Civil harbours & airports – No arms for war and oppression
Thursday, 23 JUN 9:30 – 12:30
European Parliament ASP 1G2 and online
Interpretation: DE, EN, FR, IT, EL, ES, PT
In the EU’s Common position on arms exports and in international treaties, such as the Arms Trade Treaty, international transfers of weapons that could be used to commit human rights violation, war crimes or increase instability and amplify violent conflicts and wars, are prohibited. This position is constantly violated in the past and present.
The Saudi Arabia-led war in Yemen is such a war where weapons continuously fuel the war through the delivery of arms to the war parties such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Emirates, Bahrain etc. The Yemen war became one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world and no end in sight.
But dockworkers and activists tried to stop the delivery of these arms.
The first protests in Europe against the Bahri ships began in the port of Bilbao in March 2017.
In May 2019 at the French port of Le Havre the first coordinated protest between workers from various European ports took place to denounce and stop the “Bahri Jazan” ship – loaded with eight Ceasar cannons from France for Saudi Arabia. The ship continued its journey without docking in France.
Finally when the “Bahri Yanbu” docked at in the port of Genoa on 20 May 2019, it was “welcomed” by a banner reading ‘Ports closed to weapons, ports open to migrants’ and workers went on strike, refusing to work until the ship leaves the port in Genoa.
In the port of Hamburg/Germany every year, 1,000 containers pass with deadly freight – that means three containers a day containing bombs, tanks, submarine torpedoes, small arms and ammunition. The peoples initiative “ziviler Hafen” (civil habours) have registered a petition for a referendum to stop arms exports via the port of Hamburg and only allow the civilian trade.
These examples show that effective and civil resistance as well as workers strikes to (illegal) arms exports is possible from the heart of our society – no politicians or parliaments have been as strong as these activists and workers, if they connect.
Join us to discuss with trade unionists, Italian dockworkers from Genoa and Livorno and PEACE activist from across Europe the civil resistance against arms exports! We want to give the courageous workers, trade unionists, students and peace activists a forum to network and exchange for future activities.
9h00-9h30: accreditation and access to European Parliament – entrance Altiero Spinelli Place Luxembourg
9h30-10h30: Arms (exports) amplify war and conflicts and never bring peace
Moderation: Özlem Alev Demirel
- Welcome and Introduction – Özlem Alev Demirel – MEP
- EU- Arms exports – Facts and Figures – Jackie Andres – Information Center Militarisation (IMI)
- Information, awareness-raising, networking – Carlo Tombola – weaponwatch.net
- Arms exports – against international Law? – Valentina Azarova – Manchester International Law Centre
10h30 -11h30: On land, at sea and in the air – Strikes and blockades as concrete actions against arms exports- experiences from the field
Moderation: Jackie Andres
- War out of the ports! – José Nivoi USB – Genoa/ Italy
- Peoples Initiative/ Referendum ‘Civil Harbour‘ – Monika Koops ver.di – Hamburg/ Germany
- Civil airports – Francesco Staccioli USB – Pisa/ Italy
- Ignacio Robles – Fire Fighter -Bilbao/ Spain remotely
11h30 -12h30: International Action Day in Genoa
Moderation: Trade Unionist from USB