The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

West Coast dockworkers struck on May 1 to protest Iraq War

May 19, 2008

Dockworkers at 29 ports on the West Coast carried out a one-day strike on May 1 to protest the war in Iraq. The strike effectively shut down the ports, the biggest in the U.S., handling 40% of goods imported into the U.S. each year.

It was just a one-day strike – in fact, just a one-shift strike – so its economic impact was meager. But the fact that union leaders even wanted to make a statement against the war shows how much anti-war sentiment exists among the workers.

Of course, it’s the family members of workers like those who operate the cranes and drive the trucks at these ports who are being sent to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This strike many have been limited, but it clearly shows one thing: Workers have the force to bring an end to the war, as well as to stop the attacks being carried out on them. The point is to use it.