Home | Back issues | sfflier@well.com

April 30, 2008


An injury one...

… is an injury to all.

The International Longshoremen’s Union has a long and honorable history in San Francisco. On Thursday, May 1, its members will extend that history by closing down all West Coast ports, in an action that recalls the waterfront strike of 1934:

The ILWU west coast longshore workers have voted to stop work to protest the US war and occupation on Iraq and Afghanistan on May Day 2008. They have also called on the AFL-CIO, Change To Win (CTW) and other labor organizations to join them in action on May Day against the war and to commemorate the International Workers Holiday.

Iraqi port workers responded:

May Day Message from the Port Workers in Iraq to West Coast dock workers in the U.S.

General Union of Port Workers of Iraq

April 29th, 2008

In solidarity with the ILWU, the General Union of Port Workers in Iraq will stop work for one hour on May Day in the ports of Umm Qasr and Khor Al Zubair….

We are certain that a better world will only be created by the workers and what you are doing is an example and proof of what we say. The labor movement is the only element in the society that is able to change the political equations for the benefit of mankind. We in Iraq are looking up to you and support you until the victory over the US administration’s barbarism is achieved….

Meanwhile, labor leaders in Iraq sent the following message:

May Day 2008 Statement from the Iraqi Labour Movement

To the Workers and All Peace Loving People of the World

April 29th, 2008

On this day of international labour solidarity we call on our fellow trade unionists and all those worldwide who have stood against war and occupation to increase support for our struggle for freedom from occupation – both the military and economic.

We call upon the governments, corporations and institutions behind the ongoing occupation of Iraq to respond to our demands for real democracy, true sovereignty and self-determination free of all foreign interference.

Five years of invasion, war and occupation have brought nothing but death, destruction, misery and suffering to our people. In the name of our “liberation,” the invaders have destroyed our nation’s infrastructure, bombed our neighbourhoods, broken into our homes, traumatized our children, assaulted and arrested many of our family members and neighbours, permitted the looting of our national treasures, and turned nearly twenty percent of our people into refugees….

Somewhere, Harry Bridges must be dancing.

Thanks for reading. I’m outta here till Friday.

        — Copyright Betsey Culp 2008