‘Stop taking anything from Israel’: Block the Boat movement aims to halt cargo ship at Seattle Port

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Jasmine Fernandez leads a chant alongside Palestinian activists and allies while blocking an intersection in protest of the Israeli Zim San Diego Vessel on Thursday, June 17, 2021, at the Port of Seattle.  (photo: KUOW /Megan Farmer)
Demonstrators gathered near the Port of Seattle Thursday afternoon to block the unloading of a cargo ship owned by the shipping company ZIM, which was founded in Israel. Demonstrators are using the ship’s arrival as a way to protest Israeli actions in Gaza last month.

By Joshua McNichols | KUOW | June 17, 2021

“This is how we liberated South Africa from apartheid and we’re just trying to tell our ports, stop taking anything from Israel.”
— Aisha Mansour, Falastiniyat collective

Aisha Mansour is with Falastiniyat, a feminist grassroots collective which organized the protest. “We’re hoping to have a non-violent protest today where we just basically have some civic disobedience and we tell people, ‘Hey, don’t benefit from Israeli apartheid,'” she said. “This is how we liberated South Africa from apartheid and we’re just trying to tell our ports, stop taking anything from Israel.”

The union representing dockworkers supports the demonstrators’ first amendment rights, it said in a statement.

Protesters said they hoped to create a barrier that union workers would refuse to cross.

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant marched with the group, too, in part to make clear, she sees this as a union issue. “What we need ultimately is coordinated action by unions, including the port workers, who will have to be at the forefront of it in the United States, to block military and arms shipments to Israel,” she said

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