The recent protest of an Israeli cargo ship at the port of Oakland was successful in part because of the cooperation of dock workers unions with the protesters...
You may have heard about the protest action at the Oakland harbor that prevented an Israeli ship from unloading
(all part of the Boycott, Divestiture and Sanctions movement).
Here at the dailykos, jpmassar has been providing some scenes from the front lines.
Myself, I first read about it in some articles at the Guardian UK (as many of us realized during the Iraq war, reading the British press is practically a necessity to follow what's going on in the United States):
- Picketers at California port keep Israeli ship from unloading
- Israeli ship remains at sea as thousands of protesters gather in Oakland
More recently, there was some coverage of this over at a local weekly, the San Francisco Bay Guardian (and one notes that this SF Guardian story was written by the same Rebecca Bowe who's been covering it for the Guardian UK). This supplies some interesting information about how they got the protest to work: essentially, they got the dock workers union's on their side.
Quoting Lara Kiswani, "executive director of the San Francisco-based Arab Resource & Organizing Center":
"Our members have been going to the union halls every morning, at five in the morning, to the hiring halls, where the workers go and get their assignments for the day," Kiswani explained in an Aug. 16 interview. "We go there ... to leaflet, and let them know about this action, because we didn't want to just show up."
Quite a few things are interesting about this. One is that this sounds like a model for a successful protest, an attempt at confronting the real opponent, and yet also trying to work with the bystanders who will inevitably be inconvenienced by the action.
Another interesting point is that, as Bowe suggests, this could turn out to be precedent setting, it may be difficult for Israel to convince any port to accept this cargo if all of the unions choose to respect the call made here in Oakland.