Canadian protesters prevent Israeli ship from docking

Pro-Palestine Canadian protesters prevent Israeli ship from docking
2 min read
15 June, 2021
Pro-Palestine demonstrators set up a picket line at the Prince Rupert port to prevent the Israeli ship from offloading goods.
The Israeli ship was also prevented from docking in California [Getty]

An Israeli container ship was blocked from docking at a Canadian port on Monday after a small group of pro-Palestinian protesters formed a picket line, preventing unionised dockworkers from unloading the vessel.

The group of around 10 people said they were acting in solidarity with the Block the Boat movement which aims to prevent the shipment of Israeli goods to the US, CBCNews reported.

The Volans container ship blocked by the demonstrators is owned by the Israeli shipping company ZIM, a frequent target of Block the Boat actions.

Block the Boat organisers prevented the Volans from docking in Oakland, California, last week.

It was the first time a ZIM-owned ship had attempted to dock in the port since 2014, when pro-Palestinian protesters barred entry to two of the company's ships amid Israel's deadly bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

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On Monday, activists set up a picket line at the entrance to the Fairview container terminal in Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

Unionised longshore workers - who normally tie down and unload ships at the terminal - refused to pass the picket line, forcing the Volans to remain anchored in Prince Rupert's harbour.

Protesters left the area later on Monday after confirming with port authorities that the Volans would not be docking.

"We can't deny that the world is an interconnected place, so the ship that unloads here has an impact on the lives of people on the other side of the world," CBCNews quoted one of the demonstrators, Francis Riley, as saying.

Last month, pro-Palestinian dockworkers in Italy and South Africa prevented Israeli ships from docking.

Port workers in Laverno, Tuscany, blocked an arms shipment headed for the Israeli port of Ashdod, while Durban protesters prevented a cargo ship from unloading. Both ships were owned by ZIM.

Israeli air strikes killed 254 Palestinians including 66 children in the besieged Gaza Strip last month.