May 2, 2008 Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (BIP)
West Coast Longshore Union
Strike Against War!
Solidarity: "An injury to one is an injury to all"
Where are Hawaii Unions?
Yesterday, May 1, 2008 was celebrated as International Workers Day around the world. The U.S.West Coast International Longshore and Warehouse Union declared an eight-hour strike at 29 west coast ports by thousands of dockworkers, to protest the war in Iraq. Since the ILWU controls every port along the U.S. Pacific Coast, this strike demonstrates the collective power of workers willing to use it. "We are supporting the troops and telling politicians in Washington that it's time to end the war in Iraq," said union President Bob McEllrath. The ILWU is demanding "an immediate end to the war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Middle East."A solidarity sign holding was held yesterday by Malu `Aina Peace group along Kalanianaole fronting the Hilo docks. The response of people in cars and trucks, walking, and on bicycles passing by was very entusiastic in support of stopping the war and bringing the troops home.
For those unfamiliar, the ILWU is perhaps the most militant and politicized worker organization in the nation. It operates in one of the most important sectors of the world economy -- marine transport -- and, thus, is in a strategic location to put peace above profits.Forged in the fires of 1930s worker struggles to gain basic rights, the ILWU was born in 1934 when longshoremen (there were no women in the industry then, though there are now) performed the incredibly hard, dangerous and important work of loading and unloading ships. To improve their wages and wrest some control over their lives, men all along the coast struck -- and in a few instances died -- to gain union recognition.
The ILWU is highly democratic. A caucus of more than 100 longshore workers representing every union local
establishes policies for the Longshore Division. It was this caucus that voted to declare the May Day strike.
Dockworkers, including those in the ILWU, have a proud tradition of political action.
That the ILWU chose International Workers' Day to declare this strike suggests its political commitment
and internationalism. A May Day Message of solidarity was sent from the Port Workers in Iraq to West Coast dock workers in the U.S. Around the world, workers honor labor by taking a holiday. What few Americans know is that the tradition of a May Day strike originated not in the Soviet Union in the 1950s but the United States of the 1880s..
(For more details see Seattle Post-Intelligencer <http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/361087_mayday.html> April 29, 2008 By Peter Cole, Guest Columnist) Also see <http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/05/01/8660/>
Published on Thursday, May 1, 2008 by The Los Angeles Times
END THE WAR & OCCUPATION! U.S. TROOPS HOME NOW!
1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination: anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc. 5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Ola`a (Kurtistown),
Hawai`i 96760. Phone (808) 966-7622 Email firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.malu-aina.org
Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (May 2, 2008 - 346th week) - Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post