Shout Out to African Dock Workers

You know how we Americans like to be telling African countries what to do all the time? Like: “Use this un-tested birth control and stop having black babies!” or “Globalize your financial markets despite rampant corruption in your financial industry.” How about “Be thankful that Shell is pillaging your land; at least now you have dirty and low-paying jobs!”

And then we tsk tsk at the nations of Africa when they bull-headedly refuse to take our sound and completely disinterested advice.

Well, what I’m about to say may be dangerous, as it suggests that maybe we don’t have all the answers to Africa’s problems.

I’m just going to say it: Africans may occasionally know what needs to be done to improve conditions on their own continent.

Check out this awesome Chicago Tribune article:

The strange saga of a rusty Chinese cargo ship packed with 77 tons of munitions appears to be marking a turning point in African states’ cozy relationship with the autocratic regime of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, experts say.

The vessel, the An Yue Jiang, was said to be wandering at sea on Tuesday after public outcries forced it to avoid the waters of South Africa, Mozambique and Angola, frustrating its efforts to deliver some 3 million rounds of Chinese ammunition, 1,500 rockets and 3,000 mortar shells to impoverished and landlocked Zimbabwe, where a post-election crisis is reported to be growing more violent by the day.


The loudest protest of all, however, has come from ordinary Africans and civil society, with trade unions, human-rights groups, churches and local media banding together to track the cargo ship’s murky travels around the shores of the continent.

Labor unions whose dock hands refused to unload the munitions in the South African port of Durban last week are asking co-workers in other countries to do the same. A pro-democracy group in Angola is staking out its harbors for any possible clandestine Chinese landfall.

Holla! Boo-yah Mugabe, you power-hungry dictator-ass human rights violator! Try oppressing your people now, without your 3 million rounds of Chinese ammunition. Better run and go look up “democracy” in a dictionary before people start dropping that word all over the place. Big ups, international solidarity of the common people! The US State Department can “express concerns” all it wants, but hell of a lot of good that did until dock workers and churches stepped up.

© idyllicmollusk 4/23/08


One thought on “Shout Out to African Dock Workers

  1. Pingback: Love to South African Dock Workers « The Czech

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