Deepest Respect and Appreciation to St John Protesters Aiming to Block Saudi LAV Shipment Today!

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Deepest Respect and Appreciation to St John Protesters Aiming to Block Saudi LAV Shipment Today!

Saint John Protesters Aim To Block Saudi LAV Shipment

"...The Saudi flagged cargo ship Bahri Yanbu will be greeted by protesters trying to prevent the shipment of these vehicles, which have been used in Riyadh's war in Yemen. Demonstrators organized by the activist group PEACE-NB and individuals from the Council of Canadians will be protesting on Saturday morning near an entrance to the port and lobbying longshoremen to refuse to move the cargo.

'We're hoping to spread awareness -- locally, with the people working on the ground that are probably unwittingly helping Saudi Arabia get these armoured vehicles,' Sharon Murphy-Mayne, one of the protesters, said. 'The best-case scenario would be that the light armoured vehicles are stopped in St John and aren't exported overseas.'

Protesters say they hope the local branch of the International Longshoremen's Association, a union with a history of refusing to move what it deems 'hot cargo' - or goods intended for immoral purposes - will thwart the latest shiptment. Pat Riley, a spokesman for ILA Branch 273, declined to comment...

'There's no secret of what is going on in Yemen. It's an abomination,' Ms Murphy-Mayne said..."


Thanks for the link NDPP! These activists are very brave and are justified. I wish them the best!

Ken Burch



I can find no coverage of the protest thus far except The Gleaner which is behind a paywall. Please post anything you find. Or ask CBC New Brunswick why they haven't covered/published anything yet.   

[email protected]


Bravo. Petroleum rules, eh? Even when there is a murderous régime.


I tweeted this to Unifor and the CLC yesterday, asking them to support the protest. Crickets. I'll look for coverage now. Thanks so much for opening this, NDPP!


  Found this Dec. 22 Tweet:

"Down at the port in Saint John, protesters are trying to prevent shipment of light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia. Behind Sharon Murphy-Mayne are the longshoremen, so far deciding not to cross the picket line."

Some obvious and serious Canadian media suppression around this clearly important story.


Light Armoured Vehicles Shipped to Saudi Arabia Despite St John Protests

"Light armoured vehicles destined for Saudi Arabia were loaded onto a cargo ship in Saint John on Sunday, a day after longshoremen refused to cross a picket line. In the rain and fog, protesters gathered near the port entrance at 7am on Saturday. More than a dozen protesters held signs and passed out pamphlets detailing concerns about the Saudi-led war in Yemen, which the UN has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis. They had hoped to prevent the shipment.

Holding placards and illuminated only by the port's flood lights, they marched back and forth as the longshoremen parked their cars and waited before leaving two hours later, forfeiting their day's wages. A day later, however, the LAVs were loaded onto the Bahri Yanbu and the ship left the port. 

Pat Riley, spokesman for the International Longshoremen's Association Branch 273, said he was trying to confirm the work was done by the union but didn't respond before deadline. He said ILA Branch 273 could face repercussions from their employer for its decision not to cross Saturday's protest, even though the combat vehicles, some of which have been used in Riyadh's war in Yemen, were actually transported.

'We recognize that every time someone puts up a picket line and we don't cross it, the guns are pointed at us,' Mr Riley said. It's very legal for people to protest and put up information protest lines whenever they deem they want to, but it's the workers who feel the possible legal repercussions. And we're prepared to do that.'

Mr Riley said he has been contacted by the union's employer, Port Saint John, requesting a meeting as soon as possible. When asked if the port will pursue legal action, fines or other punishments against the longshoremen, spokeswoman Paula Copeland declined to comment..."

Please support and protect this protest:

Messages to Paula Copeland, Director, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility,  Port of Saint John

[email protected]

Ms Copeland, if 'corporate social responsibility' means anything at all, it includes your responsibility not to act in furtherance of war crimes. Best for you and the Port of Saint John if you do not seek to wreak revenge on ILA Branch 273 members. They are to be congratulated and thanked, not punished for their demonstration of humanitarian concern and responsible progressive social solidarity. Canada will be watching how you handle this Ms Copeland.

DP World Saint John Inc

[email protected]

Greetings, please know that the issue of Canada's contributions to Saudi warcrimes in Yemen is a serious one that concerns many Canadians. You would be well advised that DP World is now on the radar as participating in this reprehensible arms trade and any attempts to 'discipline' or penalize ILA Branch 273 for their solidarity actions will be duly noted and strongly responded to by concerned Canadians. Thank you in anticipation of your understanding in this matter.

Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade and Diversification

Jim. [email protected]

Justin Trudeau

[email protected]

How much longer will this outrage continue?


I do hope the teflon on that bloodsoaked régime starts to wear thin.


Im going to speculate here that the corporate media suppression is to protect the status quo including Justin and his liberal government. 

I honestly believe the government is worried that with the current political climate in Canada, protests like this one, against the establishment, can gain some serious traction similar to the yellow vest movement in France. 

Kudos to our brothers and sisters longshoremen!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Shipment of armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia picketed in Saint John

On Saturday, December 22, protesters against the sale of armed vehicles to Saudi Arabia picketed the King Street entrance to the Port of Saint John.

Sharon Murphy-Mayne of the group PEACE-NB, which helped organize the picket, called the sale of armaments to Saudi Arabia “immoral” and said: “We’d like to send a message to the Canadian government that this is unacceptable.”

The protesters noted Saudi Arabia has caused massive civilian casualties and human rights abuses during the three and a half year old military intervention in Yemen.

Canada has sold nearly 4 billion dollars worth of armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia over the last three decades, and is currently in a 14 year, $14.8 billion contract to supply 742 light armoured vehicles to that country.

Protester Wayne Dryer, who is associated with the Council of Canadians in Saint John, said he learned about the scope of the abuses in Yemen a few months ago and feels that if he doesn’t speak up, he would be “complicit in all of the actions that take place using the vehicles that pass through our port.”


Picketers arrived at 7:00 a.m., in pre-dawn fog and drizzle, to protest Canada’s arms shipment to Saudi Arabia and to call for a lasting ceasefire and humanitarian relief in Yemen. Initially, several cars and trucks drove through the picket line and entered the dock area. However, at about 7:30 am, members of the International Longshoremen’s Association arriving for work refused to cross the picket line. The dock workers parked their cars on the inland side of the picket and stood watching the two dozen picketers pacing the road below.

The Bahri Yanbu remained offshore all day on Dec. 22nd due to “bad weather,” according to Saint John port officials. The picketers began packing up their signs at 9:00 a.m. Two or three of the longshoremen drove to the gate to report for work but were refused entry by their employer.

The picketers went up as a group to applaud the longshoremen and thank them for their support. The longshoremen had lost a day’s pay and thought additional punishment from the employer was likely, but expressed no bad feeling toward the picketers, saying simply: “We don’t cross picket lines.”

The Bahri Yanbu docked at the Saint John port the next morning, on Dec. 23 at 1:34am. The ship, loaded with the armoured vehicles, was seen leaving the port that afternoon.


Several members of other unions, including George Vair, a past president of the Saint John and District Labour Council, were among the ranks of the picketers.

The Saint John longshoremen have refused cargos on ethical grounds before. In 1979, they refused to ship heavy water for the Argentine military junta’s CANDU nuclear reactor; and in 2003, during the Iraq War, they refused to ship military equipment destined for the Middle East.

Weapons are not Saint John’s only trade with Saudi Arabia. About 115,000 barrels of Saudi crude oil arrive in the port on an average day – 14 per cent of Canada’s oil imports and 5.7 per cent of our total supply (domestic and foreign).


Please take the time to write some emails in support of the Longshoremen likely to be punished for observing the protest line. Though you may do nothing to actually support progressive struggles, the least you can do is support those that do. See #8.