AMP, Coalition blocks Israeli ship in Los Angeles
The Block the Boat - La Coalition, which includes American Muslims for Palestine, successfully kept an Israeli Zim Haifa vessel from unloading its goods this morning at the Port of Los Angeles.
About 250 activists showed up at the LA port at about 6:30 a.m. and blocked the entrance to Pier A. The Block the Boat - LA Coalition worked in cooperation with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which refused to unload the ship.
Last week, the Block the Boat coaltion in the San Francisco Bay Area prevented an Israeli Zim Haifa ship from unloading for four days at the Port of Oakland. The American Muslims for Palestine is a key organizers in the coalitions.
"This action was a response to the call from the Palestinian General Federation Trade Union (PGFTU), which is asking workers around the world to refuse to handle Israel goods," said Taher Herzallah, AMP national campus coordinator. "This is a BDS action and our success shows that the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is growing in this country. It is imperative to keep the momentum going."
The picket started at 6 a.m. At about 8 a.m. port workers began to leave and shortly thereafter it became clear the day shift had been called off, meaning that the Zim Haifa would not be unloaded today.
The Block the Boat – LA Coalition would like to thank the members of Local 13 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union; our West Coast allies from Block the Boat - Oakland and Block
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the Boat – Tacoma; and of course, we want to thank the hundreds of community members who stood strong and sent a clear message to Zim shipping and Israel that they are not welcome in Los Angeles!
During apartheid in South Africa, ILWU workers made history when they refused to unload South African cargo in San Francisco in 1984. This action was a major catalyst for international anti-apartheid solidarity and struggle worldwide.
In 2010, after a Turkish flotilla, the Mavi Marmara, was attacked by Israel for attempting to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza, Palestinians and allies in the Bay Area successfully blocked the Israeli Zim ship from being unloaded at the Port of Oakland — the first time in US history an Israeli ship was blocked.
We will be continuing this legacy by educating Port workers about the call for solidarity from Palestinian Workers. And just as apartheid fell in South Africa, so too will it fall in Israel!
Block the Boat – LA Coalition members include:
American Muslims for Palestine
BDS-LA for Justice in Palestine
US Palestinian Community Network
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network - Labor
Global Women’s Strike
Jewish Voice for Peace – Los Angeles
Al-Awda (The Palestine Right to Return Coalition)