A Brief History of Block the Boat, Oakland: Organization, Planning, Autonomy, Spontaneity Combine for a Spectacular Direct Action at the Port


Emily Loftis/MintPress

From Hyphenated Republic

In August, 2014, an ad hoc coalition and ever-changing group of autonomous activists prevented the Zim Piraeus from offloading it’s good for four days and caused subsequent entanglements that prevented the vast majority of its cargo from touching dry Oakland land. Much has already been said about the relationship between labor and the BTB coaltion that was necessary for such a monumental win. I would like to speak of another hand in hand relationship that received less attention or press, but was just as important, and perhaps even more so, to the final impact of the Block the Boat coalition’s unprecedented victory in Oakland.

That relationship between organizations in the Bay Area organizing scene that comprised the Block the Boat coalition and action taken through existing solidarity networks and individuals, acting autonomously. To understand the remarkable victory of Block the Boat, Oakland, one has to first trace the line of this uneasy partnership, and the incredible feedback loop it unintentionally unleashed, amping the Block the Boat signal higher and higher towards success*.

Block the Boat Begins

2014’s Block the Boat began at the end of an otherwise dreary pro-Palestinian [and pro-Immigrant] rally, with an uncharacteristically high, and thus, indicative, turn-out of about 100 people marching listlessly in a circle in front of the Federal Building in Oakland. At the end of the action, a call was made by some organizers to create an ad hoc assembly to discuss the possibility of blockading a Zim shipping lines ship. From the outset, the assembly made it clear that they sought to emulate the successful action by a coalition of labor and social justice groups in 2010 which blockaded a Zim ship for two work shifts as protest against the Mavi Marmara atrocity. Zim, an iconic Israeli company with ownership, voting and vetoing power vested in the state itself, was seen as a perfect BDS target–emphasis on the S for sanction, especially for those at the assembly who wanted to bring BDS further into the direct action sphere. The atmosphere was charged with anger and sadness about the shocking death toll in Gaza at Israeli military hands, the sense of urgency was palpable.

Read the entire piece here.


[Action Alert] West Coast Blockade of the Israeli Zim Ship 8/16

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From Block The Boat

Stop Israel at the Port
Zionism isn’t welcome on our Coast!

West Coast Blockade of the Israeli Zim Ship

Port of Oakland
Saturday, August 16th
5am – meet at West Oakland Bart and march to Berth 57


Block the Boat for Gaza has text alert system. If you are planning on going to the action in Oakland on Saturday 08/16, please text the word ‘Join’ to 510-346-5951 for important updates in real time.

What’s happening?
The world has watched in horror as Israel has continued to bombard and devastate Gaza. Millions around the globe have come out in support of the Palestinian people and against the Zionist regime, holding massive marches, demonstrations, and actions. Here in the Bay, San Francisco witnessed some of the biggest mobilizations in recent years, with a series of marches, each bringing out thousands of people. It’s time to step it up. Continue reading

Update on Sinixt Nation Blockade of Mt. Sentinel

Photo by Sinixt Nation Facebook page

Photo by Sinixt Nation Facebook page

For the past week, members of the Sinixt Nation have maintained an encampment on a logging road in British Columbia to block the A.F. Timber Company from harvesting 15,250 square meters of timber on unceded Sinixt Territory. The tribe, which was declared extinct by Canada in 1956, aims “to assert what they say is their right to consultation and cultural preservation.”

From Warrior Publications:

Sinixt Nation, Feb 7, 2014

Lim Limt to all the supporters and allies that came and visited us at Mt.
Sentinel. Lim Limt again for the donations of food, coffee, firewood and
money. And above all, Lim Limt to all the stories and laughs shared around
the fire.

The Sinixt Nation has placed a combo lock on the gate at Mt. Sentinel .
Any water-users, firewood gatherers, and other community members who
maintain cultural relationships with the area are being encouraged to
contact the Sinixt Nation for access. Access to BCTS and its licensees is
being restricted until further communications and until the concerns of
the Sinixt Nation are addressed.

This week the Sinixt Nation was contacted by the contractors to access the
road in order to remove the last excavator. This has been the only
response the Sinixt Nation has had from the logging companies in two
weeks. There has been no response from BCTS or the Ministry of Forests.

The Sinixt Nation, through the local newspaper,
http://www.nelsonstar.com/news/242244881.html, has heard rumours that a
possible injunction hearing against us could be held mid February. To mark
the occasion, the Sinixt Nation plans to hold a bonfire on Monday,
February 17th, from 10am to 5pm.Everyone is invited, come on out and
Support the Sinixt Nation.

(Video) Migrant Justice Organizers Use Direct Action, Blockade Deportation Buses


Aug 21st Deportation Blockade

Aug 21st Deportation Blockade


August 21, 2013

Undocumented & Unafraid

Organizers from ” United We Dream ” & ” Arizona Dream Act Coalition” have released a video from an August 21st action against ICE ( Immigration and Costumes Enforcement) and deportations.

This action came after hundreds of migrants were rounded up for deportation across Arizona in recent days.

Demonstrators chained themselves to the gates of an ICE detention facility, effectively blocking any buses of deportees from exiting.  After  hours of blockading the demonstrators were arrested and released later that evening. Continue reading