OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Bay Area activists are planning to block two commercial shipping tankers partially owned by the Israel Corporation from docking and unloading at the Port of Oakland on Saturday in support of the Palestinian people, according to event organizers.

Protesters plan to block two Zim Integrated Shipping Ltd. commercial vessels scheduled to dock and unload at the Port of Oakland.

According to Zim’s website, the company was established in 1945 and is one of the largest carriers in the global container shipping industry.

Protesters are singling out Zim ships because 32 percent of the company is owned by Israel Corporation, which was founded in 1968 by the Israeli government is Israel’s largest holding company.

Zim’s remaining shares are owned by financial institutions and ship-owners, according to the company’s website.
Organizers of the event include the Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace and Justice. The group describes itself as an anti-war group consisting of trade unionists, labor and social justice activists and retired union members from around the San Francisco Bay Area.

According to a Facebook posting for the “Block the Boat for Gaza” event, protesters plan to meet at the West Oakland BART station at 5 a.m. on Saturday in solidarity with Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip who are
directly affected by the recent wave of violence in the region.

The group will then begin marching, biking and will provide shuttles to SSA Berth 57 of the Port of Oakland at 5:10 a.m. sharp, organizers said.

“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!,” event organizers said on Facebook.

Protesters will not be able to park at the port and can catch shuttles between the West Oakland BART station and the SSA terminal.

Organizers are using the hashtag #BlockTheBoat to promote the event and connect with protesters via social media.

In 2010, a similar protest against a Zim ship at the Port of Oakland was held by hundreds of demonstrators condemning Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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