Category Archives: LFP Events

EI: Activists prevent Israeli ship from unloading at US port

Report, The Electronic Intifada, 21 June 2010

For the first time in US history, a peaceful protest was able to stop workers from unloading an Israeli cargo ship on Sunday, 20 June, in the San Francisco Bay area. From 5:30am until 7pm, social justice activists and labor union organizers blocked and picketed several entrances at the Port of Oakland, preventing two shifts of longshoremen with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) to come to work and unload the Israeli Zim Lines cargo ship.

Approximately 700 protesters and labor organizers launched the action in direct response to the ongoing blockade in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli attacks on humanitarian aid activists aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla last month. Nine persons, including a 19-year-old American citizen, were killed in the attacks, and at least thirty were wounded as activists attempted to sail to the beleaguered Gaza Strip with thousands of tons of humanitarian supplies prevented from normal import by Israel.

The picket at the Port of Oakland comes on the heels of a similar actions around the world in protest of Israeli policies. Dockworkers in Sweden announced on 2 June that no Israeli ships would be unloaded or processed between 15-24 June in protest of the Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

A coalition of Palestinian trade unions issued a call for the labor-led action, stating that “Gaza today has become the test of our universal morality and our common humanity.” Bay Area members of the Labor for Palestine group, heeding the call, issued a press release saying that the ILWU Local 10 joins with dockworkers in South Africa, western Australia, Sweden and Norway, who have all launched similar actions.

A press release from Labor for Palestine stated: “this action stands in the proud tradition of West Coast dockworkers who refused to handle cargo for Nazi Germany (1934) and fascist Italy (1935); those in Denmark and Sweden (1963), the San Francisco Bay Area (1984) and Liverpool (1988), who refused shipping for apartheid South Africa; those in Oakland who refused to load bombs for the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile (1978); and those at all 29 West Coast ports who held a May Day strike against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (2008).”

Monadel Herzallah, organizer with Labor for Palestine and the Arab-American Union Members Council, told The Electronic Intifada that the Port of Oakland remains a beacon of global justice activism tradition with the ILWU:

“They have been courageous and have stood in principle to support different issues. Today, the SF Labor Council, the Alameda Central Labor Council, and dozens of other labor councils have responded to the call by Palestinian labor unions to block the ship and make a statement — after the flotilla incident, there’s no way that Israel can conduct business as usual. Having this type of action at this moment in the US, a supporter of the injustice being done by Israel, is quite significant.”

ILWU Local 10 member Clarence Thomas said that the action would raise the stakes and encourage other labor unions to broaden their education around the Palestine issue. “The world is watching,” Thomas told EI. “There hasn’t been any significant labor action responding to Israel’s actions [until now]. Israel’s naked aggression in international waters is very difficult to ignore. With this action today, this is the start [of a broader movement]. This is going to be a very important, a very historic day … This is a teaching moment.”

Thomas told EI that crossing the picket line raises an issue of health and safety for the workers, which was cited as the official reason ILWU shifts were cancelled (with full pay). In 2003, in a similar action against the loading of weapons and military equipment bound for US-occupied Iraq, both protesters and longshore workers were wounded by Oakland police officers who fired wooden dowels, sting balls, tear gas and percussion grenades after the crowd refused to disperse. “We don’t want our workers put in the middle again,” Thomas said.

Labor organizers handed out flyers to truckers, dockworkers and other port workers on their way to work, explaining what happened on 31 May to the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and urging workers not to handle Israeli cargo “until the blockade in Gaza is ended.” Workers turned around and went back home, many of them honking their horns in support of the picket.

After the first shift of workers decided not to cross the picket line following arbitration meetings, protest organizers urged activists to stay and block gates for the second shift. By 6:30pm, the second shift decided to honor the picket and refused to come to work. Meanwhile, the Israeli cargo ship arrived at the docks, but no one was there to unload it.

Wael Bheisy, a Palestinian refugee from Kuwait whose parents were expelled from Palestine after 1948, said he was at the protest to send a message of solidarity to his relatives in Gaza. “They live in a big jail … and that this is happening in this day and age is just unbelievable to me. We’re here to take action and make the world listen. No country should continue to have normal relations with the State of Israel, or any government that practices, in everyday policy, such brutal oppression against a people.”

Bheisy said that this action could make a huge impact across the country and the world. “This is historic, this is unprecedented. As we know, in the ’70s and ’80s, the anti-apartheid movement against South Africa was launched. And it’s disappointing that thirty years later, we’re here again. But it’s an action that’s hopefully going to spark similar actions. For the first time, we stopped Israeli goods from unloading in the United States.”

Labor for Palestine Salutes West Coast Dockers for Embargo on Israeli Cargo

June 21, 2010

ILWU President Bob McEllrath
robert.mcellrath@ilwu.org

Dear Pres. McEllrath:

Labor for Palestine salutes ILWU Local 10 and its members for refusing to unload the Israeli ship that arrived in Oakland on June 20 (see reports below*).

Their action is in direct response to Israel’s May 31 brutal assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Taking place in international waters under cover of darkness, the Israeli attack targeted 750 unarmed volunteers from 40 countries seeking to relieve the humanitarian crisis caused by Israel’s siege of collective punishment against the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza.

Because of Israel’s attack on the Flotilla, scores were killed and wounded, while hundreds of survivors were abducted, jailed and deported. This act of piracy is a direct extension of the 2008/2009 Gaza massacre that killed 1400 people, most of them civilians, which has been condemned by the UN, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other human rights organizations, including those that are Israeli.

Workers in the United States have particularly good reasons to act. In the past ten years alone, the US government — with overwhelming bipartisan support — has given Israel $17 billion in military aid; over the next decade, it will give another $30 billion.

Top US labor officials — often without the knowledge or consent of union members — collaborate with the Histadrut, the segregated Zionist labor federation, and its mouthpiece, the Jewish Labor Committee, that defend every attack on Palestinian rights, including the Flotilla Massacre.[1] These same leaders invest billions from our union pension and retirement funds in State of Israel Bonds.

Noting that “Gaza today has become the test of our universal morality and our common humanity,” the Palestinian trade union movement has specifically called on dockworkers around the world to refuse to handle Israeli cargo. Local 10 now joins with dockworkers in South Africa, western Australia, Sweden and Norway, who have answered this call.

This action stands in the proud tradition of West Coast dock-workers who refused to handle cargo for Nazi Germany (1934) and fascist Italy (1935); those in Denmark and Sweden (1963), the San Francisco Bay Area (1984) and Liverpool (1988), who refused shipping for apartheid South Africa; those in Oakland who refused to load bombs for the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile (1978); and those at all twenty-nine West Coast ports who held a May Day strike against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (2008).

Israel deliberately carried out the Gaza Freedom Flotilla Massacre in order to silence opposition to its strangulation of Gaza. But just as the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre and the 1976 Soweto Massacre spelled the ultimate doom of South African apartheid, Israel’s attack has already had the opposite effect.

New waves of volunteers are coming forward to break the siege, which is already beginning to crack. The movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel is spreading. Already, it is clear that the Flotilla martyrs did not die in vain.

And just as labor solidarity played a critical role in toppling South African apartheid, it now has the potential to cripple Israeli apartheid. We urge the entire ILWU and all trade unionists to stand behind and expand on this critical issue of conscience and solidarity, and invite supporters to endorse “Labor for Palestine Condemns Gaza Freedom Flotilla Massacre, Supports Worker Action to Boycott Israel”: http://www.laborforpalestine.net/wp/2010/06/07/gaza-flotilla-massacre/.

On behalf of Labor for Palestine,

Monadel Herzallah, President, Arab American Union Members Council, California
Michael Letwin, Former President, ALAA/UAW L. 2325; NYC Labor Against the War; Al-Awda NY; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network/Labor
Brenda Stokely, Former President, AFSCME DC 1707; NYC Labor Against the War; Co-Chair, Million Worker March Movement

[1] http://www.histadrut.org.il/index.php?page_id=1801; http://www.jewishlaborcommittee.org/2010/06/jlc_on_the_gaza_flotilla_israe_1.html.

cc:

ILWU Secretary-Treasurer William Adams <William.adams@ilwu.org>
ILWU Local 10 President Richard Mead <waterfrontworker@comcast.net>
ILWU Local 10 Secretary-Treasurer Farless Dailey
<local10secretarytreasurer@bayarea.net>
ILWU Local 10 Executive Board member Jack Heyman <jackheyman@ccmcast.net>

——————

Reports on the June 20 Blockade of an Israeli Apartheid Ship in Oakland

Oakland Longshorman’s Union June 20, 2010
Union dock workers refused this morning to cross picket lines to unload an Israeli ship, in support of Palestinians everywhere. If the evening shift does the same, the ship will not be unloaded!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYm1_kWiYzw

Protesters Picket Israeli Cargo Ship
ILWU members refused to cross picketline – citing “health & safety” provisions of their contract. Management demanded “instant arbitration.” The arbitrator took a look at the picketlines at each gate to the SSA Terminal and ruled that ILWU members were justified in refusing to cross. All dockworkers were sent home with FULL PAY.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpKObPFtcBA

Morning Picket Shuts Down Israeli Zim Lin Line at the Port of Oakland, 6/20/10: video
The blockade represents the first time in U.S. history that a protest has stopped an Israeli ship from unloading.
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/06/20/18651341.php

Picket to stop unloading of Israeli ship
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k0s3o9w9wk

ILWU Explains Why they’ve refused to unload Israeli ship
The union workers of the ILWU explain their decision to not unload Israeli goods in the Oakland port, citing past decisions to unload the goods of other countries that violate human rights on a massive scale with U.S tax dollars and heeding the call of Palestinian civil society which has called on the world to apply boycott divestment and sanctions akin to the actions that brought down apartheid south Africa until Israel ends it’s brutal military occupation of the Palestinian people, ends the siege on gaza, and grants equal rights and respects the human rights of all people living under Israeli jurisdiction.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEnM3VldJIw

Israeli Ship Blockaded at Port of Oakland!
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/06/20/18651381.php

Protesters Block Israeli Ship from Unloading at Oakland Port
“We want to send a clear message that if you commit acts of piracy on the high sea; if you go and attack civilians and kill them in cold blood, execution-style; if you put Gaza under siege; if you build an apartheid wall; we will not honor your Israeli commerce right here in this town.”
http://www.democracynow.org/2010/6/21/headlines/protesters_block_israeli_ship_from_unloading_at_oakland_port

Demonstrators Prevent Unloading of Israeli Ship
OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS) — Hundreds of protesters gathered before dawn at the Port of Oakland to prevent dock workers from unloading a cargo ship from Israel on Sunday.
http://www.kcbs.com/topic/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=4747575

Tom Vee’s Photos – California Says ‘NO’ to Israeli Cargo Ship
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2067629&id=1252763340

Hundreds in Oakland protest Gaza blockade
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.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=%2Fc%2Fa%2F2010%2F06%2F20%2FBA0G1E28CV.DTL

Message from the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU)
Your action today is a milestone in international solidarity from honest and brave U.S. workers and trade unionists.
http://mycatbirdseat.com/2010/06/history-made-june-20th-in-san-francisco%E2%80%93dockworkers-block-unloading-of-israeli-cargo-ship-in-oakland/

Daybreak outpouring of Bay Area picketers stops unloading of Israeli ship
For veteran Bay Area activists, today’s victory echoed a historic milestone in 1984, when ILWU workers in San Francisco refused to unload a ship called the Nedlloyd Kimberley, because its cargo came from South Africa. Just 10 years later, Nelson Mandela was elected president, and apartheid – in its South African form – was dead.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/06/huge-outpouring-of-oakland-picketers-stop-unloading-of-israeli-ship.html

Support Pours in for Zim Lines Picket

Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions | Palestinian Boycott National CommitteeUK Palestine Solidarity Committee | Oakland Education Association | Cuban Workers Central CTC

From the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee:

Message from the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU)

To our respected sisters, brothers and comrades in the trade unions, labor councils and workers’ organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Since the beginning of the workers’ struggles in your country – the United States of America – international solidarity has been a constant part of workers’ organizing and struggle in solidarity with workers and people facing injustice everywhere in the world. We, the workers and the people of Palestine are suffering under oppression of the Israeli occupation of our land and people. This occupation began long ago, the longest-lasting occupation of the modern era.

As people who cherish life and wish to live in freedom, we look to and call upon ourfellow workers of the world, particularly today our friends of truth, democracy and freedom in the San Francisco Bay Area to take a stand of courage alongside Palestinian workers to obtain justice and freedom for the workers and people of Palestine. We call upon you to support our struggle to obtain our liberty, practice our self-determination, and build a sovereign, democratic Palestine, like all other nations on earth.

Dear brothers and sisters, trade unionists, workers, and people of the San Francisco Bay Area, we remember and salute your historic and massive action on the docks in 1984, when you acted to boycott the apartheid regime in South Africa.

We look to you today from the Gaza Strip and all of Palestine, and call upon you to repeat that courageous stand today. This genuine solidarity is something we have longed for and expected. As you are responding to our appeal, we expected from you nothing less because of your history of defending the oppressed, including our people suffering under Israeli occupation, and your stand in opposition to the attack on the unarmed Gaza Freedom Flotilla seeking to deliver humanitarian assistance to the besieged Palestinian people in Gaza. Your action today is a milestone ininternational solidarity from honest and brave U.S. workers and trade unionists.

Greetings to you from the trade unionists and workers of Palestine…from the trade unionists and workers trapped in Gaza, seeking freedom…from the entire world who cares for humanity, freedom, justice, progress, and to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

On behalf of your brothers, sisters and comrades in the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions,

/s/
Manawell Abdul-Al
Executive Committee Member
Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions
June 19, 2010

Letter From UK Palestine Solidarity Committee To ILWU President McEllrath

ILWU President Bob McEllrath
robert.mcellrath@ilwu.org

17 June 2010

Dear Pres. McEllrath,
I write to congratulate ILWU Local 10 and its membership for their response to the Israeli act of piracy on the high seas and murderous attack on the Freedom Flotilla, immediately condemned by both the International Transportworkers Federation and the International Dockworkers Council.

The Flotilla aimed to break the ongoing siege of Gaza, still under Israeli military control following the invasion of Dec 2008 – Jan 2009 which killed 1400 Palestinians, mainly civilians including 300 children. The International Committee of the Red Cross condemns the siege as “collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law”, and states “The only sustainable solution is to lift the closure”.

In Feb 2009 the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, affiliated to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and to the ITF, refused to handle the Zim Lines ship “Johanna Russ”, which had sailed from Haifa at the height of the Israeli bombardment.

Next week, the IDC-affiliated Swedish Dockworkers Union and the ITF-affiliated Norwegian Transportworkers Union will begin a joint blockade of trade with Israel. As the Swedish Dockworkers Union states, the action aims to influence the Israeli government to “Lift the illegal and inhuman blockade of Gaza, which has been going on for over three years” and to “Allow an independent, international inquiry into Israel’s boarding of the Freedom Flotilla (of which the Swedish Ship to Gaza was a member) in international waters” [4]

The Scandinavian blockade responds to an appeal last week from the entire Palestinian trade union movement, calling on dockers worldwide to boycott shipping trade with Israel “until Israel complies fully with international law and ends its illegal siege of Gaza”.

As with the battle to end South African apartheid and the military occupation of Namibia, action by trade unionists in solidarity with their Palestinian counterparts will be decisive and can impose a real price on Israel’s continued systematic racist discrimination against the Palestinian people and defiance of international law.

I hope and trust that the ILWU will uphold its very proud record of international solidarity this weekend.

Yours in solidarity

Greg Dropkin
Liverpool Friends of Palestine

cc:

ILWU Secretary-Treasurer William Adams
ILWU Local 10 President Richard Mead
ILWU Local 10 Secretary-Treasurer Farless Dailey
ILWU Local 10 Executive Board member Jack Heyman

Oakland Education Association OEA Calls On ILWU Longshore Workers Not To Load and Unload Ships From Israel

June 18, 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters of the ILWU,

At the June 2, 2010 Executive Board meeting of the Oakland Education Association, the following motion was passed:

“Consistent with our position on Gaza adopted in February 2009, the OEA condemns the Israeli attack on the humanitarian flotilla, calls for the lifting of the blockade, reaffirms the right of both Palestinians and Jews to live in Israel-Palestine, and supports an action by transportation workers nationally and internationally who refuse to handle military-related cargo destined for the Israeli Defense Forces.”

We join with the United Nations and Amnesty International, along with numerous international and national trade union organizations, including the Educational International, in condemning the Israeli commando attack on the Free Gaza Aid Flotilla and call for an impartial and independent international investigation of the attack.

We call on our brothers and sisters of the ILWU not to load or unload the Israeli ship docking at Stevedore Services of America. We recall the action of longshoremen in San Francisco in 1984 when they refused to unload a ship carrying South African cargo, which mobilized the anti-apartheid movement worldwide and was the inspiration for similar actions globally. And we remember May 19, 2007, when Oakland teachers and longshore workers shut down the same war shipping profiteer Stevedore Services of America in the Port of Oakland for a day as teachers demanded that Port revenues be used for the schools and other social services, not for war. We salute the ILWU for your long and proud history of supporting social justice.

In solidarity,

Betty Olson-Jones
President, Oakland Education Association
(510) 763-4020 x15
272 E. 12th Street
Oakland, CA 94606

Cuban Workers Central CTC Backs Labor Boycott Of Israeli Ship In Oakland California On June 20, 2010

Havana, June 18, 2010

To: Tim Paulson, Executive Director, San Francisco Labor Council

Robert McEllrath, President
International Longshore and Warehouse Union

William Harvey, President
Alameda Labor Council

The Cuban workers support the just protest of the workers and community of the San Francisco Bay Area that will take place on June 20 against the cruel and inhumane blockade which the Israeli government maintains in the Gaza Strip, depriving thousands of women, children and men of the most basic rights, especially the right to life.

Our people have lived for more than 50 years under an unjust and abominable blockade by the United States government. Therefore, we understand very well how the Palestinian people feel and we will always be in solidarity with their just cause. Today, we send you our most sincere support.

Long Live the Solidarity of the Working Class!
End the Blockade of Gaza!
Respect and Justice for the Palestinian People!

Carmen Godínez
America Coordinator
Department of International Relations
Cuban Workers Central (CTC)

Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee applauds the planned Labor and Community Picket of an Israeli Zim Line ship

Occupied Palestine, June 17, 2010 – The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee, whose membership includes the entirety of the Palestinian trade union movement salutes all trade union branches, trade union activists and people of conscience in the San Francisco Bay area who have responded to the Palestinian trade union movement’s appeal issued June 8, 2010, [1] that called for taking effective and concrete measures to block Israel’s maritime trade in response to its massacre of humanitarian relief workers and activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla. The planned Labor and Community Picket of an Israeli Zim Line ship will be a moral and principled display of solidarity with Palestinian workers and the people of Palestine.

The global trade union movement, especially the dockworkers component of it, has once again demonstrated its courage and commitment to human rights by adopting concrete, ground-breaking labor-led sanctions against oppressive regimes in a show of effective solidarity with oppressed peoples around the world. Inspired by the courage of dockworkers unions around the world that boycotted South African maritime trade during the anti-apartheid struggle, trade unions are once again taking the lead in defending the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, freedom, the application of the right of return for our refugees, and an end to Israeli occupation and apartheid.

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee warmly salutes all those that that stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

June 20: Oakland Labor Community Picket of an Israeli Zim Line ship

Sunday June 20
5:30 AM
Port of Oakland, Berth 57, Middle Harbor Rd

Protest Israel’s Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla!

Boycott Israeli Ships and Goods!

Lift the Blockade NOW – Let Gaza Live!

Bring Down Israel’s Apartheid Wall!

Unions, labor federations and other organizations around the world have condemned Israel’s deadly attack against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on May 31. Nine people were killed and dozens seriously injured in the Israeli commando attack in international waters on ships attempting to bring humanitarian cargo to the suffering and blockaded people of Gaza. Six people aboard the ships are still missing and presumed dead.

The Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla was a blatant act of piracy on the high seas. No Israeli ship should now be allowed to carry on trading activity any where in the world without facing picket lines, protests and embargo. Dock workers in several countries including South Africa, Norway, Sweden and Malaysia have declared that they will refuse to handle Israeli cargo in the coming weeks.

We call on everyone who stands for justice and against occupation and apartheid to join the June 20 picket at the Port of Oakland. This is a moment of great opportunity. In San Francisco in 1984, a picket line and refusal to unload cargo of a ship carrying South African cargo was a key event in mobilizing the anti-apartheid movement worldwide.

Sponsored by: Labor / Community Committee in Solidarity with the People of Palestine:
Arab American Union Members Council, ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), Palestine Youth Network, US Palestinian Community Network, Al Awda- Right to Return Coalition, Arab Youth Organization, MECA-Middle East Children’s Alliance, Students for Justice in Palestine, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, International Solidarity Movement, San Jose Peace and Justice Center, International Socialist Organization, Peace and Freedom Party – SF, Transport Workers Solidarity Committee and many labor activists in the Bay Area (list in formation)

Labor for Palestine Workshops at the US Social Forum

Labor for Palestine is participating in facilitating and leading two workshops at the US Social Forum, to take place in Detroit, MI on June 22-26, 2010. These workshops are part of the Palestine Program at USSF; the USSF is expected to draw 25000 attendees to Detroit, bringing together participants in indigenous, labor, racial, social and gender justice struggles, housing campaigns, international solidarity movements and many others to build a vision of “another world” and strategize about how to make it possible – and real.

LFP workshops include the following. We hope to see you there:

Labor for Palestine: Organizing Labor in Support of BDS

The BDS campaign was initiated by Palestinian civil society, including its entire labor movement. It calls for an end to Israeli military occupation and colonization of historic Palestine, the right of Palestinian refugees to return to the land from which they have been ethnically cleansed since the Nakba of 1947-1948, and equal rights for all throughout historic Palestine. This campaign has been endorsed by numerous labor bodies, including the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), UNISON (UK), Transport and General Workers’ Union (UK), Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Canadian Union of Public Employees-Ontario, six Norwegian trade unions, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Scottish Trades Union Congress, and Intersindical Alternativa de Catallunya (Spain). This workshop will bring together labor organizers in solidarity with Palestine to discuss the role of labor organizing as part of the broader movement in support of BDS. Specifically, it will discuss three demands for labor organizing in the United States: 1) divestment of labor from State of Israel bonds; 2) boycott Israeli goods, and support workers’ refusal to handle Israeli cargo; and 3) breaking of ties with the Histadrut (Israeli Federation of Labor, a founding party of the State of Israel and part of the current Israeli government).

Sponsoring Organizations:

  • International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network – Labor
  • Labor for Palestine
  • New York Labor Against the War
  • US Palestinian Community Network

Thu, 06/24/2010 – 10:00am – 12:00pm WSU Old Main: 1107

LINK: http://organize.ussf2010.org/ws/labor-palestine-organizing-labor-support-bds

Palestine: Evolution of the movement for Liberation

There is a rising sense among activists, Palestinian and Western, that justice cannot be achieved within the context of a Zionist state based on de jure and de facto Jewish supremacy over non-Jews in Palestine. Support for the so-called “Two-State Solution,” which since the Oslo Accords of 1993 had been cynically presented as the only “realistic” goal for Palestinians, is crumbling. This evolution is the most exciting development in the Palestinian movement for justice since the Second Intifada. This series of workshops is designed to promote discussion of the inherent inequality of the Zionist system and strategies for encouraging the transformation of Palestine solidarity work from a limited “Anti-Occupation” movement into a broader struggle for a single state based on principles of full equality and justice for all inhabitants throughout (historic Palestine) (the 1948 and 1967 territories).

Sponsoring Organizations:

  • Al-Awda NY
  • Labor for Palestine
  • International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
  • NYC Labor Against the War


Fri, 06/25/2010 – 3:30pm – 5:30pm – WSU Student Center 786

LINK: http://organize.ussf2010.org/ws/palestine-evolution-movement-liberation

Urgent Appeal: Support Labor for Palestine

As listed below, Labor for Palestine representatives are traveling far and wide to build trade union support for the growing international campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against apartheid Israel.

This is particularly important in the United States, where labor officialdom — often without the knowledge or consent of union members — has invested billions of our union pension funds and retirement plans in State of Israel Bonds.

These same labor officials actively encourage the U.S. to provide the money and weapons that maintain the brutal siege on Gaza, ever-expanding settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, discrimination in the 1948 areas, and threats of war against Iran.

Those who back apartheid Israel have unlimited funds at their disposal. But Labor for Palestine relies entirely on your support.

Please fight for justice by making a tax-deductible contribution, of whatever you can, by clicking on: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=10537730

Thank you.

Monadel Herzallah, Charlotte Kates, Michael Letwin
Interim Coordinators, Labor for Palestine

——–

Labor for Palestine 2010 Calendar

April 16: Debate v. the Jewish Labor Committee, Irish Congress of Trade Unions Conference, Dublin
http://www.ictu.ie/download/doc/middle_east_conference_april_2010.doc

April 23-25: Panel at the Labor Notes Conference, Detroit
http://www.labornotes.org/conference/program

June 19-22: First National Jewish Anti-Zionist Gathering, Detroit
http://www.ijsn.net/438/

June 22-27: United States Social Forum, Detroit
http://www.ussf2010.org/

October: Second National Palestinian Popular Conference, Chicago
http://palestineconference.org/wp/2010/02/02/uspcn-announces-second-national-palestinian-popular-conference-chicago-il-october-2010/

Fall 2010 (tentative): LFP national organizing conference.

TBA: PGFTU, COSATU North American tour.

Labor for Palestine Pickets NYC Israel Celebration

On Thursday, June 5, some fifteen union members and other activists participated in an emergency picket line for more than two hours outside a “Celebration” of the “60th Anniversary of Israel” held at AFSCME District Council 37, the largest city workers’ union in New York.

The picket was sponsored by New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW). It was endorsed by Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition-NY; Adalah-NY; New Jersey Solidarity-Activists for the Liberation of Palestine; Center for Constitutional Rights; Guyanese-American Workers United; and Not in Our Name-Toronto.Protesters carried placards and banners proclaiming “Labor for Palestine,” “End DC 37 Support for Apartheid Israel,” “Israel is a Racist Slave-Labor State,” “Free Palestinian Workers from Israeli Apartheid,” “Support Palestinian Labor Against Zionist Racism” “Gaza is Today’s Warsaw Ghetto,” and “Free Palestine — From the River to the Sea.”

Despite its small size, the emergency picket achieved its purpose of showing that such protests in U.S. labor are both possible and necessary.

By ensuring that such events did not go unchallenged, it emboldened protesters and visibly demoralized those who came to “celebrate.” It was also an opportunity to distribute hundreds of the attached flyers to DC 37 staff and members — predominantly People of Color — many of whom were disturbed to learn of their union’s support for Israeli Apartheid.

Flyers:

Labor for Palestine: 60 Years of Racism & Apartheid Is Nothing for Labor to Celebrate

An Appeal to DC 37’s Membership

Please contact nyclaw01@gmail.com for more information about upcoming Labor for Palestine efforts in the U.S.

Background of Labor for Palestine

The June 5 picket built on more than six years of NYCLAW work against Israeli Apartheid.

April 20, 2002
NYCLAW helps ensure unified action, with full inclusion of Palestine, in the first national antiwar protest following 9/11, which takes place in Washington, D.C.

May 21, 2002
NYCLAW pickets the Midtown Manhattan appearance of Israeli Consul General Alon Pinkus before the AFL-CIO Israel Bonds National Labor Division.
http://nyclaw01.wordpress.com/2002/05/21/no-labor-money-for-israeli-war-crimes/

December 2002
NYCLAW cosponsors U.S. tour by Palestinian trade unionists.
http://nyclaw01.wordpress.com/2002/12/13/new-york-city-labor-against-the-war-presents-an-evening-with-palestinian-trade-unionists/

March 20, 2004
NYCLAW successfully fights for UFPJ to join with the ANSWER Coalition in unified New York City antiwar protest that includes Palestinian demands.
http://nyclaw01.wordpress.com/2004/03/22/m20-nyc-antiwar-labor-report/
http://www.wrmea.com/archives/April_2004/0404032.html

April 2004
NYCLAW and Al-Awda-NY initiate Labor for Palestine, which calls for: Palestinian national, democratic and labor rights throughout historic Palestine, including the right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and land; An end to U.S. military and economic support for Israeli Apartheid; and Divestment of all labor investments in Israeli Apartheid.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article3871.shtml

October 7, 2004
NYCLAW helps organize “From Palestine to the US — Labor Fights Back” forum, at AFSCME District Council 1707 in New York City.
http://nyclaw01.wordpress.com/2004/10/07/from-palestine-to-the-us-labor-fights-back/

October 17, 2004
Labor for Palestine is announced from the platform of the Million Worker March in Washington, DC.
http://nyclaw01.wordpress.com/2004/10/17/speech-at-million-worker-march-dc/

November 20, 2004
Labor for Palestine simultaneously presented at a NYCLAW’s “Resistance to Empire” conference held at AFSCME District Council 1707, and at Al-Awda’s West Coast Regional Conference in San Diego, where it “was given center stage as one of Al-Awda’s most critical campaigns for international justice.”
http://nyclaw01.wordpress.com/2004/11/20/two-oceans-of-solidarity/

December 2004
Labor for Palestine issues founding statement.
http://nyclaw01.wordpress.com/2004/12/01/263/

December 2, 2004
NYCLAW proposes that U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW): (1) Condemn Israeli attacks on the rights of Palestinian labor; (2) Join a U.S. labor delegation to examine the conditions of Palestinian workers; (3) Organize a U.S. speaking for Palestinian trade unionists; and (4) Discuss joining LFP and the growing movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions. USLAW declines to do so.
http://nyclaw01.wordpress.com/2004/12/02/solidarity-with-palestinian-workers-proposed-resolution-to-december-2004-uslaw-conference/

July 23, 2005
Labor for Palestine conference in Chicago coincides with AFL-CIO convention.
http://nyclaw01.wordpress.com/2005/07/23/rebuilding-labor-at-the-afl-cio-convention-in-chicago/

August 11, 2006
NYCLAW statement denounces U.S. labor leaders’ support and/or silence about the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
http://nyclaw01.wordpress.com/2006/08/11/nyclaw-statement-labor-and-the-middle-east-war/

August 2007
NYCLAW participates in a two-week delegation of attorneys and activists to the ‘67 and ‘48 areas of Palestine.

March 23, 2008
NYCLAW statement on U.S. Labor and Gaza is endorsed by hundreds of activists around the world.
http://www.petitiononline.com/Gaza/petition.html

Labor for Palestine Protests AFSCME DC 37s Celebration of 60 Years of Israeli Racism and Apartheid – June 4 version (OCR)

Formatted PDF Flyer: 2008.06.05 – Labor for Palestine Protests AFSCME DC 37s Celebration of 60 Years of Israeli Racism and Apartheid – June 4 version

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***Please forward widely and reply with additional organizational endorsements***

Labor for Palestine

Protests AFSCME DC 37’s “Celebration”

of 60 Years of Israeli Racism and Apartheid

Israel was Apartheid South Africa’s Strongest Supporter Israeli Apartheid Today

Emergency Picket

Thursday, June 5, 2008, 4:30-7:30 p.m.

125 Barclay Street (1/2/3/A/C to Chambers, E to WTC, R/W to City Hall)

Demands

*An End to the Occupation

*Palestinian Refugees’ Right to Return

*Elimination of Apartheid Throughout Historic Palestine & Equal Rights for All

*No More Labor Support for Israel

*U.S. Out of the Middle East

Sponsored by

New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW) nyclaw01@gmail.com * http://nyclaw01.wordpress.com/

Endorsed by (list in formation): Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition-NY; Adalah-NY; New Jersey Solidarity – Activists for the

Liberation of Palestine Union Labor Donated – 6.4.08

“We urge international civil society in all its components, particularly institutions and individuals working

in the arts, academia, sport, trade unions, and communities of faith to boycott the ‘Israel at 60’ celebrations

wherever they are held in the world. These celebrations, by definition, insult our history, violate our rights,

and deepen our oppression.” –171 Palestinian trade unions and other organizations, March 30, 2008

“As someone who lived in apartheid South Africa and who has visited Palestine I say with confidence that

Israel is an apartheid state. In fact, I believe that some of Israel’s actions make the actions of South

Africa’s apartheid regime appear pale by comparison.” –Willie Madisha, President, Congress of South African

Trade Unions, June 6, 2006

“We call on all South Africans to establish a strong, forceful and determined boycott and sanctions

campaign against the Israeli apartheid state.” –Congress of South African Trade Unions, July 10, 2006

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” –Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., speaking against the

Vietnam War, November 1967

1-Day Labor Antiwar Organizing Conference: RESISTANCE TO EMPIRE (NYCLAW)

View in PDF format: Resistance to Empire

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1-Day Labor Antiwar Organizing Conference:
RESISTANCE TO EMPIRE

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Topics Include:
**NYCLAW Since 9/11
**ccupation in Iraq and Beyond
**G.I. Revolt
**War After November 2
**Million Worker March Follow-Up
**Labor for Palestine Project
**USLAW December Meeting
**Union-Specific Reports and Organizing Workshops

Location:
AFSCME DC 1707
75 Varick St., 14th Floor, NYC (1/A/C/E to Canal St.)
Registration Starts 9 a.m. — $10 Fee (No one turned away
for inability to pay)

Sponsored By:
New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW)

For details & to RSVP Attendance:
nyclaw@comcast.net
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LaborAgainstWar/
917-282-0139