Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

June 20, 2010

Bay Area picket line stops Israeli ship from unloading

Filed under: middle east — louisproyect @ 11:38 pm

Protesters prevent unloading of Israeli ship

David R. Baker, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, June 20, 2010

(06-20) 12:35 PDT OAKLAND — Hundreds of demonstrators, gathering at the Port of Oakland before dawn, prevented the unloading of an Israeli cargo ship.

The demonstrators, demanding an end to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, picketed at Berth 58, where a ship from Israel’s Zim shipping line is scheduled to dock later today. The day shift of longshoremen agreed not to cross the picket line.

International pressure to end the Gaza closure has increased since Israeli commandos stormed a flotilla of ships attempting to run the blockade on May 31, killing nine people. Last week, Israeli officials announced that they would loosen but not lift the blockade, allowing more goods to enter the impoverished area.

“Our view is that the state of Israel can not engage in acts of piracy and kill people on the high seas and still think their cargo can go anywhere in the world,” said Richard Becker, an organizer with ANSWER, one of many peace and labor groups involved in Sunday’s action.

Becker estimated that 600 to 700 people joined the demonstration, many of them arriving at 5:30 a.m. Oakland police, who estimated the crowd at 500 people, reported no arrests.

The demonstrators want to block the unloading of the Zim ship for a full day. After convincing the day shift of longshoreman to honor the picket line, the demonstrators dispersed around 10 a.m., Becker said. The ship is scheduled to arrive in mid-afternoon, and the demonstrators plan to gather again around 4:30 p.m. and re-establish their picket line before the evening shift of longshoremen arrives at 6 p.m.

E-mail David R. Baker at dbaker@sfchronicle.com.



  1. Am I wrong in thinking that this (the longshoremen refusing to cross the picket) is an incredibly significant development? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of any element of the US working class acting in solidarity with Palestinians, could the flotilla attack signal a turning point in U.S working class attitudes towards Israel?

    Comment by George — June 21, 2010 @ 1:54 am

  2. Richard Becker’s also given some good speeches regarding the Israeli Apartheid State:



    It may have also been one of the Becker brothers that fought and won a 1.3 million dollar settlement against DC police for unlawful mass arrests:


    Comment by Karl Friedrich — June 21, 2010 @ 2:36 am

  3. Like the previous commentator I too am surprised to read that US working class is acting in favour of Palestine and the incident against onslaught on Flotilla. If this is so my wholehearted support for this move.

    Comment by Zarina Bhatia — June 21, 2010 @ 9:43 am

  4. It’s not all that rare. The longshoremen in the Bay Area have a history of such actions. They “hot cargoed” ships going to and coming from apartheid South Africa and, if I recall correctly, once refused to load a ship that was to carry Ronald Reagan.

    They also refused to unload a ship coming from the USSR after the Korean Air Lines Flight 007 incident.

    Comment by The Idiot — June 21, 2010 @ 10:49 am

  5. Does anyone know of a good Marxist/socialist message board? I know there’s MarxMail, but I’m really looking for an internet forum, not an email discussion group. Is there such a thing? If not, someone should get on it!

    Comment by Desmond — June 22, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

  6. Libcom?

    Comment by PfromGermany — June 22, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

  7. They’re a pretty insular boy’s club. Not a big fan.

    Comment by Desmond — June 22, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

  8. Versus NeoCon, an extremely insular old white boys’s club. Definitely not a big fan. More like mortal enemies.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — June 22, 2010 @ 8:16 pm

  9. WHEN FORCE DOESN’T WORK by Uri Avnery


    Comment by Karl Friedrich — June 22, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

  10. WHEN FORCE DOESN’T WORK by Uri Avnery

    An excerpt:

    “In many respects, Israel is still a strong country. But, as the sudden illumination of the flotilla affair has shown, time is not working in our favor. We should deepen our roots in the world and in the region – which means making peace with our neighbors – as long as we are as strong as we are now.”

    Counterpunch is featuring the work of zionists?! And what’s the point of the link?

    Comment by meltr — June 23, 2010 @ 3:24 am

  11. Desmond: Revleft.com is the largest left wing message board online as far as I know.

    Comment by The Idiot — June 23, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

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