Monday, August 18, 2014

A Ship Docks in Oakland

Protesters in Oakland have blocked an Israeli-owned ship from unloading. The ship is owned by ZIM, the 10th largest shipping company in the world. Notably, ZIM is privately-owned (the Israeli government divested its minority ownership in 2004) and to my knowledge there is no claim that the company is implicated in the occupation other than by its nationality.

Protesters claim that local unionized dockworkers (members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, I believe) honored the picket line and refused to unload the ship; with one leader saying "[t]his is the first time in history that this has happened." If indeed the workers made a voluntary decision to refuse to unload the ship in deference to the picketers, that would be a first -- but only because the last time time this happened the picket temporarily succeeded only because the union workers feared for their personal safety if they unloaded the ship.

UPDATE: This news story indicates that we're in roughly the same boat as we were in 2010 -- union workers did not cross the picket line "for safety reasons." The ILWU confirmed that it had not taken a stance favoring (or disfavoring) the picket.

UPDATE x2: The ship was unloaded last night, when the union concluded there was no longer a "safety issue." Basically, this great non-violent BDS "success" was that they successfully created a safety hazard for union workers which kept them off the job. Hurray!

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