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History Made June 20th in San Francisco–Dockworkers
Refuse to Cross Picket Line to Unload Israeli Cargo ship in Oakland

Message from the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions(PGFTU)

22 June, 2010
Mycatbirdseat.com

To our respected sisters, brothers and comrades in the trade unions, labor councils and workers’ organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Since the beginning of the workers’ struggles in your country – the United States of America – international solidarity has been a constant part of workers’ organizing and struggle in solidarity with workers and people facing injustice everywhere in the world. We, the workers and the people of Palestine are suffering under oppression of the Israeli occupation of our land and people. This occupation began long ago, the longest-lasting occupation of the modern era.

As people who cherish life and wish to live in freedom, we look to and call upon ourfellow workers of the world, particularly today our friends of truth, democracy and freedom in the San Francisco Bay Area to take a stand of courage alongside Palestinian workers to obtain justice and freedom for the workers and people of Palestine. We call upon you to support our struggle to obtain our liberty, practice our self-determination, and build a sovereign, democratic Palestine, like all other nations on earth.

Dear brothers and sisters, trade unionists, workers, and people of the San Francisco Bay Area, we remember and salute your historic and massive action on the docks in 1984, when you acted to boycott the apartheid regime in South Africa.

We look to you today from the Gaza Strip and all of Palestine, and call upon you to repeat that courageous stand today. This genuine solidarity is something we have longed for and expected. As you are responding to our appeal, we expected from you nothing less because of your history of defending the oppressed, including our people suffering under Israeli occupation, and your stand in opposition to the attack on the unarmed Gaza Freedom Flotilla seeking to deliver humanitarian assistance to the besieged Palestinian people in Gaza. Your action today is a milestone ininternational solidarity from honest and brave U.S. workers and trade unionists.

Greetings to you from the trade unionists and workers of Palestine…from the trade unionists and workers trapped in Gaza, seeking freedom…from the entire world who cares for humanity, freedom, justice, progress, and to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

On behalf of your brothers, sisters and comrades in the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions,

Manawell Abdul-Al
Executive Committee Member
Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions
June 19, 2010
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Oakland Longshorman’s Union June 20, 2010

Oakland, CA Boycott of Israeli Ship: June 20, 2010 from Oriana Bolden on Vimeo.

 

Oakland, CA Boycott of Israeli Ship: June 20, 2010 from Oriana Bolden on Vimeo.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYm1_kWiYzw

(06-20) 12:35 PDT OAKLAND — Hundreds of demonstrators, gathering at the Port of Oakland before dawn, prevented the unloading of an Israeli cargo ship.

The demonstrators, demanding an end to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, picketed at Berth 58, where a ship from Israel’s Zim shipping line is scheduled to dock later today. The day shift of longshoremen agreed not to cross the picket line.

International pressure to end the Gaza closure has increased since Israeli commandos stormed a flotilla of ships attempting to run the blockade on May 31, killing nine people. Last week, Israeli officials announced that they would loosen but not lift the blockade, allowing more goods to enter the impoverished area.

“Our view is that the state of Israel can not engage in acts of piracy and kill people on the high seas and still think their cargo can go anywhere in the world,” said Richard Becker, an organizer with ANSWER, one of many peace and labor groups involved in Sunday’s action.

Becker estimated that 600 to 700 people joined the demonstration, many of them arriving at 5:30 a.m. Oakland police, who estimated the crowd at 500 people, reported no arrests.

The demonstrators want to block the unloading of the Zim ship for a full day. After convincing the day shift of longshoreman to honor the picket line, the demonstrators dispersed around 10 a.m., Becker said. The ship is scheduled to arrive in mid-afternoon, and the demonstrators plan to gather again around 4:30 p.m. and re-establish their picket line before the evening shift of longshoremen arrives at 6 p.m.

E-mail David R. Baker at dbaker@sfchronicle.com.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/06/20/BA0G1E28CV.DTL&tsp=1#ixzz0rRj9zUeU

Also read:

Protestors block unloading of Israeli cargo ship in Oakland

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) launch Week of Action for Palestine supported by the Young Communist League and other progressive organization