Monday, August 18, 2014

Facebook selectively censors a Peace & Justice event in Oakland, CA, posted at a Facebook page, bans a human-rights organizer for a day

Transnational security agencies: Israel [link]
Also see: Disruption of human-rights gathering at Port of Oakland (2014-08-01) [link]

"Facebook: Protest For Gaza Censored and Steven Argue Blocked From Posting"
2014-08-18 by Anya McMullen []:
Despite the attempts by Facebook to censor the Oakland block the Boat protest, the protest successfully blocked a ship of the Israeli Zim shipping line from unloading on August 16th, 2014. Still, the arrogance of Facebook in censoring the protest, the Revolutionary Tendency, and Steven Argue for this peaceful and legal action should be exposed.

Photo from theboost showing Israeli Prime Minister meeting with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook: Protest For Gaza Censored and Steven Argue Blocked From Posting -
The Revolutionary Tendency facebook page contained a post for a protest to stop the mass murder that Israel is carrying out in Gaza. That post had over 150 shares (maybe far more) and was being shared by more and more people. Facebook then intervened and removed the post a day before the protest, doing its up most to sabotage the protest. Here are the notifications given by Facebook to Steven Argue when he logged in:
"We removed the post below because it doesn't follow the Facebook Community Standards".
I will repost the exact protest text of the flyer briefly to show it does not violate any of Facebook's so-called "Community Standards".
The exact photo of an Israeli boat that went with the post can also be seen at the following site
"Pro-Palestinian, Anti-Zionist, Not Anti-Jew" []:

The next notice Steven Argue received after clicking on "continue" was:
"You’re Temporarily Blocked From Posting
"This temporary block will last 24 hours, and you won’t be able to post on Facebook until it’s finished.
"Please keep in mind that people who repeatedly post things that aren’t allowed on Facebook may have their accounts permanently disabled."
Steven Argue was then directed to the Revolutionary Tendency page and instructed to remove anything else that may violate Facebook Community Standards under risk of being banned by Facebook. Obviously, anything criticizing Israel is in violation of “Facebook Community Standards”, but Steven Argue refuses to remove anything from the Revolutionary Tendency site [].
Far from Steven Argue being in the wrong here, it is Facebook that is violating the free speech rights of all of its users by censoring notification of an important protest and attempting to intimidate people against posting anything that criticizes Israel.
In addition, Steven Argue was prevented from circulating this important update to the thousands of people who had seen the first Revolutionary Tendency post.:
[begin update]
URGENT: Ship is delayed!! Our organizing is working!
Come out to West Oakland Bart Saturday at 3pm NOT 5am!
Bring more people! Come louder and stronger and let's stop Israel at the Port of Oakland! Zionism isn't welcome in our town!
Stop Israel at the Port!
Zionism isn't welcome on our Coast!
West Coast Blockade of the Israeli Zim Ship
Port of Oakland
Saturday, August 16th
3pm – meet at West Oakland Bart and march to Berth 57
[end update]

Here was the protest notification that they are directly censoring.
[begin protest notification]
Block the Boat! Stop Israel at the Port of Oakland!
Actions Also in New York, Long Beach, Tacoma, and Seattle!
Zionism isn’t welcome on our Coast!

West Coast Blockade of the Israeli Zim Ship
Port of Oakland
Saturday, August 16th
Meet at West Oakland Bart and march to Berth 57


What’s happening?
The world has watched in horror as Israel has continued to bombard and devastate Gaza. Millions around the globe have come out in support of the Palestinian people and against the Zionist regime, holding massive marches, demonstrations, and actions. Here in the Bay, San Francisco witnessed some of the biggest mobilizations in recent years, with a series of marches, each bringing out thousands of people. It’s time to step it up.

Call to Action -
Palestine is calling us to action! Palestinians laborers, Palestinian General Federation Trade Union (PGFTU), have called on workers around the world to refuse to handle Israel goods. Palestinians throughout Gaza, the West Bank and 1948 Palestine have demonstrated their unity in the struggle against Apartheid Israel and have taken to the streets in the tens of thousands, bravely facing Israeli military armed with US made weapons to call on the international community to stand with them as they resist Zionism throughout all of historic Palestine. We will be answering this call by organizing community pickets at the Port of Oakland, asking the longshoreman to honor this request and to stand with the people of Palestine as they have done in the past.

Historical Background -
During apartheid in South Africa, ILWU workers made history when they refused to unload South African cargo in San Francisco in 1984. This action was a major catalyst for international anti-apartheid solidarity and struggle worldwide. In 2010, after a Turkish flotilla, the Mavi Marmara, was attacked by Israel for attempting to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza, we built on ILWU’s history and successfully blocked the Israeli Zim ship from being unloaded at the Port of Oakland – the first time in US history an Israeli ship was blocked. We will be continuing this legacy by organizing to block the Israeli ship once again. And just as apartheid fell in South Africa, so too it will fall in Israel!

Sustained BDS in the Bay -
If there is one thing that the latest Israeli attacks show, it’s the power of Palestinian resilience. The resistance in Gaza is still alive and thriving, despite Israel’s ongoing attempts to destroy it. But we should always remember that the Palestinian resistance did not begin with Israel’s latest bombardment, nor did it begin during the last bombardment. It has been going on since 1948, since Israel came into existence. And it will not cease until Israeli apartheid falls.

We refuse to allow Israel to conduct its business as usual, here in the Bay and everywhere!
Every Saturday, the Israeli owned Zim shipping line docks and unloads its cargo at the Port of Oakland. Let this action be the beginning of a sustained campaign to stop the Israeli ship from ever unloading in our town.
From Seattle to Oakland to Los Angeles – turn the Israeli ship around!
We encourage all of our allies on the West Coast to join us in ensuring that Zim ships are not welcome anywhere.

Oakland: []
Long Beach: []
Tacoma and Seattle: []
New York: []
Not in Palestine
Not in the Bay
Not Anywhere
Stand Against Zionism Everywhere

Endorsed by:
* American Friends Service Committee
* American Muslims for Palestine
* ANSWER Coalition
* Arab Youth Organizing (AYO)
* AROC: Arab Resource & Organizing Center
* ASATA: Alliance of South Asians Taking Action
* Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Coalition
* Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Social Justice Committee
* Black Organizing Leadership and Dignity (BOLD)
* Catalyst Project
* CodePink Washington
* Communist Party of San Francisco
* Critical Resistance – LA
* Critical Resistance – Oakland
* Descoloniza a Oakland/Decolonize Oakland
* Free Palestine Movement
* Freedom Archives
* Friends of Deir Ibzi’a
* Fuerza Mundial/Pueblos en Movimiento
* General Union of Palestine Students – SFSU
* Global Women’s Strike
* Gray Panthers of San Francisco
* Haiti Action Committee
* International Action Center
* International Jewish Anti Zionist Network
* International Socialist Organization
* International Tribunal of Conscience for Camilo
* ISM-Nor Cal
* Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
* Justice for Palestinians
* Labor for Palestine
* Lake Merritt Neighbors Organized for Peace
* Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
* Marcha Patriotica (Colombia) – California chapter
* Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA)
* National Lawyers Guild SFBA Chapter
* NorCal Friends of Sabeel
* OccupySF Action Council
* ONYX Organizing Committee
* Palestinian Youth Movement
* Revolutionary Tendency
* Queers Undermining Israeli Terror
* San Francisco Green Party
* Socialist Organizer
* SOUL: School of Unity and Liberation
* Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine
* Students for Justice in Palestine – Cal
* Totally Radical Muslims
* US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
* US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott
* US Palestinian Community Network
* World Can’t Wait Bay Area
* Workers World Party
* Xicana Moratorium

[end protest notification]

(2014-08-20) Update:  Block the Boat…..OUR RESISTANCE CONTINUES!
Wed. AM report back:  
Block the Boat  Blockade successful again this morning....
Next Shift:  Likely at the Oakland Port....(less likely S.F. Pier 96?) track the location of the ZIM ship here: []
We need every body that we can muster. Please come if you can!
(Help us expand this into a west coast ongoing campaign!)

From Peter Turner:
The Zim Piraeus left the Port America terminal this morning, after a long night of lively protest outside. Reportedly only about 2% of the cargo was unloaded by longshore workers who slowed down the work after they had been pulled off other ships to work the Zim, bypassing the hiring hall........The ship is currently anchored near Hunters Point, claiming destination Oakland........If anyone has any insight into its (actual) destination, please share. I will send out an update as I learn more.
Please be ready to rush to whichever port and terminal it will eventually go to this afternoon, to continue to picket and keep it from being worked on the evening shift. To keep an eye on the ship's movements, this is the direct link to the live map of its location:

Toby Blome's Morning Report Back:
At 5:00 am this morning there were initially only 4 of us for about 45+minutes. We proceeded to Berths 22/23/24......eventually there were about 12-15 of us, but the main gate (number?) where ILWU were beginning to filter in after 6pm had a very wide entrance. It was very challenging to try to picket/block it as a small group.  We had some difficult confrontations with some aggressive drivers, and a couple of angry white macho teamsters actually got very physical with us, but ultimately it quieted down as more activists arrived, and what  was initially very uncertain evolved into a beautiful and very strong and vibrant picket line. (About 25-30 people ?)
We had lots of group dialogue and consensus processing amidst a very diverse group, with varying opinions, but ultimately we decided to continue to picket, even though many of the ILWU who were trying to enter were there to unload a different ("Hawaii bound") ship.  We soon began to talk with the ILWU workers as they were attempting to enter.....
Many were very sympathetic and pledged not to work on the Israeli ship. After a brief "hold up" and conversation with the driver/worker.....we would  let them enter, after they reassured us that they weren't working on the Zim ship.
Very soon after that an ILWU member with orange vest on who seemed to  have a lot of influence actually walked up to each car trying to enter, and "ordered" them to honor our picket line, and they "obeyed"..... I heard him give the verbal explanation re:  "health and safety risks"...
A large group of law enforcement officers stood to the side as observers, and watched the entire evolution of our picket.....never interfering throughout the morning.
The most beautiful part of the morning for me, was looking on the other side of the entrance, as the ILWU workers who were asked by there leadership not to cross the line were getting out of their cars and accumulating as a group, in orange jumpsuits....ultimately about 25-30 of them. We eventually thanked them all and expressed much gratitude for their support... They had the most beautiful expressions on their faces, in response, and several of them clapped and smiled after we thanked them.
Later in the morning, I approached them and thanked them again while we were still picketing. I told them that if any of them are under any significant financial burden by not working today, that they should give me their contact info, and we would raise some funds to help reduce any financial stress.  None of them expressed any need for help, and several raised their hands up and shook them as an expression of "no need"... It was a really beautiful moment.
Later on, once we knew for sure that the ZIM ship had indeed left dock at that berth, we ceased our picketing.  As the ILWU workers got into the cars and started entering the gate to work on the (non-ZIM) ships, we thanked them and praised them for their support....many smiled and flashed peace signs to us as they entered. Another very beautiful moment!
In summary, I am extremely proud to be a part of this very important campaign. WE HAVE SUCCEEDED.....For 5 days we have prevented the Zim ship from unloading it's cargo. THIS IS HISTORIC! Apparently a few containers were unloaded last nite, but not many.
The especially beautiful thing about this BLOCK THE BOAT campaign, is that it is truly a broad collective of groups and people, with many varied life experiences and political perspective.
But we are there together for one reason:  JUSTICE AND PEACE IN PALESTINE!
Please be there today at 5pm, or as soon as you can get there. If you just go to the West Oakland BART....there should be someone who can guide you where to go and hopefully someone who can shuttle those who don't have cars...... stay posted for can drive around the Port to assess the area.... bicycles are great too!

REMEMBER, track the location of the ZIM ship here: []

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