From 5 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. this Father’s Day morning somewhere between 500 and a thousand pickets blocked the 4 entrances to Berth 58 at the Oakland, California Port to prevent the workers from unloading an Israeli ship sailing up the California coast. The ILWU workers did not want to cross, nor did they challenge the picketers. Teamster truckers were turned away at one gate. At 9:30 a.m. the official announcement came that the Union Contract arbitrator had evaluated the situation and decided that potentially dangerous working conditions allowed the Longshoremen to legitimately honor the picket lines. Police were low key. The ship has delayed entry to the Port.
According to the leaders of the demonstration, this is the first time in U.S. history that an Israeli ship has been successfully blocked. The demonstration’s coalition calls for an immediate end to the siege of Gaza and for spreading the boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli goods and transports worldwide.
The next shift of Port workers will arrive in late afternoon or early evening today. The leaders have called for “everybody out to the Port, Berth 58, at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon to achieve the limited goal of a 24 hour blockade of the Israeli Apartheid cargo”.
They say “If you can get there, be there. Park at the West Oakland BART and walk 1.2 miles (or carpool) down Middle-Harbor to the Berth entrances. Please spread the word as numbers and militancy are a prerequisite for the arbitrator to again find that the workers are within their rights in honoring the picket line. “