Peas in a Pod: Antiwar Saboteurs and Striking Grocery Clerks

As I rode my bike past Vons today, I saw the picketing workers — all six of them — standing in front of a delivery truck trying to enter the loading bay. Now, I have no problem with people unionizing or striking — if you have a raw deal at work, I think it takes balls to risk your job to make more money. What I have a problem with is how strikes are handled (and how unions are run). If they just marched and voiced their woes to the public, there would be no problems, but when they use violence against non-striking workers (who knows, single mothers and poor people who can’t afford to strike — especially after union dues are jacked from their checks?), I have a problem. They have the right to choose to not work, but not the right to stop others from working, in a situation the “scabs” obviously find beneficial.

So when I saw the strikers basically sabotaging Vons’ business (and the driver’s day), and the confontational jeers they pointed at customers who shopped there despite the strike, I was reminded of this past winter’s antiwar protests. These are the same kind people who protested the war by bringing urban traffic to a halt. Those who ironically, in their outpouring of concern over the lives about to be destoyed in the coming war, have little concern left for the person making their way from their second job to their third job, or the parent trying to get to their child’s school to pick them up, or anyone else trying (in vain) to go about their lives. Yes, wars are terrible — even those that aren’t Bush’s — but there are ways of protesting them peacefully.

Making people’s lives harder than they already are in order to make them pay attention to your cause, just though that cause may be, does not serve the cause. The antiwar movement is hurt by these hoodlum-like actions because instead of embracing our message, those inconvenienced by protests become hostile to it.

And that’s what I was reminded of today. Aren’t you glad I shared? Besides, being a “wage slave” is for losers — it’s about being your own man.