ROME: In solidarity with the Palestinian people, dockworkers in the Italian port of Livorno refused to load weapons on a cargo ship after discovering that they were headed for Israel.
“We’ve decided to say enough,” Giovanni Ceraolo, coordinator of the Unione Sindacale di Base (USB), an independent trade union organization representing workers in the main commercial port of Tuscany in northern Italy, told Arab News.
“Whenever we know about loading, unloading or passage of armaments in our port, we’ll intervene. We’ll ask the competent authorities to stop the passage of those weapons, especially if they’re bound for places where they’ll certainly be used against civilians, as is happening now in Palestine,” he added. “If those weapons still come, we’ll do whatever we can to refuse loading or unloading them.”
The trade unionist said if necessary, his organization will declare a strike “so that no weapons in transit in the port of Livorno will be used to kill civilians, wherever this happens.”
He added: “It could be costly for us as we’d lose part of our salary, but no salary justifies aiding in any way those who kill civilians.”
USB member Massimo Mazza told Arab News: “We refused to load that ship because we don’t want to operate on ships carrying death. We don’t want to be called accomplices in giving weapons to those who are killing unarmed civilians, as Israel is doing now.”
He added: “We have no intention to facilitate the transportation of weapons and explosives that will be used to kill the Palestinian people, who are suffering so much and mourn hundreds of innocent civilian victims, including many children.”
The USB in Livorno has launched an awareness campaign so that workers do not load weapons on ships bound for war zones.
“Work is important, especially in the very difficult times we’ve been living through with the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis. But this can’t make us close our eyes, or even worse, become accomplices in the continuing massacres of the civilian population in Palestine,” Ceraolo said.