Pro-Palestine supporters chanting ‘cowards’ blocked a large US ship from leaving northern California which they say is headed to Israel to provide military aid.
The protesters, organized by the The Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC), claim the Cape Orlando is on its way to Tacoma, Washington, to be loaded with weapons and military equipment for the Jewish state.
Police were seen at the scene after at least three protestors climbed onto the military vessel in the Port of Oakland on Friday morning.
‘You’re fu****g killing children!’ the protesters yelled at police.
The AROC asked the public to join them to ‘say enough is enough’ to the US government’s support of Israel in the latest conflict with Hamas, after the terrorist organization killed 1,700 Israelis on October 7.
‘This is a military cargo. This ship is holding and carrying weapons that would most definitely be used to continue to murder our brothers and sisters in Palestine and elsewhere,’ a man said on a loudspeaker, as reported by The Messenger.
Pro-Palestine protesters were seen climbing onto the military vessel in the Port of Oakland on Friday morning
The folks on the ladder are putting their bodies on the line to physically #blocktheboat from leaving, willing to get arrested. This ship is heading to Israel to deliver weapons and military equipment.
In the video, a worker expressed solidarity and may have walked off the job. pic.twitter.com/dhlyN3Ws0m
— Alyssa Kang (@1alyssakang) November 3, 2023
It’s unclear if the group’s claims about the ship are true, but a union official told the San Francisco Chronicle it was currently empty and inactive.
‘This has been dead for 17 years,’ said Melvin Mackay, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
However, contractors working outside the ship told the outlet it was supposed to leave on Friday, though they did not know where.
The ARAC said in a statement: ‘Several protestors have locked themselves to the ship. The police have been called by port authorities, and arrests are happening now. Currently over 200 community members are protesting directly outside the vessel.
‘Protestors are calling on communities in cities around the country and across the world to be on alert for vessels carrying similar cargo.’
Since the Hamas attack, Israel has unleashed its strength on Gaza, with more than 9,000 Palestinians killed since the war began.
The Oakland protesters demanded a ceasefire as they mourned innocent lives loss in Gaza in the conflict.
They held Palestine flags and some reportedly locked themselves to the ship.
Their chants also included: ‘Free free Palestine, from the River to the sea, Palestine will be free.’
After police arrived, they closed access to the ship’s berth, but there were already protestors inside surrounding the ship.
HAPPENING NOW: A US militarily vessel destined to take military equipment to Israel is currently at the Port of Oakland. Communities currently protesting and we call on everyone to come out to the port to say enough is enough. No more US weapons to Israel for genocide! pic.twitter.com/KhAogZwq0g
— AROC #FreePalestine (@AROCBayArea) November 3, 2023
More protesters then gathered outside the area holding signs such as, ‘Oakland will not support U.S. military conquest. Palestine will be fine.’
‘We know that the ship is destined as a military ship to Israel because of the courage of workers,’ Lara Kiswani, Executive Director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, told ABC7.
It’s just the latest pro-Palestine protest in the U.S., and the West, where many have seemingly taken up the cause following Hamas’ attack on Israel last month.
Also on Friday, hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters staged a demonstration at London’s King’s Cross Station to call for a ceasefire.
On Saturday, thousands of pro-Palestine protestors shut down part of the Brooklyn Bridge, after flooding the streets of New York alongside orthodox Jewish members.
The ‘Flood Brooklyn for Palestine’ protest attracted thousands of protesters holding up signs reading ‘Free Palestine’ and ‘Zionism is Terrorism’.
Other placards read ‘Biden is funding genocide’ and ‘occupation is a crime.’
Meanwhile secretary of state Anthony Blinken issued a public call to protect Palestinian civilians during a critical visit to Israel and upped calls for ‘humanitarian pauses’ to strikes on Gaza to get hostages out and allow aid in.
The Gaza health ministry claimed on Friday that hundreds have been killed after an Israeli strike hit an ambulance convoy.
Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV quoted the Gaza health ministry as saying that many were killed on Friday as the vehicles carried critically wounded people in Gaza.
The health ministry spokesman, Ashraf Al-Qudra, earlier said they would send critically injured Palestinians who needed to be urgently transferred for treatment in Egypt from Gaza city and the north to the south.
Earlier this week the House passed a bill to send emergency aid to Israel to help in its campaign to eradicate Hamas after Democrats crossed party lines to support the Republican push.
The $14.3 billion bill passed 226 to 196, garnering 12 Democratic votes and losing two Republicans. Reps. Thomas Massie, Ky., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ga., voted against the bill on the Republican side.
The bill’s fate is likely doomed in the Senate as Democrats have insisted aid must be tied to Ukraine and take issue with the with the pay-for: the bill repurposes money designated for the IRS..…CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>