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Workers Can Stop The War

W.R.A Mckay

Nov 2, 2023

When faced with the mass murder carried out by the Israeli regime and its US sponsor in Gaza over the past three weeks, it can leave you with a feeling of helplessness. The average worker looks at this and feels powerless to stop the slaughter even if he or she might wish to do so.

One of the reasons why we started the Class Consciousness Project though was the play our part in removing that feeling. The working class does have power even up to the point of preventing the most earth shattering decisions that a government can take, over the questions of war and peace. It is not that the British working class does not have power, it is that there has not been the sufficient level of consciousness of that power for more than a generation and the leadership of the TUC affiliated trade unions has no interest in rebuilding an awareness of that power.

That is why we at the Class Consciousness Project salute the stand taken by the Belgian trade union federations this week. In a joint statement issued by several unions representing transport, logistics and freight handling workers, these unions notified the Belgian government that they would refuse to handle shipments of arms going to Israel. They also called for an immediate ceasefire.

This is important because the Israeli regime can only keep up this level of mass slaughter because it is constantly being resupplied by the US and the other NATO countries. The workers in Belgium have been the first to refuse to handle such shipments and support for this must be built now in Britain. The British government has a long history of providing Israel with armaments and that continues to this day. Trade union branches in freight shipping and logistics will know very well (as their Belgian equivalents do) what is being shipped to Israel and how.

We must now actively build a mass campaign for a refusal to cooperate with the arming of the Israeli regime by the British government and by private companies based in Britain. If the Belgians can do this then it certainly can be done here. We must send motions to the NEC’s of every major unions asking them to back this move. If these leaders won’t act on this or try to block it then this initiative must start at the rank-and-file level and we must be prepared to work around any leaders who try to obstruct this.

The British working class has a proud record of international solidarity with their fellow workers and this must be rebuilt. We are not powerless in the face of the war machine. Without workers the war material cannot be produced and cannot be transported to the murderous Israeli regime. The British working class has the ability to damage this war machine and this power must be brought to bear.

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