Block the Boat for Palestine! Lessons from Trade Union and Community Activists


Block the Boat for Palestine! Lessons from Trade Union and Community
Free · Online Event
Event by Sheffield TUC

Price: Free
Public · Anyone on or off Facebook

The most recent Israeli attack on Gaza has been met by mass protests around
the world. In port cities from the United States and Canada to Europe and
South Africa, trade union and community activists have responded to the
call for boycott, divestment and sanctions by setting up blockades to
prevent the docking of ships from the Israeli Zim company and the loading
of arms of Israel. These actions build on a series of protests in port
cities in the early 2000's by trade union and community activists,
including participation in the Ship to Gaza/ Freedom Flotilla effort in
2014. In this meeting, we will hear from trade union and community
activists from the United States, Sweden and Italy who have played a
central role in these and other solidarity actions for Palestine. The event
will focus on the organising lessons learned with a discussion to follow.

Dr. Rafeef Ziadah (Panel chair) is Lecturer in Politics at SOAS, as well as
a spoken word artist and human rights activist and former member of the BDS
national coordinating committee.
Lara Kiswani is executive director of AROC, the Arab Resource Organising
Center in San Francisco, California, which has played a central role in
coordinating Block the Boat actions in the United States and Canada in
which community activists set up picket-lines targeting Zim ships which
dockworkers from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have
refused to cross.

Erik Helgeson is a dockworker at the Port of Gothenburg who serves on both
the local and national board of the Swedish Dockworkers Union (SDU). Erik
was closely involved in the SDU's boycott of Israeli cargo in 2010 and the
SDU's support of the Ship to Gaza movement in 2014.
José Nivoi and Giacomo Marchetti are dockworkers at the Port of Genoa in
Italy and members of the Unione Sindacale di Base, which has helped to
coordinate recent blockades of arms to Israel from the Port of Livorno,
following up successful actions in 2019 to blockade shipments of arms to
Saudi Arabia to be used in the war on Yemen. They will be joining the
meeting via a pre-recorded video message.

Zuhayr Mahomed is a student activist currently studying his Bachelor of
Commerce Honours in Economics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He's
previously held the positions of chairperson of the Commerce Students
Council and deputy chairperson of the Palestine Solidarity Forum at the
University of Cape Town. He is currently the Durban Block The Boat project
co-ordinator for the SA BDS Coalition.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021 - 10:00