Wednesday, August 27, 2014

MEDIA RELEASE: Activist blockade delays Israeli ZIM ship another day at Port of Seattle

August 27, 2014
Contact: Nada Elia   425 736-4859
                Amin Odeh  206 605-8448

Activist blockade delays Israeli ZIM ship another day at Port of Seattle

After delaying work on the Israeli freight ship ZIM CHICAGO at the Port of Tacoma, local human-rights activists have learned that they also delayed the arrival of ZIM CHICAGO into the Port of Seattle for another full day.

The unloading and loading of ZIM CHICAGO in the Port of Tacoma was completed by 8 AM on Sunday August 24.  Ordinarily the ship would have moved to the Port of Seattle within a few hours and been ready for a longshore work shift starting that same Sunday at 6 PM.  However, ZIM CHICAGO spent a full day anchored north of Vashon Island, only docking on Monday afternoon.  As a result, the longshore work shift to unload the ship began a full 24 hours later, on Monday at 6 PM.  

There was plenty of room for ZIM CHICAGO at its scheduled berth in Seattle, but ZIM CHICAGO waited until there were no other ships in a berth that could handle up to three other ships at once.  

“We know of no other reason for the ship to wait for an open dock except to avoid spreading the impact of our blockade to other ships, who might then ask for refunds because of delays. This would not be out of simple goodwill toward other shipping lines, but rather to avoid isolation from other shipping lines that might refuse to share berths with ZIM ships in the future,”, said Ed Mast, one of the blockade organizers. “A full day’s delay costs ZIM not only the extra running time money for fuel and staff, but also potential losses in cargo diverted to other ships, as well as credibility with customers that might start to distrust the irregular schedule, and credibility with other shipping lines that might refuse to share berths with ZIM at this and other ports.” 

At 5:00 PM on Monday, over 100 protestors gathered at the Port of Seattle to blockade the gates through which longshore workers would enter to unload ZIM CHICAGO.  An almost equal number of police had been called, and those police used aggressive physical force to push back the blockaders and open pathways for longshore workers to enter.  One arrest was made, though no physical aggression was reported from the blockaders.  

“Delay was always our victory condition, since delay costs money to ZIM and sends a message to Israel that it will be increasingly isolated as long as it maintains its regime of apartheid against Palestinians, “ said Nada Elia, another organizer.  “They once again delivered us this victory before they reached the port and before we even understood it.  We owe this success to the previous successful blockades against ZIM ships in Oakland and Los Angeles, as well as our own blockade in Tacoma.  We plan to continue resisting business-as-usual for ZIM and other Israeli companies as long as Israel’s apartheid continues.”

The blockade actions at the Port of Seattle slowed down the entrance of longshore workers to the terminal where the ZIM ship was docked, though it is not yet clear whether or not the blockade caused actual delays to the start of unloading the ZIM ship beyond the 24-hour initial delay in docking.

The West Coast blockades of Israeli ZIM ships are part of the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel for its ongoing violations of human rights and international law, including Israel’s recent assault on the captive population of Gaza, during which Israel bombed schools, several hospitals, seven UN-­designated shelters, Gaza’s only power plant, and Gaza’s water purification system.  More than 2000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed by Israel’s attacks over the past month.

Local activists are also responding to the Palestinian General Federation Trade Unions’ call for international supporters to  take action in support of the people of Gaza. A letter signed by 93 Gazan civil society members, including teachers, doctors, and lawyers, demands three basic rights: 
1) freedom for Palestinians to move freely in and out of Gaza; 
2) unlimited import and export of supplies and goods, including by land, sea and air; 
3) unrestricted use of the Gaza seaport. 

Updates are public on and questions can be directed  


Friday, August 22, 2014

Anatomy of Ferguson’s Police Riot -- [Expect Them in Your Neighborhood Soon]

There was no warning. It was three hours before the state-imposed curfew. The demonstration was peaceful, yet all of a sudden police began throwing tear-gas canisters. People scattered in different directions. I saw two young shirtless men racing a woman in a wheelchair out of the tear gas. Someone screamed, “They gassed my baby” and another exclaimed, “They’re treating us like animals.” Spots that were considered safe, like the press area, were hit repeatedly. Police threw tear-gas canisters at fleeing crowds. There was no safe place to run to. There is no safe place for the people to assemble. The town of Ferguson is under siege."

No safe place.  Sounds like Gaza, right?  But it is in Ferguson.  And this is in America.  

We need to knit ourselves together and become a bulwark against this onslaught.  They are on the hill shooting down at us and we need to gather together and save  each other.  And by that action, prepare ourselves to stop our government from funding the genocide in Gaza and around the world.   Linda 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Barbaric Israel!

| Seen outside a bar in today (photo by Lefteris Pitarakis) (from a tweet 8/14/14)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

From Jacobin: "A Plague on One House" -- "'Both sides” aren’t to blame in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel is."

original at:

On July 15, Western media demanded that Hamas and other resistance groups operating in the Gaza Strip accept what they labeled an “Israeli-Egyptian ceasefire proposal.” On the surface, the call sounds reasonable, which is exactly what allows it to disorient audiences largely unfamiliar with the details of the ongoing conflict.
The first objection is the obvious one: How can Hamas agree to a deal that it played no part in negotiating and that was crafted by two of its enemies? The mainstream media would be unlikely to demand that Israel agree to an arrangement jointly put forth by, say, Hamas and Iran — an imperfect analogy, since Hamas and Iran do not colonize and besiege Israelis. But the point stands.
Second, implicit in this criticism of Hamas is the idea that Palestinians are obliged to accept any offer, no matter its terms. Consider, for instance, Mouin Rabbani’s point that what the Gaza Strip’s militant groups and a huge number of Palestinians object to in the proposal is that it just puts back in place the same 2012 ceasefire agreement which Israel has violated freely, and does not ensure that such violations would stop.
What’s more, Rabbani suggests, “Hamas and other Palestinian organizations are averse to returning to an untenable status quo, which lasts only until Israel once again decides to launch a major assault on the Gaza Strip,” and which does not point to “concrete steps towards lifting the ongoing and prolonged blockade of the Gaza Strip.”
The Israeli violations of the 2012 agreement that Rabbani mentions are a long-term habit of the country. Hamas has good reason to distrust Israel’s commitment to a ceasefire, but Western media has tended to ignore this point when it discusses the failure of the proposed truce.
Also overlooked is that a ceasefire which does not lead to lifting the siege is no ceasefire at all. For the siege and the naval blockade on which it relies are acts of war. An agreement that only ends one aspect of the violence and not the others is not a ceasefire but a surrender. Israeli tactics for dealing with Hamas are ransom, not negotiation.
In that vein, Netanhayu also reportedly “suggested that the agreement would be used to completely ‘disarm’ the strip, a condition Hamas and other groups would not accept.” Such a proposal cannot be taken seriously unless Israel were to also agree to disarm, which is clearly not on the table.
The Western ruling class and Israel would react with laughter rather than rage if Hamas proposed that Israel surrender its weaponry. If Israel was sincerely interested in a ceasefire, it would offer terms that there is a chance of Hamas accepting.
Such accounts also play on racist notions of Arabs as creatures who prefer violence to the alternatives available to them. The trope is clear: the atavistic colonized subjects who will consent to their own people’s destruction rather than have a dialogue with their oppressors. The latter’s alleged preference for dialogue over bloodshed is proof of their civility, and so also justification for their rule.
The myth of Palestinians who refuse generous offers is longstanding within Zionist historiography — exemplified in the longstanding lie of Palestinians “never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”
This colonial inversion of reality is likewise present in Western reporting on the conflict, which must justify the Israeli assault on Palestine to its audience. For example, earlier in the current massacre we were frequently told that “both sides” fighting in historic Palestine are suffering and are in the wrong.
This rhetoric of “both sides” implies that pain and fault belong equally to Palestinians and Israelis. It erases manifold, unmistakable, qualitative and quantitative differences at play in Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip and the political-historical context in which this is taking place — most centrally, that what is occurring is part of a settler-colonial invasion.
“Both sides” rhetoric refuses to make even the easiest, most obvious judgment, to which any honest evaluation of the information points: that Israel ismassacring Palestinian adults and children, 77% of whom are civilians, and subjecting them to collective punishment; that Israel evidently claims for itself a right to extra-judicially execute anyone who it says is a Hamas member, a practice too few among even Palestine’s allies have denounced; that Israel is bombarding what is essentially a giant refugee camp home to an imprisoned population of a people Israel has ethnically cleansedoccupied, subjected toapartheid, and repeatedly slaughtered; that international law does not grant Israel a “right to defend itself” against the Gaza Strip. And that international law does grant Palestinians a right to resist using armed struggle.
To employ “both sides” rhetoric completely misrepresents the situation. It is not “both sides” who take thousands of political prisoners. Both sides do not systematically torture each other. Both sides do not control each other’s freedom of movement, or access to the sea, drinking water, and education.
Since Israel began its bombing campaign on July 7, only one side has bombed a hospital for the disabled and destroyed a place of worship. It was that same sidewho on July 9 killed a pregnant woman and her one-year-old daughter and then on July 11 killed two civilian municipal workers in a refugee camp, killed nine civilians watching a soccer game, and “fired four missiles targeting the fifth and sixth floors of a hospital.”
Only one side killed four children who were playing on a beach on July 16. At the time of writing, only one side has inflicted on the other the destruction or severe damage of 1,660 homes or the deprival of 900,000 people of water supply. Nor do Israelis and Palestinians bear comparable responsibility for the forty-seven United Nations Relief and Works Agency premises such as schools and clinics that have been damaged since July 7.
What is even more important about the “both sides” notion is what it conceals.
“Both sides” rhetoric means accepting the timeline the aggressor puts forth so as to make its claim to be acting defensively seem plausible. In this view, the current killing supposedly started with the June 11 disappearance and killing of three Israeli settlers rather than the murder by the Israeli military of unarmedPalestinian teenagers Nadeem Nawara and Mohammad Salameh on May 15.
Nor in this telling was the starting point June 10, when Israel attacked a man alleged to be a militant and the ten-year-old he was with, instantly killing the man and causing the child to die from injuries three days later. That’s to say nothing of the accurate starting points: the 1947-8 Nakba, the 1917 Balfour Declaration, or May 2, 1860, the date of Theodor Herzl’s birth.

In addition to these distinctions, the “both sides” idea is dangerous because it is immobilizing. With its use, it becomes impossible to demand an end to colonial practices. And that is exactly the point.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Activists Have Shut Down An Israeli Arms Factory Near Birmingham, UK!

Activists have shut down an Israeli arms factory near Birmingham, UK. Doors have been chained shut and roof occupied.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Seattle Out Again Today for #FreePalestine and End to #GazaUnderAttack

Nannicke from Bellingham, Native American supporter of Palestine and Gaza. 
Solidarity from Native Americans who share sad history of dispossession with Palestinians.
WA State House Candidate Jess Spear At  Gaza Rally.
@VoteSpear August 5!

Palestine supporters shut down Max Brenner in Newtown (1 August 2014) #Gaza