Zim San Diego Delays Docking For Seven Days In Attempt To Wait Out Palestinian Activists Calling For BDS
With spreading news of planned protests against the Israeli shipping company, Zim San Diego remains in Elliott Bay, afraid of the protesters that will greet it upon arrival. (See update and correction below)
Falastiniyat and endorsing organizations are mobilizing a community picket line at the Port of Seattle to prevent the unloading of the ZIM San Diego, a vessel operated and owned by Israeli shipping company ZIM.
Seattle-based organizers are responding to a call from labor unions in Palestine and a Call to Action by the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC). These calls came after the recent escalation of violence in May 2021 by the State of Israel against the Palestinian people which killed 295 Palestinians, wounded over 3,000, and displaced 90,000 from their homes.
Falastiniyat representative, Aisha Mansour, shared her reasoning for supporting and organizing this action: “We are participating in an international call to Boycott, Divest, and Sanction apartheid Israel by attempting to block a Zim operated and owned vessel from docking at the port of Seattle. Our goal is to uplift and respond to calls from the Palestinian General Federation of Trade (PGFTU) by disrupting Israeli shipping company Zim’s commerce with the United States so long as they are complicit with the occupation of Palestinian land.”
The Zim San Diego was scheduled to dock on June 2 but has remained idling in the bay for over a week, allowing several other ships to move ahead in line and unload their cargo ahead of it. Although it seems that Zim is stalling in hopes that the June 2nd-June 9th International Week-of-Action momentum will die down, every second the vessel stays idle costs the company massive amounts of money. Zim used a similar strategy in an unsuccessful attempt to wait out the momentum of protesters in Oakland.
AROC led a community/worker coalition that successfully blocked an Israeli Zim ship in Oakland, CA last Friday after 17 days of delaying the ship from attempting to dock. AROC’s actions were responding to the recent call from labor unions in Palestine for workers and communities worldwide to refuse dealings with Israeli companies.
While other ships have arrived at the Seattle port who are contracted out by Zim, the Zim San Diego vessel is owned and operated by Zim. Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd (ZIM) is Israel’s largest cargo shipping company, often dealing in Israeli manufactured military technology, armaments and logistics equipment.
Alia Taqqiedin, a Falastiniyat representative, says “In an apparent attempt to avoid a strong display of support for the Palestinian Liberation struggle and the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, Zim is delaying until the momentum dies down—or so they hope.
Hundreds of people are expected to show up in protest of the Zim San Diego if it eventually docks. Falastiniyat and supporting community organizations are closely monitoring when the Zim ship will dock in the Seattle port and we want to assure Zim that no matter when it arrives, we will be ready to show up and show the world that Seattle communities will not stand for Israeli apartheid and occupation.”
The organizers of this picket line recognize that it is taking place on the unceded and occupied territories of the Duwamish people. Falastiniyat and supporting organizations stand in full solidarity and support of Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination and with the ongoing protests taking place to defend land, water and Indigenous peoples from plunder and settler colonialism.
Endorsers include: DSA-Seattle, AROC, CAIR Washington, Palestinian Youth Movement, Samidoun, Palestine Solidarity Committee – Seattle, Anakbayan (UW, Seattle and South Seattle), International League of People’s Struggles Seattle, Hurriyyah Collective, COVID-19 Mutual Aid Solidarity Network, Answer Coalition, SnoCo Equity Alliance, Blaq Elephant Party, PSL Seattle, Youth Voices for Justice, and End the Deadly Exchange Seattle.
(EDIT NOTE: The press release was corrected to note that the Rachel Corrie Foundation is not an endorser of the protest but that the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center are endorsers of the picket. Activists organizing the protest said the protest and picket line will be held on Saturday June 12, 2021 beginning as early as 5:30 AM at Terminal 18 in Harbor Island in the Seattle Port.)