and on nearby streets.

Car pooling coordination: +1 510-282-7032
Details about Port action: +1 415-821-6545

Updates on the actions:

Legal Hotline: +1 415-285-1011

This action is endorsed by the members of the Free Palestine Movement U.S. delegation on the Sfendonh passenger ship:
Janet Kobren, Paul Larudee, Gene St. Onge, Ambassador Edward L. Peck, and Joe Meadors

Labor / Community Committee in Solidarity with the Palestinian People:

Arab American Union Members Council, ANSWER- Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, Palestine Youth Network, US PalestineCommunity Network, Al Awda- Right to Return Coalition, Arab Youth Organization, MECA-Middle East Children's Alliance, SJP-Students for Justice in Palestine, AROC-Arab Resource and Organizing Center, ISM-International Solidarity Movement, San Jose Peace and Justice Center, International Socialist Organization, Peace and Freedom Party - SF, Transport Workers Solidarity Committee, Bay Area US Labor Against the War, Bay Area Committee for Peace and Justice, Barrio Unido, Movement for Unconditional Amnesty for All Immigrant Workers, National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupation, Friends of Deir Ibzi’a, Socialist Viewpoint, FMLN in Northern California, San Jose Justice for Palestinians, Code Pink – SF, World Can’t Wait – SF, International Action Center, Skyline Against Cuts, Industrial Workers of the World –SF, Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Social Justice Committee,  QUIT!- Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism, Fred Hirsch, Executive Board Member of Plumbers & Fitters Local 393, Delegate to the south Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, Break the Silence Mural Project, and many labor activists in the Bay Area.

Palestinian Trade Union Movement Calls on International Dockworkers Unions to 

Block Loading/Offloading Israeli Ships  
Until Israel Complies Fully with International Law and Ends its Illegal Siege of Gaza 

June 7, 2010- The Palestinian trade union movement, as a key constituent member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) calls on dockworkers' unions worldwide to block Israeli maritime trade in response to Israel’s massacre of humanitarian relief workers and activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla, until Israel complies with international law and ends its illegal blockade of Gaza. Drunk with power and impunity, Israel has ignored recent appeals by the UN Secretary General as well as a near consensus among world governments to end its siege, putting the onus on international civil society to shoulder the moral responsibility of holding Israel accountable to international law and ending its criminal impunity. Dockworkers around the world have historically contributed to the struggle against injustice, most notably against the apartheid regime in South Africa, when port workers unions refused to load/offload cargo on/from South African ships as a most effective way of protesting the apartheid regime. 
Today, we ask you to join the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU), who resolved [1] not to offload Israeli ships in Durban in February 2009 in protest of Israel’s war of aggression on Gaza, and the Swedish Dockworkers Union [2] who resolved to blockade all Israeli ships and cargo to and from Israel in protest of Israel's attack against the Freedom Flotilla and the ongoing deadly Israeli siege of the occupied Gaza Strip. 

Israel’s ongoing blockade of essential food, health, educational and construction supplies is not only immoral; it is a severe form of collective punishment, a war crime that is strictly prohibited under Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, that is inducing mass poverty, water contamination, environmental collapse, chronic diseases, economic devastation and hundreds of deaths. This three-year old medieval siege against 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza, has been squarely condemned by leading legal experts, including UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Prof. Richard Falk, who described it as constituting "slow genocide."  

Israel's deplorable attacks on the unarmed ships are a violation of both international maritime law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which states that "the high seas should be reserved for peaceful purposes." Under article 3 of the Rome Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation of 1988, it is an international crime for any person to seize or exercise control over a ship by force, and also a crime to injure or kill any person in the process. As prominent international law scholars have recently confirmed, there is absolutely no legal justification for Israel's act of aggression against international civilian ships carrying humanitarian and developmental aid to civilians suffering under occupation and a patently illegal blockade, which has created a man-made and deliberately sustained humanitarian catastrophe. Our response must be commensurate with this crisis.  

Gaza today has become the test of our universal morality and our common humanity. During the South African anti-apartheid struggle, the world was inspired by the brave and principled actions of dockworkers unions who refused to handle South African cargo, contributing significantly to the ultimate fall of apartheid. Today, we call on you, dockworkers unions of the world, to do the same against Israel's occupation and apartheid. This is the most effective form of solidarity to end injustice and uphold universal human rights. 


Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) 
- General Union of Palestinian Workers (GUPW) 
- Federation of Independent Trade Unions (IFU) 
- Palestinian Professionals Association** 
Youth Workers Movement (Fatah) 
Central Office for the Workers Movement (Fatah) 
Progressive Workers Block 
Workers Unity Block 
Workers Struggle Block 
Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE) –part of IFU 
Workers Liberation Front 
Labor Front Block 
Workers Solidarity Organization 
Workers Struggle Organization 
**Includes the national syndicates of engineers, agricultural engineers, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, 
lawyers and veterinarians.  

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