OAKLAND — A group of pro-Palestine protesters tried to prevent a military vessel from leaving the Port of Oakland on Friday, though the ship was able to take off eventually.
The protest began around 6 a.m. at the berth where the Cape Orlando was docked. Three people who were able to partially board the vessel were detained and then released, though an investigation is ongoing, Hunter Schnabel, petty officer for the U.S. Coast Guard, told the East Bay Echo.
Organizers of the protest could not be reached for comment by publication time. However, social media posts stated the protest was spurred by the belief that the Cape Orlando was headed to Israel with arms intended to be used against the Palestinian people.
The Cape Orlando is part of the United States Maritime Administration’s ready reserve force, which is intended to “support the rapid worldwide deployment of U.S. military forces,” according to the Maritime Administration’s website.
The Cape Orlando was previously deployed to Iraq during the U.S.’s war on Iraq in the early 2000s, and has not been deployed since 2015, according to its vessel history.
The protest came a day after a party-line vote in the GOP-led House of Representatives to send $14.3 billion in military aid to Israel.
Sonia Waraich can be reached at 510-952-7455.