Workers can fight war by refusing to transport weapons

I am and have been a worker all my life. I know that working people are the ones who build and transform everything in human society. Working people can also change the direction that society moves when they move in unity.

I know that politicians do the bidding of large contributors to their election campaigns. Politicians do only what will keep them in the good favor of the big campaign donors. They have to if they want to have enough money for their election campaigns, which are very expensive because there is no public campaign policy for elections to get corporate money out of politics.

I also know that if our elected officials refuse to stop the arms sales to Israel because they are beholden to private deep-pocket donors, then working people must take steps to stop the atrocities being committed against Palestinian men, women, and children using U.S. bombs and other U.S.-made weapons of war.

For example, the arms that are being paid for with our tax money and sent to Israel cannot be shipped to Israel if longshore workers do not load them onto ships. If arms are loaded elsewhere onto trains, trucks, or airplanes, workers in those industries can refuse to load them onto these modes of transportation, as well.

By refusing to load weapons headed for Israel, working people can stop the murder of innocent civilians by these weapons. Workers and their unions can refuse to be accomplices in murder and war crimes, which are punishable by law, by refusing to handle these instruments of death.

The refusal by the union of longshore workers is not new. On other occasions, they have refused to load American weapons and arms in order to add to the pressure on the government and our elected representatives to help stop the killing of innocents in conflicts in other countries

What about workers who are soldiers? Soldiers must be reminded of their humanity that training has robbed them of. They have also been numbed, in their training, to the unnecessary killing involved in following orders by their superiors. Soldiers can stop the killing of innocent civilians by refusing to participate in these types of missions.

It is possible to implement strategies to achieve military objectives other than the genocidal bombing of civilian-inhabited cities in Palestinian ancestral lands causing the outright murder of civilians as ordered by the fascist Israeli government and military leaders. Parents of soldiers, who are primarily future young workers—and the general public—must call upon their daughters and sons to question and refuse to be murderous pawns in carrying out the extermination policies being implemented against the Palestinian people in Gaza and other parts of Israel.

Israel must be pressured to stop this slaughter of civilians, nearly a third of whom are children! Our elected officials must be instrumental in such pressure to end all economic and weapons aid to Israel. Marches, demonstrations, peaceful occupation of government offices (sit-ins), and protests in the streets must also accompany and be part of this pressure. All tactics, short of violence against groups and individuals, must be used to stop the genocide being committed by Israel against the Palestinians.

Once again, the refusal to handle or transport weapons by workers and their unions must be reconsidered. It represents the ability and power we have as workers to change the direction of our societies toward the immediate establishment of peace in Palestine. Workers can stop the implementation of war by not participating in the transportation of weapons. Workers can effectively bring peace.

We hope you appreciated this article. At People’s World, we believe news and information should be free and accessible to all, but we need your help. Our journalism is free of corporate influence and paywalls because we are totally reader-supported. Only you, our readers and supporters, make this possible. If you enjoy reading People’s World and the stories we bring you, please support our work by donating or becoming a monthly sustainer today. Thank you!


Ismael Parra
Ismael Parra

Ismael Parra is the Southern California Chair of the National Writers Union, a musician, and writer. Ismael Parra es el presidente de la Unión Nacional de Escritores del Sur de California, músico y escritor.