 Revés para los planes de guerra  Pastores por la Paz


Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite!


July 26, 2012

Vol. 54, No. 29


Miners nd massive solidarity in Madrid
By Caleb T. Maupin and Kathy Durkin Hundreds of striking coal miners marched 285 miles from Asturias on Spain’s north coast to the capital city of Madrid, where thousands of other workers joined them as they entered the city. Hundreds of thousands of others came to show solidarity as the miners’ three-week trek ended with a massive demonstration on July 11. Thousands of striking miners also came on buses to join the protests. They felt the support from so many of their fellow workers, who have suffered from government-imposed austerity measures of higher taxes, layoffs, wage cuts and reduced crucial services and who face a new round of cutbacks. The chant of “Yes! Yes! They do represent us!” echoed throughout the huge crowd, as the people embraced the miners. Their banners read, “We are all miners.” Alejandro Casal, 28, an Airbus factory worker marching with fellow union members, said the miners’ protest “isn’t only their struggle. It’s a struggle for the working class. … The people need to be here on the street to say `Enough is enough.’ ” (Huffington Post, July 16) This monumental protest came as rightist Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy imposed new taxes and spending cuts, shaving $80 billion from the country’s budget. This was the condition the European ruling class imposed for a bailout of Spain’s shaky banks. It means more wage cuts for public sector workers, closings of state-owned industries and more attacks on social programs. This comes on top of a 25 percent jobless rate in the country, with 50 percent of youth unemployed — disastrous rates for the eurozone’s fourth largest member. What sparked the miners to strike was the government’s plan to cut coal-mining subsidies by twothirds, which would undoubtedly result in mass layoffs in the mines. Seeing that the livelihoods, in fact, the very lives, of 30,000 miners were at stake, the miners’ union declared a strike to oppose the subsidy cuts. Eight thousand miners went on strike on May 31. They have stood up to police batons, tear gas and arrests. The miners have militantly set up roadblocks and even stopped trains in their region of Asturias, which borders the Atlantic Ocean north of Madrid. Bringing Asturias’ militant history to Madrid Asturias has a long radical history. In 1934, the region was declared a socialist republic for a month while a mass workers’ uprising was taking place. It was also a stronghold of anti-fascist fighting during Continued on page 9

Workers, supporting the striking miners, block a motorway in Asturias in June.


 FBI bias  Mumia: ‘He’s all of us’

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Page 2

July 26, 2012


Glaxo $3 billion ne –


Just the cost of doing business
By Betsey Piette It is being touted as the largest financial penalty of its kind in the U.S. against a pharmaceutical corporation. In July, GlaxoSmithKline agreed to plead guilty to three criminal misdemeanor charges and pay $3 billion in fines to settle claims of inappropriate marketing. Glaxo admitted encouraging use of the antidepressant drug Paxil for children, even though it was never approved by the FDA for anyone under 18 years of age. The company also withheld information from doctors and patients that Paxil appears to magnify distress and manipulated clinical trials to minimize the number of suicides linked to the pill. The company was also charged with paying doctors to promote Wellbutrin to treat obesity and sexual dysfunction, when it had only been approved for depression. Doctors were showered with gifts, consulting contracts, speaking fees and sports tickets. In addition, Glaxo withheld information about the cardiovascular risks of Avandia, a diabetes drug shown to cause heart attacks. It promoted Advair, an inhaled lung drug, to patients with mild asthma, even though it was not FDA approved for this use. The $3 billion fine will also cover a Justice Department investigation of Glaxo’s Medicaid pricing practices for nine of its drugs from 1997 to 2004. A $3 billion fine may seem huge — until one considers that Glaxo had a net profit of $8.2 billion in 2011 on revenues of $42.6 billion. In anticipation of the lawsuits, the company set aside $3.1 billion back in 2009 to cover legal costs. They had the money. During the years that Paxil and Wellbutrin were on the market, Glaxo made $27.5 billon just on these and one other antidepressant, according to IMS Health. Not one Glaxo executive has been prosecuted, despite the fact that a number of deaths resulted from their practices. In fact, it is rare for any health care executives to go to prison for their crimes. One exception was a case brought against medical device producer Synthes Inc. in 2011, which resulted in jail terms for four executives. However, in June 2012 Johnson & Johnson purchased Synthes for $19.7 billion. In 2009, around the same time that Pfizer was settling a $2.3 billion penalty for illegal drug marketing, the company spent $68 billion to acquire Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Apparently, penalties stemming from these illegal marketing practices are just one of the costs of doing business. Big payo on direct-to-consumer ads The advertising and marketing of prescription drugs on television and radio, made legal by the Food and Drug Administration in 1997, has been a source of tremendous profits for many of the major pharmaceuticals. The U.S. and New Zealand are the only two industrialized countries that permit direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs. Recent attempts to get Congress to restrict drug ads, or to give special warnings on new medications during their first two years on the market, got watered down to a provision that gave the FDA the right to review ads before they are aired. The oversight agency can make recommendations for ad changes, but has no authority to require ad agencies to redo commercials. Congress took this position despite a Congressional Budget Office study released May 26, 2011, that found the average number of prescriptions for new drugs with DTC advertising was nine times greater than prescriptions for new drugs without DTC ads. According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2006, pharmaceuticals were the tenth biggest advertiser. Television broadcasters and magazine publishers, as well as “Mad” Avenue, have come to rely on this ad income. A study by two York University researchers estimated that the U.S. pharmaceutical industry spends almost twice as much on advertisement as they do on research and development. Using data collected directly from the industry and from doctors in 2004, the study concluded that 24.4 cents of each sales dollar went to promotion, compared with 13.4 cents for research and development, based on U.S. domestic sales of $235.4 billion. (PLoS Medicine, January 2008) In 2007 alone, drug companies spent more than $5.375 billion on DTC drug advertising. Comparative sales for the 25 biggest spenders that year found returns averaging $13.29 per ad dollar. Pfizer, which invested $98.36 million in ads for its popular anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor, had sales of $5.88 billion or $59.78 per ad dollar spent on the drug. The “ask-your-doctor” DTC ads are ubiquitous. Turn on your TV at any time and you can’t miss them. The DTC ads push prescription drug use as the primary response to medical conditions that can often be remedied with diet, exercise, stress reduction and other preventative measures that are far cheaper and benefit overall health. The ads project images of people having fun, engaged in activities, etc., once they take the given drug to cure their ailment. The ads downplay information about potential side effects of the drugs. Required warnings, including dangers of complications such as heart attack, skin rashes, internal bleeding, osteoporosis, depression and even death, are recited quickly and quietly. The focus is on the effectiveness of the advertisement, not on the effectiveness of the drug. People who see these ads often do ask their doctors to prescribe the drugs, just as the ads suggest. Doctors may not like having their patients ask for these drugs, but they often concede and write the prescription. There is an incentive. According to the Archives of Internal Medicine, 84 percent of U.S. doctors have a financial relationship with a drug or medical-device company. According to ScienceDaily, in 2004, the pharmaceutical industry spent $61,000 per physician to promote their drugs. (January 2008) Doctors are encouraged through financial incentives from the pharmaceutical companies to oversell the benefits of a drug while downplaying well-established disadvantages. Daniel Carlat, director of the Pew Prescription Project, described receiving $750 per session from a drug company to educate other doctors about the alleged benefits of an antidepressant. (Philadelphia Inquirer, June 26) Without direct criminal charges being brought against drug company executives, there is little incentive to curb these practices in an industry clearly based on market profits, not patient needs. To be continued.

this week ...

 In the U.S. Glaxo $3 billion ne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 FBI report another slap against Trayvon Martin. . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Mumia: ’ Trayvon & the war against Us’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Boots Riley backs sit-in . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Locked-out Con Ed workers ght back . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Unemployed march demands full bene ts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 On the picket line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Forum on struggle led by people with disabilities . . . . . . . . . . 5 Justice for Mollie Olgin & Mary Chapa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Charlotte Solidarity Center opens. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Home foreclosure crisis rages on. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Letters from behind the walls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8  Around the world Miners nd massive solidarity in Madrid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 The Obama administration’s ‘Greater East’. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Mexico progressives charge fraud in defeat of AMLO . . . . . . . 7 Autoworkers protest layo s, plant closing in France . . . . . . . . 9 U.S. prepares anti-Syria war psychology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 African Union summit faces challenges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11  Editorials Why shoot a shing boat? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10  Noticias En Español Revés para los planes de guerra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Pastores por la Paz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Workers World 55 West 17 Street New York, N.Y. 10011 Phone: 212.627.2994 E-mail: ww@workers.org Web: www.workers.org Vol. 54, No. 29 • July 26, 2012 Closing date: July 17, 2012 Editor: Deirdre Griswold Technical Editor: Lal Roohk Managing Editors: John Catalinotto, LeiLani Dowell, Leslie Feinberg, Kris Hamel, Monica Moorehead, Gary Wilson West Coast Editor: John Parker Contributing Editors: Abayomi Azikiwe, Greg Butterfield, Jaimeson Champion, G. Dunkel, Fred Goldstein, Teresa Gutierrez, Larry Hales, Berta Joubert-Ceci, Cheryl LaBash, Milt Neidenberg, Bryan G. Pfeifer, Betsey Piette, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Gloria Rubac Technical Staff: Sue Davis, Shelley Ettinger, Bob McCubbin, Maggie Vascassenno Mundo Obrero: Carl Glenn, Teresa Gutierrez, Berta Joubert-Ceci, Donna Lazarus, Michael Martínez, Carlos Vargas Supporter Program: Sue Davis, coordinator Copyright © 2011 Workers World. Verbatim copying and 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 first week of January by WW Publishers, 55 W. 17 St., N.Y., N.Y. 10011. Phone: 212.627.2994. Subscriptions: One year: $30; institutions: $35. Letters to 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 individual articles are available on microfilm and/or photocopy from University Microfilms International, 300 Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48106. A searchable archive is available on the Web at www.workers.org. A headline digest is available via e-mail subscription. Subscription information is at workers.org/email.php. Periodicals postage paid at New York, N.Y. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to

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July 26, 2012

Page 3

FBI report:

Another slap against Trayvon Martin
By Monica Moorehead The struggle for justice for Trayvon Martin, the murdered African-American youth, recently made headlines again. The 17-year-old Martin was unarmed when he was stalked and fatally shot by George Zimmerman, a self-proclaimed neighborhood watch person, in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26. Zimmerman used the “Stand Your Ground” law to justify the killing by saying that Martin attacked him first, and therefore he had the right to self-defense. The Sanford police accepted Zimmerman’s version of the events when he was brought in for questioning and decided not to arrest him. This injustice sparked major outrage, initiated by social media throughout the U.S. and other parts of the world. Led by Black youth — like in Miami where Martin attended high school — national protests, large and small, grew on a daily basis and forced the Seminole County District Attorney’s office to arrest and jail Zimmerman on second-degree murder charges on April 20. Less than a week later, Zimmerman was released on $15,000 bond. In early July, the same judge who set the original $150,000 bail revoked the bond, claiming that Zimmerman and his spouse had lied about their income, failing to reveal large donations made by right-wingers through Zimmerman’s website. Bail was then set at $1 million. Zimmerman was freed on $100,000 bond on July 6 after spending one night in jail. No trial date has yet been set. On July 13, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released photos of the hoodie worn by Martin the night he was shot, which depicted the gunshot wound. In its report, the FBI claims Zimmerman was not motivated by racism to kill Martin, but by fear of the hoodie he was wearing. The report was based on interviews with those who knew Zimmerman. ‘Your hoodie made me do it!’ Investigator Chris Serinone told the FBI that he “believed that Zimmerman’s actions were not based on Martin’s skin color, rather based on his attire, the total circumstances of the encounter and the previous burglary suspects in the community.” (cnn.com, July 13) The FBI is part of a larger federal investigation that the U.S. Department of Justice is carrying out at the request of Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. His parents and their lawyer, Benjamin Crump, adamantly maintain that Zimmerman racially profiled Martin. While hoodies are a popular form of dress for youth of various nationalities and social strata, there is a negative stigma connected to Black and Latino/a people who wear them. In the minds of many in U.S. society, which is riddled with white supremacist attitudes, hoodies worn by youth of color are synonymous with gang membership. In essence, the FBI report is an attempt to evoke public sympathy for Zimmerman, by saying he was justified in shooting Martin because he felt threatened by the youth’s clothing. The report helps to lay the basis for Zimmerman’s acquittal even before the trial begins. The tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin is not an isolated incident. It is part and parcel of the broader issue of racial profiling of youth of color, who are branded as being a threat to society. In reality, these youth are horribly disenfranchised, especially if they lack jobs and education. This raises the question of who is the victim and who is the aggressor. Nine times out of 10, youth of color are seen as the aggressors, and therefore, it is more or less accepted to “get them before they get you” — whether by police brutality, incarceration or vigilantism as in Zimmerman’s case. The courts, the police and the laws under capitalism cannot be relied upon to bring justice for youth like Trayvon Martin, which would mean a guilty conviction for Zimmerman. The progressive movement must not only continue to support the Black community’s demand for justice for Martin, but take it a step further by joining in building and sustaining a movement to demand jobs, not jails and police terror for all working-class youth.
March 21, Union Square, New York City.

Political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal on

’Trayvon & the war against Us’
Taken from a June 17 audio column at prisonradio.org. For a brief moment in time, the name and fate of Trayvon Martin broke through the daily media fog and touched the lives of tens of thousands of people, motivating them, mobilizing them and moving them to take direct action against the gross inaction of the state. Youth across Florida walked out of high schools and took to the streets. People in dozens of cities marched, seemingly spontaneously, against the non-action of the state. Why? Because for many of these teenagers, they sensed the unsaid truth: It could’ve been them. It could’ve been them. Those kids pushed the state to act, if only to prevent the movement from growing more and more and spreading like kudzu in the Southern sun. And these protests against anti-Black violence take place amidst the greatest institutional violence against Blacks since the height of the civil rights movement. By that, I mean the silent assault of mass incarceration, or what law professor, Michelle Alexander, terms “the New Jim Crow” (Last year, she authored a book by that title). And it matters not that Trayvon’s killer wasn’t a cop (as is usually the case). He was an informal auxiliary to a system that polices Black life and holds their every act under suspicion. The South, for centuries, was an armed white army, where every white male was empowered by law and custom to control Black life, by any means necessary. Trayvon was judged guilty of walking while Black, as are many, many Black and Latino/a youth every day. No matter what the result of the Trayvon Martin case (I happen to think acquittal is down the line), the New Jim Crow pecks at Black, Brown and poor lives daily, destroying any future they may’ve once dreamed of having. But what we learn from Trayvon’s case is that protest works, for without these protests, there would’ve been no case. That lesson must translate to the vast social injustice of the prison industrial complex. When more Black men are in chains today than at the dawn of the Civil War, when slavery was legal; or when the South African system of apartheid was in full swing, protests, mass protests, are a necessity.

Boots Riley backs sit-in
Supporters of the Lakeview Elementary School sit-in gathered for a “Celebration and Convergence for Public Education” on July 15. Police had evicted sitin participants on July 3. The event was held across the street from the school at Splash Pad Park, where the Peoples’ School has continued to conduct classes. Speakers discussed how to fight the attacks on public education. Political activist/performers, including Boots Riley and Jabari Shaw, headlined the event. The Oakland Unified School District plans to move administrative offices into the school during the week

of July 16. Lakeview sit-in activists have requested that the Alameda Labor Council sanction a picket line at the school to prevent the move. — Report & photo by Terri Kay

MARXISM, REPARATIONS & the Black Freedom Struggle
An anthology of writings from Workers World newspaper. Edited by Monica Moorehead. Includes: Black & Brown Unity: A Pillar of Struggle for Human Racism, National Oppression Rights and Global Justice! Saladin Muhammad & Self-Determination Larry Holmes Alabama’s Black Belt: Legacy of Slavery, Black Labor from Chattel Slavery Sharecropping & Segregation Consuela Lee to Wage Slavery Sam Marcy Black Youth: Repression & Resistance Harriet Tubman, Woman Warrior Mumia Abu-Jamal LeiLani Dowell Are Conditions Ripe Again Today? Anniversary The Struggle for Socialism Is Key of the 1965 Watts Rebellion John Parker Monica Moorehead Racism & Poverty in the Delta Larry Hales Domestic Workers United Demand Haiti Needs Reparations, Not Sanctions Pat Chin Passage of a Bill of Rights Imani Henry Available at Amazon.com & bookstores around the country www.workers.org/reparations

Conversations on Black Life in America
Mumia Abu-Jamal & Marc Lamont Hill This book delves into the problems of Black life in America and o ers real, concrete solutions. Order at: www. freemumia.com/?p=684


Page 4

July 26, 2012


NYC unions show solidarity on the picket line.

As New York sizzles

by Sue Davis

Locked-out Con Ed workers ght back
By Deirdre Griswold New York The heat is on in this city of 8 million sweltering people. As temperatures soar into the 90s and above, utility workers are continuing to walk the picket lines on baking sidewalks, demanding that the giant Consolidated Edison company abandon its lockout of 8,500 members of Utility Workers Local 1-2 and negotiate with their union. They are being joined by other union members who feel the heat of the war on labor. Teachers, hotel and service workers, plus jobless youth from Occupy Wall Street, are all helping to swell the daily demonstrations in front of Con Ed’s main offices. This is a classic case of attempted union busting by a multibillion-dollar company that has a monopoly on delivering electricity and gas to millions of people in New York City and adjacent Westchester County. Con Ed, which paid its top executives $17 million last year, had unilaterally announced it was steeply cutting its contributions to the workers’ health plan, as well as retirement benefits for new hires. This more than wiped out any pay increases offered, which amounted to just pennies anyway. UWUA Local 1-2 said this was unacceptable. The company abruptly ended negotiations the minute the old contract expired at midnight on June 30. It then locked its doors to keep out the 8,500 Local 1-2 members. It has kept going since then with 5,000 “replacement workers” — scabs — mainly from management. Already, as the fourth heat wave of the summer hits the city, raising peak demand for electricity, the company’s refusal to deploy its experienced and skilled work force is causing rolling brownouts in some of the boroughs. As a public utility, Con Ed is supposed to be regulated by the government and is required to deliver energy to the public. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg (yes, the Bloomberg business media mogul) have allowed the company to lock out its union workers, thus risking power outages during a dangerous heat wave. These capitalist politicians claim they have no power to intervene, although Bloomberg was quick to flex his muscles last winter and order police to break up the OWS encampment after it organized marches on Wall Street. As capitalism continues its slide toward greater crisis and unemployment, all caused by an irrational system whose built-in greed for profits is leading the bosses to grind down workers’ wages at a time of soaring productivity, the need for classwide worker solidarity is greater than ever. As reported in the last issue of WW, Egyptian workers feel this, too, and have sent messages of support to the Con Ed workers. The spirit of Tahrir Square needs to be felt across the U.S. labor movement. That would turn the heat on the Con Ed bosses, where it belongs.

Locked-out sugar beet workers vote‘no contract’
Even after a 10-month lockout, 63 percent of the sugar beet workers represented by Bakery and Confectionery union (BCTWGM) Local 167G voted no on June 23 to a “final offer” contract that would double their out-of-pocket health care costs and end seniority rights. The workers rejected the same offer from the country’s largest beet sugar producer, American Crystal Sugar, by 96 percent on July 31, 2011, and by 90 percent on Nov. 1, 2011. Even though the lockout has imposed huge sacrifices on the 1,300 workers and their families at three plants in Minnesota and two mills in North Dakota, Local 167G head John Riskey says the workers are determined “to get a fair contract.” With Crystal Sugar hiring temporary replacement workers (scabs), its production costs shot up to $137 million during the first half of 2012. (Star Tribune, June 24) WW salutes the sisters and brothers in Local 167G for their heroic stance against Crystal Sugar’s union-busting attack. May you hold out “one day longer” to preserve your union jobs.

Black workers demand jobs at African-American museum
The DC Jobs or Else coalition of Black workers, community groups, faith leaders and “mad-as-hell” District of Columbia residents marched on the site of the future Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on July 11 to protest discrimination against Black workers by contractor Clark Construction. “We don’t understand how they are going to build a building about us and not allow us to work on that building,” said coalition leader the Rev. George C. Gilbert Jr. He noted that more than 120 Black District of Columbia residents have been turned away, ignored or misled when they applied for jobs. The D.C. Office of Human Rights is investigating a hiring complaint against Clark. (Union City, online newsletter of the Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO, July 13)

Protesting T-Mobile 3,300-job cuts
T-Mobile, the U.S. affiliate of Deutsche Telekom in Germany, recently closed seven call centers. It laid off 3,300 workers represented by the Communication Workers union and moved the jobs overseas. That’s why the AFL-CIO and Jobs with Justice activists called actions outside T-Mobile stores the week of July 9. Noting that T-Mobile received more than $14 million in taxpayer-funded subsidies in four of the seven communities, CWA is fighting for the workers to receive Trade Adjustment Assistance, which T-Mobile opposes. The federal program provides extended unemployment and job training when jobs are offshored. Meanwhile, leaders of ver.di, the German union representing more than 2 million DT workers, are touring the U.S. to support T-Mobile USA workers as they fight for their rights. (cwa-union.org, July 12)

Unemployed march demands full bene ts
By Terri Kay Oakland, Calif. Unemployed workers gathered July 11 in Oakland to protest cuts in unemployment benefits, demanding their reinstatement and demanding “Jobs or income now!” and “Bail out the people, not Goldman Sachs!” They were part of two newly formed organizations: the Union of Unemployed Workers and the Oakland Assembly of the Unemployed. The workers marched from Oscar Grant Plaza in downtown Oakland to the unemployment office, federal building, state building, President Barack Obama’s local campaign headquarters, and finally to a park on 19th and Telegraph, where free food was provided to the unemployed. The march was instigated by the cut of extended unemployment benefits to over 94,000 Californians at the end of May. California has the third highest unemployment rate in the country, averaging 10.8 percent in the last 3 months. However, because of a formulation which determines the number of weeks’ benefits supplemented by the federal government based on changes in unemployment from the previous year, California and seven other states had federal extensions cut. In other words, because unemployment was officially just as high last year, and not increasing, the federal extensions were reduced! Gary Hall, an African-American unemployed worker from Concord, and one of the UUW organizers, proclaimed, “If you can’t provide, step aside!” Karen Hancock, unemployed and an OAU organizer, told the rally: “We are demanding an end to the cuts to unemployment immediately. We demand that our government support the people during this economic crisis as generously as they have the banks, the corporations and themselves!” At the federal building, Dave Welsh, a retired letter carrier, said: “In the 1930s, there were unemployed councils. … When people got kicked out of their apartments, the unemployed councils would move their possessions back in.” Lauren Smith, another OAU organizer, said at Obama’s campaign headquarters: “We have never been able to count on a president to have our interests at heart. We need to stop waiting for some superman president or political party to rescue us and start taking care of each other now.” The two groups organizing the march have a working relationship despite having somewhat different approaches in their plans going forward. The UUW is signing people up to join a

union to press demands on the government and corporations to create jobs and provide a living income to the millions of unemployed. From the Assembly Points of Unity program: “In our future we aim to create mass mobilizations of the unemployed; taking over utilities to provide free services; garden cooperatives; free housing, food, clothing, transportation, childcare and education; newspapers by and for the people; free community health care; and neighborhood assemblies.”


Unemployed workers mobilize in SF Bay Area.


July 26, 2012

Page 5

Forum on struggle led by people with disabilities
By Edward Yudelovich New York In his 1875 “Critique of the Gotha Program,” Karl Marx wrote: “In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life’s prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly — only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: ‘From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.’ ” A Workers World Party forum will raise this slogan again on Saturday, July 28, at 3 p.m. at the Solidarity Center, 55 W. 17 St., 5th floor, New York City, to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the ADA. Like the 1964 U.S. Civil Rights Act, which was achieved only after centuries of struggle against slavery, racism, Jim Crow and the Ku Klux Klan, the ADA came about only after fierce battles by people with disabilities to gain some legal protections against discrimination in areas including employment, public accommodations and transportation. “Reasonable accommodation” has now become a tool to force the authorities to make facilities accessible. The ADA defines a covered disability as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” The panel will include talks by a courageous veteran leader of the disabled civil rights movement; an Autistic Self-Advocacy Network leader will speak on Marxism and disability oppression; and a leader of a city workers union’s committee for people with disabilities and member of the learning, intellectual, psychiatric, mental and emotionally disabled community will address the problem of overcoming discrimination, including in the prisons and military. Also on the agenda will be Parents to Improve School Transportation founders and advocates for better school bus routes for children with and without disabilities; and an eyewitness reporter on progress and challenges for the disabled in socialist Cuba. A Workers World Party subcommittee of predominantly members who have identified as people with disabilities is organizing this forum and striving to broaden both consciousness and the struggle around the disabled question. All people with disabilities should have the unconditional right, authority and opportunity to be a spokesperson for their own individual condition and disability. As some disabilities are not visible, a person has the right — a demand which was won. Using capitalism’s economic crisis as an excuse, the government is now slashing or threatening to eliminate AccessA-Ride for those who cannot use mass transit, Social Security disability, comprehensive bus and postal service, and equal minimum wage rights for the disabled. As Gimbel used to say, the important thing about people with disabilities is “our abilities.” These abilities include the determination to not tolerate these attacks on the disabled and to build a movement to defend the rights of all workers and oppressed people and a socialist society whose compass will be Marx’s universal slogan for all humankind: “From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.” Anyone needing special accommodations and arrangements for the July 28 meeting, including childcare, should call 212-627-2994 Monday through Friday between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.


to both identify their disability and to conceal it. In October 1981, this reporter first identified as a person with a disability and participated with Workers World Party member and Disabled in Action secretary, Betsy Gimbel, in the disabled workshop at the All-Peoples Congress in Detroit. Gimbel, who died in 2004, led the fight for access to mass transit for the disabled, including wheelchair lifts for New York City buses. This struggle included the disabled blocking buses with their wheelchairs demanding that these public vehicles be made accessible

Behind the shootings in Portland, Texas

Justice for Mollie Olgin & Mary Chapa
By Kris Hamel to ABC News. Chapa, who is recovering The winds of racism, sexism, bigotry, from brain injuries, has provided police oppression and right-wing animus blow sketch artists with details of the white strong across the United States. Decades male, who, with a large-caliber firearm, of struggles for justice, equality and liberaforced her and Olgin to walk to a grassy tion have occurred, some gains have been area to be shot and left for dead. won, and consciousness on many social isLGBTQ youth face homelessness, bullysues has changed for the better among the ing, harassment, violence and death at the broad masses of working-class people. hands of haters and bigots at astronomical Teen lovers Mary Chapa, Yet Black youth and other youth of left, and Mollie Olgin. rates. Some are driven to suicide. color, such as Trayvon Martin, are still And when someone dares to fight gunned down by racists and racist cops; there. He wrote: “While in back — like CeCe McDonald, a immigrants are increasingly persecuted town I visited the Portland young African-American transby vigilantes and police authorities at all Police Department, where I gender woman in Minneapolis levels; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender was handed a generic state— more often than not it is THEY and queer people remain targets of bias ment that read, ‘There conwho suffer the consequences, not and hate; women are still victims of viotinues to be no evidence that their tormentors. McDonald was lence and murder at high rates. the attack was motirecently unjustly sentenced to WW “The ruling ideas of each age vated by the victims’ more than three years in prison COMMENTARY sexual orientation.’ have ever been the ideas of its for defending herself against a Free CeCe McDonald ruling class,” wrote Karl Marx and Freder“Of course, we all know violent, racist, anti-trans attack. ick Engels in the “Communist Manifesto” this is absurd. Any time a gay couple [is] The ruling class’s ideas of hate and divisome 164 years ago. In the U.S. in 2012, murdered without explanation, their sion keep the rich laughing all the way to those words still ring true. sexual orientation has to be considered a the bank. They can get away with lowered The ruling class — or 1%, as the Octop-tier motive. Even as the daily lives of wages for everybody and put blame for cupy Wall Street movement aptly calls it LGBT people improve, the world is still society’s ills on everyone but themselves. — uses the “ideas” of racism and white sufilled with human ticking time bombs Is it any wonder that misguided, hateful premacy, bigotry against LGBTQ people, primed by preachers and politicians to individuals feel emboldened to carry out male supremacy, sexism and misogyny, hate.” (advocate.com, July 5) heinous acts? anti-immigrant bias and other hatreds in The 1%’s system of capitalism and exVigils fueled by grief & outrage nonstop, countless ways in order to sow ploitation might come to an end if these division and disunity among the 99%. Calls for justice on social media, fueled ideas were challenged in a mass way, and They hope this keeps us at each other’s by grief and outrage, resulted in at least 20 the 99% united for a mighty struggle to throats instead of uniting against the vigils coast to coast in Olgin’s honor and overturn this rotten system, which is run 1% to demand jobs, housing, education, for Chapa’s recovery, including in Port- for profit and not for people. health care, equality and respect for all. land, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth In the meantime, every act of solidarity So it was sad and shocking, but not and Austin, Texas; San Francisco; Seattle; and compassion by the 99% strengthens totally shocking, to learn of the horrific, Washington, D.C.; and New York City. our movement and helps lead inexorably murderous attack that occurred in Port“Remember Mollie! Remember Mary! We to the day when the ideas of the ruling land, Texas, a suburb of Corpus Christi, want justice!” was one of the chants that class will be the ideas of the multinationon June 22. Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, and erupted in New York’s Union Square on al, multigendered, multisexuality majorMary Kristene Chapa, 18, were discovJuly 1. (edgedallas.com, July 6) ity of working-class humanity. ered early in the morning of June 23 on As of July 15, Olgin’s killer walks free, Justice for Mollie Olgin and Mary Chathe ground in knee-high grass at a busy and the police still refuse to investigate pa! Free CeCe McDonald! An injury to neighborhood park. Each had been shot her murder as a hate crime, according one is an injury to all. in the head, execution-style, about nine hours earlier. The Lavender & Red series of articles by Leslie Feinberg, Olgin and Chapa were lesbians, teenauthor of Stone Butch Blues, is now available online. age lovers and Latinas. Olgin was dead at workers.org/lavender-red. the scene and Chapa was rushed to a hosThe Lavendar & Red Series includes: pital. Although she was in critical condition with serious injuries, Chapa is recovering. According to Chapa, their assailant was a white male in his twenties. This groundbreaking book documents revolutionary Cuba’s inspiring trajectory LGBTQ activist Wayne Besen, founder of progress towards liberation of sexualities, genders and sexes. of Truth Wins Out, immediately traveled Book available at Amazon.com and bookstores around the country

On the picket line
Vets stop pay cuts for lowest-paid VA workers
A June 13 protest by hundreds of Veterans Administration workers, many of whom are vets themselves, against proposed downgrading of wages for Veterans Health Administration’s lowestpaid employees (mostly women, people of color and vets) was victorious. The VA announced in early July that it was not instituting the pay cuts. The American Federation of Government Employees opposed the “unfounded and arbitrary downgrades,” which it called “a complete disservice to our public servants and our nation’s veterans. The bullying of the lowest wage earners under a pretense of saving a few dollars must end.” (aflcio. org, July 9)

After Verizon workers put in 12-plushour days in 100-plus-degree heat to restore service destroyed by violent thunderstorms in the District of Columbia area July 1, the superprofitable company lavished praise on the members of the Communication Workers and Electrical Workers (IBEW) unions. But that appreciation did not extend to the bargaining table. Verizon continues to demand cuts in compensation of at least $10,000 per worker per year and refuses to offer raises. That’s yet another example of VeriGreedy! (cwa-union.org, July 12)

Verizon praises workers, but won’t budge on contract

Rainbow Solidarity In Defense of CUBA

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July 26, 2012



Charlotte Solidarity Center opens
The Occupy 4 Jobs Network opened the Charlotte Solidarity Center o ce the week of July 8 at Area 15, a community arts space. The Solidarity Center, at 514 East 15th St., is now being used as a local organizing hub for the March on Wall Street South Coalition, which is organizing various events around the Democratic National Convention, to be held in Charlotte Sept. 1-6. Some of these events include a Festivaliberacion on Sept. 1, a march and rally on Sept. 2 and a Southern Workers Assembly on Sept. 3. The Charlotte Local Organizing Committee of the March on Wall Street South meets every Monday night at 7 p.m., and its o ce hours are Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. The public opening of the Charlotte Solidarity Center kicked o with a packed open house on July 13, where progressive activists and individuals from Charlotte and many cities in North Carolina and other areas met, along with people from Wisconsin. For more information, call 704-266-0362, Twitter@ WallStSouth, email: info@wallstsouth.org, view website www.wallstsouth.org. — Report & photo by Bryan G. Pfeifer

Wells Fargo settles suit

Home foreclosure crisis rages on
By Abayomi Azikiwe Editor, Pan-African News Wire Another consent order has been issued by the Department of Justice, this time with Wells Fargo & Company, the largest loan originator in the United States. Officials from both the Attorney General’s office and the bank signed the decree. It admits no wrongdoing on the part of this financial institution despite the devastation from its predatory lending practices. The announced “settlement” of $175 million is misleading. At least $50 million is slated to go toward loan assistance programs that target people in African-American and Latino/a communities, who the DOJ says were victims of excessive fees. The remaining $125 million appears to be set aside for people who can prove they were charged additional bank fees because they belonged to oppressed groups. Nowhere in the consent order does it call for a halt or moratorium on foreclosing homes where Wells Fargo has been involved in discriminatory loan practices. In other words, the home seizures will continue, even though some of the current homeowners may be eligible for monetary “damages.” The fact that Wells Fargo maintained that it does not engage in discrimination speaks volumes about the character of those running the bank. In the signed legal documents, bank officials agreed to the consent order “solely for the purpose of avoiding contested litigation” with the DOJ. According to Reuters, “A government investigation found 34,000 instances of Wells Fargo charging African Americans and Hispanics higher fees and rates on mortgages compared with white borrowers with similar credit profiles. In 4,000 of those cases, minority borrowers were steered into subprime mortgages even though they qualified for cheaper loans.” (July 12) The consent order only covers mortgages written between 2004-2009. People Wells Fargo victimized before and after these dates are ineligible for assistance. This settlement comes in the aftermath of a similar legal decision involving Bank of America, Chase and other institutions, allegedly valued at $335 million. That agreement, signed last winter, also fails to stop foreclosures. This settlement needs a judge’s approval. In all likelihood the corporate media will trumpet this consent order as a victory for African Americans and Latina/os. Under the consent order, other claims made against Wells Fargo will be considered settled. This includes a 2009 suit initiated by the state of Illinois on behalf of borrowers and an investigative complaint filed by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Also settled was a lawsuit the city of Baltimore filed in 2008 charging Wells Fargo with engaging in the intentional targeting of oppressed communities when issuing predatory loans. The bank ostensibly reached an agreement over predatory lending in Memphis during May involving the same practice of targeting oppressed communities in what is called “reverse redlining.” “Redlining” refers to the denial of loans to people of color or charging punitive fees. The practice is widespread within the banking and insurance sectors of the U.S. economy. In all likelihood the corporate media will trumpet this consent order as a victory for African Americans and Latina/os. But that is hardly the case. Only complete restitution of property or payment for total financial loss will do. Moratorium on foreclosures needed Neither the consent orders between the federal government and Wells Fargo nor the earlier agreement signed by Bank of America, Chase and other institutions will stop the epidemic of foreclosures and evictions. What is needed is a federal moratorium on foreclosures to stop all home seizures by the banks and the government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac agencies. With the existence of widespread fraud and racial discrimination in the mortgage industry, the only sure method of providing relief to home owners would be a moratorium. Halting seizures and evictions would provide the federal government time to sort out the massive fraud and to hold those institutions financially and legally responsible. Offering a few thousand dollars to families and individuals who have been denied fair treatment and due process is insulting. Those who have been put into foreclosure or who have already lost their homes will not receive justice from this consent order. In addition, the loss of homes, disposable income, tax revenues, property values and the overall devastation of urban communities can in no way be addressed with a mere $175 million spread across numerous municipalities throughout the country. Working people’s homes are often the only real wealth they possess. Therefore, the seizure of their real estate is tantamount to complete economic disenfranchisement. Using an executive order, President Obama could easily place a moratorium on all foreclosures throughout the U.S. Besides, most loans since the 2007-2008 economic crisis have been underwritten and assumed by the federal government through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Consequently, it is the tax dollars paid by the working class and all oppressed people in the U.S. that is subsidizing foreclosures and evictions by the banks. Thus the federal government has the responsibility to provide relief by immediately stopping this financial theft impacting millions throughout the country.

The Obama administration’s
By Manlio Dinucci For 236 years, the U.S. has defended democracy everywhere: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton asserted this in Cairo. Thus she must have erased from history the more than 160 military interventions abroad that U.S. imperialism made starting from the 1940s; the wars of the Cold War period in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Lebanon; the coups the CIA orchestrated in Guatemala, Indonesia, Brazil, Chile and Argentina; and the wars of the post-Cold War period in Iraq, Somalia, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. Clinton guarantees that the Obama administration is making the same commitment to carry out these actions. In fact, from the strategy launched by Republican George W. Bush of the Greater Middle East (including North Africa and Central Asia), Democrat (and Nobel Peace Prize laureate) Barack Obama has moved to the strategy of the Greater East, which aims at the entire Asia-Pacific region in an open challenge to China and Russia. The first step was the war against Libya, which (as Bill Clinton and Bush did with Yugoslavia) has been demolished as a unified state to put into power rulers loyal to Washington. This led to the “free elections” in the “free Libya,” won by the “liberal” Mahmoud Jibril whose success is attributed to the popular will. To claim this ignores the fact that the U.S. and other Western powers spent millions of dollars in Libya to secure the support of organizations and tribal groups. It ignores that Jibril has Washington’s confidence since he is an economist trained in the U.S., responsible for promoting economic neoliberalism in the Arab world. In 2007 Jibril was made head of the government office in Libya for economic development, linked to U.S. and British multinationals. In this capacity, Jibril warned Washington that the plan to privatize the Libyan economy and form a new pro-


July 26, 2012

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Vote buying, manipulation of media

Mexico progressives charge fraud in defeat of AMLO
By Berta Joubert-Ceci Another electoral fraud has taken place in Mexico. On July 1, Andres Manuel López Obrador, better known as AMLO and the candidate of the left, was robbed of the presidency — for the second time. This time, however, the conditions were very different from the election of 2006, when the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary declared Felipe Calderón of the National Action Party (PAN) the winner over AMLO. Several months ago, in the midst of AMLO’s electoral campaign, there was great enthusiasm among the supporters of his Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and the progressive movement in general. But his victory was not certain. Then, something changed in the political scene in Mexico. A youth movement arose that rejected his main opponent, Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which had ruled the country for most of the 20th century. The PRI’s control of the federal government was ended in 2000, four years after the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement, when the former chief executive of CocaCola in Mexico, Vicente Fox, brought the PAN to power for the first time. That was a victory for the U.S. imperialist agenda of pushing neoliberalism and privatization. Fox was followed by six more years of a PAN presidency under Calderón. However, the more than 60,000 people killed during Calderón’s term in a violent drug war ordered by the U.S., plus the privatization of education and other anti-people policies, caused the PRI to come in third in this election. During the 12 years of PAN presidents, NAFTA’s impact, which had opened up Mexico as a market for U.S.-government subsidized corn, led to the ruination of many peasants who had worked communal lands for generations. They were forced to emigrate by the millions across the border to find work. A growing income gap in Mexico worsened the social conditions. While no longer controlling the federal government, the PRI has been entrenched

Thousands of supporters march with leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico City to close the campaign.


in many states. However, it ruled with an iron fist in the past and still has blood on its hands. One of its most recent crimes was committed by Peña Nieto when he was governor of the state of Mexico. On May 3 and 4, 2006, more than 3,000 repressive agents of the police and State Security forces were called in to fight against the people of Atenco, who had gathered to defend the right of small vendors to sell flowers in front of the municipal market. The people were met by brutal state force, resulting in the deaths of two young men, the rape of 26 women, and the violation of the human rights of 209, including torture of 206 people. (eleconomista. com.mx) ‘Yo soy #132’ springs up This May 11, when the PRI’s Peña Nieto went to campaign for president at the Ibero American University (UIA), a private college attended by children of the middle class, he thought he would be welcomed. Instead he was met by intense questioning. The students protested his role during the Atenco repression, shouting “Atenco will not be forgotten.” Peña Nieto then took responsibility for the repression but defended his action, angering the students further. Finally he took refuge in a bathroom, after which his security team whisked him away through the back door of the building to avoid a peaceful protest the students had organized. (mexico.cnn.com) The university president then said that the protesters were not students but rather members of AMLO’s movement. But 131 UIA students who had been at the event made a video showing their university IDs. They posted it on YouTube, where it went viral. A movement was thus formed, mostly through the social networks YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, where other UIA students declared “Yo soy #132″ (I am number 132). Since then, the movement spread all over Mexico, including other universities, both private and public, and non-students. They received support from artists nationally and internationally and from movements throughout the world. They

organized several mobilizations and even a presidential debate with all the candidates — where Peña Nieto refused to appear. On the website animalpolitico.com, they published a statement and demands to attain a “freer Mexico, with more justice and prosperity.” They said, “We want the current situation of misery, inequality, poverty and violence to be resolved.” Massive evidence of electoral fraud As the exposure of Peña Nieto, particularly by the Yo soy #132 movement, became massive, the PRI initiated a campaign through its dominant media — Televisa, TV Azteca and others. They praised Nieto, the candidate of the oligarchy, and demonized AMLO. They reported as fact deceptive polling results, making it appear that Peña Nieto was so far ahead that it would be impossible for AMLO to win the election. Mounting evidence of electoral fraud has appeared all over the social networks, alternative media and progressive news websites like Cubadebate and Telesur. The evidence ranges from oral testimonies, photos, videos and statements to government documents accessed by activists like Anonymous, who hacked the website of the Federal Electoral Institute. Mexicans were urged to take pictures of voting lists in every location and upload them to Facebook and other networks, where they could be compared. Several websites exist for this purpose: OpenPrep.org, Contamos.org.mx and FotoXCasilla.mx. According to this effort, the votes counted give a lead to AMLO. (cubadebate.cu) It has also emerged that the PRI resorted to other illegal maneuvers, such as the distribution of cards redeemable at the Soriana chain of grocery and department stores in return for votes. This became a major scandal, which the PRI had not counted on, as masses of voters went to the stores to cash in their cards. Some stores had to close because of the enormous demand. On July 12, AMLO held a press conference presenting all the evidence on which he is basing his demand to annul the election results. In sum, he states that 5 million votes were bought by the PRI.

Part of the PRI strategy, according to AMLO’s findings, was buying votes in the poorest regions of the country through the intervention of PRI governors, who promised cash, redeemable cards, construction materials, fertilizer and so on in exchange for votes. (lopezobrador.org.mx) National Convention and Mexico’s future While the forces around AMLO are initiating suits against the electoral fraud in the legal arena, a great deal of activity continues at all levels. Workers World spoke with José Humberto Montes de Oca, the foreign secretary for the militant Mexican Electricians Union (SME). The SME is part of the National Convention Against the Imposition, an emergency conference organized to devise a plan of action against the imposition of the PRI in the elections. He said the conference met July 14 and 15 under the slogan “To surrender is forbidden.” Some 800 delegates attended, representing 250 organizations from 25 Mexican states. The Yo soy #132 and the People’s Front in Defense of the Land welcomed the participants. The main points for discussion were a plan of action against the imposition, the setting up of a structure for building the National Convention, and a program for struggle. Several demonstrations were approved, including a national day of marches and actions on July 22. Asked about his view of these new developments, Montes de Oca replied that there are three main forces in the postelectoral period. One is AMLO’s coalition and electoral parties. The second is civil society organizations, among them the Yo soy #132. Last is the unorganized civil society, which has convened in a spontaneous manner. This, he said, is a very important development. They do not belong to any party but are political and encourage the rest of the people to struggle peacefully for a program of transformation of the country. He continued, “We are in a time of reconfiguration, of recomposition of the political scene. If all these forces consolidate and become active forces, it will be very interesting, beyond December” — when the new president takes office.

‘Greater East’
Western ruling class had been blocked by Gadhafi, and that competition from China and Russia was increasing. Jibril’s victory was already on the drawing board. On March 30, 2011 (ten days after the beginning of the war against Libya), the New York Times wrote, based on information from the government: “If the American and Western intervention overthrows Muammar Gadhafi, Mahmoud Jibril could be the leader of Libya.” The war on Libya is the model that the U.S. has adopted to disintegrate other states, including Syria and Iran, which hinder its advance eastward. Since many countries are reluctant to host U.S. military bases, the Pentagon is deploying in international waters, starting from the Persian Gulf and moving gradually eastward, using special ships that serve as floating bases for special forces. Other air and naval bases have been installed or upgraded in Thailand, the PhilContinued on page 9

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July 26, 2012


Letters from behind the walls

Inmates write about conditions in the world’s largest prison system
The racist ‘war on drugs’
In a WW editorial you mentioned just a few facts dealing with America’s racist atrocity called the “wars” on drugs and crime. I’ve been researching this for 30 years and there is not one fact to support this “war” in the “freest, most just” America, but thousands that prove beyond a reasonable doubt that history will call it a “crime against humanity,” equaling slavery. I was 18 when Malcolm was killed and 20 when Martin was. I came to realize it was no accident, no coincidence, that these wars, aimed directly to get blacks (at that time) came right after the civil rights victories. Blacks were given rights finally and then “entrapped” and sent to prison. America shrieks to the world that it is the freest, most just nation on earth but imprisons at a rate up to 20 times that of nations we condemn as less free and just. Supreme Court Judge Kennedy also noted that “The U.S. has prison sentences eight times longer than Europe’s.” Gov. Cuomo has about 58,000 in his prisons, needing about 30,000 corrections staff. The economic multiplier effects result in up to 120,000 private sector jobs created or saved. Total prisoner-generated employment is up to 150,000. If all have a spouse and two kids, up to 600,000 voters and future voters get to live comfortably from a mere 58,000 kept in cells. If we tried other nations’ freer, more just and still effective crime and drug laws, up to 90 percent of state prisons would close. Also reduced would be the number of judges, court staff, prosecutors, defense attorneys, parole officers, police, etc. Those in economically depressed regions of northern New York state want more and more prisoners, as Southerners once wanted more slaves to prosper from. Today, religious leaders, academics, journalists, etc., will of course condemn all forms of slavery, but hypocritically their silence is beyond deafening regarding the neo-slavery that politicians have now initiated.

Upstate Prison (plantation) Malone, N.Y.

Prison conditions get ‘usual rubber stamp’
Below are excerpts from a second letter to WW from Donnelly Le Blanc about atrocious and illegal conditions at SCI-Huntingdon, where he was kept in solitary. He included with it a memo he had received from an official named B. Salamon at Pennsylvania Department of Corrections informing him that a Regional Inspection Team had toured the prison after Le Blanc wrote an earlier letter to WW on the conditions there. The team “did not find the facility to be in the condition that you describe,” said the memo. It also told Le Blanc to “comply with DOC rules and regulations” so he could return to General Population and “participate in offense and behavior related programming.” Here is Le Blanc’s reaction. This letter comes to you as another installment of our plight at SCI-Huntingdon. I must begin by thanking you for your paper and the inspiration it constantly gives me and others whom I share it with to continue our struggle in the “bowels” of this dragon. SCI-Hun is not the “belly” — this prison is notorious for its proximity to that of Eastern State in its treatment of prisoners and the over-all appalling conditions. Your articles concerning Mumia have been a constant inspiration to me these last two years. My fight with the “criminal injustice system” here in Pa. is so much similar to his. …

B. Salamon makes a blanket statement that these “conditions are not found.” He contends that everything I wrote to you is a lie. So let’s ask the first question. How do you fit over 2,100 men in a facility designed for less than 1,000? Is he saying there are not two men in every cell at Huntingdon and that some are even smaller than 8 by 8 [feet], which also holds the water closet, toilet, bed, shelving and desk? He makes sure he mentions my RHU [restricted housing unit] stay to discredit me as much as possible. Did they somehow lose C.O. Lantz’s conduct records? I doubt it. Did the mold and filth disappear? Nope! The Regional Inspection Team of the ACA [American Correctional Association] gave this place the usual rubber stamp. How does the ACA approve a 120-year-old prison that violates every rule for prisons in the book? It does not even comply with their own rule of 55 square feet of cell space per prisoner — excluding fixtures. Did they install windows in our cells, fans, or ventilators for adequate legally required air flow? Have they replaced the cracked and broken stairs and walkways; even the missing non-skid surfacing? When the ACA was here, the food was great — big portions, too, but only for the noon meal. Yet even though it’s known that food only accounts for 5 percent of money spent, we get less and less. Huntingdon is probably down to 3 percent. Before the ACA showed up they made sure they put some fresh paint on, had inmates scrub and wax halls. Now? Right back to the filth. But neither they or the RIT look for cracks in the structure, broken stairs and catwalks on the upper tiers. They don’t go up there. And they certainly didn’t inspect all the hazardous, illegally unsafe

steam radiators that have none of the safety shields required by law and are always busting pipes. Did “A” yard, the 60 by 1,000 foot alley where all 2,000 inmates must go to have yard, suddenly grow? Even our main yard, “C,” is not legally adequate. Did they suddenly come up with jobs, or in lieu of that increase the amount of Maintenance Pay and the time we can collect it to a longer period so we are not destitute — without even cosmetics for our personal hygiene and writing materials for letters to friends? Maintenance Pay is 72 cents a day — after 6 months they cut you off. But there are NO jobs. If you are Level 3 or above you can’t work in the production plants. Even those jobs only pay 25 cents an hour for $15 an hour work. About 75 percent of inmates here are Level 3 or above and all of 90 percent have no outside source of income. Did they suddenly get rid of the 75-year-old dentist who no longer has the hand strength left to properly extract teeth and tears your mouth and gums to shreds? I must be hallucinating when I still see all the roaches and mice, and the black mold. The ACA in 1959 set guidelines, stating “Segregation for punishment should be for the shortest period … and in any event not over 30 days. … Excessively long periods for punishment defeat their own purpose by embittering and demoralizing the inmate.” You even have to sign a “Double Cell” agreement upon arrival. I still have the one I refused to sign. So far I have to do 6 months in the hole for that refusal and am still fighting. I’m classified as “violent and dangerous,” so why force another inmate in my cell?

Huntingdon, Pa.

Occupy the Socialist Revolution
Learn about Workers World Party
for more information wwp@workers.org or call 212.627.2994 workers.org

Save the Date Nov 17–18
A conference of communists & revolutionary forces
Initiated by Workers World Party A Marxist discussion of the way forward in the class struggle  Evaluate the capitalist elections  Discuss the Occupy Movement, racism and state repression, liberation & revolution. To register email: wwp@workers.org 212.627.2994

Workers World Party (WWP) ghts for socialism and engages in struggles on all the issues that face the working class & oppressed peoples — Black & white, Latino/a, Asian, Arab and Native peoples, women & men, young & old, lesbian, gay, bi, straight, trans, disabled, working, unemployed, undocumented & students. If you would like to know more about WWP, or to join us in these struggles, contact the branch nearest you. See page 2.


July 26, 2012

Page 9

Autoworkers protest layo s, plant closing
By Kathy Durkin Autoworkers are fighting mad over Peugeot’s plan to lay off 8,000 employees and permanently close a key plant in the Parisian suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois. Knowing even before Peugeot made the announcement that it plans to shut the facility in two years, the workers have been demonstrating. When the carmaker confirmed its plans on July 12, the enraged workforce walked out. Peugeot, which is part of PSA Peugeot Citroen, the second-largest carmaker in Europe, had already announced job cuts for 6,000 employees last year, bringing layoffs to 14,000. The Aulnay plant would be the first auto facility in France to be shuttered in 20 years. Peugeot claims a 10 percent loss in sales so far this year, especially in southern Europe, and asserts that it now has an “overcapacity” of automobiles, so it must reorganize production and cut 1 billion euros in costs. Invariably, this means making its workers pay for the capitalist crisis. Many of this factory’s workers have been employed there for their entire adult lives. Many are members of families originally from Algeria. They were initially drawn to France by Citroen, the carmaker later bought out by Peugeot. Moreover, the shutdown is a brutal blow to Aulnay’s large immigrant population. Since many corporations have left the region, it has the country’s highest jobless rate. Will gov’t intervene to stop layo s? Bernard Thibault, secretary general of the CGT, the second-largest union in France, which represents many Peugeot workers, has denounced the new government’s failure to take immediate steps to stop these and other layoffs, and is demanding that it intervene now. Thibault said, “We are not going to take for granted the brutal suppression of tens of thousands of jobs in our country.” (Reuters, July 12) As a candidate during this year’s election campaign, President Francois Hollande pledged to take a hard line with corporations planning layoffs. However, labor unionists were concerned that companies would escalate job cuts after the election. Now the labor unions are organizing September protests against corporate “restructuring” and the threats to tens of thousands of jobs at Peugeot and other companies. Will Hollande’s government stop Peugeot from carrying out its anti-worker scheme?


Workers demonstrate in front of Peugeot’s Paris headquarters during a meeting between management and and the union on June 28.

Although the French president called the carmaker’s intentions “unacceptable,” and his administration has vowed to tackle the unemployment crisis, it remains to be seen. The new and misnamed “Socialist” government represents the capitalist class of France, not the workers. The role of its officials is to help French capitalism, which

is today having problems due to the global economic crisis — and not to aid the workers in a conflict. Only strong mass pressure — the power of the class struggle — can force the government to implement some measures to block corporate “austerity” policies. It looks as if there will be workers’ protests ahead.

Miners nd massive solidarity in Madrid
Continued from page 1 the Spanish Civil War and during Francisco Franco’s fascist regime. Once one of the most prosperous areas of Europe, Asturias has been plagued by closures of steel mills and mines. Like the rest of the Spanish state, unemployment is high there and poverty is growing. Yet, the workers in Asturias are drawing on their fighting traditions and refusing to accept the government’s austerity plans. On July 11, solidarity with the miners was evident on the streets of Madrid. The youth movement of “Indignant ones” — a movement that preceded and helped inspire the Occupy movement in the U.S. — was there in large numbers. So were members of labor unions, communists, socialists, anarchists and countless others who support the miners. That labor unionists and the Indignant ones were endorsing the miners’ strike and accepting the miners’ combative spirit and tactics against the bosses and the police shows the potential for a generalized struggle of workers. The July 11 demonstration was peaceful until police began shooting rubber bullets.
Striking miners, in Asturias, Spain, with home-made rocket launchers, hurl golf balls, potatoes and recrackers at the oncoming police.


Protesters defended themselves byturning over fences and throwing rocks. Some set off firecrackers and makeshift explosives. Witnesses saw officers wield-

Obama administration’s ‘Greater East’
Continued from page 7 ippines, Singapore, Australia and other countries. In Singapore, the first “littoral combat ship” was deployed. It’s a new warship that can approach the coast to strike deep inland. The U.S. Navy has deployed about 50 of these in the Pacific. As part of a diplomatic offensive to create rifts between China and neighboring countries, Clinton made a “historic visit” in Laos. Promising $9 million for destroying unexploded ordinance, she had her picture taken with a boy who was mutilated. He was one of the many victims of unexploded ammunition, which accounts for approximately 30 percent of the 2 million tons of bombs dropped on Laos by the U.S. between 1964 and 1973. Of course, that was to defend democracy. Translated by John Catalinotto, WW managing editor, from Il Manifesto (Italy), July 17.

ing batons and many demonstrators hit by rubber bullets. Approximately 43 protesters, including children, were injured and required medical treatment. Reportedly, some police were injured. Earlier in Asturias, using hand-made rocket launchers, miners fired back with golf balls and potatoes at the oncoming police, even aiming at police helicopters and police van windows. Anti-austerity protests continue The miners plan to stay in Madrid and continue their actions. Thousands of Indignant demonstrators denounced austerity cutbacks on July 13. They demanded that Rajoy “Resign! Resign!” as they rallied outside his Popular Party headquarters. One sign read, “They call it democracy and it isn’t.” As the protesters headed to the Socialist Party

office, police pushed them back with batons, but they regrouped and marched on to the parliament. Both major capitalist parties, the opposition social-democratic Spanish Socialist Workers Party and the ruling center-right Popular Party have imposed austerity programs. They are both losing popular support throughout all regions of Spain. They have no answer to the economic crisis. Also denouncing austerity on July 13, workers blocked streets, tying up traffic for hours. Hundreds of public sector workers, many wearing T-shirts in solidarity with striking miners or teachers, chanted, “Cuts for bankers, not workers,” in front of government offices. State railway Renfe workers blocked train tracks, while state TeleMadrid TV employees blocked a highway outside the city. The Spanish government is following the trend set in Brussels and Berlin in reaction to the economic crisis: It is forcing the 99% to bail out the super-rich 1%. In Spain, as in the rest of the world, a bigger, wider conflict between the wealthy bosses and the working class can be expected. Another national protest has been set for July 19 that will be the first stage in the upcoming struggle.

Page 10

July 26, 2012



After Tremseh battle

Why shoot a fishing boat?

U.S. prepares anti-Syria war psychology
By Gene Clancy The U.S. and its allies are escalating the war fever against Syria. Not only do they claim to have “discovered” another “massacre” by the government, but they are also trotting out the much discredited charge that Syria possesses — and will use — weapons of mass destruction. The latest “massacre” supposedly occurred on July 12 in the village of Tremseh near the Syrian city of Hama. Some mainstream press headlines bellowed that Syrian government forces and alleged progovernment militia had slaughtered as many as 220 people indiscriminately. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed “outrage.” On July 13, she said — without evidence — that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is deliberately murdering innocent civilians and that history will judge the United Nations Security Council if it fails to act. Although she did not mention the countries by name, Clinton directed her warning at Russia and China, which have blocked previous efforts by the imperialist West to impose sanctions on Syria using the Security Council. Other U.S. allies such as Britain, France and Turkey dutifully followed with their own denunciations. The day after the alleged massacre, the ultraright-wing Fox news reported on a Pentagon leak to the press of an “intelligence report,” which claimed that “elements within the Syrian regime transferred some amount of chemical agents, possibly including sarin nerve gas, to the Homs region” of Syria. However, as the actual facts were uncovered, the initial “charges” were found to have no basis in fact. On July 14, a U.N. observer team visited the battle site in Tremseh and arrived at a strikingly different conclusion. It found that what had been called a massacre was more likely “an uneven clash between the heavily armed Syrian military and local fighters bearing light weapons.” (New York Times, July 14) The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based opposition group that has contacts in Syria, said that it had confirmed only 103 victims’ names; 90 percent of them were young men. There were no women’s names on the list. The Syrian National Council, the main umbrella opposition group in exile, published an initial roster of 20 names, mostly men between 19 and 36. The videos posted on the Internet have shown the victims to be young men of fighting age. Another one, said to show a group of reinforcements being sent to Tremseh, also showed a group of young men in civilian clothes carrying their personal weapons. This contradicted the story given by Col. Riad al-Assad, based in Turkey and the ostensible leader of the Free Syrian Army. He told Al-Jazeera on July 12 that there had been no opposition fighters in the town. (New York Times, July 14) The U.N. report substantially supported the Syrian government’s account, which claimed that mainly rebel fighters were killed, with only two civilian casualties. The truth is that Syria is engaged in a civil war, one that has been fomented and exacerbated by the U.S. and its allies. The International Committee of the Red Cross reinforced this truth when it declared that the fighting in Syria ”meets its threshold for an internal armed conflict” — their term for an official civil war. (Reuters, July 14). President al-Assad openly declared that Syria was at war on June 26. The ICRC outlined the rights and responsibilities of the warring parties in the conflict. Weapons of Mass Distraction As in the run-up to the war in Iraq, the U.S. has now dragged out the charge that Syria possesses weapons of mass destruction, specifically chemical weapons, including sarin and VX nerve gas. This was the gist of a Pentagon leak accusing Syrian officials of taking chemical weapons out of stockpiles for a nefarious purpose. The Pentagon claims that the “intelligence” about the chemical weapons was received a week earlier, making the timing of the story’s release even more suspicious. The Syrian government officially denies having chemical weapons or moving any about. However, there is nothing in international law that would prevent Syria from developing and stockpiling such weapons. Syria and seven other countries, including Israel, never signed the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. Although it denies having chemical weapons, al-Assad’s government maintains that it would be justified in obtaining them, given that Israel and the United States both hold a large number of weapons of mass destruction. In a rather astounding statement, the U.S. warned Syria not to let their reputed chemical weapons fall into the hands of the very rebels that Washington is arming and supporting. U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, traveling with Clinton in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, said, “We repeatedly made it clear that the Syrian government has a responsibility to safeguard its stockpiles of chemical weapons.” She added, “The international community will hold accountable any Syrian officials who fail to meet that obligation.” (Reuters, July 13) Masses don’t want war Curiously, neither President Barack Obama, nor his Republican opponent Mitt Romney, has made any public comments about the recent developments in Syria. This may be at least partially explained by a March 15 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center. It found strong public sentiment against U.S. intervention in the fighting between Syrian government forces and anti-government groups. A similar percentage opposes bombing Syrian troops. Nearly two-thirds of those polled said the U.S. does not have a responsibility to be involved in the Syrian conflict. It is no surprise that most people in the U.S. and around the world oppose U.S. intervention. However, the anti-war movement in the U.S. cannot rely on polls alone to prevent war. A similar Pew poll, conducted before the war against Libya, found that 63 percent opposed U.S. intervention. Even the public misgivings of then U.S. secretary of defense, Robert Gates, did not prevent the U.S. from aggressively pursuing its imperialist interests. Progressive and peace-loving people around the world must redouble their efforts to stop the war against Syria.


ometimes a small tragedy can shed light on big events and draw a clear picture of the forces involved. This was the case in mid-July when the USNS Rappahannock, a U.S. refueling ship deployed in the Gulf near Iran, opened fire on an Indian fishing boat. You may ask why a U.S. warship would find it necessary to spray a fishing boat with machine-gun shells, killing one and wounding three of the fishers on board. That’s certainly what the Indians on the fishing boat asked. They told the media that they were doing their best to avoid the warship and that the gunfire hit them without warning. The U.S. Navy, on the other hand, had an answer. When U.S. military fire kills innocent civilians, the first step of the Pentagon’s standard operating procedure is to lie. The next is to provide a pretext, then to get arrogant and self-righteous. Pentagon and/or NATO statements have followed this pattern dozens of times in Afghanistan. In this case, the Navy first claimed that they warned the boat and that the boat ignored them. Then they said that U.S. ships have to be careful, because a boat might be carrying a bomb and the people on board might be on a suicide mission. Then a Naval spokesperson came right

out with it, saying more or less that they’d blow any boat out of the water that comes within eyeshot of a U.S. vessel and has the slightest probability of being armed. These U.S. ships are not on a pleasure tour. They are not bringing aid and assistance to people hit by a cyclone or tidal wave. Nor are they doing people-to-people diplomacy to encourage worldwide solidarity. On the contrary, these are warships off to conquer. In this case, the Rappahannock is part of a fleet of U.S. ships moving in and around the Gulf to prepare for warfare against Iran. In other words, they are playing a role in what could be a much bigger tragedy. The U.S. Navy, whatever its public relations officers say, knows that it is a threat to the people of the world, of the region and especially the people of Iran. That’s what it does. It is the armed enforcer for a tiny number of super-rich people who own and rule the world. Perhaps that’s why the Naval officers see a threat from every innocent fishing ship. What the Navy is planning to do is so destructive and heinous that someone might want to stop it. So just to be sure, the Navy shoots first and doesn’t ask questions at all. And only makes it clearer what its role is.

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July 26, 2012

Page 11

Amid greater imperialist penetration
By Abayomi Azikiwe Editor, Pan-African News Wire With growing threats to the independence and sovereignty of the African continent, the African Union held its 2012 summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on July 15-16. The meeting was originally scheduled to be held in Malawi, but the country’s new president, Joyce Banda, refused to host the event if Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir attended. Bashir has been targeted by the International Criminal Court, which has issued warrants for his arrest along with other leading officials in the Republic of Sudan government. The AU has over the last few years since the warrants were issued refused to acknowledge the efforts of the Netherlands-based entity due to the problems such actions pose for maintaining the organization’s unity. Under its previous leader, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, Malawi hosted the Sudanese leader last year at the regional summit meeting. President Banda, the country’s first woman leader, said that she is seeking to rebuild relations with donor states that had been at odds with the former head-of-state, resulting in severe economic problems for the impoverished Southern African country. This year’s summit was marked by a struggle over control of the full-time position of commission chair. Jean Ping of Gabon had held the post since it was established, and his continued tenure was a source of conflict within the organization. The AU has an annual rotating presidency now held by Benin’s president, Thomas Boni Yayi. The position of commission chair is a post whose appointment lasts for four years and is more administrative in nature. In Addis Ababa, the vote over who would control the position took on gender and regional dimensions. Since the formation of the AU in 2002, the commission chair position had not been held by anyone from the Southern African region. Also, the position had never been held by a woman until now. This year’s decision by the African leaders brought about the election of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the minister of Home Affairs for the Republic of South Africa and a longtime member of the ruling African National Congress. The ANC, in a statement responding to the election of one of its members to the post, said, “Comrade Nkosazana DlaminiZuma has the potential and the capacity to take the AU to new heights owing to her accumulated experience in the liberation movement led by the ANC both in exile and in the country, women structures as well as a minister in government including international relations.” (allafrica. com, July 16) The statement went on to point out: “As a Minister of Foreign Affairs, she (Dlamini-Zuma) championed a number of initiatives in the multi-lateral forums where she argued consistently on the need to re-organize these forums to accommodate developing nations as equal partners. … She is known for her views on issues of women empowerment and those on the receiving end of poverty.” Challenges for the AU including imperialist intervention A number of critical issues are facing the AU during this period. One positive outcome of the Addis Ababa summit was the meeting held between Republic of Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir

African Union summit faces challenges
Ansar Dine, the Arab National Liberation Front and others, have been struggling over control of the region. The AU has largely relied upon the Economic Community of West African States, the 16-member regional organization, to take the lead in resolving the Mali crisis. However, there has not been the previously discussed intervention of ECOWAS troops to put down the rebellion in the North as well as stabilizing the government in the South, where differences exist over a negotiated coalition regime composed of both military and civilian elements. In regard to the escalating tensions in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the AU announced on July 15 that it is preparing to send a peacekeeping contingent to the area. Presidents Joseph Kabila of the DRC and Paul Kagame of Rwanda both attended the Summit. Rwanda has been accused of supporting a mutiny by DRC military forces in the eastern region, a claim which President Kagame has denied. The M23 rebel group, which has taken several towns in the area, says that it only wants grievances addressed and is requesting dialogue with the DRC government based in Kinshasha. The post-colonial African situation has created numerous conflicts throughout the continent that preclude genuine independence, sovereignty and unity across national and regional boundaries. The current conflict in Somalia is a case in point, where several neighboring states allied with the U.S. are inside the country fighting to prevent the al-Shabab resistance movement from taking power. With the formation of the United States Africa Command in 2008, the political stability of the continent has been seriously threatened. In Libya during 2011, Africom and NATO waged a war of regime change that led to thousands of deaths, including that of the leader, Col. Moammar Gadhafi. Africom has a base in Djibouti and is increasing its surveillance and reconnaissance missions throughout East, Central and West Africa. The U.S. deployed at least 100 Special Forces to four different countries in Central and East Africa last October. Therefore, if the AU does not take action to resolve these ongoing conflicts, the imperialist states led by the U.S. will deepen their penetration of the continent. Imperialist intervention will only worsen the economic and humanitarian crises in Africa, as the situations in Libya and Somalia have proven.

and Republic of South Sudan’s president, Silva Kiir. The two recently separated states have numerous issues that remain unresolved involving border demarcations, the utilization and compensation for oil resources and the ongoing conflict in the western Darfur region. Both Bashir and Kiir agreed to hold further negotiations in order for these outstanding questions to be agreed upon in a manner satisfactory to both governments. In reference to the situation inside the Republic of Sudan itself, the AU Peace and Security Council stressed the importance of resuming talks between the government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement-North in order to reach an agreement over the status of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Both states are areas of dispute between Khartoum (Sudan capital) and Juba (South Sudan capital). They are areas where fighting is continuing between the SPLA-N and the central government. A statement issued by the AUPSC says, “The Council welcomes the acceptance by both Parties of the need for the resumption of negotiations, and urges them to commence these negotiations immediately under the facilitation of the AU and the Chair of the Inter-regional Governmental Authority on Development.” The same

statement urges both Parties “to maintain the neutrality and integrity of humanitarian assistance consistent with respect for the sovereignty of the Republic of Sudan.” (Sudan Tribune, July 15) In April, the two countries were on the verge of the re-emergence of full-scale war when the South Sudan army took control of the Heglig oil fields near the border with the North. South Sudan had complained over differences related to the compensation for and distribution of oil in the region. The tensions were eased when the SPLA-N agreed to withdraw its forces from Heglig. Nonetheless, the oil industry in South Sudan remains paralyzed after relations broke down between the neighbors. In the North, the drastic decline in oil revenues from fields in the South has brought about the imposition of austerity by Khartoum. These austerity measures have prompted demonstrations against the Bashir government by students and opposition groups which have called for his resignation. Another major issue facing the AU is the continuing crisis in Mali, where a military coup in the capital of Bamako and a secessionist movement in the North have divided the country politically. Several armed groups, including the Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA)

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Revés para los planes de guerra de EE.UU. en Asia
Presión masiva hunde el pacto militar Corea-Japón
cabo maniobras militares conjuntas con Japón y Corea del sur frente a las costas de la RDPC y no muy lejos de China. Sin embargo, con lo que los imperialistas no habían contado era el fuerte impacto que esto tendría en el pueblo coreano tanto del sur como del norte, quienes han sufrido terriblemente por la guerra y la dominación extranjera. En el norte, después de la prematura muerte de Kim Jong-Il en diciembre pasado, el nuevo gobierno de Kim Jong Un procedió a fortalecer aún más las defensas militares de la RDPC. En el sur, las manifestaciones contra la colaboración militar con Japón y Estados Unidos han crecido cada vez más militantes, a pesar de las constantes advertencias del régimen de Lee sobre la “amenaza comunista” del norte. Alboroto sobre pacto propuesto con Japón La perspectiva de un pacto militar con Japón causó un alboroto incluso dentro de la legislatura, que fue formalmente notificada del acuerdo sólo un día antes de que fuera firmado. Fue sólo después de que el asistente principal de “seguridad nacional” surcoreano Kim Tae-hyo, considerado el arquitecto del plan, fuera obligado a renunciar el 5 de julio que el New York Times decidió informar a sus lectores/as lo que realmente estaba pasando en Corea del sur: “El gobierno del Sr. Lee consideraba el acuerdo como un paso limitado para aumentar los lazos militares con Japón, en consonancia con el deseo de Washington de poner los dos países asiáticos bajo una alianza trilateral que podría enfrentar más eficazmente las crecientes amenazas nucleares y de misiles de la RDPC, así como la expansión del poderío militar chino. “Pronto se hizo evidente, sin embargo, que el gobierno había subestimado las vacilaciones de los surcoreanos sobre una cooperación militar con Japón. Los opositores del Sr. Lee rápidamente se valieron de esa inquietud para comenzar una ofensiva en un año de elecciones, acusando al Sr. Lee de doblegarse ante Washington, y con diversos grupos cívicos, compararon el campo gobernante conservador a los ‘traidores’ coreanos del pasado que secretamente cooperaron con la anexión japonesa de la península de Corea en 1910”. (New York Times, 5 de julio) Toda Corea fue sometida al brutal dominio colonial japonés desde 1910 hasta 1945. Se estima que unas 200.000 mujeres coreanas fueron forzadas a la esclavitud sexual para “servir” a las tropas japonesas durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. El odio a los opresores coloniales es muy profundo en Corea. Las tropas estadounidenses que entraron en Corea del sur al final de la Segunda Guerra Mundial efectivamente dividieron al sur del norte. Una fuerza guerrillera liderada por Kim Il Sung, comunista coreano, ayudado por la Unión Soviética, liberó el norte de Japón. En el sur, muchos coreanos que habían colaborado con Japón se convirtieron en marionetas de los Estados Unidos, que también rearmó algunas tropas japonesas para prevenir que los trabajadores y los campesinos allí derrocaran a sus explotadores y se unieran a las fuerzas socialistas en el norte. Hoy, junto al sentimiento masivo en el sur contra ser arrastrado hacia un pacto militar con Japón, hay un movimiento fuerte para reunir pacíficamente a Corea. Por Deirdre Griswold La estrategia de Washington para cimentar una alianza militar de Estados Unidos, Japón y Corea del sur se deshizo el 29 de junio en el último minuto cuando la presión popular obligó al régimen de Seúl a desvincularse y no firmar un pacto de intercambio de inteligencia militar con Tokio. El Pentágono había confiado en el presidente derechista surcoreano Lee Myung-bak, para que entregase la mitad sureña de Corea en una alianza dirigida contra la República Democrática Popular de Corea en el norte y su gigantesco vecino, la República Popular China. La clase dominante imperialista estadounidense le teme al rápido desarrollo económico de China. En el núcleo de la economía china está un sistema de propiedad y planificación estatal establecido después de la revolución socialista de 1949, aunque China ahora permite un creciente mercado capitalista. Al momento de la revolución, China tenía muy poca industria moderna; la gran mayoría del pueblo era campesino que apenas sobrevivía de cosecha en cosecha. Unos/ as 600 millones de chinos/as han salido de la pobreza desde 1981, según el Banco Mundial, y la economía china ya es la segunda más grande del mundo. Mientras tanto, la pobreza y la inestabilidad están creciendo en los países capitalistas occidentales. Bajo la administración de Obama un cambio en la estrategia militar ha hecho que se comience a construir más bases estadounidenses en Asia y se mueva la mayor parte de la flota estadounidense al Pacífico. El año pasado, Estados Unidos llevó a Resurgimiento del movimiento en el sur El mismo día en que Kim Tae-hyo fuera obligado a renunciar del gobierno de Lee debido a su papel en el proyectado pacto militar con Japón, otro surcoreano, Ro Su-hui, caminó valientemente a través de la frontera fuertemente militarizada que divide el norte del sur. Inmediatamente fue arrestado por funcionarios de Corea del sur por haber visitado el norte. Ro había pasado más de tres meses en la RDPC después de haber entrado el 24 de marzo desde China. Mientras estaba allí, había públicamente “llamado a la reunificación de las dos Coreas y criticado al presidente Lee Myung-bak de Corea del sur por su política intransigente relacionada a la RDPC”. (New York Times, 5 de julio) Ro, que tiene 68 años, enfrenta una posible condena de 10 años de prisión por violar la ley anticomunista de seguridad nacional de Corea del Sur. (Lim Sukyung, un activista pro reunificación que fue encarcelado bajo esta ley después de cruzar la frontera en 1989, ganó un escaño en el Parlamento de Corea del sur este abril — otra derrota para la derecha.) Antes de que Ro cruzara hacia el sur, cientos de norcoreanos/as le dieron flores y agitaron “banderas de unidad”. Dos grupos le esperaban en el lado sur de la frontera: uno, de intransigentes de línea dura que lo llamaban “comunista” y quemaron una efigie suya, y el otro de partidarios que le dieron la bienvenida mientras pedían la derogación de la Ley de Seguridad Nacional. Al día siguiente, un surcoreano condujo su furgoneta al portón de la embajada japonesa en Seúl. Los planes de Washington para un eje Washington-Tokio-Seúl en Asia se encuentran en un grave problema.

‘Ocupar Solidaridad’ viaja por Estados Unidos rumbo a Cuba
Por Cheryl LaBash Tras una lucha en la frontera entre la provincia canadiense de Columbia Británica y el Estado de Washington, la Caravana de la Amistad número 23 de Pastores Por la Paz (IFCO) a Cuba está viajando a través de los Estados Unidos. Cruzará desde Texas hacia México, llegando a la Habana el 21 de julio. El 31 de julio, los/ as participantes cruzarán de vuelta hacia EE.UU. — declarando abiertamente su viaje a Cuba sin la aprobación legal requerida del gobierno estadounidense. El 1ro de julio, la aduana de EE.UU. en el cruce de frontera Peace Arch de la costa oeste detuvo un camión de la caravana con ayuda humanitaria, desviándolo hacia un estacionamiento en el cruce de frontera Pacífico para camiones comerciales. Este cargamento de ayuda incluía suministros médicos tales como sillas de ruedas, materiales educativos y materiales deportivos procedentes de las ciudades y comunidades de toda la provincia canadiense de Columbia Británica. Los funcionarios de aduana estadounidense prohibieron específicamente los equipos deportivos y exigieron la compra de un bono. Pero prevaleció el clamor público y una movilización decidida. El 2 de julio, el camión cruzó con balones de fútbol y guantes de béisbol, sin licencia y sin bono. Los cruces de la Costa Este de Canadá a los Estados Unidos se realizaron sin incidencias. Cuba está planeando eventos especiales para acoger a los/as viajeros/as, incluyendo un tributo al fundador y líder de IFCO, el fallecido Reverendo Lucius Walker, cuyas cenizas están en el Centro Martin Luther King en la Habana, y una caravana de 23 autobuses que va a circular a través de la Habana, formada por algunos de los muchos autobuses escolares donados a través de los años. El autobús escolar se ha convertido en un símbolo de este persistente y valiente desafío a la guerra económica y terrorista que por 53 años Estados Unidos ha librado contra Cuba. En 1993, durante la segunda Caravana, funcionarios del Departamento del Tesoro de Estados Unidos decomisaron un pequeño autobús escolar amarillo en la frontera entre Texas y México cerca de Laredo. Los/as 13 caravanistas a bordo se negaron a abandonar el autobús y el recinto vallado se convirtió en territorio liberado. Comenzaron una huelga de hambre que duró 23 días hasta que el autobús fue liberado para viajar a Cuba. La Caravana de la Amistad, que comenzó en 1992, es la iniciativa más amplia de alcance nacional que desafía el bloqueo de EE.UU. contra la isla socialista. Actualmente difunde informes sobre el injusto encarcelamiento estadounidense de los 5 Cubanos y desafía la prohibición de los Estados Unidos de que sus residentes no puedan viajar libremente a Cuba. El tema de la Caravana de 2012 es Ocupar la Solidaridad y celebrará el compromiso de Cuba al desarrollo sostenible. La caravana se detiene en comunidades grandes y pequeñas, incluyendo Richmond, Va.; Witchita, Kansas; Birmingham, Alabama; Carbondale, Illinois; Pleasant Hill y Knoxville, Tennessee; El Paso, Dallas, Houston y Corpus Christi, Texas; Little Rock, Ark.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Corvallis, Wash.; Oklahoma City; Indianápolis; Boston; Nueva York; Chicago; Washington; San Francisco; Los Ángeles; Detroit; y muchos, muchos más. Para obtener más información, ofrecer colaboración voluntaria y donar vaya a http://www.pastorsforpeace.org.

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