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Thursday, May 01, 2008


Shut down! ILWU shuts down West Coast ports

Today was May Day, and as part of International Workers Day, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union called for a shutdown of West Coast ports to protest the war in Iraq, and in solidarity with immigrants' rights. Every port on the West Coast of the United States, from the Canadian border to the Mexican border, from Seattle to San Diego, 29 ports in all, were shut down by this political labor action. To top it off, Iraqi port workers shut down two ports in Iraq for one hour in solidarity with the ILWU. I make note of this here in particular because, although this is obviously a news item, I'll be surprised if it actually makes the national news. We'll see.

In San Francisco, several thousand workers marched through the streets:

At the rally which followed, some of the stirring speeches were given by Danny Glover, who, as a remembrance of other black preachers who have taken heat for their anti-imperialist views, read the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cynthia McKinney, who lambasted Nancy Pelosi for, among other things, her plan to pass the largest Iraq war spending bill ever.

An immigrants' rights march followed later in the day (sorry, no pictures). Some movies from the antiwar, pro-worker rally are in preparation. Watch this space!

Update: No surprise, AP gives the total shutdown of West Coast ports...three sentences. Others did have lengthier coverage.

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