Below is a letter of support sent by the Peace and Justice are Union Business Working Group of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN), to dock workers in the Italian port at Genoa and their union the CGIL. They went on strike on 20 May and refused to load weapons destined for Saudi Arabia, to be used in the ongoing attacks on the population of Yemen.
With the support of the local community, they sent a letter to the Italian government, calling it to “open the ports to people and close them to weapons.” The campaign is ongoing. The Saudi freighter Bahri Yanbu was forced to leave.
We won’t be complicit
Video from Click Heart TV
Similar action has been taken at Le Havre Port in France, and the same ship was forced to turn around and leave there as well. Action in the two ports has set an example, that could be repeated in other ports around the world.
Action taken at Le Havre Port in France
A reply from Italy has also been reproduced below.
To Genoa Port dock workers and their union CGIL – Italy
The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) sends warm greetings on your historic act of solidarity with the people of Yemen by refusing to load weapons on Saudi Arabian Freighter Bahri Yanbu to be used in the brutal war against the people of Yemen.
The strike by the Genoa dock workers and your declaration “We will not be complicit with the civilian deaths in Yemen” inspires and gives hope and confidence to millions of people around the world campaigning for peace and justice and against wars of aggression and profiteering by the multinational weapons corporations.
Your successful strike action showed the collective strength of workers and communities working together to stop predatory wars.
We in Australia are also campaigning against the export of arms to Saudi Arabia and our government’s subservience to US global military agendas and multinational weapons corporations.
We stand in solidarity with you and the people of Yemen.
The reply from the Ufficio Internazionale of the CGIL
On behalf of my union, FILT-CGIL, I would like to thank you for your warm solidarity letter.
We shared your letter with our dockers all over Italy and it has been really appreciated!
International solidarity is one of the fundamental values in our action, and we would like to return your message by wishing you success for the important and challenging tasks in which you are engaged.
Thank you so much!
How the Saudis ended up with so many American weapons
Video from Vox