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Italian airport workers stop sending arms to Ukraine under cover of ‘humanitarian aid’

The war in Ukraine is causing more and more saber rattles in the United States and Europe. While many countries are massively increasing their own military budgets, many others are still sending arms to Ukraine. According to the Unione Sindacale di Base (USB), workers at the Galileo Galilei airport in Pisa, Italy, discovered crates filled with “weapons of all kinds, ammunition and explosives”. They had been informed beforehand that the delivery contained humanitarian goods such as food and medicine. Airport employees then refused to send the weapons to Ukraine via Poland.

USB reports that the president of Tuscan airports, Mario Carrai, has since assured that there will be no more arms deliveries via Pisa airport. However, USB continues to call on workers to block all arms deliveries. Next Saturday, USB is organizing a demonstration at Galileo Galilei airport with the slogan “From Tuscany: bridges of peace instead of flights of war”.

With their courageous actions, workers have not only prevented these weapons from being used to kill, but have also provided an example to the entire working class of how we can wage war with our own means. Unionized workers in the United States and beyond should take the action of their Italian colleagues as a model.

The incident is also an example of how “humanitarianism” can be abused. The USB statement reads: “We strongly condemn this blatant deception, which cynically uses the guise of ‘humanitarian aid’ to further fuel the war in Ukraine.” Humanitarian measures, such as sending aid supplies and welcoming refugees are not enough to end the war – and in this case, they have even served as a cover for militarism.

Without the action of the workers, the arms deliveries via Pisa would continue. It is therefore all the more important to emphasize that stopping the war requires active intervention and independent organization of the workers against the war. Workers in Italy and USB have led the way with their unprecedented action. They should serve as an example to workers around the world on how to wage war with their own means, such as strikes or blocking arms supplies.

Originally published in Gegen Class Class.