Thousands of protesters successfully blocked a commercial Israeli cargo vessel from docking and unloading goods in Oakland, California, late Saturday. The protest was staged in response to a call from Palestinian and South African unions to hold Israel accountable for what they allege are violations of Palestinians’ human rights — particularly during Israel’s latest offensive in the Gaza Strip, an operation that killed more than 1,900 Palestinians.
Saturday’s event, which drew between 3,000 to 5,000 protesters, was part of a series of actions planned by U.S. and Canadian activists across North America’s west coast.
“Palestine is calling us to action! Palestinian laborers [and the] Palestinian General Federation Trade Union have called on workers around the world to refuse to handle Israeli goods,” said a leaflet calling for the actions, collectively called “Block the Boat.”
Similar protests will take place in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, on Wednesday, and later in Vancouver.