 Lucha contra recortes en España  Wall Street del Sur


Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite!

‘Jobs & rec centers, not police terror!’
Baltimore Peoples Assembly activists arrested
By Caleb T. Maupin Baltimore Aug. 6 — Undeterred by the over90-degree heat, a crowd of nearly 100 people gathered in Baltimore today to protest police terror and the closing of recreation centers throughout the city. The rally began at 3 p.m., and by 3:30 a spirited march surged toward City Hall, chanting “Stop police terror!” The crowd consisted of many family members and survivors of police terror. In addition, a slew of Occupy Wall Street activists from Baltimore and Washington, D.C., joined the rally. A contingent from the UNITE HERE union was present, as were numerous other activists and organizers from the African-American community of Baltimore, including the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Churches United. When the protesters arrived at the cobblestone area in front of City Hall, the Rev. Cortly “C.D.” Witherspoon and Sharon Black, organizers of the Baltimore Peoples Assembly, announced that they had a letter to present to Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake. The letter consisted of three demands: community control of the police, jobs for all, and no closing of recreation centers or fire stations. The letter had been crafted by the Baltimore Peoples Assembly, which gathered June 30 to forge a people’s agenda against the police terror and economic misery that plagues the city. The letter stressed the need for resources to be spent on providing for human needs and for action to be taken against the daily reality of police terrorism. After reading the letter to those gathered, the Peoples Assembly representatives entered City Hall to deliver the letter to the mayor. They made clear that they had no fear of being arrested if they were blocked from seeing this elected official who claimed to represent them. People recount grievances at spirited rally A spirited rally began in the heat of the afternoon, chaired by Andre Powell, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Baltimore Metropolitan AFL-CIO delegate and leader of the All Peoples Congress, and Leon Purnell, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Baltimore chapter. Among those who spoke was Richie Armstrong, a leader of Churches United, who had been arrested protesting for jobs along with three other unemployed workers. One of these workers was severely beaten and brutalized by police at a march for jobs on March 29. Joyce Fisher, a well-known activist from the Poplar Grove neighborhood, addressed the crowd. Activists involved in the struggle to save the Falls Point Recreation Center described the ongoing fight to save this community resource as well as the good-paying union jobs the recreation centers provide. Many victims of police brutality and their family members spoke. The mother of David Yimm recounted how her son was shot in his car by the police, who put four bullets through the car window. Marcella Hollomau spoke about the brutal police killing of her son Maurice Johnson, and supportive friends read a poem she composed in his memory. Renee Washington spoke of her fiancé, who was murdered by the Baltimore police. Lee Patterson, speaking for Workers World Party, outlined how these community struggles were linked to the struggle against capitalism and U.S. imperialism. Activists arrested after mayor refuses to meet with them As the rally continued, Witherspoon and Black remained inside City Hall. According to their accounts, both remained insistent that they were representing the voices and will of the BalContinued on page 3


August 16, 2012

Vol. 54, No. 32


YAWF DEMO 1962 Hit Vietnam war 2
Challenging the DNC & RNC
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Jazz Hayden wearing tie.


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August 16, 2012




Revolutionary youth held rst protest of Vietnam War
By Deirdre Griswold When a fledgling youth organization goes out and organizes one of its first demonstrations, it may not realize until later that it was planting the seeds of something that would grow to become a history-changing force. Back in August 1962, those of us in Workers World Party, who were quite young at the time, had been keeping an eye on what the Pentagon was doing in the far-off country of Vietnam. We had already formed a revolutionary youth group earlier that year to protest the head of the American Nazi Party, George Lincoln Rockwell, who was scheduled to speak at a campus in New York City. He canceled when Center, Deirdre Griswold in a protest against the Vietnam war 1,000 people, from high school students to concentration in the late 1960s after the mass anti-war movement had risen. camp survivors, picketed the school. But along with the rise of ultra-right groups like the Nazis, which opposed the Kennedy administration for place in the U.S. We only got the full measure of what various reasons, we saw something even more dangerous we had accomplished when we read a message, printed happening: the state-sanctioned buildup for a war against in the National Guardian, from Ho Chi Minh, the leader a people who had defeated French colonialism under the of Vietnam’s long liberation struggle and president of the leadership of a popular Communist movement, but were Socialist Republic of North Vietnam. He thanked YAWF by name for the demonstration still having to fight to liberate the southern half of their and urged us to continue the struggle. That gave us an country. South Vietnam had a puppet government whose president, Ngo Dinh Diem, after being handpicked by even greater sense of responsibility. U.S. strategists, invited in the Pentagon. YAWF: ‘the cutting edge of the New Left’ YAWF calls historic protest The Vietnam War was the last one in which hundreds of thousands were drafted to fight and die in the interWhen Youth Against War & Fascism set up a picket line in midtown Manhattan on Aug. 2, 1962, we hoped to ests of U.S. imperialism. And for good reason. The war alert the progressive forces to the danger of the govern- eventually became so unpopular at home that the very ment sending military “advisers” to Vietnam. They were stability of the system was called into question. The war laid bare all the ugly features of imperialism. not supposed to be there in any combat role — there had Most explosive was its racism toward not only the Vietbeen no vote in Congress to authorize a military action. namese people but also Black and Brown soldiers from But U.S. soldiers were already dying in Vietnam. What we didn’t fully realize at the time was that this the U.S., who were sent in disproportionate numbers to was the first protest against the Vietnam War to take the front lines. As anti-war consciousness and the struggle against racist oppression grew inside the U.S., so did repression at home. The secret COINTELPRO operation targeted groups like the Black Panthers and the Young Lords for subversion and outright murder. YAWF insisted that the anti-war movement support these courageous organizations, and everywhere raised the banner “Stop the war against Black America.” By 1967, YAWF was in touch with many anti-war GIs who wanted to fight the racism, exploitation and imperialist objectives of the military. It helped them form a The North Carolina branch of Workers World Party union of soldiers, sailors, and airmen and -women whose is organizing a week-long school on Marxist theory and 10-point program was anti-racist, anti-sexist, pro-worker practice in mid-August. It is especially inviting young and thoroughly anti-imperialist. The American Serviceactivists who have worked with us in many different men’s Union grew to 30,000 members stationed all over the globe. struggles. YAWF became what African-American journalist WilCaleb Maupin, a youth organizer and writer for WW liam Worthy called “the cutting edge of the New Left,” in newspaper, has been calling subscribers, asking them to donate toward the school’s expenses. He says he found a feature article he wrote for the Boston Globe magazine. them “very ready to support this project. They know the Worthy was famous for having won his passport back afgreat importance of Marxism and have been generous in ter he sued the State Department for taking it away when he made a visit to revolutionary Cuba. (Phil Ochs wrote a pledging help.” But we can’t call everyone. Even if you don’t get a call, protest song about him: “The Ballad of William Worthy.”) The Vietnamese people pledged to fight for 100 years please send a contribution to Workers World, 55 W. 17th if that’s what it took to liberate their country from forSt., 5th floor, New York., NY 10011. Indicate it’s for the Marxist school. And thanks! Continued on page 10 — Deirdre Griswold

this week ...

 In the U.S.
Baltimore Peoples Assembly activists arrested . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Revolutionary youth hold rst protest of Vietnam War. . . . 2 Help the Marxist school! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Stop racist frame-up of Jazz Hayden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Rally demands justice for Alan Blueford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Three crises of capitalist system: 1873, 1929 and 2007 . . . . 4 Forum examines rank & le longshore struggle . . . . . . . . . . 5 On the picket line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Texas set to execute man with limited mental ability . . . . . 6 Corporate-backed o cials seek to subvert referendum . . 6 New York mobilizes for RNC & DNC protests. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 March on Wall St. South hits the streets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Southern workers launch alliance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 U.S. social conditions create racist massacre of Sikhs . . . . 10

 Around the world
Clinton’s Africa tour advances militarism, attacks China. . . 8 Syria defends itself against imperialist onslaught. . . . . . . . . 9 The corporatization of the Olympics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 The power of Gabby Douglas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

 Editorials
Expanding empire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

 Noticias En Español
Lucha contra recortes en España. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Wall Street del Sur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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. 32 • Aug. 16, 2012 Closing date: Aug. 7, 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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August 16, 2012

Page 3

Anti-police brutality warrior

Stop racist frame-up of Jazz Hayden
By Dolores Cox New York Joseph “Jazz” Hayden, age 71, is an African-American Harlem resident. On his neighborhood “cop watch” beat, armed with his camera, he videotapes police brutality against Harlem residents, including unlawful stop-and-frisks. Hayden has been a longtime community activist and police reform advocate fighting to end the racially biased harassment of people of color. In December 2011, Hayden was stopped by police. He and his car were searched, resulting in his arrest. He was charged with two counts of felony possession of weapons. The weapons were a commemorative mini-replica of a baseball bat and a pen knife. Each count carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison. The bogus arrest was in retaliation by the cops for Hayden’s work as a people’s reporter. The cops acknowledged knowing who he was when they stopped him. These same cops had been filmed by Hayden several months before while they conducted another illegal car stop and search. On July 31, a criminal court hearing for Hayden was scheduled. A multinational group of between 75 to 100 Hayden supporters — including Hayden’s attorney, Sarah Kunstler — held a press conference and rally in front of Manhattan Criminal Following the rescheduling of Hayden’s case, in an online conversation with Bernard White, program director and producer of Community Progressive Radio, Hayden talked about the street life of growing up in Harlem and its harsh environment and about why and how it became ghettoized. “Black communities nationwide have the same problems. Police abuse and attacks don’t happen in white neighborhoods. Cops are supposed to be public servants, but do not provide service, courtesy, professionalism or respect in Black communities. They’re mostly interested in getting a paycheck and their benefits. Police do not have a right to search and seize anything without a warrant. But all too often judges conspire with them. Their jobs are to defend the interests of the rich and protect the white supremacy status quo,” Hayden stated. “Although caught on camera in the middle of committing criminal acts, cops are never prosecuted for their crimes. And the white-majority media minimize police acts. Moreover, the Black community is always portrayed negatively in the media. Yet, only 6 percent of stop-and-frisks [reveal] any crime having been committed. Cops need to be scrutinized, along with Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg and Police Commissioner [Ray] Kelly. None of them care about the Black community.” Hayden also mentioned that, ironically, he had campaigned for District Attorney Vance and helped him get elected. “The D.A. now needs to do the right thing,” he said. “My case is a result of NYPD retaliation and an attempt to drain my resources and silence folks like me who stand up,” Hayden stated. “I’m not compromising; the case is bullshit! It’s time for justice!” (CPRMetro.org) Hayden said that he is encouraged by letters he receives from around the country. To get involved with the struggle to drop the charges against him, go to allthingsharlem.com and freejazzhayden.wordpress. com, which includes an online petition.

July 31 protest at court hearing for Jazz Hayden, New York.

‘Jobs & rec centers, not police terror!’
Baltimore Peoples Assembly activists arrested
Continued from page 1 timore Peoples Assembly. Because of this, they asserted, they could not leave until they got an answer from the mayor that City Hall would take the demands seriously and would set a meeting. The mayor’s aide continued to push the view that the organizers needed to make their request electronically and that no guarantees could be made. A host of police representatives including Major Smith, the head of Central District Police, spoke with the two Peoples Assembly delegates and tried to convince them to change their view. At 5:30 p.m. the building was closed to anyone wanting to enter. Police wagons had arrived at the scene and a SWAT team of police was assembled along with regular City Hall police. A tense 90 minutes passed as Witherspoon and Black were held inside. Around 6:30 p.m. Witherspoon and Black were taken from the building in handcuffs, escorted by officers in SWAT uniforms. The crowd of activists, community members and police terror victims roared in anger at their arrests, as the two were dragged through the crowd toward a police van. National Lawyers Guild attorney Curtis Cooper was dispatched to see that Black and Witherspoon were released. The two were charged with trespassing. The entire rally was streamed across the internet by a Washington, D.C., Occupy activist. Countless city workers stopped by the rally with interest, listening and agreeing with much of what was said. With chants of “We’ll be back!” the crowd made thunderously clear their efforts would continue as they marched away from City Hall. Both Black and Witherspoon have been released from jail.

Court. Speakers represented several New York and Philadelphia activist organizations. Hayden commented on the amount of tax dollars and human resources being used against him. “How outrageous, ridiculous and senseless. These guys are nothing but bullies trying to intimidate me,” he added, pointing to the cops. He continued, “The cops pulled me over claiming that I had a broken brake light; but it wasn’t broken. They also lied in their report, saying that I reached for a weapon when they stopped me. How stupid would I have been, reaching for a pen knife and a small bat against armed cops?” Referring to a cop on the courthouse steps filming the group, Hayden questioned how it is that the New York Police Department can film us, but we can’t film them. “According to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, citizens have a right to record police in the public performance of their duties,” he added. Supporters packed the courtroom, hoping to witness racial justice being served for a change. The case, however, was postponed until Oct. 11. A previous court hearing had also been postponed. After leaving the courtroom, Kunstler gave a brief summation of what happened

in court. District Attorney Cyrus Vance, she said, intends to convene a grand jury and indict Hayden sometime in September. She emphasized the need for supporters to continue mobilizing to get the charges dropped. “The current charges against Hayden are payback for his getting involved. The NYPD retaliates against known community activists who are in the streets filming them. It is police practice to silence dissidents. And the system derails movements by putting people on trial and in prison. They took notice, the judge, D.A. and others in the courtroom. Advocacy does make a difference. Power to the people!” ‘It’s time for justice!’ Outside the courtroom Hayden thanked everyone for their support and asked that they continue to stand by him. “Surrender and an admission of guilt are not options,” he stated. “I love you all.” The group responded with “We got your back” and “We’ll make sure you get justice.” “I’ll continue as long as I have your support. We must stand up for our rights and not give up the fight,” Hayden added. “Some things in life are worse than prison, and that is living in the world without self-respect, without honor.”

Rally demands justice for Alan Blueford
By Terri Kay Oakland

More than 100 people rallied at City Hall on July 31 to demand justice for Alan Blueford. An 18-year-old Black youth, Blueford was killed by a police officer just days before he would have graduated from Skyline High School. Guilty only of standing on a corner while Black, Blueford was shot three times by Officer Miguel Masso of the Oakland Police Department on May 6 and left to bleed out and die on the street. The coroner’s report, released this month after mass pressure, stated that there was no gunpowder on Alan’s hands and no drugs or alcohol in his system. The July 31 rally demanded that Officer Masso be fired; that he be tried for murder for Blueford’s death; and that the Oakland City Council use their authority to push for the immediate release of the police report. Speakers at the rally included Blueford’s parents, Jeralynn Blueford and Adam Blueford; and attorneys Dan Siegel and Walter Riley. Hip-hop artist Jabari Shaw performed. Boots Riley, the final speaker, spoke about how the mainstream media have hyped people into believing that cops are really trying to protect


Alan Blueford’s mother, Jeralynn Blueford, (speaking) and father, Adam Blueford, (to her left) address supporters at July 31 rally.

them. He said, “When police do kill, they are usually pre-justified by the media and [TV] shows like ‘Law and Order.’” In a lead-up to the rally, Tanesha Blye, Blueford’s cousin, addressed the City Council on July 26, and then served people’s subpoenas to the eight city council members and Mayor Jean Quan, demanding their attendance at the rally.

None of the council members nor the mayor showed for the event, so the Justice 4 Alan Blueford Coalition posted a huge “notice of termination” announcement on the doors to City Hall. The notice included the demands stated above, a repeal of the Officers’ Bill of Rights and an end to the “stop and frisk” laws, which have become “stop and kill” laws.

Page 4

August 16, 2012


New introduction to ‘Capitalism at a Dead End’

Three crises of the capitalist system: 1873, 1929 and 2007
By Fred Goldstein Capitalism, the system of production for profit, has reached a dead end. The plague of mass unemployment, underemployment, low wages, destruction of benefits, social service cutbacks, and mounting poverty is overcoming the system and bringing unrelieved disaster to the multinational working class and the oppressed peoples of the world. In addition to the threat to the working class, the lifesustaining character of the environment of the planet is in dire danger. An entire generation of workers is facing a dismal future. For a growing majority, capitalism has in store only unemployment, marginal work and unskilled, low-paid jobs as the system incorporates more and more skills into software and machinery. Technology and the worldwide wage competition orchestrated by the employers continue to drive wages down. Among the most poisonous political and social consequences of the crisis are the intensification of racism, the growth of the prison-industrial complex, the rise in the persecution of immigrants and undocumented workers, and the war on women and lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. The ruling class seeks all means to sow division among the masses in order to divert attention from the failure of the economic system and the growth of obscene inequality. These are the ultimate and inevitable consequences of the laws of capitalist development, which are what drive the evolution of the profit system. Capitalism has now entered a new stage in which low growth, stagnation and acute crises are the “new normal.” The historic cycle of boom and bust — when the economy, after crashing periodically, rose again and reached new heights — is over. Capitalism has generated dozens of periodic cyclical crises since at least 1825, when the first real international crisis of overproduction swept the globe. But the present crisis goes far beyond the normal cyclical crises. Whatever the ups and downs, nothing can lift the system out of this long-term dead end — not trillions of dollars in bank and corporate bailouts, not trillions in military spending for limited wars and interventions, not any band-aid “stimulus” packages. This book deals exclusively with the present crisis in the U.S., but this is not the first time that capitalism has reached such an impasse. At least twice before it reached a similar dead end, where it could no longer grow; it could only drag society backward toward an abyss. In fact, the economic crisis that began with the collapse of the housing market in December 2007 resembles the two previous great crises: the crisis of 1873-1896, sometimes called the Long Depression, and the crisis of 1929-1939, or the Great Depression. The Long Depression was global and in the U.S. was actually a series of severe downturns. The initial downturn began with the economic collapse of a gigantic railroad bubble and lasted from 1873 to 1877. It led to the longest economic contraction in U.S. history, either before or since, lasting 65 consecutive months. A brief recovery was followed by another collapse in the 1880s. The final and most drastic downturn of the period began with the collapse of a second widespread railroad and land speculation bubble. This crisis lasted nearly until the turn of the century. There was double-digit unemployment and furious class struggle throughout the period — from the railroad strike of 1877 to miners’ strikes in the Pennsylvania coal fields, the Haymarket struggle in 1886 for the eight-hour day, the Homestead steel strike of 1892 and the Pullman railroad strike of 1894. In many of these class battles, workers used armed self-defense against the scab armies of the bosses. The Great Depression is said to have begun in 1929 with the collapse of a gigantic stock market bubble. However, it was preceded by the collapse of a wild land speculation bubble, which fueled the stock market collapse. That in turn led to massive banking failures and finally a full-scale economic collapse. By 1931 there was 25 percent unemployment in the U.S. A brief economic upturn from 1934 to 1937 was followed by another collapse, which lasted until 1939. Unemployment was 17 percent at the end of this period and never went below double digits, even during the brief upturn. There were unemployment and hunger marches and municipal general strikes in San Francisco, Toledo and Minneapolis in 1934. From 1935 on there were hundreds of plant occupations across the country, including the legendary, victorious Flint sit-down strike which brought unionization to General Motors. This was a developing pre-revolutionary period. There are many differences between the crisis toward the end of the 19th century and the one of the 1930s. But there are several important and fundamental similarities, which have great bearing on understanding the current crisis. In both crises, the automatic functioning of the capitalist market, the normal boom and bust cycle of capitalist development, ran out of steam. Capitalism reached a point where nothing of an economic nature could by itself get the system moving forward and upward any longer. Capitalism was mired in economic paralysis; mass unemployment was overwhelming the system. Both crises were preceded by long periods of enormous growth of the productive forces, great strides in technology, and major increases in the productivity of labor. From the middle to the end of the 19th century, the application of science to industrial processes and communications resulted in what is often referred to as the second industrial revolution. There were major improvements in steel production and chemical processes, the widespread use of the internal combustion engine, the development of petroleum drilling, the telegraph and many other advances. These technological developments brought about great leaps in the growth of the productive forces — including the massive development of the railroads. These leaps forward in science and industry were accompanied by decimation of the Native people and the seizure of their lands, forcing captured African people into chattel slavery that took on a modified form called share-cropping after the Civil War, the annexation of one-half of Mexico and the importation of Chinese labor. All this laid the basis for land grabbing and made possible the building of a transcontinental railroad system, mining and timber empires, and the meteoric growth of U.S. capitalism in the post-Civil War period. Similarly, in the period from the turn of the 20th century up until the 1929 crash, capitalism took another technological leap forward into the era of mass production. It was the period known for the rise of “Fordism,” i.e., the assembly line, plus so-called “scientific” timestudy management — actually, scientific speedup. Economic growth was fed by the mass production of automobiles, new road-building technology, the electrification of manufacturing, the spread of electricity to households, the telephone, the mass production of radios and household appliances, among other things. Once again, as in the 19th century, the productivity of labor increased exponentially. And once again, consumption could not keep pace with production. Shortly before the economic collapse, production began to decline and profits shrank. The Depression followed. How did these depressions end? The Long Depression that had begun in 1873 ended only with the plunge of the U.S. capitalist class into imperialism. The productive forces and the profit system had outgrown the narrow framework of the capitalist nation state. Unemployment in the U.S. declined only with the so-called Spanish-American War of 1898, which brought the U.S. conquest of the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico and the push into Asia and Latin America. This same bloody process was what drove the European capitalists’ “scramble for Africa” in the 1880s. Likewise, the Great Depression ended only with the build-up for World War II and the war itself, when industry was converted to war production. In the post-war period, the massive means of production, infrastructure and housing destroyed during the war had to be rebuilt. The present crisis, which began in December 2007, grew out of the same conditions that preceded the two previous crises: phenomenal growth of the productive forces and an enormous increase in the productivity of labor, this time seen most sharply in the rise of the scientific-technological revolution and the digital age. As in the previous crises, the system has been overcome by capitalist overproduction. Auto, housing, steel and other industries central to capitalism and to employment are shrinking. Industry is contracting because the markets cannot absorb the enormous output. Wages are falling everywhere. Inequality is at unspeakable levels. While we are at the early stages in the development of the present crisis, the capitalist system, as in the two previous great crises, cannot restart itself despite all the efforts of central banks and capitalist governments. Even when there is a slight economic upturn, mass unemployment does not recede and in most cases continues to grow. The rise of the “jobless recovery” is a characteristic of the present crisis of capitalism at a dead end. Because of the extraordinary development of the globalization of production,

“Capitalism at a Dead End” will be available soon at Amazon. com and other bookstores.

commerce and banking and finance, the present crisis is being played out on a far wider stage than the previous crises. The Long Depression and the Great Depression signified that capitalism had outgrown the nation state. They led to the age of imperialism, inter-imperialist rivalry and war. Indeed, the rise of imperialism signified that capitalism had entered into a phase of general crisis, a crisis from which it has never really emerged. The present crisis indicates that capitalism has outgrown the planet itself. Furthermore, it is a threat to sustaining human life on the planet. As this crisis deepens and becomes more prolonged, just as in the previous crises, the ruling class is escalating its military intervention and aggravating global military tensions. It is expanding its arsenal of destruction. As of the end of July 2012, Washington and NATO are trying to topple the government of Syria, having destroyed the government of Libya. The threat of war against Iran rises steadily over time. The military “rebalancing” in the Pacific and closer military coordination with the Japanese imperialists is a menace to China. And military tensions with Russia have been deliberately stoked with the construction of missile defense systems. But the options for capitalism that were used to revive the system in previous crises have narrowed. Imperialist expansion once brought a softening of the class struggle at home as the bosses used some of the super-profits to make concessions to an upper layer of the workers in order to keep class peace. Now, in the age of globalized production, global wage competition means spreading low-wage jobs around the world. This has been enabled by the scientific-technological revolution. Class tensions are increasing in the U.S., Europe and Japan. The era of concessions has been replaced by the era of givebacks.[1] The military machine is already vastly developed and is high-tech. As such, the option of military mobilization as an economic stimulus to pump up the economy has greatly diminished. In addition, the trillions of dollars in capitalist state intervention have failed to revive the system. As the ruling class runs out of options and moves in the direction of military adventure and political reaction, its traditional measures of recovery can no longer reverse the crisis. Thus the situation is historically favorable to the intervention of the working class and the oppressed to resolve the crisis on a revolutionary basis. The profit system is entering a stage at which it can only drag humanity backward. The masses of people will come to a point where they cannot go on in the old way because capitalism is blocking all roads to survival. This is the point at which humanity can only move forward by clearing the road to survival, which means nothing less than the destruction of capitalism itself. [1] This thesis was fully developed by this author in “Low-Wage Capitalism,” World View Forum, New York, 2008, available from Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.


August 16, 2012

Page 5

by Sue Davis


NYC taxi drivers win raises & rights
After months of negotiations with the Taxi and Limousine Commission — and strong opposition from powerful taxi fleet owners — the New York Taxi Workers Alliance won the first raise for drivers in six years on July 12. When fares rise by 17 percent in September, most of that will go directly to higher wages. NYTWA President Bhairavi Desai proudly proclaimed: “Our incomes will end the downward spiral of poverty we have suffered for almost a decade. We’ll be able to earn a decent living.” NYTWA became affiliated with the AFL-CIO last year. (nytwa.org, July 12) But the raise isn’t all the mostly immigrant workforce, predominantly from Southern Asia, won. A health and disability fund was set up, providing benefits for the first time to workers who labor in dangerous and exhausting conditions. Desai noted that “the loopholes in existing regulations will be closed, ending eight long years of rampant lease overcharges” and that “the great 5 percent credit card heist — we lose 5 percent on every transaction, including the tip, the toll and the tax … will finally end.”

Forum examines rank & le longshore struggle

San Diego taxi drivers join area labor council
In a precedent-setting agreement, the United Taxi Workers of San Diego became affiliated with the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council on July 19. The Labor Council, which represents 192,000 members, noted in its press release that for the first time, it is “welcoming a new group not covered by collective bargaining agreements into our fold.” The taxi drivers, who are largely immigrant workers, are erroneously labeled “independent contractors” and therefore not protected by state and federal employment laws. That means “they often face 12-hour shifts and uncapped lease fees, lack health insurance and face retaliation in their efforts to improve safety conditions.” (unionyes.org, July 19) A joint statement about the affiliation reads: “The United Taxi Workers affiliation with the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO, is part of a growing partnership effort by the labor movement and the larger worker rights’ movement to strengthen advocacy and mobilization efforts for taxi drivers, day laborers, domestic workers and all working people. This is the first worker center affiliation in San Diego and the 14th affiliation in the country. This affiliation is part of a historic effort by the AFL-CIO to connect with workers who work in a variety of industries with little to no protection, but who deserve the same collective voice that all people do.”

Clarence Thomas holds up the booklet “United,” a compilation of articles on the ILWU struggle from Workers World newspaper.

By Judy Greenspan San Francisco The solidarity of the Occupy movement with the struggle of workers was highlighted on July 29 in San Francisco at a labor forum entitled “Lessons from the ILWU Battle Against EGT in Longview and the Struggle Ahead.” Featuring rank-and-file leaders of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Occupy Oakland Labor Solidarity Committee, the meeting focused on the struggle of port truckers and longshore workers against union busting by Export Grain Terminal. According to a fact sheet created by the Committee to Defend the ILWU, there has been an ongoing war since 1934 — the year of the San Francisco General Strike and the West Coast Maritime Strike — against the ILWU. Most recently, over the past year the very survival of ILWU Local 21 in Longview, Wash., was targeted by EGT, which had been working hard to break the union contract. EGT built a multimillion dollar grain terminal there and had been running it with non-union workers. Last Sept. 7-8, thousands of longshore workers blocked a grain train trying to enter EGT. On Jan. 23, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire brokered a one-year contract between EGT and the ILWU on hiring issues. Mike Fuqua, a rank-and-file leader of Local 21, spoke about the struggle against EGT. “We put everything into this struggle. We were working around the clock and doing all sorts of actions.” Fuqua noted that it was the attack on his union that propelled him into the struggle for workers’ rights. “I wasn’t an activist before this fight started.” Two speakers, Robbie Donohoe and Terri Kay from Occupy Oakland, talked about the

Longshore workers to negotiate contract
The International Longshoremen’s Association contract for nearly 15,000 dockworkers at East and Gulf Coast ports is due to expire on Sept. 30. In 2011, the 14 ports handled more than 110 million tons of import and export cargo, accounting for 95 percent of containerized shipments from Maine to Texas. Altogether, the ports include 24 container carriers, including the 10 largest carriers worldwide. The ILA has been in contract talks with the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX) since March. The next scheduled negotiations are Aug. 2224, with full wage scale meetings set for early September. Meetings in mid-July led to “breakthrough agreements for the ILA on automation and chassis work” — two critical issues in the changing industry. Several ports are also engaged in local bargaining. (ilaunion.org, Aug. 2) The Journal on Commerce reported July 17 that “retailers are growing nervous as they approach the summer-fall peak season for holiday imports.” The Industry Leaders Association “asked the ILA and USMX to … promise to keep the ports open even if no deal is reached before the current agreement expires.”

La. food workers vote union
More than 150 workers at ConAgra Foods in Delhi, La., won union representation the week of July 30 after they voted to join Food and Commercial Workers Local 455. That UFCW local represents more than 20,000 workers in Texas and Louisiana. The ConAgra organizing campaign, which began in February, focused on winning respect on the job as well as decent wages and affordable health care. Organize the South! Meanwhile, the UFCW voted to attend the Southern Workers Assembly on Sept. 3 in Charlotte, N.C., during the protests at the Democratic National Convention.

group’s organizing in support of the ILWU. Occupy Oakland organized two major actions last fall and winter to show solidarity with the struggle of the ILWU against EGT’s attempts to bring in scab labor and break the union in Longview. On Nov. 2 and Dec. 12 massive protests, including a call for a West Coast Port Blockade, were held up and down the West Coast. More then 30,000 demonstrators marched on the Port of Oakland on Nov. 2, calling for a general strike and declaring solidarity with the ILWU struggle in Longview. Clarence Thomas, a longtime ILWU rankand-file leader and activist, talked about the lessons learned from the EGT struggle. He said that the ILWU needs “rank-and-file leadership, not top-down.” Thomas characterized the port shutdowns as “rank-and-file resistance against international commerce.” Thomas remarked that even though the Longview workers were saddled with a sellout contract, they know that their power rests with the workers and not with the union leadership. “It’s not an easy thing to shut down the fifthbusiest port in the country,” Thomas stated. He noted that EGT and its affiliates had no idea what the workers could accomplish. Thomas referred people to the booklet “United!” which contains a compilation of articles from Workers World newspaper about the ILWU struggle. Local 21 President Kyle Mackey made a short statement from the floor, publicly thanking Occupy Oakland for their support and solidarity. “We have to find new ways to fight the capitalists,” Mackey said. For more information about the ILWU struggle in Longview, email committeetodefendILWU@yahoo.com or visit tinyurl.com/cve8wsk. The July 29 event was sponsored by the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee.

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

Housekeepers launch global boycott of Hyatt
UNITE HERE statistics show that housekeepers at Hyatt Hotels suffer a higher rate of injuries than housekeepers at other hotel chains because of heavy workloads. Hyatt has fired housekeepers shortly after they have spoken out about debilitating injuries, abuse and indignities at work. Recently the company replaced career housekeepers with temporary workers earning minimum wage. Hyatt even turned heat lamps on workers protesting these conditions during a brutal Chicago heat wave. However, the housekeepers are fighting back. The week of July 23, they launched a global boycott of Hyatt. To show solidarity, vote that Hyatt is the worst hotel employer in America at votehyattworst.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

Page 6

August 16, 2012


Despite Supreme Court ruling

Texas set to execute man with limited mental ability
By Gloria Rubac Houston Aug. 7 — Marvin Wilson was often teased as a child in Beaumont, Texas, for being illiterate. In a recent interview on death row, Wilson said, “People, when they see that you is stupid, dumb and ignorant, they rather make fun of it and laugh about it, make you the laugh of the town, rather than say man needs some help. I spent my life fighting trying to defend my honor rather than trying to learn.” (Houston Chronicle, Aug. 7) Today at 6 p.m., Texas plans to strap 54-year-old Wilson to a gurney and inject him with a lethal dose of Pentobarbital until he is pronounced dead. Texas will legally lynch this AfricanAmerican man who was in special education during his school years; failed several grades; was “socially promoted” to the next grade level until he dropped out in the 10th grade; and sucked his thumb well into adulthood. According to Texas, he is not mentally disabled enough to be exempt from execution. According to the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, “Intellectual disability is characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills. ... One criterion to measure intellectual functioning is an IQ test. Generally, an IQ test score of around 70 or as high as 75 indicates a limitation in intellectual functioning.” Marvin Wilson scored a 61 on the standard Wechsler IQ test, a score well below the legal marker for mental disability. In 2002, the Supreme Court established a national consensus against executing people with mental disabilities when it ruled in Atkins v. Virginia that “the mentally retarded should be categorically excluded from execution.” The court said that states must use professional standards to determine to whom this would apply. Why is Marvin Wilson being legally lynched? So why is Wilson’s execution being allowed to proceed by Texas state and federal courts, as well as by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit? After the 2002 decision, Texas developed its own standards for mentally disability, ignoring the specifications in the Atkins case. Rather than rely on scientific, clinical standards approved by the AAIDD, Texas uses seven criteria called “Briseño factors” that it devised on its own and that are not used by any other state. These nonclinical factors, which are named after another Texas death-row case, are supposed to prove whether a defendant presents a “level and degree of mental retardation at which a consensus of Texas citizens would agree that a person should be exempted from the death penalty.” The Nation reports, “As an example, the Briseño court cited the fictitious character of Lennie Small, the mentally impaired migrant worker from John Steinbeck’s novel, ‘Of Mice and Men.’ (‘Most Texas citizens might agree that Steinbeck’s Lennie should, by virtue of his lack of reasoning ability and adaptive skills, be exempt’ from execution, the court concluded.)” (Aug. 6) The AAIDD says that Texas’ “impressionistic ‘test’ directs fact-finders to use ‘factors’ that are based on false stereotypes about mental retardation that effectively exclude all but the most severely incapacitated.” (The Guardian [Britain], Aug. 5) According to Wilson’s lead attorney, University of Maryland law professor Lee Kovarsky, “They said that Marvin was not retarded because he was able to work construction and get married and have a child. They said he lied in his own self interest because he denied his own guilt. How far outside scientific consensus can you go?” (TheGrio.com, Aug. 1) Kovarsky wrote in an appeal presented to the Supreme Court that if Texas proceeds with Wilson’s scheduled execution, he “will own the grisly distinction” of becoming the lowest-IQ Texas prisoner put to death despite the Atkins v. Virginia ruling. How can Texas allow this execution to take place? According to a New York Times editorial, “The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in a 2004 ruling perversely read [the Atkins] directive to mean that the state could devise its own restricted test for retardation. It bluntly rejected the Supreme Court’s ‘categorical rule making such offenders ineligible for the death penalty.’ It defiantly refused to recognize ‘a “mental retardation” bright-line exemption’ even for those who ‘legitimately qualify’ as mentally retarded for other purposes.” (Aug. 3) The Times noted that the Texas court’s 2004 ruling has been the basis for the rejection of mental disability claims in at least 10 other death penalty cases.

Bulletin: The state of Texas legally lynched Marvin Wilson on the evening of Aug. 7.
“Apparently you have to be pretty dumb in Texas not to be considered normal,” Casey Davis, a 91-year-old member of the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement and long-time educator and school psychologist, told Workers World. Another activist, Joanne Gavin, said, “Texas should stop ALL executions. Minus that, it must not be allowed to [disregard] the law. The Supreme Court must step in or else its Atkins ruling is not worth the paper it is printed on.” According to reporter Ed Pilkington writing in the Guardian, Wilson’s case and the case of Warren Hill — whose execution in Georgia was called off barely 90 minutes before it was to occur last month — show that the Supreme Court has a growing problem on its hands as states act in “close to open defiance of the will of the highest judicial panel in the land in relation to the execution of people with learning difficulties.” (Aug. 5) Activists will be at Huntsville death row, where Wilson sits imprisoned, to press the Supreme Court for justice today. Since Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is responsible for 244 of Texas’ 483 executions, historically opts for cruel and unusual punishment, it is now up to the Supreme Court to determine if Wilson’s life will be spared.

Corporate-backed o cials seek to subvert referendum o
By Abayomi Azikiwe Editor, Pan-African News Wire A long-fought battle to place a referendum on the ballot to repeal Public Act 4 came closer to realization with a Michigan Supreme Court decision on Aug. 3. Backed up by American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees locals in Detroit, activists had collected more than 226,000 signatures in a petition drive to put the initiative before voters in November. Public Act 4, commonly known as the “dictator law,” is a union-busting, racist piece of legislation passed in 2011 by the Republican-dominated Michigan House and Senate. The law has resulted in the placement of emergency managers and consent agreements in the majority-African American cities of Benton Harbor, Inkster, Pontiac, Flint and Ecorse, and over the school districts in Highland Park, Detroit and Muskegon Heights. Through these consent agreements, the law eliminates the authority of locally elected officials to make basic decisions involving public lighting, economic development, educational policy, public transportation, public safety and other issues normally decided by municipal legislative councils and school boards. Public Act 4 has served as the legal basis for the evisceration of city services and the layoffs of thousands of educational workers and civil servants. Stand Up for Democracy, the main organizing force behind the petition drive, completed the campaign in February only to be delayed for 60 days by the state Board of Canvassers in Lansing, which deadlocked 2-2 in validating the petitions. The organization was forced to go to the state Court of Appeals to demand that the referendum be placed on the ballot because two members of the Board of Canvassers said that the font size on the petitions was incorrect. This argument was struck down by the appeals court. Conservatives then appealed to the state’s highest court, resulting in a narrow 4-3 decision in favor of Stand Up for Democracy. The validation of the petitions, which could come as early as the second week in August, will nullify Public Act 4 until the issue is decided by voters in November. Conservative o cials seek to revive old law Michigan has had an emergency financial manager law in place for many years under Public Act 72. Nonetheless, Public Act 72 did not have the sweeping powers encompassed in Public Act 4. Public Act 4 allows for the denial of workers’ collective bargaining rights and can result in the appointment of emergency managers who are allowed to disregard the decisions of local officials. Public Act 4 opponents are seeking to once again challenge in the courts the reappointment of the existing emergency managers under Public Act 72. In Detroit — which avoided the appointment of an emergency manager in April when the city council agreed to approve a financial stability agreement (FSA) — a new round of struggle has emerged over whether the FSA is valid in light of the Supreme Court decision. Two other legal challenges to the validity of Detroit’s FSA were dismissed by the courts. A challenge filed by Detroit Corporation Counsel Krystal Crittendon was immediately struck down in an Ingham County court. The judge said that the city’s top lawyer did not have the authority to legally challenge the issue since she was not supported by the corporatebacked Mayor Dave Bing. A challenge brought by three city employees was dismissed when the judge claimed there was no evidence that the FSA was illegal under the Detroit City Charter or that it was invalid, even though the state of Michigan owes Detroit hundreds of millions of dollars for a failed taxrevenue sharing plan and debts involving citations, water bills and land usage. Emergency management and capitalist crisis These laws are the response of the banks and corporations to the evolving capitalist economic crisis. According to the bank-driven Financial Review Team appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder, Detroit owes between $16 billion and $20 billion in long-term debt. In 2010 alone, the city of Detroit was forced to pay $590 million in debt service to the banks. City services are already in an abysmal state, with an antiquated public transportation system, a lack of public lighting, and pay and benefit cuts imposed on municipal and educational employees. The imposition of the FSA in Detroit is making things even worse. Recent actions by the mayor and city council will result in the elimination of city departments, the scaling down of the workforce by more than 2,500 civil servants and the implementation of the city employment terms that effectively throw out the tentative contract agreements between the unions and the administration. Attorney Jerome Goldberg, an organizer with the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shut-offs, said that with Public Act 4 suspended, “the section that removes a city from the duty to bargain under the Public Employees Relation Act after a consent agreement is entered cannot continue to stand. Since the Emergency Manager Act is no longer in effect, the city now is subject to PERA and must bargain with its unions. It will be interesting to see what the unions do now.” Nonetheless, Mayor Bing and other



August 16, 2012

Page 7

New York mobilizes for RNC & DNC protests
By Heather Cottin New York Representatives from the New York metropolitan region met on Aug. 1 to forge plans to demonstrate at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. The Coalition to March on the RNC (marchonthernc.com) will mobilize on Aug. 27 in Tampa, Fla. The March on Wall Street South (wallstsouth.org) will be held Sept. 2 in Charlotte, N.C., on the eve of the Democratic National Convention . Members of New York May 1 Coalition for Worker and Immigrant Rights, New Jersey’s Peoples’ Organization for Progress, the International Action Center, Honduran Resistance USA, CommunityLabor United for Postal Jobs & Services, the Bail Out the People Movement, Occupy 4 Jobs network, United National Antiwar Coalition and several people from the Occupy movement attended the meeting in order to organize to go to Tampa and Charlotte. Representatives from CommunityLabor United for Postal Jobs & Services vowed to go to both conventions. Though the Republicans began the campaign to privatize the post office, the Democratic administration has been complicit by not opposing it. CLUPJS is calling for caravans and contingents to “Save the Postal Service” at both protests. Jared Hamil, who called in to the meeting from Tampa, discussed plans for the protests against the Republican National Convention. The Coalition to March on the RNC, an alliance of more than 25 activist organizations across the country and in Florida, plans to mobilize thousands of activists to march in protest against the right-wing attacks on the 99%. The March on the RNC’s program calls for good jobs, health care, affordable education, equality and peace. They’re demanding the Republican Party end their assault on students, workers, women, immigrants and the poor. A contingent that had just returned to New York from Charlotte reported to the meeting. Victor Toro and Teresa Gutierrez of the May 1 Coalition spoke about immigrant rights at a meeting of Black Workers for Justice in North Carolina. Charlotte has become the Southern capital of capital. It is the headquarters of Bank of America and the eastern division of Wells Fargo. The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce boasts that the city has become a “a magnet for defense-related industries,” with local firms receiving $1 billion in defense contracts over the past three years. (charlottechamber.com). The fact that the DNC chose Charlotte signifies the Democratic Party’s allegiance to these financial institutions and the military industries that support them. The March on Wall Street South calls for a people’s agenda for jobs, health care, education, housing, against wars and incarceration, for an end to deportations of immigrants, for environmental justice, for workers rights, for women’s and LGBTQ liberation. The organizers of these events understand that both the Democratic and the Republican parties work in the interests of the capitalist class and that neither works for workers’ or justice or peace. Both organizing groups have struggled for and won permitted marches and protest sites. Contact the two coalitions to find or create a nearby organizing center.


hits the streets

March on Wall Street South organizers Tommy Cavanaugh, of the Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement; Ed Childs, chief steward of UNITE HERE Local 26 in Boston; and Antoine James, of Rainforest Action Network, hit the streets on Aug. 4, distributing leaflets and talking with neighborhood residents in Charlotte, N.C. Community outreach is ongoing daily there and across the country to mobilize for protest events Sept. 1-6 around the Democratic National Convention. MOWSS mobilizing meetings take place at the Charlotte Solidarity Center every Monday at 7 p.m. For more information and to help with organizing, contact 704266-0362, Twitter @WallStSouth or email info@wallstsouth.org; go to wallstsouth.org; or visit the Charlotte Solidarity Center, which is open weekdays from noon to 5 p.m., at 516 E. 15th St. — Story & photo by Bryan G. Pfeifer

Southern workers launch alliance to demand human rights
By Durham, N.C., WW Bureau On the opening day of the Democratic National Convention, Sept. 3, workers from throughout the South will hold a Southern Workers Assembly. They will gather to speak out about our vision for worker rights as human rights, and begin initial planning toward a rank-and-file-led workers movement in the South to realize those rights. An SWA press release states: “The mainstream U.S. and international media will flood the City of Charlotte to cover the DNC. They will hear politicians hovered over by highly paid lobbyists, who will talk about their visions for the American economy and a democratic society, but none will speak about the issues and denial of rights for workers throughout the South.“ The struggle of Charlotte city workers will be a core struggle represented at the assembly. Sanitation workers, water and sewer workers, bus drivers and many others that work for the city have been forced to work longer routes as the city has grown rapidly over the last 10 to 20 years, while the city work force has not grown at nearly the same rate. The Charlotte city workers chapter of UE150, the N.C. Public Service Workers Union, will be starting weekly pickets at City Hall on Monday, Aug. 6, to draw attention to their demands for a Municipal Workers Bill of Rights, which includes a payroll dues deduction. Even with a 9-2 Democratic Party majority, the dues deduction has continually been denied by the Charlotte City Council. Angaza Laughinghouse, president of statewide UE local 150, said: “In an economy that demands that the majority of the people work in order to provide the basic necessities for themselves and families, worker rights are human rights. Yet, despite a ruling by the International Labor Organization, an agency of the United Na-

on ‘dictator law’
proponents of the FSA say that the agreement is a contract between the city and the state. Bing has indicated that the ongoing austerity plans being enacted against the city and its residents will not change. Debt service moratorium needed The Moratorium NOW! Coalition, which participated on a principled basis in the petition drive and other actions against Public Act 4, has also called for the suspension of debt-service payments to the banks. It is the banks that are strangling the city through the usage of predatory lending practices. Since 2008, the Moratorium NOW! Coalition has pushed for a halt of foreclosures, evictions and utility shut-offs based on the ongoing and worsening economic crisis. The coalition believes that the current financial stability program is only designed to ensure that the banks get paid what they say is owed by the people of Detroit and other municipalities. Moratorium NOW! Coalition activists have organized demonstrations against some of the largest holders of municipal debt. JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are the top two beneficiaries of the municipal debt crisis through the collection of enormous amounts of public dollars that could go toward the restoration of municipal and educational services. WallStSouth.org ❚ MarchontheRNC.com

July 14 UE150 union meeting.


tions, that the U.S. and North Carolina are out of compliance with international laws and conventions, neither the Bush nor Obama administrations have taken action to bring the U.S. and North Carolina into compliance. The U.S. is obligated, by treaty, to enforce this international law.” The SWA will be held on Sept. 3 at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Charlotte, starting at 1 p.m. It will include workers speaking from the public and private sectors, and from sectors excluded from protections under the National Labor Relations Act or state laws. The SWA will generate some initial planning for a meeting to form a Southern Labor Alliance to unite local unions, worker organizations, worker centers and supporters in launching a campaign to organize a labor movement. “Since farmworkers are excluded from U.S. labor laws, we will be present at the SWA to build relationships and raise awareness about the abhorrent conditions in which most tobacco farmworkers live and work, as we continue to pressure Reynolds American and other tobacco giants to guarantee labor rights for the Southern

workers in their supply chain,” stated Justin Flores, organizer with the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO. The enslavement of African peoples set the basic philosophy and standard for the relationship between employer and workers in the South. In a nutshell, this meant that Southern workers had no rights that the employer was bound to respect. From the 1970s through the 2000s, the legacy of denying worker rights throughout the South has continued — from brutal corporate anti-union campaigns like those involving J.P. Stevens in North Carolina; the Charleston ILA in South Carolina; and Smithfield Foods in North Carolina, all of which included the beating and jailing of pro-union workers. Twenty-five industrial workers, who had no union, were killed at the Imperial Foods Company in Hamlet, N.C. The SWA is the continuation of a movement to challenge and end this anti-worker legacy. To learn more and see a list of endorsers, visit southernworker.org or contact Saladin Muhammad at 252-314-2363 or saladin@southernworker.org.

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August 16, 2012


Clinton’s Africa tour advances U.S. militarism, attacks on China
By Abayomi Azikiwe Editor, Pan-African News Wire Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton toured nine African countries over an 11-day period beginning Aug. 1. During the tour Washington’s top diplomat pushed U.S. militarism and verbally attacked the People’s Republic of China. Clinton’s visit comes just two weeks after a major Africa-China summit meeting in Beijing between 50 countries on the continent and Chinese government leaders. During the first stopover in the West African state of Senegal, which has been a close ally of the U.S., Clinton immediately launched into a tirade against China, implying that the White House is more concerned than China about the well-being and human rights of African people. This assertion comes as the Wall Street bankers and corporate chiefs are facing the worst economic crisis since the 1930s Great Depression. Consequently Africa and other developing regions of the world are looking for funding alternatives outside the Western capitalist states. The movement toward economic and political independence from the U.S. and other imperialist states derives from the clear observation that the capitalism system is in crisis. Even leading economists in the West predict no end in sight to the downturn. U.S. diplomatic officials not only must overlook the economic downturn in Europe and North America, but must also avoid the scrutiny of their involvement in centuries of slavery and colonialism in Africa. Therefore it seems absurd when Clinton said in Dakar, the Senegalese capital, that we “will stand up for democracy and universal human rights, even when it might be easier or more profitable to look the other way. Not every partner makes that choice, but we do and we will.” (News24.com, Aug. 5) This is the same U.S. government that overthrew the sovereign North African state of Libya last year and oversaw the assassination of Libya’s leader, Col. Moammar Gadhafi. As Clinton was touring Africa, U.S. drones were bombing areas in Somalia under the guise of fighting “terrorism.” China immediately responded to Clinton’s attacks: “Whether Clinton was ignorant of the facts on the ground or chose to disregard them, her implication that China has been extracting Africa’s wealth for itself it utterly wide of the truth. Her remarks betrayed an attempt to drive a wedge between China and Africa for the U.S.’s selfish gain.” (Xinhua, Aug. 2) Characterizing China’s relations with Africa, Xinhua noted, “China’s booming economic relations with Africa have stemmed both from their time-honored friendship and complementary needs of development. Its genuine respect of and support for African countries’ development paths are lauded and welcomed across the continent. The friendly and mutually beneficial interaction between China and Africa gives the lie to Clinton’s insinuation.” (Aug. 3) More militarism to ensure pro ts The more Washington can stifle growing partnerships and alliances between China and Africa the more domination U.S. imperialism will have over the economic and political direction of the continent. The U.S. Africa Command, known as AFRICOM, is designed to enhance the presence of the Pentagon and CIA in all regions of Africa. Clinton’s visits to Senegal, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Benin were in line with U.S. imperialism’s efforts to dominate the next phase of resource exploitation. New discoveries of oil and natural gas in West, East and Central Africa are estimated to be worth trillions of dollars in investments and trade. In South Sudan, Clinton urged the government to reach a deal with the Republic of Sudan to get oil flowing again. South Sudan is a close ally of Washington. The partition of oil-rich Sudan into two countries has provided an opening for the U.S. to reenter that country’s oil industry, which had been dominated by China. Throughout Central and East Africa, the U.S. has dispatched Special Forces units with the pretext that they are tracking down members of the Lord’s Resistance Army, which was formed in northern Uganda over two decades ago. There are plans to train an additional 2,000 African Union troops to pursue Washington’s policies within the region. In Uganda and Kenya, Clinton stressed the need for African states to maintain a military presence in Somalia. There thousands of regional troops from Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti, which the U.S. finances and trains, are attempting to prevent the collapse of the Transitional Federal Government. Somalia and its breakaway regions are now producing oil, and the potential for deeper capital penetration is enormous. Although the U.S. has backed Somalia’s TFG regime, even engineering Kenyan and Ethiopian invasions of the country during 2011, the security situation remains precarious. Al-Shabaab resistance fighters are still hitting back at U.S.-supported regional troops and the puppet governmental forces based in Mogadishu, the capital. An Aug. 4 Associated Press report pointed out, “The U.S. has killed al-Shabaab militants in special forces raids, offered $33 million in bounties for the capture of its leaders and supported the interim government, which this week passed a draft constitution despite suicide bombers’ attempts to blow up the venue where they met to vote.” The AP report noted that the Brookings Institution drew the link between corporate interests and the Pentagon: “There is increasing commercial interest in East Africa from the U.S., which sees its national security interests tied to security energy supplies.” The report went on: “U.S. oil and gas companies are increasingly taking on acreage in East Africa. Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp. paid $35 million to Africa Oil Corp. for stakes in two Kenyan prospects last month, while Anadarko Petroleum Corp., also based in Houston, has made the decade’s biggest gas discovery off Mozambique and has rights to explore off Kenya’s coast.” In Malawi, Clinton praised new President Joyce Banda for her commitment to economic reforms that make Malawi attractive to investors. Banda recently declined to hold the 54-member African Union Summit in Malawi because an African leader the U.S. considers an enemy, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan, was planning to attend. In South Africa, a business summit between corporate interests and U.S. capitalists took place in Sandton where governmental and business officials were seeking clarity on the continuing eligibility of Africa’s largest economy to participate in American Growth and Opportunity Act initiatives. AGOA proponents in the U.S. Congress are concerned about South Africa’s joining the BRICS states — Brazil, Russia, India and China — which have plans for economic relations outside Western dictates. Peter Draper, of the South African Institute of International Affairs, said of U.S.-South African business relations that “there have been rumblings over the years concerning whether South Africa should be part of AGOA. U.S. industrial and agricultural groups want certain products excluded, or South Africa totally out.” (BusinessDay [SA], Aug. 6) According to the same article, South African Ambassador to the U.S., Ebrahim Rasool, said that the “consequences for our companies and our country would be enormously unfavorable should the act and South Africa’s participation in it not be continued after 2015.” Rasool also said South Africa’s membership in BRICS was problematic and that “There is a feeling that South Africa, having joined BRICS, is in another league and does not qualify.” U.S. has limited options in Africa In light of the deepening economic crisis in the U.S. and the growing role of China in Africa, the Wall Street bosses and their government functionaries offer little in the way of new policy overtures for Africa outside militarism and disadvantageous business deals. Mass unemployment in countries such as South Africa illustrates the limitations of capitalist economic methods for even advanced postcolonial states. Military policy that places emphasis on the broader intervention of AFRICOM will only bring about more instability in Africa. The current situations in Libya, Mali, Sudan and Somalia are evidence of the futility of African states forming partnerships with the Pentagon, since inevitably the economic and humanitarian situations worsen. Africa must break with imperialism to place itself on a trajectory of genuine development and progress. Workers and farmers must be empowered to form governments based upon their own interests and not those of the imperialist states.

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August 16, 2012

Page 9

Syria defends itself against imperialist onslaught
By John Catalinotto The fighting in Syria is shaping up as a military showdown between the Syrian army on one side and “rebel” fighters openly backed by the U.S.-NATO imperialist powers, along with Israel, on the other. These “rebels” are being armed directly through NATO-member Turkey and the Qatari and Saudi Arabian monarchies. The Western imperialist powers have targeted the Syrian state for regime change because it is one of the few states in the region with some independence from the imperialists, because it is allied with Iran and with the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon, and because it has supported Palestinian self-determination. According to Gen. Wesley Clark, in his book, “Winning Modern Warfare,” every country in the Northwest Africa/Southwest Asia region with some measure of independence from imperialism has been on Washington’s hit list since September 2001: “beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.” This strategy has nothing to do with democracy or human rights or with the wishes of the Syrian people. It is aimed at imperialist conquest of the oil-rich region. The corporate media in the imperialist countries have waged an intense propaganda war against the Assad government since protests started in March 2011. They blamed the regime for massacres of civilians even where they knew there was conflicting evidence, as in the town of Houla. The media published opposition press releases as if these were facts. Despite the media’s overall anti-Assad bias, some reports are finally beginning to reveal the extent of U.S.-led Western intervention and the armed opposition’s crimes. U.S. role revealed Until now, the U.S. administration had played down its meddling in the Syrian fighting except in the diplomatic arena and especially in the United Nations. Republican militarists like Sen. John McCain have even criticized the U.S. policy as being too cautious and called for military intervention. This changed as August began. The following story was reported throughout the media: “President Barack Obama has signed a covert directive authorizing U.S. support for Syrian rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, U.S. officials told CNN on [Aug. 1]. The secret order, referred to as an intelligence ‘finding,’ allows for clandestine support by the CIA and other agencies.” (CNN, Aug. 1) “White House Press Secretary Jay Carney did not deny that the United States is helping the Syrian rebels,” said a Voice of America report on Aug. 2. Anyone closely following the events in Syria would have known of the U.S. role. Veteran Washington Post editorialist and executive, David Ignatius, who has a direct line to the CIA, had already revealed in his July 18 column, that “the CIA has been working with the Syrian opposition for several weeks under a non-lethal directive that allows the United States to evaluate groups and assist them with command and control. Scores of Israeli intelligence officers are also operating along Syria’s border, though they are keeping a low profile.” Ignatius undoubtedly was briefed by the CIA before writing these words. A veteran of 42 years with the CIA, Melvin Goodman, now with the Center for International Policy, has called Ignatius “the mainstream media’s apologist for the Central Intelligence Agency.” (The Public Record, July 16, 2009) The New York Times on Aug. 5 also spelled out the State Department and Pentagon’s plans for material and propaganda aid for the Syrian opposition: “The planning is being closely coordinated with regional allies like Turkey, Jordan and Israel, and it coincides with an expansion of overt and covert American and foreign assistance to Syria’s increasingly potent rebel fighters.” The Times notes that the “administration has authorized $25 million in direct assistance for medical supplies and communication equipment to help the fighters and civilian opponents of Mr. Assad coordinate their activities and, crucially, disseminate reports about the fighting to the rest of the world.” The administration denies supplying weapons, but in any case, the Times continues, “Other countries, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are providing weapons, assisted by a small number of officers from the Central Intelligence Agency who are vetting the fighters receiving them and working with State Department officials trying to unify the fighters with political leaders inside and outside the country.” The Times also reported in the same article that “the American ambassador to Syria, Robert S. Ford, who closed the embassy in Damascus in February — and is now based in Washington — met in Cairo last week with more than 250 Syrians to shape plans for the inchoate opposition groups to form a transitional government.” Ford was appointed ambassador in January 2011. He is a protégé of John Negroponte, who organized death squads in El Salvador during that country’s civil war. Ford was Ambassador Negroponte’s number two in Iraq in 2004-05, where he again organized terror squads, that time to tear apart Iraqi society and sow sectarian hatred in order to divide the Iraqi resistance. British imperialism is also involved. A British newspaper on July 22 reported: “The Daily Mail can reveal some rebels inside Damascus have been trained by former SAS [Special Air Service, a corps of the British army] soldiers working for teams of private security contractors from two companies based in the Middle East.” These reports clarify that the U.S. is coordinating its NATO and regional allies in an all-out attack on Syria much as it did on Libya in 2011. One difference is that Russia and China have so far resisted U.S.-NATO efforts to get a United Nations Security Council mandate for military intervention. In Libya, such a vote opened the door to a months-long NATO bombing campaign that eventually ground down the forces supporting Moammar Gadhafi’s legitimate Libyan government. After the George W. Bush administration’s negative experience sending in tens of thousands of U.S. troops to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon and the Obama administration appear to have shifted gears. They are minimizing ground forces even as they continue efforts to reconquer the former colonial countries. The ultimate version of this strategy is the drone war — using pilotless planes to hunt and kill. The Pentagon used this model based on air power in 1999 to destroy Yugoslavia and in 2011 in Libya. War and subversion in Libya put its oil and gas in the hands of the Western monopolies, with no casualties among imperialist troops. The downside is that instead of a stable puppet ruling Libya, NATO has left much of post-Gadhafi North Africa destabilized. In Syria, too, it is unlikely the imperialists will have complete control of the anti-Assad forces. However, they are going through with this strategy whatever the costs to the Syrian people. Al-Qaida-type forces in Aleppo In the fighting around the two major Syrian cities, Damascus and Aleppo, an ever-greater role is being played by al-Qaida-like groups of fighters. These include mercenaries from Afghanistan, Chechnya and Libya that even some anti-Assad fighters admit make up as much as 10 percent of the forces. One of these groups of mercenaries uploaded a video on Aug. 3 showing them executing people who supported the Assad government. The imperialists call these groups their “enemies” in the so-called war on terror, as they spread prejudice against all Muslims, persecuting them in the U.S. and Europe. However, by conspiring for “regime change” in Syria, the Western powers have created a situation where these al-Qaidalike forces can flourish. These groups get special treatment from the Saudi Arabian and Qatari funders and they are well armed. They grow in importance as the battle becomes more military than political. By spreading religious intolerance and even executing people who belong to a different sect, they spread fear throughout Syria. Washington has promoted these groups before. In Afghanistan starting in 1979, even before the Soviet Union intervened, the U.S. armed the al-Qaida-like groups through the Pakistani secret service. The U.S. called them “freedom fighters” and funded them through Saudi Arabia to fight first the progressive Afghan government and later the Soviet troops. Even after 9/11, the imperialist Cold-War strategist, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said it was well worth it to promote al-Qaida and the Taliban since that helped bring down the Soviet Union. The New York Times, however, worried aloud about the role of al-Qaidatype groups with the so-called Free Syrian Army in a July 30 article: “Syrians involved in the armed struggle say it is becoming more radicalized: homegrown Muslim jihadists, as well as small groups of fighters from Al Qaeda, are taking a more prominent role and demanding a say in running the resistance.” Syrians say there are 26 different religious groupings in the country. There are also Kurds and Iraqi and Palestinian refugees. All feel threatened by the foreign fighters, whether or not they support the government. The Palestinian neighborhood of Yarmuk in suburban Damascus already came under attack from opposition fighters, killing 15 Palestinians. (Prensa Latina, Aug. 3) The New York Times report on this assault implied that the government forces were responsible for the killing. Imperialists train leaders of SNC and FSA To get a handle on the fighters, the U.S. has focused on nurturing the external umbrella organization known as the Syrian National Council. They believe that this would allow them to marginalize the al-Qaida-type groups and to push aside whatever remains of popular organizations inside Syria. Many in these latter groups were oriented toward compromising with the Assad government to resolve the differences peacefully. Charlie Skelton’s article in the Guardian on July 12 showed how many of the leaders of the main opposition located outside Syria have been groomed, trained and built up by U.S. government agencies or imperialist think tanks. Here are three examples that are just the tip of the iceberg in Skelton’s article: Bassma Kodmani is head of foreign affairs and a member of the executive bureau of the Syrian National Council. She says, “No dialogue with the ruling regime is possible.” In 2005, Kodmani worked for the Ford Foundation in Cairo, where she was director of their governance and international co-operation program. In September, she became “the executive director of the Arab Reform Initiative — a research program initiated by the powerful U.S. lobby group, the Council on Foreign Relations.” Radwan Ziadeh, the SNC’s director of foreign relations, also gets lots of coverage in the corporate press. “Ziadeh has an impressive CV,” writes Skelton, “he’s a senior fellow at the federally funded Washington think tank, the U.S. Institute of Peace.” Ausuma Monajed, adviser to the SNC president, writing for Huffington Post UK, called for “direct military assistance” and “foreign military aid” to the SNC. Monajed is “the Founder and Director of Barada Television,” a pro-opposition satellite channel based in Vauxhall, South London. “In 2008, a few months after attending Syria In-Transition conference, Monajed was back in Washington, invited to lunch with George W Bush,” says Skelton. U.S. imperialism and the other NATO powers — that is, the former colonialist powers that still dominate the world — are on one side of the battle for Syria. At this point, the only contending force is the Syrian national army directed by the Assad government. For anti-imperialist and working-class forces, the only choice is to defend the Syrian government against imperialism.

The Lavender & Red series of articles by Leslie Feinberg, author of Stone Butch Blues, is now available online. workers.org/lavender-red. The Lavendar & Red Series includes:

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August 16, 2012



Expanding empire
ne should never believe the Pentagon when they are talking about the U.S. empire. Whether the catchword is “point of enduring containment” (a military megabase the size of a small city) or “lily pads” (small, secretive, inaccessible military facilities), the rationale and intent are the same: the active expansion of lethal U.S. military force all over the globe covered up by militaryspeak. These “lily pads” are a highly invasive, very dangerous aquatic weed, whose expansion is designed to facilitate a super frog’s ability to leap toward and consume its prey. Washington maintains the largest collection of foreign military bases in world history: more than 1,000 military installations outside the 50 states and Washington, D.C. They include everything from decades-old bases in Germany and Japan to brand-new drone bases in Ethiopia and the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. In Afghanistan, the U.S.-led international force still occupies more than 450 bases. In total, the U.S. military has some form of troop presence in approximately 150 foreign countries, not to mention 11 aircraft carrier task forces — essentially floating bases — and a significant and growing military presence in space. The U.S. currently spends an estimated $250 billion annually maintaining bases and troops overseas. In the early months of 2001, the Bush administration launched a major global offensive that’s continuing today with Obama’s “Asia pivot,” a realignment of strategic forces aimed towards China. Already, in Australia, U.S. Marines are settling into a shared base in Darwin. Elsewhere, the Pentagon is pursuing

U.S. social conditions create racist massacre of Sikhs
By Kris Hamel The terror of yet another mass killing struck in the heartland of the United States on Aug. 5, when alleged shooter Wade Michael Page opened fire in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisc. Oak Creek is a suburb of about 35,000, located 12 miles south of Milwaukee. Six people were killed and three were critically injured. According to eyewitnesses, a cop killed Page as he was shooting another police officer. The shooting spree started a little before 10:30 a.m., an hour before the worship service. Members of the temple had been arriving all morning. The children were in Sunday school, and women congregants were preparing a free luncheon as the gunfire erupted. The killings took place just 16 days after the massacre in Aurora, Colo., where alleged gunman James Holmes opened fire in a crowded movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring more than 50 others. The Sikh religion, which is not related to Islam, began about 500 years ago in the Punjab region of India and has more than 30 million adherents around the world. Although most Sikhs live in India, the diaspora includes the U.S., with an estimated 3,000 Sikh families residing in southeastern Wisconsin. In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Sikhs have been targets of violence by racists and anti-immigrant bigots who confuse them with Muslims — the racists’ intended victims — because of their traditional garb and head turbans. NBC News noted on Aug. 6 that some 700 cases of anti-Sikh violence have been reported in the U.S. since 2001. It is of utmost importance that all progressive forces, including labor unionists, community and political groups, and religious figures, show strong solidarity with the Sikh community and condemn this hateful attack. Killer: white supremacist, militarist In an Aug. 6 press release from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate and bias crimes and movements, Heidi Beirich and Mark Potok called Page a white supremacist and “frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band.” They stated: “Wade Michael Page was a member of two racist skinhead bands — End Apathy and Definite Hate, a band whose album ‘Violent Victory’ featured a gruesome drawing of a disembodied white arm punching a Black man in the face. In the drawing, the fist is tattooed with the letters ‘HFFH,’ the acronym for the phrase ‘Hammerskins Forever, Forever Hammerskins.’” The report noted, “The Hammerskins is a nationwide skinhead organization with regional factions and chapters that once dominated the racist skinhead movement in the United States.” The day after the shootings, the Pentagon confirmed that Page, 40, was a former “psychological operations specialist” in the U.S. Army, where he served from 1992 to 1998. He reportedly received basic training at Fort Sill, Okla., and then went to Fort Bliss in Texas. Fort Bragg, N.C., where Page’s military career ended, is home to Army airborne units and its Special Operations Command. The Pentagon says that he was a qualified parachutist, who received numerous commendation and achievement medals, as well as a National Defense Service Medal and a Humanitarian Service Medal. Page was “kicked out of the Army” because of a “drinking problem,” and had been arrested in several states for driving while intoxicated. NBC News reported FBI spokesperson Theresa Carlson’s statement: “No one else has been associated with the shooting.” Page’s shooting rampage is being investigated as a “possible act of domestic terrorism.” (Aug. 6) Earlier reports had indicated a possible second participant in the shootings. Behind the killing sprees It should be no surprise or mystery that within the U.S., especially in the current political climate, these racist, heinous shootings and killings by a neo-fascist former military operative have occurred. This murderous rampage, like the massacre in Colorado on July 20, has its roots in a society dominated by corporations and the Pentagon. The country is built on racism and genocide, and imbued with entitlement and white supremacist attitudes toward the majority of humankind. It is not in a vacuum that fascists, racist reactionaries and sociopaths feel emboldened to carry out such acts. The super-rich capitalist ruling class — what the Occupy movement dubbed the 1% — thrives on divide-and-conquer tactics meant to prevent the 99%, the vast majority of workers and oppressed peoples, from uniting to fight for human rights and dignity. This includes the right to a job or income at a living wage; free universal health care; quality, equal public education; a home for everyone; and an end to all forms of discrimination, national oppression, racism, sexism and anti-lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/ queer bigotry. In this era of low-wage capitalism and endless U.S. wars, which suck the lifeblood and money from every city and every social program, neo-fascist elements and ultra-reactionaries are emboldened to organize and strike. Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement organizer Bryan G. Pfeifer spoke to Workers World about the recent shooting in that state. In February 2011, the state erupted in an ongoing worker rebellion against the racist austerity and unionbusting program of Gov. Scott Walker. “The media is making the shooter out to be an individual acting in a rogue fashion, but that’s incorrect,” said Pfeifer. “This shooting takes place in a state that over the past few years has been known for virulently racist, anti-worker politicians — working for the 1% — and their reactionary actions. These include [U.S. Rep.] Jim Sensenbrenner’s sponsoring of anti-immigrant legislation in 2006; [U.S. Rep.] Paul Ryan’s and [U.S. Sen.] Ron Johnson’s attacks on Medicare and Medicaid; and all of Walker’s racist attacks, from Act 10 to voter ID rules to defunding Planned Parenthood and much more.” United ghtback needed Pfeifer explains, “Other situations have also contributed to the racist climate in Wisconsin. This includes the ongoing battles over public housing in New Berlin and the building of the new mosque in Brookfield, which was won due to a community fightback by Arab and Muslim people and their supporters. Of course, the police have continued their brutal, ongoing, myriad attacks, on behalf of the 1%, Continued on page 11


plans for a drone-and-surveillance base in Australia’s Cocos Islands and deployments to Brisbane and Perth. In Thailand, the Pentagon has negotiated rights for new Navy port visits and a “disasterrelief hub” at U-Tapao. In the Philippines, where mass protests evicted the U.S. from the massive Clark Air Base and Subic Bay Naval Base in the early 1990s, as many as 600 Special Forces troops have quietly been operating in the country’s south since January 2002. Elsewhere in Asia, the Pentagon has rebuilt a runway on tiny Tinian Island, near Guam. And Asia is just the beginning. In Africa, the Pentagon has quietly created about a dozen air bases for drones and surveillance since 2007. The military has created or will soon create installations in Djibouti, Burkina Faso, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritania, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, South Sudan and Uganda. The Pentagon has also investigated building bases in Algeria, Gabon, Ghana, Mali and Nigeria, among other places In Latin America, the Pentagon has created or upgraded new bases in Aruba and Curaçao, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador and Peru. In Europe, after invading the Balkans during their wars against Bosnia and Serbia, U.S. bases have moved eastward into some of the former socialist countries. The Pentagon is now developing installations capable of supporting brigade-sized deployments in Romania and Bulgaria, and missile defense base and aviation facilities in Poland. There is a name for these ominous developments: imperialism. It needs to be stopped.

First protest of Vietnam War
Continued from page 2 eign domination. YAWF recognized that this incredible heroism of a small country against the most powerful military machine on Earth reflected the determination to defend the profound social changes that their socialist revolution had brought to the liberated territory. Struggle for socialism Socialism is not merely a moral movement to change people’s way of thinking. It is at bottom a struggle of the working class, allied with all oppressed peoples, to break the stranglehold of the ruling class over the vast means of production that the workers have built but cannot own under capitalism. It is a global struggle because capitalism is global and moves from country to country in quest of greater profits — while restricting the movement of workers under reactionary immigration laws. Many youth were won over to the struggle for socialism in the 1960s. At that time, the capitalist government of the U.S. enacted many reforms — programs to alleviate poverty, an end to segregation — hoping to pursue its global ambitions without opposition at home. While it was a time of great struggle, the organized labor movement was largely absent, with a few notable exceptions. Today, the effects of capitalist globalization have come full circle, with workers in the U.S. being forced into competition with workers all over the globe. The tremendous technological development that has given U.S. imperialism such an edge in both the competition for markets and the projection of its military power has now resulted in an unending crisis of overproduction — too many goods for too few buyers — and long-term unemployment. Wages are being cut, benefits and social programs eliminated, and poverty is on the rise. The same is true in Europe and most of the globe. Moreover, while there is no longer a draft in the U.S., high unemployment provides a steady flow of “volunteers” to fuel the military machine, as the wars to recolonize the world continue under both Republicans and Democrats. Fifty years ago, we helped start a movement. Today, a new movement is being born out of all the struggles generated by this decaying, repressive society. As before, the youth — audacious, full of energy and love for the struggle — are in the forefront. But this time the multinational working class, which Marx called the “grave diggers” of capitalism, will be central to its outcome. Griswold, a founding member of Workers World Party and a leader in Youth Against War & Fascism, participated in the Aug. 2, 1962, protest.


August 16, 2012

Page 11

Beyond sports

The corporatization of the Olympics
By Monica Moorehead The summer Olympics began in 1896 in Athens, Greece, as a vehicle for bringing together mainly amateur athletes from around the world who qualified to compete in various sports. Excluding the cancellation of these games in 1916, 1940 and 1944 due to two World Wars, the summer Olympics have taken place every four years in industrialized cities in North America, Europe and Asia. In 2016, the XXXI Olympics will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — the first Latin American country to host the games. The XXX Olympics are taking place in London July 27- Aug. 11 with more than 10,000 athletes from 204 countries. The vast majority of these athletes will not reach the medal rounds. The largest delegations of athletes hail from the rich, capitalist countries: the United States, Australia, Germany, France, Canada, Japan, Italy, Russia and Great Britain, which includes athletes from Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Although China does not fit in the same category, it has more athletes than some of these capitalist countries due to having the world’s second-largest economy. Countries in Africa, Caribbean, the Middle East, the South Pacific islands and other parts of Asia have much smaller delegations — some that can be counted on one hand. The global reach of the Olympics is phenomenal due to the technological revolution in communications. These advancements have made it possible for more people than ever to view the 32 sports by either TV or the Internet. An estimated 1 billion people watched some portion of the opening Olympics ceremony on July 27, which is comparable to the Super Bowl. The International Olympic Committee is the public face of the Olympics. Currently there are 105 members of the IOC, including only 20 women. Less than half the members are former athletes. The Continued from page 10 against Milwaukee’s African-American community. “Workers and progressive people should ask how Page traveled all over the country for years distributing white supremacist material, singing about it in bands and joining groups to harass and threaten people of color, but was never stopped and questioned by the FBI. “Contrast that to the FBI’s mistreatment of Occupy Wall Street protesters, Muslim communities and international solidarity activists. The government agency has raided, harassed, arrested and indicted many of them.” Pfeifer stresses, “Last year Nazis announced their recruitment rally in West Allis, Wisc., on Sept. 3, but this was soundly defeated by 2,000 anti-racists who shut down their anti-worker, racist hate. Only a mass, united fightback movement against racism and fascism will stop these elements from engaging in violent, murderous acts of terror.” IOC oversees and funds the day-to-day work of the national Olympic committees in various countries. One of the main tasks of the IOC is to choose which cities will host the Olympics. Each choice is based on economic and political considerations. For instance, behind the decision for Rio de Janeiro to host the next Olympics is the fact that Brazil has the world’s sixth-largest economy, overtaking Great Britain, and the largest population in Latin America of people of African descent, second only to Africa. This impacts not only the U.S., but also other countries which cannot afford to broadcast the games. The internet is one of the main sources of watching live competitions, especially for the most popular sports like gymnastics and swimming. This monopoly has created a firestorm of protest via social media, especially when NBC banned any live viewing of the opening ceremony. Viewers were forced to watch a taped delay of the ceremony in primetime, which included a multitude of commercials and biased, U.S.-centric commentary from the likes of Bob Costas. Disparaging remarks were made by Powerful forces behind the Olympics Costas against countries like the DemoThe IOC’s income generates hundreds cratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran of millions of dollars due to corporate and Uganda. When the ceremony was sponsorships, especially the selling of repeated in the early morning of July 28, broadcast rights. In 2003, the National some portions were censored, including Broadcasting Corporation and all of its the Palestinian athletes carrying their flag TV and internet affiliates bought exclu- during the parade of nations. sive viewing rights to the 2010 winter NBC, owned by General Electric, reOlympics in Vancouver and the London ceives much of its revenue for airing Olympics for more than $2 billion. Once the Olympics from other corporations this deal was completed, the IOC relin- which want their ads seen by hundreds quished its right to any viewing control of of millions of viewers. The Olympics are the games. These rights mean that NBC a source of lucrative profits for Coca-Cola, determines when, what and how each Cadillac, Acer, Dow, McDonald’s, Samsport can be viewed. sung, Panasonic, Visa and many more. These same corporations search for athletes to sponsor, based on who makes the greatest social impact. For instance, after Gabby Douglas became the first African-American woman gymnast to win gold in the all-around competition, she immediately became the number-one focus of discussion on Twitter, rather than swimmer Michael Phelps. This was not lost on Kellogg’s, which immediately offered Douglas a $9 million to $10 million contract to put her face on the front of their cereal boxes to generate sales. Douglas’s mother is a single parent who declared bankruptcy to help finance her daughter’s training, which kept her away from home for more than two years. The hypocrisy of the corporations is that if they truly cared about Gabby Douglas, other athletes of color and workingclass athletes in general — instead of big profits — they would donate billions of dollars to building recreational and training facilities in urban and rural areas and make them accessible to all youth, similar to what China has done. Maybe that’s why China won more gold medals than the U.S. the first week of the games and is leading by one as of Aug. 6.

The power of Gabby Douglas
By Dave Zirin Excerpts taken from Aug. 2 Edge of Sports column at edgeofsports.com. There are two kinds of political athletes. The first, and most memorable, are athletes who engage in the explicit politics of protest. This tradition is marked by Muhammad Ali saying, “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong.” It’s Billie Jean King marching for Title IX. It’s Curt Flood saying he refused to be a “well paid slave.” It’s John Carlos and Tommie Smith raising their fists in the name of civil and human rights. But then there is a different kind of athletic politics: the politics of representation. That’s Jackie Robinson the moment he took the field to break baseball’s color line. That’s Compton’s Serena and Venus Williams dominating their country club sport. Whether or not these athletes embraced the burden, they carried the aspirations and expectations of countless others. We can now add Gabby Douglas to their ranks. The 16-year-old from Virginia Beach is now the first African-American woman as well as the first person of color to win gold in the gymnastics individual all-around competition. She is also the first U.S. gymnast in history to win both individual and team gold at the same Olympics. Douglas’s journey is as unique as her triumph: one marked by having to navigate the racial segregation that defines so much of the United States. At 14, Douglas left her mother, three siblings and working-class Virginia Beach community to move to West Des Moines, Iowa, so she could train with renowned Chinese coach Liang Chow. In Iowa, Douglas lived with a host family of strangers in a nearly all-white community and thought she might be the only black person in the state. In the very white world of gymnastics, Douglas also stood out. At most meets she would be the only person of color performing. Douglas was home-schooled in Des Moines by her host family, adding to this sense of isolation.

& the Black Freedom Struggle
Available at Amazon.com and other bookstores around the country An anthology of writings from Workers World newspaper edited by Monica Moorehead.

Homesickness meant crying herself to sleep and calling her mother in Virginia Beach, floating the idea of coming home. But Douglas was indomitable and developed a reputation for the ability to actually seem like she was flying on the uneven bars, earning the rather unfortunate nickname “The Flying Squirrel.” She also had a reputation as someone with potential, but a cut beneath the best gymnasts in the world. Douglas, however, wouldn’t be discouraged. Her sense of comfort and confidence is visible in her smile, which is as striking as one of her dismounts. Anyone watching women’s gymnastics sees that many of the contestants look like hostages to screaming parents, rage-aholic coaches and their own unhappiness. Gabby Douglas actually looks happy to be there and through force of personality is congenitally unable to be invisible. This also has political repercussions, powerful enough that the largely sheltered 16-year-

old seems to sense what she could mean. As she said to the New York Times in June, “I have an advantage because I’m the underdog and I’m black and no one thinks I’d ever win. Well, I’m going to inspire so many people. Everybody will be talking about, how did she come up so fast? But I’m ready to shine.” Shine she did. Dominique Dawes, the great AfricanAmerican gymnast who won team gold in 1996, told USA Today’s Christine Brennan, “I am so anxious for her to win. I know it will have an enormous impact on encouraging African-Americans and other minorities to go into the sport of gymnastics.” This is certainly possible. But far more important is the impact Gabby Douglas could have in making people not feel defeated by racism, segregation or even something as simple as loneliness. This is no one’s Flying Squirrel. With apologies to Paul Pierce, Gabby Douglas is “the Truth.”

Correspondencia sobre artículos en Workers World/Mundo Obrero pueden ser enviadas a: WW-MundoObrero@workers.org ¡Proletarios y oprimidos de todos los paises unios!

Todos y todas a marchar en Wall Street South
En medio de la crisis más profunda del sistema capitalista en décadas, de la intensificación de crisis sociales en el país y de las amenazas de expansión de las guerras imperialistas en el extranjero, las personas pobres y trabajadoras, los/as trabajadores/as desempleados/as y subempleados/as, y oprimidos/as se están preparando para marchar en Wall Street del Sur antes y durante la Convención Nacional Demócrata a partir del 1-6 de septiembre en Charlotte, Carolina del Norte. La Coalición para Marchar en Wall Street South está compuesta por organizaciones del sur y de otras partes de Estados Unidos que representan a diferentes sectores, incluyendo al sindical, al movimiento Ocupar, inmigrantes, jóvenes y estudiantes, mujeres, comunidades LGBTQ, medio ambiente, antiguerra y otros. La coalición está organizando un evento importante que comenzará a las 11 am el domingo 2 de septiembre, en el Parque Frazier en Charlotte. La manifestación presentará un programa popular para lograr puestos de trabajo, educación, salud y vivienda y contra el racismo, las redadas y deportaciones y las guerras y prisiones. Es un desafío directo a los bancos por su papel central en la conducción de la crisis económica y a los dos partidos políticos burgueses, cuyo trabajo es mantener el capitalismo sirviendo y protegiendo los intereses de los bancos y del 1%. Las organizaciones de la Coalición también están planeando otras acciones. El 1 de septiembre el Festivaliberación/Liberation Fest, un festival político, contará con talleres, micrófono abierto, debates y poesía, culminando con un gran concierto en la noche. El evento está siendo organizado por la juventud local y nacional, estudiantes y activistas pro inmigrantes. La Asamblea de Trabajadores/as del Sur se reunirá en la tarde del Día del Trabajo, el 3 de septiembre, reuniendo a trabajadores/as del sur para desafiar las leyes “right-to-work” (“derecho al trabajo”) (por menos) [N.T.: “Right-to-work” es una ley que básicamente prohíbe el sindicalismo] y la Taft-Hartley [N.T.: Esta ley restringe las actividades de los sindicatos, en particular las huelgas y hace firmar al/la empleado/a un afidávit juramentando que no es comunista]. También desafiarán la imposición de bajos salarios, la negación de la negociación colectiva y de los derechos humanos de los/as trabajadores/as. Estos puntos están relacionados con reclamos históricos en contra de la persecución de los/as inmigrantes, el racismo y el legado del sur de las leyes de segregación racial como la Jim Crow. La ATS busca formar una alianza permanente para construir una organización obrera independiente para atraer más recursos sindicales y más atención hacia el sur. Muchas otras acciones se llevarán a cabo durante toda la semana, durante la reunión de la CND en Charlotte. el noreste del país, del sureste con antecedentes esclavistas]. El sur fue construido sobre una base de racismo y opresión nacional, y esa base aún sigue vigente hoy. El cincuenta y cinco por ciento de la población negra en Estados Unidos vive en el sur, junto a muchas comunidades emergentes de inmigrantes. Desde Alabama hasta Georgia y Carolina del Norte, jóvenes indocumentados/as han liderado increíbles y audaces acciones por el acceso a la educación y contra las redadas, las deportaciones y las leyes anti-inmigrante del ICE (Depto de Inmigración y Aduanas, la antiguamente llamada Migra). Aunque todos los estados del sur del país tienen leyes “right-to-work” en los libros, Carolina del Norte y Virginia son los dos únicos estados en el país donde es ilegal que los/as trabajadores/as del sector público negocien colectivamente. Esto ha contribuido a que el estado de Carolina del Norte sea el estado con la menor afiliación sindical en los Estados Unidos. La ciudad de Charlotte tiene el segundo centro financiero más grande en los Estados Unidos, luego de Wall Street en Nueva York. La sede mundial del Bank Importancia del Sur of America está en Charlotte, junto a El Sur ha sido durante mucho tiempo la sede del Wells Fargo en la costa este. una región vital para el capitalismo glob- Duke Energy, que se convirtió en la mayor al. Pero ahora, más que nunca, la clase empresa de servicios públicos en Estados dominante está buscando a la región Unidos tras su fusión con Progress Enerpara extraer súper ganancias de la clase gy, también tiene su sede allí. La Chiquita trabajadora y la ve como una parte clave Banana, conocida por su responsabilidad de la reestructuración global del capital- en el financiamiento de paramilitares de ismo. La inversión de capital extranjero extrema derecha y masacres por toda en el Sur se ha incrementado sustancial- América Latina, recientemente recibió $2 mente durante la última década y muchos millones a manos de Charlotte después de sectores industriales críticos se están que trasladara allí su sede mundial. trasladando a los estados por debajo de la Estos son sólo algunos ejemplos del línea Mason-Dixon [N.T.: línea que divide gran número de bancos, corporaciones e instituciones financieras que hacen de Charlotte el “Wall Street del Sur”. Lucha contra el racismo para construir la unidad El racismo es una herramienta que el 1% y los patronos utilizan para mantener dividida a la clase obrera. Ellos saben que si nos unimos a través de las líneas de raza, género, sexualidad, estatus migratorio, edad, capacidad, etc., su posición dominante estaría en problemas. La represión estatal y la brutalidad policial caen con más fuerza sobre las personas de color. El 2 de julio, la policía de Charlotte disparó, matando a Michael Laney, un joven negro. Está garantizado que las fuerzas reaccionarias y derechistas provocarán un frenesí racista en el período previo a las elecciones presidenciales. Es una de las tareas más importantes de los/as participantes en la marcha de Wall Street South y otras acciones durante la CND, el tomar una posición firme contra el racismo y por la unidad. Esto es particularmente importante dada la historia de los estados sureños. Mientras levantamos la bandera contra el racismo, también debemos seguir construyendo el poder popular desde abajo, para desafiar el dominio de los bancos y del 1%. Este poder popular debe ser independiente de los dos partidos de Wall Street, que dependen de la guerra y de las dolorosas medidas de austeridad. Debemos seguir exigiendo y luchando por un mundo donde la inmensa riqueza de la sociedad, creada por el trabajo de los/as obreros/as, se utilice para las necesidades del pueblo, no para llenar los bolsillos de los banqueros y para financiar guerras que saquean al globo. Debemos exigir y luchar por un mundo donde el 99% sea el conductor de la sociedad.

Un millón de trabajadores/as españoles/as lucha contra recortes
Por Caleb T. Maupin El desempleo es una característica intrínseca del sistema capitalista. Impulsados por un desempleo masivo y el nuevo programa de austeridad del gobierno, más de 1 millón de trabajadores/as protestaron en 80 ciudades por todo el estado español el 19 de julio. Hasta economistas derechistas como Milton Friedman hablan de una “tasa de desempleo natural” durante los tiempos de bonanza económica. Bajo el capitalismo, los/as trabajadores/as son contratados/as sólo si su fuerza de trabajo se puede transformar en ganancias. El desempleo mantiene los salarios bajos y las ganancias altas. Durante las crisis capitalistas, el desempleo aumenta. Teniendo un ejército de desempleados/as se impulsa la disminución de los salarios de los/as trabajadores/as empleados/as por la creciente competencia para los pocos puestos de trabajo. La sociedad se deteriora cuando una mayor cantidad de la fuerza de trabajo humana permanece inactiva. Los/ as trabajadores/as desempleados/as sufren, tratando desesperadamente de encontrar alojamiento, alimentación y otros derechos humanos básicos. En España, el 24,6 por ciento de la fuerza laboral está desempleada. El gobierno está en medio de una “crisis de la deuda” y está recortando los servicios sociales. El 11 de julio, el primer ministro de España, Mariano Rajoy, anunció a la Asamblea Nacional que el gobierno recortaría los beneficios por desempleo. Una diputada parlamentaria, Andrea Fabra, miembro del partido de Rajoy, se hizo eco de este ataque a los/as trabajadores/as desempleados/as, gritando después del anuncio de Rajoy, ¡”Que se jodan”! Su infamante explosión fue grabada en video, causado rabia en millones de españoles/as. La clase trabajadora española está luchando. Los mineros de Asturias han estado en huelga durante varios meses y se han defendido contra los ataques de la policía con lanzadores de proyectiles artesanales. Una delegación de los mineros de Asturias marchó a Madrid a principios de julio y fue recibida por una enorme manifestación de simpatizantes. En respuesta a los recortes de salario y bonos de los/as empleados/as del sector público, las oficinas del gobernante Partido Popular se han convertido en objetivo de las manifestaciones e interrupciones casi diarias. La consigna común es: ¡”Manos arriba, Esto es un robo”! Los Indignados, un movimiento de la juventud española que inspiró Ocupar Wall Street, se han unido con el movimiento sindical, los/as desempleados/ as, y otros sectores de la sociedad en esta oleada masiva de manifestaciones. Por el momento, las protestas en España se enfocan principalmente en los ultrajes cometidos por el gobernante Partido Popular de centro derecha. Sin embargo, el desempleo masivo no es algo que ningún partido capitalista o socialdemócrata es capaz de resolver. Las encuestas muestran que los/as trabajadores/as de España también se están haciendo críticos del Partido Socialista Obrero Español, el cual también ha presidido sobre austeridad. La brutalidad policial está en pleno vigor. Las balas de goma han volado sin pausa en estas manifestaciones, y con frecuencia se han lanzado bombas de humo para confundir y dividir a las multitudes. Es una contradicción interesante que un pequeño número de policías y algunos bomberos, quienes son todos empleados públicos, se hayan unido a las protestas por los recortes a sus propios salarios. Miles de manifestantes desempleados/ as llegaron a Madrid en marchas masivas desde otras partes del país para unirse a la manifestación del 19 de julio. Como los/ as estudiantes canadienses en huelga, golpeaban cacerolas y sartenes y hacían todo cuanto podían para llamar la atención de las personas por donde pasaban en estos largos viajes hacia la ciudad capital. Mientras se desenvuelve la crisis global del capitalismo, los/as trabajadores/as de España están dejando claro que no permitirán que el gobierno español les “joda”. Su lucha y su resistencia muestra el potencial no sólo para su propia defensa, sino para que todo el sistema opresivo se “des-enjoda”.

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