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ILWU Strikes for Peace May Day Action 5/1/08

West Coast Port Shut down and Demonstration

1) 1:56 Radio essay MP3

1) 1:56 Radio essay AIFF

 

ILWU Strikes for Peace

[col./speech writ. 4/25/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

 

        It should surprise no one that the mighty ILWU (International Longshoreman & Warehouse Union) is in the forefront of this 8-hour dock shutdown for peace.

    The ILWU's proud and illustrious history is one of supporting peoples' movements, for life, freedom, workers solidarity and immigration rights, worldwide!

    They remember the stirring words of Eugene V. Debs (socialist labor leader and 1900 presidential candidate), who said, almost a century ago "It is the master class that declares war.  It is the subject class that fights the battles."   For these words, and his antiwar sentiments, Debs was cast into prison.

    That the ILWU is echoing his words today is proof of their power and truth - 100 years later!

    It also proves how little we have moved from the dawn of the 20th century, to the dawn of the 21st; for war is still a tool of imperial power, to fuel corporate wealth and global domination.

    Who can deny that this is a war for oil?

    Who can deny that this is and illegal occupation (that is, in violation of international law), more concerned with what's under the earth, than for the millions living in dread upon it?

    For Iraq may not've been a barrel of laughs before the US invasion and occupation, but it's surely hell now.

    And Congress, like Nero amidst the fires of Rome, does little more than twiddle its thumbs.

    It's labor power that makes the wheels go round - and this powerful demonstration of the denial of labor for May Day, for peace and an end to occupation in Iraq is workers' solidarity made real.

    Kudos to the ILWU!

    For Labor Power, Peace and anti-Imperialism!



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