Italian Dockworkers Refuse to Load Saudi Cargo Ship in Anti-War Protest

A Saudi Arabian cargo ship, reported by Belgian media to be carrying arms, docked in the Italian port of Genoa on May 20, where dockworkers refused to load it with what they believed to be materials for use by Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

In a Facebook post on May 15, the local CGIL trade union group said that “it should not be the Port of Genoa feeding armed conflicts that violate human rights”.

The Autonomous Collective of Port Workers group shared images of cargo due to be loaded onto the ship, the Bahri Yanbu, including a generator from Teknel, a manufacturer which provides equipment to the Italian military among others.

The ship had picked up a supply of Belgian weapons in Antwerp, before travelling to the French port of Le Havre, where a rights group attempted a legal challenge to the shipment. The ship then departed for Santander, Spain, before setting course for Genoa.

Amnesty International has argued that the arms shipment flouts the EU Arms Trade Treaty. Reuters quoted a Saudi source as saying the materials loaded in Santander were “not for the war in Yemen, not for use in war”. Credit: FILT CGIL Genova e Liguria via Storyful