On Monday morning, hundreds of anti-Israel protestors organized by the non-profit Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) surrounded the Port of Tacoma to block a ship they believe will be loaded with weapons and military equipment and sent to the Middle Eastern nation as they continue their war against Hamas terrorists.
"The fight against Israeli apartheid is a fight for freedom for us all," AROC's site reads. They go on to say that they hold "the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence we’ve witnessed across historic Palestine. In the face of such violence we recommit ourselves to the struggle for freedom and justice in Palestine, in our region, and globally."
A post by AROC on Sunday urged protestors to "mobilize" at 3:30 pm to Washington’s Tacoma Port to "stop the military vessel Oakland."
"It’s time to block the boat," the post adds.
An update from Sunday revealed that the MV Cape Orlando was delayed, and was slated to arrive early Monday morning.
"They're trying to wait us out, but we'll be ready to say #NoMilitaryAidForIsrael."
The group was instructed to arrive at the port at 5 am Pacific Time on Monday. Video from the morning showed a large group with outside the port with signs that read "Free Palestine," "no peace on stolen land," and "End all US aid to apartheid Israel!"
Speaking with KOMO, protestors said that they believe the ship will be loaded around 8 am Pacific time.
"This turnout is incredible," protestor Alon Lapid told KOMO News on Monday. "The people here are all showing up to support Palestinian liberation return, to stop an ongoing genocide and to call out all U.S. military aid to this genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza. We know that we have a responsibility and a duty to shut down this port because the military is literally going to be loading weapons and bombs that are going to be sent to the Israeli occupation regime to commit genocide today. We're all out in force for Palestine.
The Arab Resource and Organizing Center is fiscally sponsored by the Tides Foundation and does not have non-profit charitable status of their own.
The groups is described by Tides as: "a grassroots organization working to empower and organize our community towards justice and self-determination for all. AROC members build community power in the Bay Area by participating in leadership development, political education, and campaigns.
"Recognizing the diversity of experiences and interests within the Arab community, AROC devises a multi-pronged strategy to meet those needs while prioritizing the most marginalized sectors of our constituency to inform our work. AROC provides a centralized space for analysis, strategy, and formulation of concrete campaigns to organize for change.
"AROC envisions powerful and liberated Arab communities living with dignity from here to our homelands. AROC sees the liberation of Arab people inextricably tied to the liberation of all people of color."
AROC's own website is a manifesto against Israel and states a mission of getting young Arab Americans involved in advocacy against Israel.
This comes after anti-Israel protestors blocked the carrier Cape Orlando from leaving the Port of Oakland in California from leaving.
"It's a US Military ship. It's destined to go to Tacoma [Washington], pick up US military arms and then take those arms to Israel," said Palestinian protestor Meena Abushamala.
According to CBS News, the protest was organized by San Francisco’s Arab Resource Organizing Center. Three protestors hung off a rope ladder off the side of the docked ship and refused to leave, and were later detained by the US Coast Guard.
In a press release, the Coast Guard stated that those who "breached the maritime facility and trespassed aboard the Cape Orlando are currently under investigation for potential violations of federal law."This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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