Sunday, January 20, 2008

1997: International Solidarity With Sacked Dockers

On 20th January 1997, a massive show of international solidarity with Liverpool’s five hundred sacked dockers took place in twenty-seven countries across the globe. Dockers from Australia to Denmark and Japan to America took part in different actions, including demonstrations, work-to-rules, and full scale stoppages. It was the first designated worldwide day of action in support of the Liverpool dockers, and a hugely significant day in terms of the international labour movement.

Workers from different continents had organised the day as a global response to the globalised capitalist economy’s drive for casualisation of labour. The newly emerging internet played a big part in coordinating workers worldwide, for perhaps the first time on such a large scale. The importance of this cannot be overstated, as it demonstrated how technology that was developed for instant communication between branches of the US military could be used to unite working people and threaten the rule of the rich and powerful.

In Liverpool itself, fourteen people chained themselves onto the top of 150-foot cranes at Seaforth docks for twenty-seven hours, and stopped the unloading of genetically engineered soya beans.
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