Oakland activists prevent Israeli ship from docking for 4 days

Thousands of people stopped a ship from Israel’s biggest shipping factory from docking at the port in the San Francisco Bay Area for four consecutive days.

In response to a call from Palestinian trade unions in Gaza, they prevented the Zim Pireaus ship from being unloaded, forcing the ship to leave with a lot of the cargo still on board.

A massive portion of success was the preparatory work done in the weeks running up to the ship’s arrival with the dockworkers from the local International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU), who honoured the community picket line, and refused to unload the ship.

Other port actions happened in response, in Long Beach, Seattle and Vancouver. This was the second Israel ship to have been stopped from offloading its goods, the first in summer 2010 in response to the massacre on the Mavi Marmara.

The ship arrived in Oakland on Saturday 16 August, and tried to wait the protesters out. Luckily, their resolve was hardier than the ship’s. It tried docking to unload on Sunday, but within a half hour’s time hundreds set up community pickets asking the workers to not unload the apartheid ship, which the ILWU rank and file heeded.

Again, on Monday and Tuesday efforts were kept up with autonomous actions and more worker solidarity. By Tuesday, it was the longest ever blockade of an Israeli ship.

Eventually, the ship had to depart, setting sail for Vostochny in Russia. But activists across the West Coast aren’t resting; actions are being planned across Washington.

Definitely a lot here to be inspired by, and ideas for us to take on here in the UK…

(via adi-fitri)

Gaza palestine Oakland Solidarity Block The Boat

Israeli forces use Palestinian child as human shield in Gaza


Israeli soldiers repeatedly used Ahmad Abu Raida, 17, as a human shield for five days while he was held hostage during Israel’s ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.

Ahmad, from Khuza’a, near the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, was just 16 years old when he was taken from his family on July 23. He was forced at gunpoint to search for tunnels for five days, during which time he was interrogated, verbally and physically abused, and deprived of food and sleep. Ahmad told DCI-Palestine in a sworn testimony that Israeli soldiers attempted both to extract information from him regarding Hamas members, and recruit him as an informant, before releasing him on July 27.

"The Israeli military has consistently accused Hamas of using civilians - particularly children - as human shields, but this incident represents a clear case of their soldiers forcing a child to directly assist in military operations," said Rifat Kassis, executive director of DCI-Palestine. "Israeli officials make generalized accusations while Israeli soldiers engage in conduct that amounts to war crimes.

Ahmad details an almost constant stream of abuse and threats during his detention, including kicks and punches, whips with a wire, and threats of a sexual nature. When he was left alone in a civilian house for a period, he found some note paper and wrote a secret letter to his family, believing that he would be killed. On Sunday, July 27, he was finally released. Ahmad’s father confirmed that, for five days, the family believed that he was dead.

Israel has repeatedly blamed the high civilian death toll in Gaza on Hamas, accusing them of using civilians as human shields. Human rights groups and journalist have found no evidence to support the claim. The mere presence of Palestinian armed group members among the civilian population does not rise to the standard under international law.

(via rieyll)

Gaza Palestine

People always say Foo Fighters’ music is simple, populist, Top 40s, whatever.

I’ve been a fan since The Colour & The Shape..(At first I thought the debut FF all-Dave album was a Nirvana album!) And though I can agree after There Is Nothing Left To Lose, their albums got less & less exciting, the singles were always great tracks.

But Wasting Light. Wasting Light was damn good.

They might not be the hipster band to love before it was cool, no longer the underdogs to root for, not even the flavour of the week, but no one sounds like them either. And they’ve managed to stay in the spotlight every time a new album is released. That’s not easy to do when you’re not twerking these days. 

So yeah, I’m excited about Sonic Highways; the album & the HBO series.

They better make it to this part of the globe this time though.

Foo Fighters Sonic Highways