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Published by Workers.org
Newspaper of Workers World Party, a socialist party that fights on all issues that face the working class and oppressed peoples -- Black, and white, Latino/a, Asian, Arab and Native peoples, women and men, young and old, lesbian, gay, bi, straight, trans, disabled, working, unemployed and students
Newspaper of Workers World Party, a socialist party that fights on all issues that face the working class and oppressed peoples -- Black, and white, Latino/a, Asian, Arab and Native peoples, women and men, young and old, lesbian, gay, bi, straight, trans, disabled, working, unemployed and students

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Published by: Workers.org on Mar 25, 2010
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Continued on page 10
Ai1, 2010 Vol. 52, No. 12 50¢
Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unte! workers.org
1937: Huelga en tienda Woolworth
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Name_______________________Pne__________________Addess______________________ Emal___________________Cy/Sae/Zp________________________________________
 Workers World Weekly Newspaper
55 W. 17th St. #5C, NY, NY 10011
By Teresa GutierrezWashington, D.C.
On March 21 a multitude of immigrants and theirsupporters amassed in the largest demonstration forimmigrant rights in Washington, D.C., in decades, if not ever.There were at least 200,000 people at the biggestimmigrant-rights rally in this country since 2006. Thecrowd was overwhelmingly Latino/a, but pockets of Koreans, Filipinos, Africans and Muslim immigrantsand families were also there in proud attendance.People traveled from as far away as Colorado, Texasand California. Homemade signs called on PresidentBarack Obama to keep his promises for immigrationreform and urged the government to stop dividing fam-ilies.The intentions of the main organizers of this historicdemonstration for immigrant rights may have beencomplex and varied. But the world should make nomistake about it: Every single person who came to thedemonstration was there to demand legalization.Furthermore, they were condent that immigrantshave earned legalization over and over — and are notasking but are demanding it.It was reported that thehuge size of the crowd was inlarge part due to the money that poured in from unionstied to the Democratic Party as well as from the Democrat-ic Party itself. In fact one of the rally speakers was a rep-resentative of MoveOn.org.Nonetheless, it was an encouraging day that especial-ly made Latinos/as proud as the crowd over and overagain chanted, “Si se puede!” (Yes, we can!) When it was announced that President Obama would be addressing the rally, the crowd roared in approval.Obama’s intervention indeed made it one of the mostinteresting developments in this country since his elec-tion. In fact, this writer has never been to a progressiveprotest rally where a U.S. president has spoken. While immigrants and their advocates may be buoyed by the huge turnout, it was also a day of concern and ap-prehension for anyone who is looking deeper into thisissue.Unfortunately, most of the speakers at the rally, in-cluding President Obama, repeated the demand for
Hisoric rll cllsfor immigrn righs
Next Step – May Day 2010
wwPhoto: hEAthEr CottiN
What every worker should know
aNtI-WaR pROteStS ONaNNIveRSaRy O IRaq WaR
aNtI-WaR pROteStS ONaNNIveRSaRy O IRaq WaR 
Washington D.C.March 21
LS ANGLS, MACH 20.
this week ...
 join us
 join us
In the U.S.
Rally calls or immigrant rights..............................1Challenging Detroit restructuring........................…. 2What the health care bill means or workers.................3A travesty or women and the environment.................4Grocery warehouse workers on strike.......................4Community group honors women organizers...............5Remembering Clara Zetkin .................................5Georgia students fght back ................................6Comedians plans or Cleveland not unny ..................6San Francisco protest targets health care or proft ..........6NC youth and students demand jobs, no segregation . . . . . . .7NY transit authority orced to meet with students...........7
Around the world
Mass protest in Panama targets regimes policies............8Latin American labor leaders start U.S. tour .................8Protests denounce U.S. occupation o Iraq ..................9From Mumia Abu-Jamal: ‘Earthquakes’.....................10MIR: Seismic and social atershocks rock Chile .............11Donors plot, misery continues or Haiti quake survivors ....11‘Wheres Haiti relie money?...............................11
An unwelcome visitor .....................................10
Noticias n spañol
1937: Cómo las mujeres trabajadoras abrieron el camino...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. 12 • April 1, 2010Closing date: March 23, 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 © 2009 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.
Unions, community groupschallenge Detroit restructuring
By Abayomi Azikiweditor, PanAfrican News WireDetroit
During the week of March 15, corporate interests un- veiled several initiatives to further usurp local control of Detroit.Robert Bobb, the Detroit Public Schools emergency nancial manager, announced that 45 school buildings would be closed by June. Bobb, an appointee of Gov.Jennifer Granholm, announced the plan at RenaissanceHigh School to an invitation-only audience. The address was broadcast live over a number of major corporate ra-dio and television outlets.More than 100 activists and school employees pick-eted outside and then marched into the Renaissanceauditorium, chanting, “This is our school!” Some pro-testers denounced the Skillman Foundation executives who were present for their role in dismantling Detroit’spublic school system. According to the New York Times, the plan to close the45 schools “would eliminate as many as 2,100 jobs, in theface of a decit expected to peak at $316.6 million and adwindling student population.” (March 17)The Detroit Federation of Teachers immediately re- jected the plan. At a March 17 community meeting, theCoalition of Detroit Public Schools Unions called for amass march from DFT headquarters to DPS headquar-ters on March 23. A city with an ofcial unemployment rate of approxi-mately 28 percent, a foreclosure problem that worsensevery year, and city governmental leadership that worksexclusively on behalf of corporate interests, Detroit will be further weakened with the privatization of public edu-cation and the ring of workers.However, the attacks are not conned to this majority  African-American city. There have been large-scale cut- backs and layoffs of public sector employees throughoutthe southeastern Michigan region. Schools will be closedin several suburban communities.Nationally, the trend is also toward school closingsand downsizing. The Kansas City school district an-nounced the closing of 28 schools this year.Educator Carol Dantzler-Harris wrote: “These schoolclosings usually happen in areas that can least afford it.Some of the schools were in trouble prior to the country’seconomic woes; low performing schools result in parentspulling their children out to seek a better education.These schools have a difcult time attracting the bestteachers and lack the resources they need.” (advance- web.com, March 22)
Unions threaten to strike
In Detroit, city employees represented by the Ameri-can Federation of State, County and Municipal Employ-ees have protested Mayor Dave Bing’s attempts to im-pose a 10 percent wage cut and slash benets. On March16 AFSCME workers picketed outside the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center. More than 500 workers thenattended a public hearing with the Detroit City Council’sInternal Operations Committee.The proposed benet cuts include the requirement thatemployees purchase generic drugs; the elimination of paid lunch breaks; the suspension of tuition reimburse-ments; and the reduction of the age limit for dependentscovered by health care, from 22 to 19 years of age.Chants of “Strike!” emanated from the crowd. “Wehave no choice but to shut the city down this time be-cause we are not going to take these concessions,” saidMichael Mulholland, AFSCME Local 207 secretary-trea-surer. (Detroit Free Press, March 18)Richard Mack, an attorney representing AFSCMECouncil 25, called the proposed cuts “an effort to break the union, to break all these unions.”Meanwhile, the Bing administration is moving for- ward with schemes to “rightsize” the city, in line with acorporate community agenda. A private foundation, theKresge Foundation, is paying a so-called urban plannerto implement plans to recongure the city. This will re-sult in the mass dislocation of residents.Even the Detroit News acknowledged that Kresge’sparticipation “underscores the inuence of private foun-dations in Mayor Dave Bing’s downsizing initiative.Foundations, including Kresge, helped fund Data DrivenDetroit’s block-by-block study of vacancies and housingconditions that could serve as a blueprint for neighbor-hood consolidations.” (March 18) A spokesperson for Mayor Bing said that the city’sdownsizing team “will expand as the effort progresses.”
Plans to slash pensions, axe Medical Center
Plans were recently announced for a state legislature bill that would effectively eliminate the elected munici-pal pension board, which oversees in excess of $5 bil-lion in funds contributed by city workers. The legislation would transfer control from the pension boards to theMunicipal Employees’ Retirement System, which facesan underfunding crisis.The corporate media have accused the pension boardsof making questionable investments. However, mostemployees and retirees feel that the city pension systemis run efciently.In addition, the nonprot Detroit Medical Center hasannounced a proposal for Vanguard Health System toacquire the institution. DMC board chairperson SteveD’Arcy called the proposal “the biggest private invest-ment in the city of Detroit in history.” (Crain’s DetroitBusiness, March 21)Detroit Receiving Hospital, a component of the DMC,provides health care to uninsured people. The takeover by Vanguard, a Tennessee-based rm, could change theentire character of the DMC and its policy on treating un-insured patients.
Fightback eorts continue
On March 23 a mass protest will take place outsideBing’s “State of the City” address. The MoratoriumNOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions andUtility Shutoffs and AFSCME locals are mobilizing forthe demonstration, which will demand a freeze on layoffsand pay cuts along with a moratorium on debt servicepayments to the banks by the city of Detroit.The Moratorium NOW! Coalition is demanding thatMayor Bing declare an economic state of emergency inDetroit and that Gov. Granholm enact a halt to all fore-closures, evictions and utility shut-offs. On March 27, thecoalition will hold a Town Hall meeting to strategize aghtback and call for a massive federal public works pro-gram to put people back to work in Detroit and aroundthe country.
Workers World Party(WWP) fghts on allissues that ace theworking class andoppressed peoples—Black and white,Latino/a, Asian, Araband Native peoples,women and men, youngand old, lesbian, gay, bi,straight, trans, disabled,working, unemployedand students.I you would like toknow more aboutWWP, or to join us inthese struggles,contact the branchnearest you.
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kes.g Apl 1, 2010 Page 3
tHe HeaLtH CaRe BILL:Wh i mns for workrs
By Fred Goldstein
Tens of millions of people in this coun-try were hoping to be delivered from theclutches of the ruthless proteers whocontrol the health care system and werehoping for universal health care. But the very opposite has happened.The latest so-called health care reform bill, signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, has consolidated andlegalized the position of the health careproteers as the central force in the systemof health care — under minimal supervi-sion and regulation by the capitalist state.Furthermore, this bill has been passed by bargaining away women’s reproduc-tive rights and the rights of undocument-ed and documented immigrants. Its effectis to destroy solidarity while it turns its back on millions of mostly poor womenand immigrants. A statement by Terry O’Neill, presidentof the National Organization for Women,explained that one of the bill’s effects is tomake public funding of abortion impos-sible and private funding almost impos-sible. She wrote that the bill “imposes a bizarre requirement on insurance planenrollees who buy coverage through thehealth insurance exchanges to write twomonthly checks (one for an abortion carerider and one for all other health care).Even employers will have to write twoseparate checks for each of their employ-ees requesting the abortion rider.”O’Neill also wrote that the “bill imposesharsh restrictions on the ability of immi-grants to access health care, imposing ave-year waiting period on permanent, le-gal residents before they are eligible for as-sistance such as Medicaid, and prohibitingundocumented workers even to use theirown money to purchase health insurancethrough an exchange. These provisions …are there because of ugly anti-immigrantsentiment, and must be eliminated.”Those who stubbornly and valiantly fought for some form of universal na-tional health care were shunted aside by the Democratic Party leadership and theObama administration. Single payer waspushed off the agenda and substituted with the miniscule provision for a “publicoption.” This was mainly a sop in order tochange the subject. The Obama adminis-tration had early on negotiated with thehealth care industry and agreed that there would not be a public option.Thus health care is still to be sold as acommodity on the capitalist market forprot, instead of being the right that itshould be. It is in stark contrast to the so-cialized health care in Cuba, for example, where despite a U.S. blockade that hasimpoverished the country for decades,health care is free and accessible to every-one. This is because Cuba’s socialist sys-tem means people’s needs are a priority,not prots like under capitalism.One of the features of this bill is that themasses have been kept in the dark aboutthe process and the bill itself from the be-ginning to the end. Only the politiciansand the lobbyists from the various healthcare industries and medical professions were able to follow the inner course of thenegotiations. Now that it is over, various bourgeois experts have surfaced to “ex-plain” the bill.
Workers to wait until 2014while 45,000 a year die
The details that are buried in the bill will only come out over time, if ever. Hereare some of the major features of the billthat have come out.To begin with, even themost optimistic estimatesproject that 23 million people will still be uninsured in 2014.The bill imposes onerousconditions on millions of un-insured who, starting in 2014, would be forced to buy healthinsurance from an insurancecompany or face a ne. This isthe bill’s version of giving widercoverage. It wasthe result of adeal cut with theinsurance com-panies to widentheir diminishingcustomer base, which has suf-fered during theeconomic crisis as millions lost their jobsand their insurance, and to ensure future billions in prot.In 2014 workers and the middle classare to be thrust into one of 50 state-runexchanges. This further atomizes the working class by leaving the burden onthe individual to nd “affordable” insur-ance on the Internet. Even when insur-ance premiums are affordable, the co-payments and deductibles can be in thethousands of dollars and make it unaf-fordable to actually use the insurance.Medicare Advantage, home care andhospital payments are to be cut by $200 billion. This is a threat to seniors and thedisabled, despite assurances that nothing will be cut. Cuts will be made in the reim- bursement to the private insurance com-panies that work through Medicare Ad- vantage; they will surely reduce services. Adults with pre-existing conditions willhave to wait until 2014, when they can nolonger be denied coverage. Poor families of four earning less than $29,327 — 16 millionpeople — will have to wait ve years to becovered by Medicaid. Meanwhile 45,000preventable deaths take place every year because of lack of insurance, according toHarvard Medical School. Half of all bank-ruptcies are due to medical costs.The bill, of course, has some posi-tive elements that cover the most outra-geous and universally hated practices of the insurance companies. Any positiveelements should be closely studied by the workers and taken full advantage of.Many of the practices to be eliminated were exposed in Michael Moore’s popularand widely viewed lm, “Sicko.”In the short run, the insurance compa-nies will no longer be able to deny cover-age if you are sick. They will not be able toput a lifetime cap on coverage. And they cannot deny children access because of a pre-existing condition. Youth up to 26 years old can stay on their parents’ insur-ance plan, although there may be an ad-ditional premium.But millions of workers will still haveto rely on their bosses to get their healthcare. If you lose your job, you still lose your health care. In this era of layoffs,mass unemployment and underemploy-ment, there is an epidemic of people los-ing their employer-based coverage. And if  you are allowed to keep your health careafter you are laid off, few can afford to pay a group rate, let alone an individual rate.Most important is that the insurancecompanies will be in charge of the imme-diate review process. The Department of Health and Human Services will eventu-ally have a higher level of review. But thecompanies are expert at lying, manipulat-ing and, in thelong run, suffer-ing nes in orderto avoid givingcoverage that ismore expensive than the nes. It is a caseof the fox retaining the right to guard thechicken coop.
Social Security and Medicare
The conventional wisdom being touted by the Democratic Party leadership is thatthis health care bill is in the tradition of the establishment of Social Security andMedicare.In fact, the opposite is true. Marxistsmust try to understand the difference, not just in terms of personalities or parties, but in seeing the objective circumstancesin which these different pieces of legisla-tion were passed and what the class dif-ferences are. The most important factoris to view the relationship of class forcesthat existed then and that exist now.The Social Security bill was passed in1935 as part of the Franklin Roosevelt“New Deal.” But it was passed only after aperiod of mass struggle against unemploy-ment, the famous veterans’ Bonus Marchin Washington, D.C., and the break upof the veterans’ encampment by federaltroops in a pitched battle. It followed thegeneral strikes in San Francisco, Minne-apolis, Minn., and Toledo, Ohio, in 1934.Even at that, it was a compromise in which the bosses wound up having to pay only half of Social Security, with work-ers paying the other half. But it became a working-class right. The money was held by the government for the workers andpaid out every month by the government.The Medicaid bill was passed in 1984and the Medicare legislation was passedin 1965 as part of President Lyndon John-son’s “Great Society” program. These bills were not passed because the capitalistgovernment suddenly became socially conscious. They came after 10 years of theCivil Rights movement, massive rebel-lions in the streets of Harlem, N.Y., andLos Angeles, and a growing national lib-eration movement right here in the U.S.Just like Social Security, Medicare andMedicaid became a legal and politicalright of the working class and the poor.They were not turned over to privatecompanies and put on the capitalist mar-ket as commodities.The present health care bill reects thefact that the working class movement, in-cluding the movement of the oppressed,has been on the defensive for a long timeand has not yet begun to ght back.Consequently, the fate of the health care bill was really fought out by different fac-tions within the ruling class and their twopolitical parties without any signicantintervention by the masses. Secret deals were made with the pharmaceutical andhospital lobbies as well as with elementsin the health insurance industry. When these deals became known,there was no mass response. The bosses had their way, relatively unobstructed by any threat from below. The labor movement lead-ership restricted itself to minus-cule protests and lobbying. Andthe communities and the politicalmovement were unable to mobi-lize, despite militant attempts by  various single-payer groups.
Fight racist, rightwingcounterattacks
But this should lead into thenext phase of the struggle. The greatproblem for the workers’ movement isthat the health care bill, as minimal as itis, has been fought tooth-and-nail by theRepublicans and the extreme right-wingTea Party movement, which encompassesoutright fascists. The Republicans and thecorporations have in fact worked with theTea Party movement to fan the ames of racism and anti-gay and anti-immigrantsentiment.There was a fascist-like display at theCapitol building in Washington, D.C.,the day the bill was passed, when a mobshouted racist epithets at African-Ameri-can representative and former civil rightsleader John Lewis of Georgia and spat onanother Black legislator. The mob thenaccosted Rep. Barney Frank of Massa-chusetts, who is gay, and hurled anti-gay slurs at him. It is notable that this mob was allowed by the Capitol police to getright up in the faces of the lawmakers.The right wing tried to bring down theObama presidency over the health care bill. There is already talk among the Re-publicans of trying to overturn the billand start up a new town-hall-style, ultra-rightist mobilization.This fact does not make the bill any  better. But it does mean that the workers’movement, the progressive and revolu-tionary movement, must work togetherto assertively combat any reactionary andracist counterattack by the right while atthe same time demanding real universalhealth care.It is not known at this time if right-wingelements will succeed. But the progres-sive movement was taken aback duringthe town hall campaign last fall, when therst right-wing assaults were launchedagainst the health care bill while whip-ping up a racist campaign against Obama.Forewarned is forearmed. The ghtfor health care can be carried into thestruggle against the right without havingto abandon a working-class, progressiveposition. Fighting the racists and gettingin their face while demanding universalquality health care and Medicare for allcan and must be done. “Health care is aright!” should become the battle cry of themovement, along with pro-immigrant,pro-abortion rights, anti-racist slogansand so on. This is the way to resist any right-wing, racist mobilization based onopposition to the health care bill.The Democratic Party leadership hasgiven in all along the line. The workers,oppressed communities, students and youth all have a stake in this struggle. Itcan be united with the struggle for jobs,against the budget cuts and foreclosures,and to save public education. All thesefronts in the class struggle form the ba-sis to come together in People’s Assem- blies or other organs of popular power tounite to launch a powerful, anti-capitalistmovement.
Health Care Is a ight.Medicare for All/ Stop the Proteers.

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