OAKLAND -- For the third day in a row, protesters have apparently prevented a cargo ship operated by an Israeli company from unloading at the Port of Oakland, officials said.

A small group of about 15 people who came out Monday morning were not part of the official Block the Boat protest but were an autonomous rally supported by the movement. Two protesters were cited and released at the scene by Oakland police for blocking the roadway, Officer Johnna Watson said.

The group dispersed by 9 a.m. and officers were to remain on the scene to monitor events.

The Zim Integrated Shipping Lines vessel Piraeus had docked Saturday at the port's Oakland International Container Terminal, which encompasses berths 55 to 59, but dockworkers would not cross protesters' picket lines to offload its cargo.

File: Demonstrators wave Palestinian flags and signs as they march to berth 57 at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif., on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014. (Ray
File: Demonstrators wave Palestinian flags and signs as they march to berth 57 at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif., on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Port spokesman Robert Bernardo said that as of midafternoon on Monday, the ship still had not been unloaded due to an "unavailability of labor." It was not known if work would resume later in the day.

He said no other port operations were affected.

Representatives for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union said Monday that the union had not taken an official stand on the issue, but that individual dockworkers had decided not to cross the pickets for safety reasons.

Past protests at the port had been unsafe when police confronted protesters, in one instance firing rubber bullets that hit some longshoremen reporting to work, according to a press release from the union.


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The protest is "nothing short of political terrorism," and has little effect on Israel because the ship rarely goes to Israel, said Andy David, consulate general of Israel to the Pacific Northwest region.

"The people of Oakland and of California, these are the people who will suffer with these actions," David said.

The ZIM Piraeus transports goods between Asia and the U.S., according to consulate spokesman David Goodstone. Zim Integrated Shipping Ltd. is 32 percent-owned by Israeli shareholders, he said.

The Pireaus was prevented from unloading both Saturday and Sunday by larger groups of Block the Boat protesters in response to Israel's attacks on Gaza and its ongoing occupation of Palestine.

Mohammed Shehk, a spokesman for Block of the Boat, said even though Monday's protest was not called by their group, they still supported the action.

Shehk said their movement hopes to gain momentum and make the company realize they are not welcome at the Port of Oakland or other West Coast ports. Protesters are planning to meet Zim ships scheduled to dock later this week in Tacoma and Seattle and awareness campaigns are planned for Vancouver and Long Beach.