From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters
Oakland, Calif.—On Saturday Aug. 16 thousands of marchers descended on Pier 57 at the Port of Oakland to prevent unloading of an Israeli ZIM Lines cargo ship. “Block the Boat” organizers say the Piraeus, originally scheduled to dock at 5:00 AM, rescheduled to 3:00 PM due to the presence of demonstrators. It didn’t land at 3:00 PM either.
The massive crowd was met by a long line of riot cops defending the pier. We chanted, “Hands up, don’t shoot!” in solidarity with Michael Brown, the unarmed Black teen shot to death by a white cop in Ferguson, Mo. (see p. 11).
One speaker said ZIM Lines delivered supplies to the South African military during apartheid. Another passed on a rumor that the Ferguson police were trained in crowd control by the Israeli Defense Force.
The vessel managed to tie up Tuesday morning only to find a big picket line dock workers refused to cross for safety reasons. The Piraeus was forced to leave and return when it was safe to unload.