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30ww5aug2010

30ww5aug2010

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Workers World weekly newspaper
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Ag 5, 2010 Vol. 52, No. 30 50¢
Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite! workers.or
 
Entrevista con una escritora iraquí 
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AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT
 
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H
 
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PENGON MNEUVERS
arget People’s Korea
 
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 Pht: Jn Mqdt 
By Abayomi AzikiweEditor, Pan-African News Wire
 A political restorm erupted on July 20 when Shirley Sherrod, the U.S. Depart-ment of Agriculture’s rural developmentdirector for Georgia, was terminatedas the result of a false accusation madeagainst her by a right-wing propagandist. A deceptively edited video of a speech, de-livered by Sherrod at an NAACP event inMarch, was used as the pretense for herring and public vilication.The following day it was revealed thatthe videotape did not include key ele-ments of her address, which highlightedthe role of both race and class in the op-pression of African Americans in the ag-ricultural sector in the South. Sherrodreceived apologies from both the NAACPand the Obama administration, which of-fered her a more prominent position asthe USDA’s Deputy Director for Advocacy and Outreach.Sherrod stated that she would need toseriously contemplate the offer in light of her recent experience within the USDA.
By John Catalinotto
The media explosion following the pub-lication of reports of some 90,000 classi-ed cables between U.S. ofcials may ac-celerate the struggle to end the imperialistoccupation of Afghanistan.Those thousands of people in the U.S. who have paid close attention to Afghani-stan may have already known that theoccupation was criminal, was based on afraudulent argument and was collapsing.Now tens of millions of people share thisknowledge. No longer can elected or ap-pointed ofcials claim ignorance of U.S.-NATO war crimes or the war’s disastrouspath.The strategy debate within and outsidethe Barack Obama administration andthe Pentagon had already hit the news.Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s ring andhis replacement by Gen. David Petraeusmade it public. This latest media blitznow brings it before the entire populationof the U.S. and its reluctant NATO allies.It turns the generals’ crisis into a publicdebate.Millions now also know that someone within the military machine, acting ona desire to stop U.S. war crimes, leakedthese documents to the Wikileaks orga-nization. There are undoubtedly othersin the virtual belly of the militarist beast who understand their responsibility tohumanity and will expose the truth andstop the crimes. The anti-war forces havea duty to defend these whistle-blowersand inspire others to follow suit.
Timing the publication
 Wikileaks had arranged to release the90,000 documents, covering the periodfrom 2004 to 2009 in Afghanistan, tothree powerful corporate media. The New  York Times in the U.S., the Guardian inBritain and Der Spiegel in Germany, afteranalyzing and editing the documents oversome months to remove some names, re-leased them July 26. The Times had alsoinformed the Obama administration onJuly 23 that it would publish them.There followed secondary reports inthousands of newspaper and broadcastmedia stories, which are continuing onJuly 27. These stories have also evokedstrong reactions from the U.S., Afghan
Continued on page 3Continued on page 10
Leaks expose criminal war
End U.S. occupation of Afghanistan
In a series of interviews in the corporatemedia, she pointed out the irony of the ad-ministration and other detractors labelingher as a “racist” after she had spent herentire adult life ghting discriminationagainst African Americans in Georgia. Although the Obama administrationand the corporate media attempted toframe the controversy as a failure to check the veracity of the videotape, the root of the political debacle stems from the on-going plight of African-American farmersand the failure of the White House andCongress to seriously tackle racism.The Obama administration came intoofce with a clear mandate from the elec-torate to implement sweeping reforms within U.S. society. However, the statusquo has been maintained, leaving the na-tional and class oppression of people of color and workers as a whole rmly intact.
The unresolved national questionin the South
During the 1950s and 1960s the African- American people rose up in opposition to
Racsm & cass.
Behind the ringof shirley sherrod
IMMIGRANT RIGHTS
Repression reeds resistance
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Adopts action prora
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Militant actionsin U.S., Canada
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WE WON’ GO BCK!
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WW P: PA bAm
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Page 2 ug. 5, 2010 workers.org
 WORKERS WORLD
 
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In the U.S.
Behind the ring of Shirley Sherrod1 The making of the Freedom Party2Celebrating the life of a Warrior Queen3Mass pressure stops foreclosure 4Struggle against racist resegregation heats up in NC 4Militant actions block hotel entrances 5Calif labor backs WPA-type jobs program5On the picket line 5From Low-Wage Capitalism6Movement says noto SB 10707Coalition adopts action plan to ght US wars 11Solidarity march with Muslim community11
Around the world
Leaks expose criminal war1African Union summit 8Six months after Haiti earthquake 8US ratchets up military pressure on DPRK 9Imperialist strategy vs worker militancy in China9Annual caravans challenge US blockade of Cuba10
Editorials
Never ending wars 10
Noticias En Español
Entrevista con una escritora iraquí 12
 Workers World55 West 17 StreetNew York, N.Y. 10011Phone: (212) 627-2994Fax: (212) 675-7869E-mail: ww@workers.org Web: www.workers.org Vol. 52, No. 30 • Aug. 5, 2010Closing date: July 27, 2010Editor: Deirdre GriswoldTechnical Editor: Lal Roohk Managing Editors: John Catalinotto, LeiLani Dowell,Leslie Feinberg, Kris Hamel, Monica Moorehead,Gary Wilson West Coast Editor: John ParkerContributing Editors: Abayomi Azikiwe,Greg Buttereld, Jaimeson Champion, G. Dunkel,Fred Goldstein, Teresa Gutierrez, Larry Hales,David Hoskins, Berta Joubert-Ceci, Cheryl LaBash,Milt Neidenberg, Bryan G. Pfeifer, Betsey Piette,Minnie Bruce Pratt, Gloria RubacTechnical Staff: Sue Davis, Shelley Ettinger,Bob McCubbin, Maggie VascassennoMundo Obrero: Carl Glenn, Teresa Gutierrez,Berta Joubert-Ceci, Donna Lazarus, Michael Martínez,Carlos VargasSupporter Program: Sue Davis, coordinatorCopyright © 2010 Workers World. Verbatim copyingand distribution of articles is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved. Workers World (ISSN-1070-4205) is published weekly except the rst week of January by WW Publishers,55 W. 17 St., N.Y., N.Y. 10011. Phone: (212) 627-2994.Subscriptions: One year: $25; institutions: $35. Lettersto the editor may be condensed and edited. Articles can be freely reprinted, with credit to Workers World, 55 W.17 St., New York, NY 10011. Back issues and individualarticles are available on microlm and/or photocopy from University Microlms International, 300 ZeebRoad, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48106. A searchable archive isavailable on the Web at www.workers.org. A headline digest is available via e-mail subscription.Subscription information is at www.workers.org/email.php.Periodicals postage paid at New York, N.Y.POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., 5th Floor,New York, N.Y. 10011.
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PO Box 57300Washington, DC 20037dc@workersorgWorkers World Party(WWP) ghts for socialismand engages in struggleson all the issues that facethe working class &oppressed peoples —Black & white, Latino/a,Asian, Arab and Nativepeoples, women & men,young and old, lesbian,gay, bi, straight, trans,disabled, working,unemployed & studentsIf you would like to knowmore about WWP, or to join us in these struggles,contact the branchnearest you
A witness to history:
he making of the Freedom Party
By Paul WashingtonBrooklyn, N.Y.
The evening gathering on June 11 at the historic Si-loam Presbyterian Church, located in Bedford-Stuyves-ant in Brooklyn, N.Y., will go down in the annals of New  York state’s Black political history as a signicant revolu-tionary development.Our ancestors — Ella Baker, a founder of theStudent Non-Violent Coordinating Committeeand the Southern Christian Leadership Confer-ence; Fannie Lou Hamer, a founder of the Mis-sissippi Freedom Democratic Party, who also ranfor Congress in Mississippi, though because of institutional racism her name was not allowedon the ballot; and Rev. Milton Galamison, whopastored Siloam from 1949 to 1988 — are smilingdown from the Heavens as the Freedom Party gathers momentum and steam to become a vi-able third party in New York state. (While Rev.Galamison led civil rights boycotts and demonstrationsagainst poverty and issues centered around social justice,it was his renowned leadership in school decentralizationthat put both his church and his name on the map.)The co-chairs of this newly formed party are two high-ly respected and prominent leaders in the Black Libera-tion Movement: none other than Jitu Weusi, one of thefounding members and Chief of Operations of the Na-tional Black United Front; along with one of the Queensof our movement, Viola Plummer, leader of the Decem- ber 12th Movement and a founder of Sista’s Place. Weusiis also the founder of the historic East Cultural Centerand the Uhuru Sasa Shule (school) from which this writ-er was one of its rst graduates. Both of these individualsare veteran activists and erce ghters for the politicaland economic empowerment of African people.Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker used to set the toneand the atmosphere for numerous meetings throughsong as they registered record numbers of people to vote.In similar fashion and tradition, Viola began the meet-ing with her ery and uplifting sloganeering, shouting,“When I say Freedom, you say Party!” When she shout-ed, “Freedom!” all the people shouted, “Party!”But more importantly, at this second major publicevent, the community got a chance to meet and hear fromthe three candidates running at the top of the FreedomParty ticket — Charles Barron for governor, Eva M. Doylefor lieutenant governor and Ramon Jimenez for attorney general. The slate of the Freedom Party is clearly com-posed of dedicated individuals who have a deep, abid-ing commitment to social justice and self-determinationfor people of color. Through their pronouncements, yousensed an anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist worldview thatis pro-working-class.
Challenging the racist status quo
The audience consisted of various sectors of New York City’s diverse communities. People were riveted as coun-cil member Barron articulated the vision and ideologicalthemes of the Freedom Party, such as “not balancing thestate and city budgets on the backs of people of color northe working class.” Brother Barron waxed in the Black oratorical tradition, using his favorite mantra, “Whitemen have too much power.” This truism raises its ugly head when we look at the all-white slate of Attorney Gen-eral Andrew Cuomo, who recently selected Mayor RobertDuffy of Rochester to be his running mate.Brother Barron’s inspiring cadencemakes one realize that there could not be a better intellectual, gifted rhetorician serv-ing as the standard barrier of the FreedomParty than Charles Barron. As I sat in theaudience with my four-year-old grandson, Tyrik Jr. (TJ),I overheard an elderly Black woman say to her husband,“[Charles] makes us proud.”The diversity of the ticket is surely its strength, withthe selection of Sister Doyle as lieutenant governor. This brilliant, dynamic activist/intellectual in the tradition of Ida B. Wells illuminates her scholarship as a writer of more than 10 books and her enduring inuence as a pub-lic school teacher and radio commentator.Sister Doyle, hailing from Buffalo, N.Y., introducedherself for the rst time to a number of Bed-Stuy resi-dents. Her downhome, yet razor sharp analysis putforward the critical need for providing an Afrocentriccurriculum in the New York state educational system.Tracing her political, intellectual and spiritual evolutionand hearing about her husband — a member of the Na-tion of Islam who recently joined the ancestors — weretruly a touch of grace and charm.Finally, her vast knowledge of the historic and contem-porary contributions of Black people was captivating andinspiring. As you witnessed both the young and old siton the edge of their seats listening to her, you recognizedshe is truly a woman of moral and physical courage.Brother Ramon Jimenez, a Harvard-trained lawyerand organic intellectual whose roots follow in the foot-steps of the great Puerto Rican nationalist and freedomghter, Pedro Albizu Campos, is a New York City com-munity activist. He spoke on the imperative for Blacksand Latinos/as to build coalitions and unity, and stressedthat this unity has always been based on principle anddevelops “from the bottom up, not from the top down.”In speaking before this attentive audience, he stated,“We have always worked together on a range of issues,from tenant organizing to the ght for the inclusion of Black and Puerto Rican studies throughout the CUNY system.”Brother Ramon, a former judge on the Workers Com-pensation Board during the 1980s, stated that there were once a number of Black and Latino judges whosat on the bench during that timeframe. Now, however,“There is only one.” This clearly speaks to the need forghting against systemic racism in the criminal justicesystem. Brother Jimenez reminded us that elected of-cials, through their role as instruments of government,must meet the material needs of oppressed communi-
Continued on page 3
Aove, Fannie ou aer with ullhorndurin mississippi Freedo Suer 1964.eft, Charles barron.
 Pht: Mni Mhd
 
workers.org ug. 5, 2010Page 3
ties. Those urgent needs relate to univer-sal education, affordable public housing,accessible health care and other essentialgoods and services.The nal speaker for the evening wasour “Attorney at War,” Alton Maddox,chairman of the United African Move-ment, a brilliant legal mind and politicalstrategist. In many ways Brother Mad-dox’s legal skills follow in the traditionof the great Charles Hamilton Houston,“The man who killed Jim Crow.” Houstonplayed a role in nearly every civil rightscase before the Supreme Court during the1930s. Similarly, Alton Maddox led andparticipated in almost every civil rightscase in the 1980s — Howard Beach, Tawa-na Brawley, the Day of Outrage, etc. It was Alton’s genius and zeal during the 1990sthat led the charge in the rst serious at-tempt to create a Black-led third party,ironically called “The Freedom Party.”In essence, Maddox’s overview of “Which Way Forward for the Freedom
Celebrating the lifeof a Warrior Queen
By Dianne MathiowetzAtlanta
The rhythmic sound of African drumslled the air and brought hundreds of mourners into harmony in tribute to SisterNjere Alghanee, rst on July 2 at the Tu-pac Shakur Center for the Arts and then atmany home-going celebrations on July 3. A respected leader of the reparationsmovement in the U.S., Alghanee hadserved in several capacities for NCOBRA,the National Coalition of Blacks for Rep-arations in America, and was a nationalco-chair at the time of her death. Alghanee died in a tragic car accidentin Atlanta on June 24, when the car she was riding in lost power on the interstateand was hit by an 18-wheeler. It was her58th birthday. Her son, Biko, suffered broken bones.She had left the U.S. Social Forum inDetroit on that day to return home to At-lanta so she could prepare to leave for theNCOBRA conference in New Orleans thenext morning. Alghanee’s life was dedicated to theliberation of African peoples. As a teen-ager in Indianapolis she joined the Black Panther Party and continued her activ-ism as a student at Wayne State Univer-sity in Detroit.She became a citizen of The Republic of New Africa and was a vocal supporter of  African liberation struggles in Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia and South Africa. Detroit was a center of revolutionary Black politi-cal activism, and she established relation-ships with many who are today leadersof such organizations as the Malcolm XGrassroots Movement and The Republicof New Africa, as well as elected ofcials inDetroit and Mississippi. Among Alghanee’s many areas of work  was her unceasing concern for the many political prisoners who have now spent de-cades in prisons as a result of their standsagainst racism and police terror. With degrees in mass communicationsand early childhood education, Alghaneeheld executive positions at the Georgia Cit-izen’s Coalition on Hunger and the Geor-gia Advocates for Battered Women andChildren. She also devoted considerableenergy to Disabled in Action, consistently including the struggle of this marginalizedcommunity in the overall liberation agen-da. Several schools, community arts cen-ters, youth programs and women’s organi-zations credit Alghanee’s vision and skillsfor their creation and continued success.Known as Sister Courage on her week-ly radio show on WRFG 89.3 FM, At-lanta’s progressive community station, Alghanee created a space for the issuesof reparations, racism, political prisonersand grassroots organizing to be analyzedand discussed.Mama Njere, as she was affectionate-ly called, had six children and was theproud grandmother of three.Dozens of laudatory tributes broughtapplause, tears and laughter to the many hundreds of family members, fellow ac-tivists and community supporters whotraveled from across the U.S. to honorthe contributions of this warrior for thepeople. When speakers recalled her radiantsmile and steady personality, unfailinglove for justice for all those oppressedand exploited, dedication to the libera-tion of African people, and optimistic andhopeful spirit, all present knew just whatthey were talking about.From the national and local leadershipof NCOBRA to the co-hosts of her radioprogram, “What Good Is a Song,” all de-clared that the life’s work of Sister Njere would go forward.Njere Alghanee, ¡presente!
Sister Njere Alghanee
the racism and national oppression thathad been in existence since the failureof Reconstruction, which was attemptedimmediately after the Civil War. Thismovement, which took on various formsin the struggle for civil rights and Black power, mobilized millions and shiftedthe consciousness of African Americans,other oppressed national groups and whites. Signicant concessions were wonfrom the ruling class as a result of thesemovements.Shirley Sherrod was impacted by devel-opments in the South during this period.In 1965, at the age of 17, she became oneof the rst African-American students tointegrate the all-white Baker County HighSchool in rural southwest Georgia. Thatsame year her father, Hosie Miller, wasmurdered by a racist white farmer. According to Sherrod’s mother, GraceMiller, the murder of her spouse stemmedfrom a dispute over three cows, which had wandered onto the white man’s property from their farm. The white farmer insist-ed that the cows belonged to him; HosieMiller said that he would contact the law.He was shot in the back while closing thegate of the white neighbor’s farm.Grace Miller said that there was neverany arrest or indictment against the whitefarmer who killed her spouse. Miller saidthat Sherrod was deeply wounded by herfather’s murder and would often be “off  by herself.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitu-tion, July 23)“One night she was outside,” Sher-rod’s mother recalled. “And it was go-ing through her mind, what would shedo? She decided she would stay in SouthGeorgia and make a difference.”Sherrod joined the civil rights strugglethat was taking place in southwest Geor-gia. She attended Fort Valley State Col-lege and Albany State University, whereshe received a bachelor’s degree in soci-ology. Sherrod eventually graduated from Antioch University in Yellow Springs,Ohio, with a master’s degree in commu-nity development.During her tenure at Fort Valley StateCollege, a racist mob of 40 white men burned a cross on her family’s yard inBaker County, Ga.Sherrod would marry a leading gurein the civil rights movement, CharlesSherrod, who was an organizer for Stu-dent Nonviolent Coordinating Committeeand a member of the organization’s cul-tural group, the Freedom Singers. CharlesSherrod had worked in the famous Albany Movement, one of the rst mass mobiliza-tions against racism in the Deep South.In the videotaped speech, Sherrodsaid: “I want to do all I can to help ruralcommunities be what they can. When Imade that commitment, I was makingthat commitment to Black people and toBlack people only. … But you know, God will show you things and he’ll put thingsin your path so that you realize that thestruggle is really about poor people.”In the early 1980s Sherrod’s 6,000-acre family farm was lost to foreclosure.The farm was occupied by numerousother families, who raised vegetables andlivestock there.
Unresolved plightof African-American farmers
The saga of Sherrod’s family was not anisolated case. Since 1910, African-Amer-ican farmers have lost nearly 13 millionacres of land due to the racist practicesof the USDA and nancial institutionsthroughout the South. In 1920, one out of seven farms was owned by African Ameri-cans; however, by 1992 Black land owner-ship had dwindled from 15 million acresto 2.8 million. African-American farmers fought this wholesale theft of their land at great risk. As a result of a class action lawsuit, in1988 the USDA was forced to admit that“the history of discrimination by the U.S.Department of Agriculture … is well docu-mented. Discrimination has been a con-tributing factor in the dramatic declineof Black farmers over the last several de-cades.” (USDA National Commission onSmall Farms report)In 1999 the government agreed tocompensate African-American farmersthrough a settlement stemming from alawsuit involving 22,000 families. None-theless, the majority of the farmers neverreceived the promised $50,000, which was a pittance compared to the vast loss-es of individual families over a period of decades.In 2009 the Obama administrationagreed to pay $1.25 billion to settle claims by African-American farmers in a secondsettlement. However, the U.S. Senate hasfailed to allocate the money for compen-sation to the farmers. The struggle in- volves several African-American farmers’organizations, including the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, the Black Farm-ers and Agriculturalists Association, andthe National Black Farmers Association. A BFAA statement asserts: “The state-ment from Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Ag-riculture, that USDA does not ‘tolerate’ ra-cial discrimination is a complete lie. Talk to almost any family member of a Black farmer or check out … the government’sdocumentation of how USDA employees,on the local and federal level, discriminat-ed against Black farmers, in particular.”(July 21)The statement notes: “Nothing wasever done to penalize the all white ofcials bent on destroying a society of black farm-ers across the nation: not one ring, notone charge brought, and not one pensionlost. Yet the rst erroneous offering by aconservative blogger that a black womanfrom USDA might have discriminated,she is immediately forced to resign.”The Shirley Sherrod incident revealsthat even with an African-American presi-dent in the White House, conditions willnot improve until the structures of U.S.capitalism and racism are fundamentally changed. There can be no resolution of the national oppression of African Ameri-cans without the uprooting of the systemand the genuine empowerment of peopleof color and working people as a whole inthe U.S.
 Read the full version of this article at workers.orgContinued from page 1
Racism & class
Behind the ring of shirley sherrod
he making of the Freedom Party
Continued from page 2
Party” was educative, enlightening andinformative. He highlighted the nexus of the two organizing meetings taking place weekly on Tuesday evenings — one at Sis-ta’s Place in Brooklyn, the other in Buffalo.It is clear there is a grassroots movementthat is building energy and inspiring peo-ple across racial, ethnic and political lines.In terms of political direction, numer-ous volunteers have come forward, hittingthe streets around the state to collect the15,000 signatures needed to gain ballotaccess for the formation of the FreedomParty in the November election. The Free-dom Party will provide the people of thisstate with a choice and an opportunity to change the political paradigm in New  York state and the entire United States of  America.
 Paul Washington is co-chair of Opera-tion P.O.W.E.R. and the coordinator of the Black Male Initiative of Medgar EversCollege in Brooklyn. He is also the authorof the forthcoming book entitled “Black Radical Politics: A Vision for America!” 

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