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Zim Ship Stranded In Oakland! The Labor Community Picket Against Zim Ship In The Port
by Transport Workers Solidarity Committee
Monday Aug 18th, 2014 4:15 PM
All Out At Pier 57 in the Port Of Oakland to Stop The Israeli Zim Ship Piraeus. Support needed on the docks to stop the ship from loading and
The Transport Workers Solidarity Committee was able to picket and stop ILWU Local 10 and ILWU Local 34 members from crossing the solidarity picket line to stop any work on the Israeli Zim Line Piraeus. it is now stranded in the Port of Oakland. The unions of Palestine and South Africa have called for an international labor boycott of Israel shipping. Three picketers were cited and arrested at the port at the morning picket
Zim Ship Stranded In Oakland ! The Labor Community Picket Against Zim Ship In The Port Of Oakland Stops Work
All Out To Picket The Israeli Zionist Zim Line At 5:00 PM Today 8/18/14
Israeli Zionist Shipping Line Piraeus Stuck in Port Of Oakland-Longshore Workers Refuse To Work Apartheid Regime's Ship
A successful picket supported by the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee on the 8/18/14 for the
morning shift at berth 57 in the Port of Oakland. It won the support of ILWU Local 10
and ILWU Local 34 longshore workers who refused to cross the line. Three picketers were arrested by Oakland police
Despite the refusal of Block The Boat coalition to back the action, enough labor and activists turned
out to stop longshore workers from crossing the lines. Three people were arrested.
Today at 5:00 PM there will be another line backed by Block the Boat this afternoon at 5:30 PM.
All hands on deck at Pier 57 in the Port of Oakland. Transit will be provided from the West Oakland BART station.
Transport Workers Solidarity Committee
§Oakland Police Arrest Picketer
by Transport Workers Solidarity Committee Monday Aug 18th, 2014 4:15 PM
Oakland police arrested a picketer who was marching to stop the ILWU longshore workers from crossing the picket line.
§Labor Boycott Of Zim Line Shipping
by Transport Workers Solidarity Committee Monday Aug 18th, 2014 4:15 PM
The Transport Workers Solidarity Committee is supporting the call by Palestinian unions for an international labor boycott of all shipping and transportation from Israel
§Zim Line Ship Piraeus Stranded In Port Of Oakland
by Transport Workers Solidarity Committee Monday Aug 18th, 2014 4:15 PM
The apartheid ship line Zim owned in part by the Israeli government has a stranded ship Piraeus in the Port of Oakland. Labor Community solidarity pickets have been respected by ILWU Local 10 and ILWU Local 34. This is a major blow to the Israeli shipping line and the apartheid regime in Israel. The Zim line was also involved in supporting the apartheid regime in South Africa where it delivered weapons and economic support for the racist regime.
§Zim Ship Docked In Local With No Cargo Being Moved
by Transport Workers Solidarity Committee Monday Aug 18th, 2014 4:27 PM
The Israeli ship Piraeus is stranded at Pier 57 in the Port of Oakland after labor community picketers stopped ILWU Longshore workers from ILWU Local 10 and ILWU Local 34 refused to cross the lines.
Here is an article about the picket in the morning.

Daniel Borgstrom

Yesterday afternoon (Sunday, Aug 17) the Israeli ship ZIM Piraeus entered the Port of Oakland, and some 200 people from the community set up picket lines which were honored by the longshoremen. And the ship did not get unloaded last night. So what about this (Monday) morning?

Somebody called for a picket line for this morning, and somebody else apparently called it off. (We're still trying to figure out what happened.) Anyway, we were out there at 5:30 a.m., a total of about 25 of us. Some may say we were only 20, but please don't undercount our number, I'm absolutely certain there were at least 25 of us out there picketing in the Port this morning, doing our best to cover the four gates of the SSA terminal where the Zionist ship was docked.

The police were there, giving us a bad time, telling us to stay on the sidewalk and making it practically impossible to walk picket lines in the entrances. It's the situation one might expect when there's a lack of critical mass. The cops arrested two people, charging them with obstructing a public thoroughfare or some such BS: George Cammarota whom they arrested, handcuffed, then cited and released. At another gate they arrested Russell Bates, hauled him off to the Washington street jail, then let him go, and it took him over an hour to get back to the port where he rejoined us in our efforts.

Meanwhile, the union told us that they would honor a community picket line. This was extremely frustrating because we simply didn't have enough people. 8 or 9 people at one gate, 4 or 5 at another, and the rest at the other gates were simply not enough to cover the wide entrances. And of course the police were hassling us. Actually, the police were doing a far better and more effective job of blocking the gates than we were.

Things went on like this for about two hours, in the pre-dawn darkness. No reinforcements arriving. A feeling of having been let down by whoever had tweeted that the picketing was off. Not sure what to do. Moving from gate to gate. Massive confusion. Intermittent rain. The only good news was an assurance from the dockworkers that they would not cross a community picket line.

Finally, concluding that we were getting nowhere, that our whole effort of this morning was a total, unmitigated failure, the picketers at one of the gates decided to leave, and set about gathering up our people from the widely dispersed gates. However, the picketers at another gate felt differently; they were waiting for the dockworkers to arrive to see what would happen. While we were discussing the matter of whether to stay or go home, an announcement came from the union that the longshoremen would not be coming in to unload the ship this morning.

We wondered how that had come to be. Could it have been because of our efforts? Or maybe it was despite our efforts? It's possible that the dockworkers felt that the large police presence made for unsafe working conditions -- they may remember April 7, 2003 when police fired "less lethal" munitions at peaceful protesters and also at uninvolved longshoremen who were waiting to go to work. Several of the longshoremen were injured by the police that day. Another consideration is that the ILWU contract expired on July 1st of this year and the longshoremen are now working without one. In any case, for whatever reason, they did not go to work this morning. Meanwhile, the Israeli ship sits at the dock, still unloaded.

So we won, by default maybe, but we did win. We're declaring victory.


danielfortyone [at]

Steve Gilmartin contributed to this article.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Mike Novack
Tuesday Aug 19th, 2014 5:04 AM
It sounds like the longshoremen are telling you that IF you have a picket line at all of the entrances they will honor your line and not cross it.

That means you need to assemble enough people to have an actual (not totally symbolic) picket line at all of the gates, enough people to maintain that picket line around the clock, etc. Probably at least a dozen or two people at each gate and some picket leaders who know the rules for picketing in your jurisdiction << example -- in the jurisdiction where most of my picketing experience was, you can't do a "standing there" blocking of the gates but can have a moving line crossing back and forth, but obviously that requires enough people >>

I'd say you probably need a couple hundred total for a 7x24 picket. Of course if only for a one day symbolic, far fewer. You decide on tactics based upon how many people you can recruit for the action. Keep in mind that IF there is a counter demonstration (and you have to consider that possible) to make your picket blockade appear credible you need to outnumber them. So far that doesn't appear to be a problem but this situation is unlike the one years ago against South Afrika when you didn't have to consider how many "Afrikaners" could be mobilized against you.
by reposted
Tuesday Aug 19th, 2014 11:12 AM
Zim History
‘ZIM was founded in 1945,[2] by the Jewish Agency and the Histadrut (General Federation of Laborers in the Land of Israel). The first ship was purchased in partnership with Harris and Dixon (based in London) in 1947. This vessel was refurbished, renamed SS Kedma, and sailed to the future state of Israel in the summer of 1947. During her first years, her main task was transporting hundreds of thousands of immigrants to the emerging state. Some of the other ships that had been used for clandestine immigration before the establishment of Israel as a state were confiscated by the British mandate authorities and later joined the company’s fleet. The company continued to purchase more ships, among them SS Negba, SS Artza and SS Galila.

During the 1948 war, the company was the sole maritime connection with the state of Israel, supplying food, freight and military equipment.’

‘Regional headquarters: Haifa (Israel), Norfolk, Virginia (USA), Hamburg (Germany), Hong Kong
Ports of Call: 180 throughout the world’

San Francisco O.k.s Contract with Zim Lines After Company Officials Say They Do No Business with S.Africa

May 8, 1986

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 8-2 Monday to approve the city’s 10-year contract with the American containership service of the Zim Lines, Israel’s national shipping company, after company officials said they were ready to sign an affidavit affirming that it does not do business with South Africa.

The contract under which Zim containerships will call at San Francisco on their westbound voyages instead of at Oakland across the bay was signed by Mayor Dianne Feinstein on a trip to Israel last March. Zim will pay the San Francisco Port $250,000 a year for the duration of the contract, for use of its facilities.

But approval, expected to be routine, ran into difficulties when some members of the Board contended that Zim American-Israeli Shipping Co. (ZAISCO), which operates the containership service from U.S. and Canadian ports, transships cargo to South Africa. The Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance last January barring the city from contracting with companies doing business with South Africa because of its apartheid policy.

Feinstein, who attended the Board’s hearing Monday, cited an opinion by the city’s attorneys that the anti-apartheid ordinance applied to contracts calling for payments from the city, not the receipt of payments as would be the case with Zim.


Earlier, Dov Teitler, senior vice president of the Zim Container Service’s West Coast region, based in Los Angeles, told the Northern California Jewish Bulletin in an interview that ZAISCO “does not do business with South Africa and therefore would have no problem signing an affidavit to that effect.”

He said, “More than a year ago (Zim) discontinued accepting cargo for relay (to South Africa) and cancelled all ads accordingly.” But “by oversight some of those advertisements were kept running.” He referred to an advertisement in the March 24, 1986 Shipping Digest soliciting cargo from the Canadian East Coast to South Africa. He said there might have been other such oversights but they were inconsequential.

Willie Kennedy, a member of the Board of Supervisors who was one of the sponsors of the anti-apartheid ordinance, told the Northern California Jewish Bulletin she was satisfied now that ZAISCO does not do business with South Africa. She had been disturbed by reports to the contrary.

As for any possible connection with South Africa by ZAISCO’s Haifa-based parent company, Kennedy said: “It’s a thin line. I guess you’re going to have to give a little along the way.”

On Eve of Protest, a Betrayal Remembered Israel's Zim Line and San Francisco's Shame
AUGUST 13, 2014
On Eve of Protest, a Betrayal Remembered
Israel's Zim Line and San Francisco's Shame
Over the years there have been scores of demonstrations in front of Israel's San Francisco consulate and dozens of marches and rallies in the city's streets protesting Israel's recurring, pre-planned, episodes of bloody suppression of Palestinian resistance and its devastating wars on Lebanon.
None, however, have been as memorable as the one that took place across the San Francisco Bay on June 24, 2010, when more than 1200 community and labor activists, supported by workers from ILWU Local 10, set up a picket line and shut down the Port of Oakland terminal where a container ship owned by the Israeli Zim line was scheduled to dock and be unloaded.
That action had been called to protest Israel's deadly attack on the Turkish ship Marvi Marmara as it was attempting to break Israel's sea blockade of Gaza and bring humanitarian supplies to the residents of the world's largest outdoor prison. In that incident, which evoked world-wide protests, Israeli commandos murdered nine Turks and one Turkish-American, all of whom were unarmed.
On Saturday, August 16th, building on the hundreds of thousands of people across the globe who have been in the streets protesting Israel's latest genocidal war on Gaza, a coalition of groups, including Palestinian and Arab American youth, anti-war organizations, and labor union activists are hoping to replicate the success of the 2010 action. They will be gathering at 5 AM, as they did last time, at the gate to the Port of Oakland's terminal 57, where two Zim ships are scheduled to arrive and be unloaded.
There is an important back story to the appearance of Zim's ships in Bay Area ports that includes one of the most shameful episodes in San Francisco's history. It bears repeating now since most of those picketing on Saturday are unaware of it and it is not likely to be mentioned by any of the speakers. It illustrates the degree to which the pro-Israel Lobby controlled local politics and politicians then, as it does now and for the past half century on Capitol Hill, and will continue to do so until an enraged public puts an end to it
Our story begins with what turned out to be a naïve decision on the part of the otherwise, politically astute mayor of San Francisco, (now Senator) Dianne Feinstein, to accept an invitation by the Soviet Union to visit Leningrad in 1985 which, in the period of Glasnost, was looking to sign a sister-city arrangement with an American city and it was San Francisco that Mikhail Gorbachev had his eyes on.
As the Los Angeles Times (Oct. 12, 1987) described it:
"Leningrad began courting San Francisco, home of the Russian Hill and the only Soviet Consulate in the United States outside Washington. It too seemed an ideal match, a union between cities that many consider the beauties of their nations.
"They even have bridges in common. Leningrad, called the Venice of the North, is a city of islands linked by bridges. And, of course, San Francisco has its Golden Gate."
Feinstein heard the call and traveled to the Soviet Union, and, according to the Times, "was wined and dined in Leningrad. She and Leningrad's mayor emerged from a private tete-a-tete and announced their civic engagement. But it was not to be."
San Francisco, as Feinstein must have been aware, was home to a Jewish Community Relations Council whose raison d'etre appeared to be organizing rallies in front of the Soviet Consulate demanding "freedom" for Soviet Jewry and outside of New York City, there was probably no Jewish community in the country more active (or mis-informed) on that issue.
Consequently, when Feinstein returned to San Francisco and announcing the city's new sister city relationship that she had learned that she had kicked over a political hornet's nest.
Despite the fact that Feinstein had previously used her office to assist some 36 Jews in leaving the Soviet Union, she was blasted on all sides by Jewish leaders, joined by former mayor, Art Agnos who had previously been arrested at a protest in the Soviet Union on behalf of that country's Jews.
What added strength to their accusations that Feinstein was insensitive to Jewish concerns was that she had never visited Israel (today, a sine quo non for every aspiring big city mayor), and, it was whispered, that not having a Jewish mother, she was technically not an MOT (Member of the Tribe).
'So how come you visited the USSR and never been to Israel?' she heard from so many sides that she quickly did the expedient thing. She canceled the sister-city contract with Leningrad and announced her plans to visit Israel and re-new San Francisco's sister-city pact with Haifa which, at the time, had a sister-city arrangement with Cape Town in apartheid South Africa, a fact that the local media, if it was aware of it, did not see fit to publicize.
So away whisked Mayor DiFi to Haifa and upon her return, she proudly announced that she had not only established new cultural ties with Haifa, she had convinced the head of the Zim Line, Matty Morgenstern, to shift its Northern California business from the Port of Oakland to that of San Francisco.
For some years, before that, the use of the Port of Oakland by the Zim American-Israeli Shipping Co., had apparently drawn no attention from pro-Palestinian or anti-apartheid activists despite the fact that Zim was providing the crucial trade conduit between the two apartheid nations.
Suddenly, with Feinstein's announcement, it was in the news and the reports that Zim did business with South Africa created a problem for San Francisco's very liberal board of supervisors because, just three months earlier, on January 21, 1986, the supervisors had passed an ordinance that prohibited the city from signing contracts with any company that was doing business with South Africa which simply Zim clearly was.
One of the city's two African-American supervisors, Willie Kennedy, who had been a co-sponsor of the anti-apartheid legislation, reported that her staff had learned of Zim's South African ties and argued that approving the contract with the Israeli company and allowing it to unload its goods in San Francisco was in violation of the letter and spirit of the ordinance.
Feinstein's response, backed by the City Attorney, was to deny that the supervisors had any jurisdiction over the port and that any effort to block the contract was "sabotaging" the port's "rebirth."
The response of the Zim Line came in a letter to E.L. Gartland, director of the Port of San Francisco, on April 23, from Dov Teitler, Zim's number one West Coast official, based in Los Angeles. As could have been expected, he denied that any of the Zim's ships did any business with South Africa:
"As Senior Vice-President of the Zim American Israeli Shipping Company, Inc.," he wrote. "I am responsible for all operations of the West Coast Region. I also, of course, am familiar with our operation throughout the world, and I can categorically state that this company has no service to South Africa for carriage or cargo, either to or from that nation.
"At a prior time we did have such service, but it has been cancelled. Unfortunately, our advertising agency did not make the necessary correction, and for a period of time certain publications indicated we serve South Africa.
"If you have any further questions, please feel free to call me at any time. I authorize you to represent the above facts to your board of supervisors by giving them a copy of this letter."
Teitler was clearly lying, but how to prove it beyond the shadow of a doubt or, at least enough to convince the Board of Supervisors to reject the contract? The answer was, to use a term that had yet to be born, a "no brainer."
I simply attached a cassette recorder to my phone and called Zim's offices in Cape Town and Durban in South Africa and New York, Toronto, Houston, and New Orleans and asked them "when is the next Zim ship leaving for Israel from Durban?" Not surprisingly, they all told me and further informed me that there were two sailings every month to the Israeli ports of Ashdod and Eilat.
I then made transcripts of the conversations and delivered them to each of the supervisors' offices at City Hall and awaited their action at the next meeting, naively believing that there was no way, in the face of this new evidence, could they possibly approve the contract.
At that meeting, then Supervisor Harry Britt, another one of the ordinance's co-sponsors, courageously but unknowingly, put a cap on political career when he stood up, with the transcripts gripped tightly in one hand, and declared that Zim was in obvious violation of the ordinance and that its contract with the city's port should be rejected.
But this was Israel, in the form of the Zim Line, that the SF Board of Supervisors was dealing with, and, as anyone familiar with American politics knows or should know by now, Israel and its institutions are not only held to different standards, it is fair to say, as we have seen in Gaza, that they are held to no standards at all.
Bulldozed by liberal attorney and later judge, Quentin Kopp, who a few years earlier had served as a volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces as it was engaged in its second war on Lebanon, the board rolled over and the contract was approved by an 8-2 vote with Britt and Kennedy dissenting. The most pathetic moment came when the other African-American woman on the board, Doris Ward, appeared to be so clearly distressed at voting for what she knew was wrong, that her "Yes" vote was almost inaudible, requiring the board chair to ask her to repeat it more loudly.
Ward's vote for the Zim contract, for those wondering about it, simply reflected the political reality facing black politicians in America who, like Ward was at the time, up for re-election. They are largely dependent for campaign funds on liberal Jewish donors who will cut them off without a dime and back another candidate if they speak out against Israel's actions or racist policies. The last two members of the Congressional Black Caucus to do so, Cynthia McKinney and Earl Hilliard, took the risks, knowingly, and paid the price.
The following year, after the death of San Francisco Congresswoman, Sala Burton, Harry Britt threw his hat in the ring, challenging Democratic Party fundraiser, Nancy Pelosi and three others, including Ward, in the race to replace her. By then, Britt should have learned that his attempt to thwart the Zim contract had been an act of political suicide, that he had no future in the Democratic Party.
Casting principle aside in favor of deluded ambition, Britt flew to Washington where he apparently threw himself at the feet of some Israel Lobby bigwigs, no doubt begging their forgiveness for having challenged their sacred shipping line's business dealings with South Africa, although that's not quite how the San Francisco Chroniclereported it. (2/24/87). According to the paper, "He said he also will meet with labor leaders and with a number of 'Jewish political action committees," to assure them that he views Israel as "a beleaguered nation that must have unqualified support to defend itself."
That was followed by an ad in the Northern California Jewish Bulletinwhich depicted a photo of Britt standing next to the Russian Jewishrefusnik, Anatoly (now Natan) Sharansky, and committing him "to the issues we care about most."
Topping a list of ten were: 'Support full military and economic aid to guarantee the strength and security of Israel," "Oppose any negotiations with the PLO," and "Defend Israel against scapegoating in the international arena."
Since the ad would fit on a letter sized page, I made a dozen copies of it and send it to some friends. One of them ended up in Britt's hands which he proudly held up at a candidates' forum at the city's Raoul Wallenberg Democratic Club, declaring that "somebody mass produced that ad and sent it to every liberal and lefty activist in the city" and that now, he, too, (a former Methodist minister) had "experienced anti-Semitism."
After an unnamed San Francisco Jewish leader told the SF Bay Guardian that the "community" would never forgive Britt for his efforts to reject the Zim contract, he lost by a few percentage points to Pelosi in the primaries in a surprisingly close vote, but didn't challenge her again.
His turning his back on the anti-apartheid struggle and jumping in bed with the San Francisco's pro-Israel establishment, however, did not appear to tarnish his reputation among the city's left and liberal communities. The most emphatic proof of that would be his endorsement in the congressional race by the city's Rainbow Coalition which voted to support him and "urged all members to take an active role" in his campaign.
"We commend your commitment to working directly with the people in our community to solve the problems of our time," wrote Lyle "Butch" Wing, coalition co-chair, in a letter to Britt.
Except among the minority committed to Palestinian rights, his pro-Israel stance did not hurt him in the gay community in which he had portrayed himself as the late Harvey Milk's successor which, in one sense, he was.
Following Milk's assassination along with that of Mayor George Moscone by fellow supervisor Dan White in 1978, the new mayor, Feinstein, appointed Britt to the board as Milk's replacement where he served until 1990, eventually becoming its president. Throughout the remainder of his tenure, following the Zim vote, he never lost an opportunity to voice his support for Israel.
In 1988, he would get another chance, taking the lead against Proposition W, a measure placed on the San Francisco ballot through the efforts of members of the city's Arab-American community, that would have had the city go on record as endorsing a "two-state" resolution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Trampling on the reputation of his much admired predecessor, Britt sent out a city-wide mailing, telling San Franciscans that "a bullet may have struck Harvey down, but it couldn't kill the vision that guides us today--or the voice that still echoes in our memory. It's in the name of that incomparable vision--and that inimitable voice--that I ask you to defeat Prop. W."
It was, with Harry's help. But to be fair, he wasn't alone. The campaign to defeat the ballot measure, which had an early lead in the polls, exposed the degree to which the American political process, on this issue at least, had already become the provenance of the Israel Lobby.
The same SF Jewish Community Relations Council that had almost brought Feinstein to her knees two years earlier, was able to secure the names of virtually every elected state official from San Diego to the Oregon border to place on the slick mailing pieces that went to the city's voters, opposing Prop. W.
Four years later, in 1992, adding to the city's shame and checkered history of activism, Britt would be appointed chair of the Harvey Milk program on "humanities and social activism" at San Francisco's "alternative" New College which went broke and closed its doors in 2008.
At the end of its 10-year contract with the Port of San Francisco , Zim took advantage of Oakland's superior container facilities and, like most of the other international shipping lines, arranged for it ships to unload and pick up new cargo there.
End Note: In 1989, three years after the Zim contract with San Francisco went into effect, I called Polaris Ltd., the agency that had taken over Zim's South African operations and asked the same questions I had before: "When will the next ship be leaving Durban for Israel?" and "How many sailings are there from South Africa to Israel each month?" When I got the same answers as before, I sent them together with the earlier transcripts to the Investor Responsibility Research Center Inc. (IRRC) in Washington DC, which maintained a directory of companies doing business with apartheid South Africa. On September 27, 1989, I received a letter from the IRRC notifying me that, thanks to the record of those conversations, Zim had been added to its list.
I have often wondered what would have happened had the San Francisco Board of Supervisors the courage to reach the same conclusion in 1986.
Jeffrey Blankfort is a journalist and radio host currently living in Northern California. He can be contacted at jblankfort [at]
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