For immediate release October 31, 2014
Contact: Bettejo Indelicato 352-340-8739
Block the Boat Activists to Occupy Port of Tampa in Showdown Against Israeli Shipments.
PORT OF TAMPA– Zim Integrated Shipping, Israeli’s largest shipping company, will be the target of another large picket at 5:00 AM on November 1, 2014, as union Longshoremen from Local ILA 1402 file in to unload the cargo ship ALABAMA. Block the Boat Tampa, a group of diverse Palestine Solidarity activists from across Florida, will stage the picket in the entrance of the Port at 2002 Maritime Blvd. This action is to bring attention to Zim’s support of Israel’s Apartheid system, the Occupation of Palestine, and the seven year Siege of Gaza.
Block the Boat Tampa is part of a nationwide campaign began in August of this year in Oakland, California, when activists and Longshoremen (ILWU) stopped the Zim Piraeus from unloading its cargo and the campaign quickly spread to other ports on the West Coast and Tampa. Zim was chosen as a target because the company is a financial supporter of Israel and ships weapons and other munitions across the world. Specifically, Zim ships munitions to the US as well as materials to make White Phosphorous Gas, which was used against the civilian population of Gaza.
“The Occupation of the West Bank of Palestine and the Siege of Gaza are illegal under International law and negatively affect every aspect of Palestinian life. Land is stolen, homes are demolished, farmland is uprooted and innocents are massacred by the thousands,” says Bettejo Indelicato, an organizer with Block the Boat Tampa who spent a year and half in the West Bank participating in Palestinian resistance to the Occupation and documenting Israel’s human rights abuses. Dezeray Lyn, another organizer with Block the Boat Tampa, says this issue goes even beyond Palestinian welfare. “Israel is arming the world via Zim Integrated Shipping Services and we in Tampa refuse to allow another Zim ship to unload Apartheid onto our shores”
Zim supports the Apartheid state of Israel by transporting products, including weapons used against International Law, across the globe. Block the Boat Tampa activists will not allow the unabated transfer of products by Zim to the Tampa Bay area.