Calif. protesters to block Israel-owned ships at Port of Oakland

"Block the Boat for Gaza" plans to block the Port of Oakland this Saturday to prevent two commercial shipping tankers partially owned by the Israel Corporation from docking and unloading. (Facebook)
“Block the Boat for Gaza” plans to block the Port of Oakland this Saturday to prevent two commercial shipping tankers partially owned by the Israel Corporation from docking and unloading. (Facebook)

Pro-Palestinian activists in the San Francisco Bay Area are planning to block the Port of Oakland this Saturday to prevent two commercial shipping tankers partially owned by the Israel Corporation from docking and unloading.

Protesters plan to block two Zim Integrated Shipping Ltd. commercial vessels, because 32 percent of the company is owned by Israel Corporation — Israel’s largest holding company, the San Jose Mercury Newsreported.

Organizers of the event include the Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace and Justice, which describes itself as an anti-war group that “works actively to promote a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” It says its membership includes trade unionists, labor and social justice activists and retired union members from around the Bay Area.

A Facebook event for “Block the Boat for Gaza” says the demonstration is meant to show activists’ “solidarity with the Palestinian People.”

Protesters will meet at the West Oakland BART station at 5 a.m. Saturday and march to the Port of Oakland at 5:10 a.m. sharp, organizers said.

The hashtag #BlockTheBoat is being used on Twitter to promote the event.

A flier for the event read: The Palestinian people are under attack by the state of Israel, with the support of the U.S. government. Palestinian children are being murdered, their hospitals are being bombed, and Palestinian workers are being fired, beaten, arrested, and killed for striking in response. We call on a broad coalition of Pro-Palestinian labor, human rights, and anti-war organizations to join us for direct actions and pickets against the Israeli Shipping company ZIM!

A similar protest against a Zim ship in 2010 was held by hundreds of Bay Area activists condemning Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, the Mercury News reported.

Calif. protesters to block Israel-owned ships at Port of Oakland
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/28/calif-protesters-block-israel-owned-ships-port-oak/

Hundreds protest on King Street, Manchester, during Gaza demonstration

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The police were out in force in the city centre today as hundreds of Gaza protesters clashed with campaigners carrying Israeli flags.

Tactical Aid Units were called in as Palestinian flag and banner bearers tried to boycott city centre shops they claimed are linked to the Israeli campaign against Hamas in Gaza.

Speakers in the Palestinian camp spoke out against the bombing of Gaza, hailed the protest as peaceful and not racist, and appealed to participants not to engage with any objectors.

Even child speakers were handed the loud speaker to appeal for peace.

Police and security guards formed a human guard outside M&S, H&M and Barclays bank, as the protest moved down Market Street, before stopping on King Street outside Kedem – a shop selling Dead Sea beauty products from Israel.

Here, Israeli supporters came face to face with the pro-Palestinan cohort.

Police formed circles around the opposing factions as they shouted chants at each other. The Palestine Solidarity corps called for shop boycotts while the Israel flag-bearers appealed for ‘more shoppers’.

John Nicholson of Longsight and from Palestine Solidarity said: “we are here for the sixth day running to try and close down Kedem, a shop selling Israeli goods. We are here to say stop the bombing of Gaza. We are here to say if the Israelis want peace they should stop the bombs. They are bombing Palestine, women and children. And the US government and our government are doing nothing about it.”

Simon Salisbury, from Whitefield, who was wrapped in an Israeli flag, said: “I am a British born Jew. I was born and live in Manchester.

“I’m supporting Israel and I have come here to demonstrate against these protesters who are basically biased against Israel.”

He said he was also there to support beauty shop Kedem, adding: “it is a British registered company selling products from Israel.they have been protesting here for days and I’m fed up, it’s not fair.”

Two weeks into the campaign, more than 700 Palestinians have been killed, at least 4,000 injured and 150,000 displaced, according to the UN. The Israelis have lost at least 32 soldiers and three civilians.

Hundreds protest on King Street during Gaza demonstration
http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-gaza-protest-israel-palestine-7512993

Growing number of Turkish universities boycotting Israel

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A growing number of Turkish universities have decided to cut off relations with their Israeli counterparts, with the number rising to 111 in three days.

First, the rectors of 87 Turkish universities announced in a joint statement on Sunday that they would cut off all academic, cultural, and social ties with Israeli universities, if they do not condemn Israeli actions in Gaza, the Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak reported on Wednesday.

“In Gaza, there has been a great tragedy of humanity. The whole world is not reacting to it, as if they were all deaf and blind. The Israeli government has lost its discernment and attacks cruelly by putting the children in front of guns,” the public announcement read.

“In Ramadan, the holy month of Islamic world, people are having their iftar [break-fast] meal through the bombs with tears, grief and sorrow.

Unfortunately, everyone who closes their eyes to these cruel people and this kind of cruelty is a sharer of that violence,” it said.

The rectors said they would seek to sway national and global public opinion and start an aid campaign in all Turkish universities to support “our brothers in Gaza.”

It went on to say that legal measures would be taken to force Israel to pay compensation to killed or injured Palestinians in Gaza.

“May Allah’s peace and mercy be upon our casualties killed in the attacks of Zionist Israel,” it stated.

Meanwhile, municipalities across Turkey announced a boycott of Israeli products and of companies linked to the Jewish state, Yeni Safak reported.

Social media sites have been listing goods produced in Israel and companies linked to the country.

Some are banning Coca-Cola because of US support for Israel.

“It is important to emphasize that we should not give any logistical support to Israeli violence. With this understanding, we decided to make clear our attitude by not selling Coca-Cola products and others which support the illegal Zionist expansionist policies of Israel,” said Sakir Yucel Karaman, mayor of Istanbul’s Gungoren district, according to the report.

“We should at least support our side in such [a] situation [where] Muslim countries have subsided into a silence,” said Hilmi Turkmen, mayor of the city’s Uskudar district.

Growing number of Turkish universities boycotting Israel
http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Growing-number-of-Turkish-universities-boycotting-Israel-368820

Help for Gaza begins at the till

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Activists carried out some actions in solidarity with the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement which targets Israeli apartheid. Ronan Burtenshaw sent us this report from those involved.

As Israel’s massacre in Gaza intensifies, activists carried out BDS actions after yesterday’s Dublin demo.

Here they explain their motivations and encourage others to join the boycott campaign against Israel:

This morning, after massive demonstrations of solidarity around the world with the people of Gaza, including thousands marching through the streets of Dublin, we woke to images of corpses lying in the streets of Shejaiya from Israel’s latest massacre. The media are reporting that at least forty people were killed over night, including many children, and tens of thousands have fled their homes.

Marches are important and it was encouraging to see so many people across the globe taking a stand against the violence Israel is committing – but the latest atrocity happening just hours afterwards shows that marches alone won’t be enough. Israel is an apartheid state, inflicting terror on Palestinians, and needs to be isolated from the international community.

For Palestinians to free themselves from Israel’s violence and achieve self-determination they will need decisive international solidarity. We need to build a mass campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of the kind that helped to overthrow apartheid in South Africa.

Yesterday a number of us took a step in that direction. It was small but that’s how campaigns begin and it’s easy for people angered by what’s happening in Gaza to replicate it.

After the demonstration in Dublin we dropped into two Marks and Spencers, Grafton and Liffey Street. We gathered up all of Israeli products we could find – chopin potatoes, yellow plums, ripen-at-home plums, Bin merlot wine, deri and medjool dates – and filled trolleys. We took these trolleys to the checkout, asked to speak to the shop manager and made formal complaints about Marks and Spencers stocking products from Israel.

The workers were receptive (it’s important to be respectful to them in any action, they don’t decide what gets stocked) and other customers in the shop were made aware that it stocked Israeli goods – but it will take a wave of actions like this to make a chain like M&S change its policies. Other shops like Tesco, Aldi and Lidl also stock Israeli goods, you can find out more about them at this link.

You can also simply sticker Israeli goods as shown below – those stickers were produced by the Cork branch of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Consumer boycott is only one part of BDS – we also need the Irish government to expel the Israeli ambassador and break economic ties, Irish companies like Cement Roadstone Holdings (CRH) to divest and to build a comprehensive cultural and academic boycott. Many groups like the IPSC and Gaza Action Ireland organise actions in support of the boycott. Whichever way you can get involved the message is: Palestinians need your help.

Not a euro, not a dime – no more funding Israel’s crimes! Get active in the boycott campaign today!

Mick Farrell
Lara Andolina
Mariana Saad
John Tighe
Andy Moore (Sinn Féin – Republican Youth)
Paddy Moloney (Sinn Féin – Republican Youth)
Ronan Burtenshaw (ICTU Youth member)

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Help for Gaza begins at the till
http://www.rabble.ie/2014/07/20/help-for-gaza-begins-at-the-till/

My local supermarket is selling Israeli produce – is yours?

A fellow boycotter shows a simple and effective method of direct action.

  1. They popped into their local Asda this evening, certain that the store is selling a variety of Israeli products grown on occupied Palestinian land.
  2. They pick up a basket, and head to the fruit and veg section of the store. There they inspect the labels on each of the fresh produce, looking for the country of origin; anything labelled Israel or West Bank is placed in the basket.
  3. When the basket is filled to the brim, they simply leave it in another part of the store. The theory is if the products are not on the shelf they can’t be bought by unsuspecting shoppers, indirectly funding massacres being carried out in Palestine.

Please note, the products should not be sold in the stores in the first instance, as they are likely to be breaking the law by selling goods produced in Israeli settlements which are illegal under international law. They may also be profiting from the fruit and veg planted by palestinians. Please avoid funding the terrorist entity known as Israel and share pics of your mini protest!

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