Following the amazing lead given by citizen activists and dockworkers/longshoremen in Oakland, California at 5 a.m. on Sunday, today dockworkers in Sweden announced they will try to institute a week-long ban on loading or unloading Israeli ships and cargoes coming to or from Israel. (HT: Ray J.)
The statement from the head of the Swedish port workers union linked to above, said (in Google translation):
- The Swedish port workers’ position is not an isolated incident. We are acting in parallel with the dockers unions in South Africa and Norway, in a first international action for two obvious requirements against the State of Israel: 1. Raise the blockade of Gaza. 2. [The establishment of] an independent international inquiry into the violent and the boarding of Freedom [Flotilla].
It is true that the Oakland stoppage lasted only 24 hours, and this one is planned to last only seven days. So these actions will not bring Israel’s international trade (which is distorted heavily toward the export of military goods) grinding to a halt. But the symbolism itself is immensely important. It shows that the BDS call has moved significantly beyond the few college campuses where it started, and into much broader reaches of western society.
It also shows that the strong support Israel nearly always enjoyed among the left and labor movements in the west has eroded a lot.