Unions are figuring out what comes next after taking a public stand against the apartheid State of Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

by Laura Weiss, Prism

Before dawn broke on Jan. 14, hundreds of labor organizers and activists convened at the Port of Oakland for a protest to prevent ships carrying weapons bound for Israel from leaving the docks. Activists from the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which co-organized the event, kept the momentum going all day. In the afternoon, 200 workers reportedly refused to cross the picket line to help load the ships.

“The labor movement has the power to disrupt supply chains,” said Zachary Valdez, a union steward with United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2110 based in New York. “Workers can shut everything down.”

a uaw and free palestine sign held up next to each other

The action was an impressive show of solidarity between the labor movement and the Palestinian cause, one of a number of actions in the Bay Area and across the country co-organized or supported by unions in recent months, including teach-ins and other civil disobedience efforts.

Since the October attacks on the apartheid State of Israel by Hamas, the political and military organization that governs Gaza, Israel’s genocidal bombing campaign has killed more than 23,000 Palestinians in Gaza, and the Israel Defense Forces has destroyed critical infrastructure, including electricity, hospitals, and the internet, shut off access to water, and purposefully created famine conditions. This has prompted a sea change in public opinion on Israel, with two-thirds of Americans saying they support a ceasefire in Gaza, all while the U.S. government continues to send billions of U.S. military aid to Israel.

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