A crowd of protesters in New Jersey took to the streets outside Maher Terminal in Elizabeth as part of the #BlockTheBoat campaign targeting Israeli ZIM shipping for its complicity in and profiteering from Zionist colonialism and Israeli apartheid. The demonstrators gathered despite rainy weather at 6:00 am to greet the ZIM Qingdao and call for it not to be unloaded.
The protest was organized by the Block the Boat Coalition NY/NJ, which includes the NY4Palestine Coalition, Al-Awda NY, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition; Within Our Lifetime – United for Palestine; Labor for Palestine; Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network; American Muslims for Palestine – NJ; People’s Organization for Progress; Jews for Palestinian Right of Return; Jewish Voice for Peace – NYC; the ANSWER Coalition; and CUNY4Palestine.
“We’re doing this in support of Palestinian liberation and the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions, but we are also doing this in solidarity with Palestinian workers,” said Suzanne Adely, President-Elect of the National Lawyers Guild.
“We are sending a message that profiteering from Israeli apartheid and the ongoing violence against the Palestinian people will not be welcome in New York, New Jersey, or anywhere on the East Coast,” said Nerdeen Kiswani, Chair of Within Our Lifetime-United for Palestine. “Our communities are taking a stand against the ethnic cleansing, evictions, and bombings that Palestinians face every day.”
This action comes on the heels of #BlockTheBoat protests across North America and internationally. Dock workers in Italy and South Africa refused to unload Israeli ZIM cargo ships in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for liberation.
Meanwhile, ZIM-operated vessels were prevented from unloading in Oakland, Prince Rupert and Seattle, with protests organized in Vancouver, Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia, Elizabeth and Houston.
Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd (ZIM) is Israel’s largest cargo shipping company, often dealing in Israeli manufactured military technology, armaments and logistics equipment.
The San Francisco-based Arab Resource and Organizing Center first called on communities to block ZIM-operated ships in the U.S. in 2014, with the first successful #BlockTheBoat action, in which International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 workers abided by a community picket line, keeping the ZIM ship out of the port of Oakland, a victory repeated again this year.
The Block the Boat coalition will continue its efforts in New York and New Jersey, combining efforts with AROC and organizations around the world working to shut down ZIM’s profiteering from stolen Palestinian land and ongoing colonization in Palestine. The Block the Boat campaign works to build ties between Palestinian workers and the international labor movement.
The next action in New York City will take place on Tuesday, July 27, at 4:30 pm, when Al-Awda New York: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, with the NY4Palestine Coalition, which includes American Muslims for Palestine – New Jersey Chapter, Existence Is Resistance, Within Our Lifetime: United for Palestine, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, and allied groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace – New York City, will protest outside the Brooklyn office of New York Attorney General Letitia James.
The protest aims to draw attention to New York-based Zionist nonprofits helping settlers – like Long Island-born Justin “Yaacov” Fauci – to participate in the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Palestinians. Fauci moved from New York to invade and steal Palestinian lands including the Al-Kurd family home and became notorious for publicly admitting his crime when he stated, “If I don’t steal it, someone else is gonna” as he invaded the Palestinian home.
The advocates will urge New York Attorney General Letitia James to shut down and revoke the non-profit, tax-exempt status of groups which are funding war crimes and crimes against humanity in Palestine. The groups are also demanding an end to New York-based Zionist extremism, and calling on New York communities and government officials to stop aiding and normalizing war criminals operating in the state. All supporters of justice in Palestine are invited to join the action.