STOP the Zimbabwe Arms Ship

Something about the South African dock workers refusal to unload arms headed to Zimbabwe reminds me of the internationalism of the old labor movement, especially the image of COSATU going up against Mbeki’s tacit support for Mugabe on behalf of the Zimbabwean population.  Here is an online petition by the International Action Network on Small Arms, for those interested, calling on the international community to stop the arms shipments.  I think one targeted at the South African government may be more poignant. From All Africa:

The London-based International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said yesterday they were mobilising unions in China and Africa, including those in Angola, to take a firm stand and to stop the ship from offloading its cargo of weapons. The ITF, which consists of more than 650 unions, representing 4,5-million workers in 148 countries, is believed to have been instrumental in Mozambique’s refusal allow the ship to dock in Maputo after ITF affiliate the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) asked it to intervene.

An ITF spokesman in Durban, Sprite Zungu, indicated yesterday he was expecting information about the final destination of the ship by tomorrow and would fly to that country to speak to the authorities there.

Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said yesterday Cosatu had been in contact with all its affiliates and was “doing everything possible to alert the international trade union movement to the danger to the workers of Zimbabwe if the cargo is allowed to be unloaded and delivered to Mugabe’s forces”.

[H/t: Maeve Adams]