Huelga de hambre en Colombia No necesitamos superhéroes


Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite!


August 23, 2012

Vol. 54, No. 33


Romney picks Ryan

Wall St. wants class war
How the 99% can ght back
By Deirdre Griswold Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate leaves no doubt where Wall Street stands. Literally. The Wall Street Journal endorsed Ryan editorially on Aug. 9. Two days later, Romney made his announcement. There’s no doubt that Ryan’s promotion signals a further push to the right by the financial and industrial .001 percenters whom the political establishment serves. Ryan has a plan for the budget that is dear to Wall Street’s heart: Cut, cut, cut all needed social programs, including entitlements that tens of millions of people rely on like Medicare and Social Security. It is all so that the Treasury Department can keep paying the financiers the interest on the crushing national debt and keep funding wars of conquest abroad and cops and prisons at home. And don’t forget: This monstrous warfare state — as large as the rest of the world’s war machines combined — is what generated most of this debt in the first place. The question for workers and all oppressed people is what to do about this? Remain captive to the capitalist two-party system and hope for salvation at the ballot box? Or take the fight to an infinitely more level playing field: the factories, offices, supermarkets, streets, hospitals, schools and communities that are being devastated, where the workers make up the vast majority? The capitalists learned a lesson from Wisconsin, Ryan’s state. When the governor there launched a frontal assault on the labor movement, the workers responded with a militant mobilization that led to weeks of occupying the State Capitol. It was a highpoint in recent U.S. labor history. But once that confrontation was dissipated into a recall campaign, the bosses came out on top. The WalkerRyan style of hitting the workers head-on looked more promising to the ruling class as a whole. Let’s look for a minute at Europe, where the same rightward political swing, fueled by the worst global capitalist economic crisis since the Great Depression, has brought the class struggle out into the open again. This crisis has put the workers on the defensive everywhere. Nowhere, however, are there workers’ parties strong enough to wrest power from the ruling class. But this hasn’t stopped the Greek, Portuguese and Spanish workers, joined by many in the middle class, from going into the streets to fight the austerity plans being imposed on their governments by the big European banks. In Greece, after tremendous and militant worker-led demonstrations, a somewhat left-wing attempt at winning parliament by the Syriza electoral party fell short, after temporarily drawing some of the energy of the masses into the elections. Nevertheless, the European bankers, led by the Germans, thought better of their tactics and softened the blow slightly to keep the Greek government from collapsing under the weight of debt accumulated by previous bourgeois regimes. What are the bankers afraid of? The potential that the furnace of class struggle, stoked by the miseries of unemployment and hunger, will bring revolutionary leadership to the fore as the masses learn there is no other way out of this crisis. What the working class here is going through has not yet reached the level of struggle in southern and eastern Europe — although many people here have long endured great hardships, especially given the economic disparity caused by the historical oppression of African Americans, Native and Latino/a people. But the direction here is plain to see. Poverty is rising, jobs remain stagnant while wages and benefits are cut, and big layoffs are on the horizon as government at all levels is cut back. More is to come, and the Ryan pick is just a confirmation of that. Wall Street has a plan, which is to push all the ill effects of their crisis on the backs of the working class. The relatively liberal capitalists and their politicians, on the other hand, have no plan of their own. The Democratic Party leadership has carried out the wishes of Wall Street ever since the crisis began in 2008-2009. The difference is that they have turned over trillions of dollars to the bankers and begun to cut social programs with a moan instead of a shout of triumph. Continued on page 11


Behind the trial of Gu Kailai


NBC distorts 1983 Grenada What’s it worth? Media, Britain & China
10 11


Prison-Industrial Complex Tinley Park Five Cops gun down youth
2 3


March on Wall Street South


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United Electrical city workers and their supporters picket Aug. 13 in Charlotte, N.C.


Class Struggle In HONDURAS


GM Workers Hunger Strike in COLOMBIA



Page 2

August 23, 2012


Black August honors legacy of resistance and struggle
By Abayomi Azikiwe Editor, Pan-African News Wire This year is the 33rd anniversary of Black August, the annual commemoration of the liberation struggle of African people inside the United States. The month of celebration and reflection was initiated by political prisoners, many of whom were members of the Black Panther Party and the Republic of New Africa, two of the main revolutionary organizations that emerged during the late 1960s. One of the most widely spread falsehoods both inside and outside the U.S. George L. Jackson, whom is that there are no political prisoners. prison guards gunned Yet there are untold numbers of people down several weeks High tide of Black resistance behind bars who were targeted, prose- prior to the Attica Rebellion, became a symbol of cuted and railroaded due to their politiIn 1955, the African-American Civil the revolutionary mood cal beliefs and activities. Rights movement took on a mass character The movement for African liberation among African-American with the Montgomery Bus Boycott led by prisoners in the U.S. has been criminalized since the days of Rosa Parks, E. D. Nixon and Dr. Martin Luslavery. Prisons were built during the ther King Jr. The boycott was sparked by the antebellum period for enslaved Africans who tried to es- arrest and prosecution of Parks for violating Alabama’s cape from bondage. segregation laws. After the failure of Reconstruction, African Americans By 1960, African-American students took the lead in were subjected to arbitrary incarceration, lynching and the movement when hundreds were arrested in sit-ins forced exile from their places of birth. An entire penal and other mass protests throughout the South. Dr. King code was established in Southern and Northern states and other Civil Rights leaders were frequently beaten designed to control the movement and political actions and arrested, while Southern segregationists fired peoof the former enslaved population. ple from their jobs, put them off their farms, as well as bombed homes and murdered activists. Black communists take lead during Great Depression With the advent of armed self-defense, as exempliIn the 1920s, the Honorable Marcus Garvey, whose fied by people such as Robert F. Williams of the Monroe, date of birth, Aug. 17, 1887, falls within the month of N.C., NAACP and the Deacons for Defense in Louisiana, Black August, was framed on spurious charges, impris- a new phase of the struggle emerged. Later urban rebeloned and later deported from the U.S. in 1927. Garvey lions would sweep areas throughout the U.S., and armed had built the largest mass organization of African people revolutionary organizations emerged. up until then. Another wave of repression took hold during the midDuring the Great Depression of the 1930s, African- to-late-1960s resulting in the assassinations of Malcolm American communists took the lead in forming Unem- X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Fred Hampton, Mark Clark ployed Councils that fought for jobs and against evic- and many others. Hundreds of the leading organizers in tions. These efforts were met with widespread repression, the Black Panther Party and the Republic of New Africa including arrests and even political assassination. were arrested and imprisoned for their political beliefs. In his book entitled “Black Bolshevik: AutobiograBy the early 1970s, the struggle inside the prisons was phy of an Afro-American Communist,” Harry Haywood accelerating. Rebellions erupted in numerous correcnoted that in Chicago the “police force undoubtedly held tional facilities throughout the country, the most notable the record for terror and lawlessness against workers. being the Attica uprising of September 1971. They were unsurpassed for sadism and brutality, reguGeorge L. Jackson, whom prison guards gunned down larly raiding the halls and offices of the Unemployed several weeks prior to the Attica Rebellion, became a Councils, revolutionary organizations and the [Commu- symbol of the revolutionary mood among African-Amernist Party USA] — smashing furniture, beating workers ican prisoners in the U.S. Assata Shakur, of the Black in the halls, on the streets and in the precinct stations. Liberation Army, was arrested in 1973 along with SunHundreds were arrested.” diata Acoli in New Jersey. Haywood continues: “In 1930, the police murdered Shakur was liberated by her BLA comrades and memLee Mason, a Black communist candidate for Congress. bers of the Weather Underground on Nov. 3, 1979. She Harold Williams, a Party organizer in the Southside and has been living in revolutionary Cuba for over three dean old schoolmate of mine from Moscow, was viciously cades and remains committed to the struggle against nabeaten. Although hospitalized, he never fully recovered tional oppression and capitalism. and died a few years later in New York.” In the aftermath of World War II, the Smith Act, first Prison-industrial complex & national oppression passed in 1940, established criminal penalties for advocatDespite the claims by the ruling class that the Civil ing the overthrow of the U.S. government, which was used Rights laws of the 1950s and 1960s created a post-racial against members of the CPUSA and to repress all leftists. Continued on page 3
National O ce 55 W. 17 St., 5th Fl. New York, NY 10011 212.627.2994 wwp@workers.org Atlanta P.O. Box 5565 Atlanta, GA 30307 404.627.0185 atlanta@workers.org Baltimore c/o Solidarity Center 2011 N. Charles St. Baltimore, MD 21218 443.909.8964 baltimore@workers.org Boston If you would like to 284 Amory St. know more about WWP, Boston, MA 02130 or to join us in these 617.522.6626 Fax 617.983.3836 struggles, contact the boston@workers.org branch nearest you. Workers World Party (WWP) ghts for socialism and engages in struggles on all the issues that face the working class & oppressed peoples — Black & white, Latino/a, Asian, Arab and Native peoples, women & men, young & old, lesbian, gay, bi, straight, trans, disabled, working, unemployed, undocumented & students.


this week ...

Several leading African-American leftists and communists, such as Henry Winston, attorney George Crockett Jr., Dr. William Alphaeus Hunton, Claudia Jones and W. E. B. DuBois, were prosecuted. All of them except DuBois served time in prison. Claudia Jones, perhaps one of the most prolific writers and theoreticians of the communist movement between the 1930s and 1960s, was sentenced under the Smith Act in 1953 and was imprisoned in 1955 in the infamous Alderson Federal Prison for Women in West Virginia. As a result of the horrible conditions there, her health deteriorated, and she was released and deported to England where she continued organizing activities until her death in 1965.

 In the U.S.
Romney-Ryan ticket means Wall St. wants class war . . . . . . 1 Black August honors legacy of resistance and struggle . . . 2 Houston janitors take on the 1% — and win!. . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Victor Ortega’s family: ‘We call it homicide’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Solidarity with the ‘Tinley Park Five’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 ‘Support disabled liberation’. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 ‘Dreamer’ activists detail abuse in private prisons . . . . . . . . 5 No light at end of economic tunnel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Tale of the golden hoard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 ‘Marxist School of Theory & Struggle’ opens in N.C. . . . . . . 6 Textile workers built unions, led strikes, fought racism. . . . 6 Why it’s important to organize the South . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Conference plans for March on Wall Street South. . . . . . . . . 7 LGBTQ movement organizes for Charlotte protests. . . . . . . 7 SEIU protests layo s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

 Around the world
The Gu Kailai trial & the struggle in China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Honduran Resistance declares ght for socialism. . . . . . . . . 9 GM workers sew lips shut outside U.S. Embassy . . . . . . . . . . 9 NBC distorts truth about 1983 U.S. invasion of Grenada . 10 How much are the Olympics worth? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 China, Britain, the Olympics and capitalist media. . . . . . . . 11

 Editorials
Stop U.S. machinations in the Middle East! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

 Noticias En Español
Huelga de hambre en Colombia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 No necesitamos superhéroes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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 23, 2012

Page 3

Houston janitors take on the 1% — and win!
By Gloria Rubac Houston After a hot summer of mass demonstrations, civil disobedience, rallies, almost 70 arrests, prayer vigils and marches, Houston janitors — who had been without a contract since May 31 and went on strike in July — won double what the contractors had initially offered and kept the benefits that had been threatened. The deal was reached with most of Houston’s major cleaning contractors, but union officials are still negotiating with one final contractor. On Aug. 11, the janitors, represented by Service Employees Local 1, unanimously approved a new contract and celebrated a historic victory. Initially, the cleaning contractors offered the workers, who are among the lowest paid in the country, only a measly 50-cents-per-hour wage increase, the same increase now being offered janitors in San Francisco who are threatening to strike. According to the union, the new contract will raise wages 12 percent over the next four years. (seiu.org, Aug. 10) Houston janitors have been organized only since 2006, after waging a strong four-week, rare-for-Houston strike for union recognition. Before this, the 5,000 unorganized office janitors in Houston earned only $20 a day and had absolutely no benefits. In 2006, their pay doubled and they gained access to affordable health care. In the U.S., 11.8 percent of wage and salary workers were members of a union in 2011, but union members were only 5.4 percent of the work force in Texas. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Texas had about one-fourth as many union members as New York in 2011, despite having 2.3 million more wage and salary employees. A struggle of rich versus poor The cleaning contractors represented Exxon Mobil, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Shell Oil, some of the richest entities in the U.S., but wanted to give janitors only 50 cents over five years. According to Forbes magazine, for the last two years Houston has enjoyed more growth in the number of “High Net Worth Individuals” — people with at least $1 million in investable assets (primary homes don’t count) — than any other U.S. city. The SEIU says the inequality is clear in Houston, where residential segregation by income is the worst in the country. In Texas, the U.S. Department of Labor reported, more than half a million workers make only minimum wage or less, tying Texas with Mississippi for the highest proportion of minimum wage jobs in the country. Local and national support for the janitors was crucial to their victory. It ranged from the mayor of Houston to Occupy Houston activists, U.S. House representatives to Houston religious leaders and the NAACP. The Houston Chronicle editorialized support for the janitors. After the janitors voted in favor of the new contract, Adrianna Vasquez, a bargaining committee member and janitor who works at Chase Tower, said: “Today we proved that when workers join together, we have strength. This is a huge victory for janitors and so many workers. With this new contract, our families can live a little better.”

Victor Ortega’s family: ‘We call it homicide’
By Carl Muhammad San Diego The family of Victor Ortega wants answers. On June 4, San Diego Police Department Officer Jonathan McCarthy shot Ortega in the back of the head while he was lying face down on the ground. McCarthy admits he shot Ortega because he was “tired.” A lieutenant with the SDPD also admitted that, at the time of the shooting, Ortega had one hand cuffed behind his back. “The officers’ actions were done with a willful and conscious disregard for the rights and safety of Victor Ortega,” said Donzella Campbell, Ortega’s motherin-law, who read from a prepared statement. “Victor was not treated like a human being.” On Aug. 6, the family organized a daylong protest that started at 8 a.m. at the Hall of Justice downtown. More than 30
Ortega family in front of police headquarters.

family members and friends rallied outside before marching 14 blocks to police headquarters. They were carrying signs that read, “Victor did not have a gun” and “Don’t believe the SDPD cover-up.” They also chanted, “They call it justified! We call it homicide!” and “SDPD, ‘Are you kidding me?’” The latter chanted question is what witnesses heard Ortega say to the overly aggressive officer as he

The protesters then marched back to the Hall of Justice and rallied until 5 p.m. An hour later, the family, along with activists, rallied in front of a police storefront in the northern San Diego community of Mira Mesa, where Ortega was killed. The crowd of more than 50 protesters then PHOTO: CARL MUHAMMAD marched to the scene of the crime was lying on the ground. Family members and held a candlelight vigil. Family memattempted to enter police headquarters to bers talked about Ortega’s love for his demand answers but they were halted by wife and kids, his sense of humor and the plans he had for the future. security.

Solidarity with the
By Thomas J. Michalak Detroit The Detroit branch of Workers World Party held a public forum Aug. 4 on fighting fascism. The speakers included Abayomi Azikiwe, a WW contributing editor, who spoke on the history of fascism and racism in the United States. This writer did a short talk on WWP’s history of fighting fascism, whether it comes from the Klan, the American National Socialists, or any other hyperreactionary forces. The special guests of the evening were part of the Tinley Park Five’s defense team who, for safety reasons, used only the first names Chandra and John. Back in May, the Tinley Park Five — all militant anti-fascists and part of AntiRacist Action or ARA — confronted a group of racists with the Illinois European Heritage Association, which has links with the fascist National Socialist Movement, who were meeting in a restaurant in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park, Ill.

Black August legacy
Continued from page 2 society in the U.S., the prison population and the rates of poverty among African Americans and Latinos/as contradict these assertions. Today there are more African Americans in prison than ever before. In fact, since the time of the Attica Rebellion, the incarceration rate of African Americans has grown by over 500 percent. U.S. Justice Department data reveal, “Approximately 12-13 percent of the American population is African American, but they make up 40.1 percent of the 2.1 million inmates in jail or prison.” (2009) The Justice Policy Institute reported that there are more African-American males in prison than in colleges or universities. The leading cause of this incarceration rate is targeted arrests and convictions and longer sentences meted out to Black people for nonviolent drug offenses. Today there is a revival in the protest movement among prisoners in the U.S. In several states such as California, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio and Illinois, prisoners have staged hunger strikes to draw attention to the deplorable conditions under which they live. In early 2011 the most widely publicized resistance by inmates took place in California’s Pelican Bay State Prison. The document issued by the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition states that the group has “worked tirelessly to get mainstream media to cover the strike and expose the torturous conditions within the California Security Housing Units, as well as within prisons in general.” (prisonhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com) The Pelican Bay hunger strike began with a few dozen inmates. However, within a few weeks the total had risen to 6,600. This movement is spreading throughout the country, with prisoners in Virginia and North Carolina the most recent to join in. Corporate media outlets have been consistent in denying coverage of these developments in an effort to prevent mass support and to halt these forms of resistance from spreading even more rapidly around the U.S. In honor of this year’s anniversary of Black August, social justice activists need to support the hunger strikes and other organizing work among prisoners. These inmates are part of the working class and the nationally oppressed masses. As the economic crisis worsens, the state will become even more repressive. The struggles of the men and women inside the prison walls must merge with the organizing efforts of those on the outside to target exploitation, national oppression and all forms of injustice.

‘Tinley Park Five’
Chandra and John talked at great length about the extensive work ARA has done over the years in fighting reactionaries wherever they rear their ugly heads. Their organization has branches all over the country, as well as some in Canada and Mexico. Currently, the Tinley Park Five are being held in captivity on multiple felony charges with a collective $1 million bond. It is clear they are political prisoners of the capitalist state. Organizations or individuals who take the position of militant anti-fascism deserve the solidarity and support of the entire progressive movement. Fascists and racists must be combated wherever they are, whether by organizing mass actions, or confronting and stopping them physically. A liberal attitude of ignoring them accomplishes nothing. In fact, it only emboldens the racists. For more information on the antifascist fight and the struggle to free the Tinley Park Five, visit tinleyparkfive. wordpress.com.



& the Black Freedom Struggle
An anthology of writings from Workers World newspaper. Edited by Monica Moorehead. www.workers.org/reparations Available at Amazon.com & bookstores around the country

Page 4

August 23, 2012


Disabled activists at NYC forum:

‘Support disabled liberation’
By Edward Yudelovich New York Disabled activists at a July 28 forum here led a panel discussion to expose abuse of the disabled under capitalist society, including recent cutbacks of benefits. Videos of each panelist’s talk can be accessed on YouTube at wwpvideo. Workers World Party member Joyce Chediac, a person with dyslexia and hearing disabilities, chaired the meeting. She reported that in May, the Disability Caucus of Occupy Wall Street and the Autism Self-Advocacy Network organized a candlelight vigil in Union Square as a memorial to people with disabilities who were killed by family members and caretakers. WWP member Brian Shea has been an organizer in the Disability Rights movement for over 30 years, starting with the Disabled Peoples Liberation Front in Boston. Shea also travelled to Cuba with the Venceremos Brigade in 1990 and in 1995 to the Second International Conference on the Rights of People with Disabilities in Havana. Shea quoted anti-imperialist socialist and disabled activist leader Helen Keller: “So long as I confine my activities to social service and the blind, they compliment me extravagantly, calling me ‘arch priestess of the sightless,’ ‘wonder woman,’ and a ‘modern miracle.’ But when it comes to a discussion of poverty, and I maintain that it is the result of wrong economics — that the industrial system under which we live is at the root of much of the physical deafness and blindness in the world — that is a different matter!” Shea spoke about the Bonus Army of 1932, when 14,000 World War I veterans, many with disabilities, and their families marched on Washington demanding that the government immediately fulfill its promise for benefits. President Herbert Hoover sent 600 U.S. Army troops, led by Douglas MacArthur, to set fire to their encampment. The army killed two Bonus Army marchers. Shea explained that in 1977, to protest the lack of enforcement of existing federal accessibility laws, disabled activists occupied the San Francisco Health, Education and Welfare office for 28 days. This action won the support and solidarity of unions, community organizations and the Oakland Black Panther Party in getting food in and keeping the supply lines open. Ex-patient activist, anti-psychiatry, survivor groups, including the Network Against Psychiatric Assaults, the Mental Patients Liberation Front and others organized picket lines against the pharmaceutical companies and the American Psychiatric Association. ADAPT organized disabled activists in wheelchairs to surround inaccessible buses and picket inaccessible bus lines in the 1980s.


Marxist activists immersed in disability struggles analyze its relationship to capitalism.

a high percentage of children there have disabilities. This was documented in an Aug. 7 New York Times article reporting suspensions during the 2009-10 school – Karl Marx, 1875, ‘Critique of the Gotha Program’ year of 13 percent of disabled students, compared with 7 percent of students withher, her friend, a Holocaust survivor, was out disabilities. One out of every four Afribeing given electric shock treatment for can-American disabled students had been a couple of crumbs and pennies to some- her nightmares about the Holocaust. suspended. body down there whom they see as worJohnnie Stevens, Community Labor In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled thy, and if they don’t see them as worthy, that prisoners, who are disproportionate- United for Postal Jobs & Services founder they don’t toss them any crumbs.” ly people of color, do not have the same and a PIST and WWP member, related Scott Thomas of the Autistic Self Advo- rights as non-prisoners to refuse anti-psy- how he helped repair a school for disabled cacy Network and a recent WWP member chotic medications. children in Puerta Esperanza, Cuba, while spoke on Marxism and Disability OppresSome 10 to 20 percent of GIs who see on a work brigade after hurricanes Gussion. Thomas explained capitalist soci- heavy combat develop lasting symp- tavo and Ike. Stevens’ disability — dyslexety’s “one size fits all” deficit model, class toms of post-traumatic stress disorder, ia — made his videographic assignment definition of disability: “If you have a dis- and about a fifth of those who get treat- requiring precise logging of seconds, ability, you are objectively less.” ment receive anti-psychotic medication. minutes, hours, megabytes and terabytes Thomas translated this: “Capitalism Drugs, including Risperdal, Seroquel, much more difficult and time-consuming. has nothing for us [the disabled] because Geodon and Abilify, often used to treat But the Cubans were patient. He completwe’re not profitable!” He exposed the severe mental illnesses like schizophre- ed the video, and received an award. Judge Rotenberg Center in Boston, where nia and bipolar disorder, are sometimes Stevens also had filmed in Lousiana afelectroconvulsive aversive therapy was prescribed to troops for symptoms as- ter Hurricane Katrina. Stevens contrasted used recently to shock an autistic boy 30 sociated with PTSD and anxiety, includ- it with his experience in Cuba: “While times, causing him to develop post-trau- ing nightmares and irritability. But when the U.S. might have fancier wheelchairs matic stress disorder and rendering him mixed with other prescriptions, they can and other superior technology, disabled unable to speak. people were left behind to drown in New be dangerous and sometimes fatal. Bullying in the workplace can also help Orleans when the levees broke.” ADA limited to visible disabilities cause this disability. The Communication Thomas protested that protections from Workers Local 1180 newspaper, Commu- Good record for socialist Cuba the Americans with Disabilities Act are nique, reported that 37 percent of workStevens explained how socialist Cuba mostly limited to those with visible disabil- ers have been bullied, 45 percent of bul- organizes to evacuate everyone to higher ities. Thomas also objected to the improp- lied workers suffer stress-related health ground before the storm hits. It’s not up er prescribing of anti-psychotic drugs to problems, and targeted individuals have a to the individual to find a way out. Those autistic and attention-deficit disorder chil- 64 percent chance of losing their job. with limited mobility are taken care of dren. He warned that “90 percent of peofirst and specialized hospital equipment ple with disabilities will be abused. Only 3 PIST ghts for adequate often used to treat the disabled is secured. school-bus services percent of the abuse will be reported.” The National Association of the Blind, Next, this reporter explained my emothe Association of the Physically and MoSara Catalinotto, a teacher of disabled tional disability and how I had been students, parent of a child in a special au- tor Disabled, and the National Organizamedicated more than 30 years ago with tism program, and founder of Parents to tion of Deaf Cubans are made up of and anti-psychotic medications Haloperidol Improve School Transportation, demand- led by people who have these disabilities. (Haldol), Moban and Mellarill, causing ed that “resources — and respect — be ap- In Cuba, physical and mental health care, serious side effects, including drowsiness, plied to the routing of yellow buses for daycare, education, recreation and senior disorientation, uncontrollable shaking, 150,000 school children who need it in centers are always free. inability to sleep and unusual sensitivity this city, of whom about 60,000 are ridUnder capitalism in the U.S., these bato heat. After six years, another psychia- ing to special education placements. Too sic human services are only available actrist advised me that like millions of oth- many families deal with long, hot, over- cording to one’s class, income, assets or Making pro ts o peoples’ needs ers, I had been misdiagnosed. I was grad- crowded bus rides, which force students health insurance. Women, people of color, There were organized efforts to provide ually weaned off the medications over 10 to miss the start and end of the day — and LGBTQ people and the disabled here have school breakfast — among other prevent- never had equal access to these essentials. services for the disabled to help keep them months because they were so addictive. In 1993, my 83-year-old mother was able problems.” Cuba is, therefore, truly striving to independent of nursing homes and other being medicated against her will with provide to each according to their needs, Catalinotto reported on solidarity facilities and institutions that make profits off peoples’ needs. Shea related the strug- some of these same anti-psychotic drugs. with disabled students and their parents from each according to their abilities. gles of people with AIDS to make medica- After she refused to take her meds, a rela- shown by Amalgamated Transit Union This slogan was coined by Karl Marx tion and treatment affordable and avail- tive and a psychiatrist signed her into Local 1181, the union of school bus driv- nearly 140 years ago to describe communism, which is the ultimate goal of socialable and to fight abuse and discrimination. Hillside Psychiatric Hospital Strauss Cot- ers, matrons and mechanics. tage, where she was held for three weeks She also recounted how last spring, ist revolution. It is the only economic and Shea told of a Chicago group called until she would agree to take her meds the Albany Legislature tried to end state political system designed for the needs of “Jerry’s orphans,” who picketed media outlets broadcasting Jerry Lewis’ muscu- and comply with an Elder Care plan of funding for schools that serve only deaf the multitudes and not the profits of the lar dystrophy telethon and its offensive seven days a week home care, which my students, only to be thwarted by the deaf few. Both disabled and able-bodied will thrive when every tool of science, technollabel of “Jerry’s kids.” Shea exposed “the father would have to pay for. My mother community’s mobilization to stop this. was forced to wear an ankle bracelet so Catalinotto said her teacher colleagues ogy and medicine is used to heal and not bourgeoisie’s view of charity instead of she wouldn’t run away. When I visited in suspension centers have told her that to abuse. solidarity when somebody up here tosses

‘From each according to their ability, to each according to their need’


August 23, 2012

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‘Dreamer’ activists detail abuse of immigrants in private prisons
By Heather Cottin Members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance purposefully allowed themselves to be arrested and incarcerated in late July. The activists infiltrated the Broward Transitional Center in Florida to record the stories of others locked up in the detention center. The infiltrators are known as “Dreamers,” undocumented youth who have been mobilizing across the U.S. to gain documentation, dignity and the right to study. They are students who came to the U.S. as children and now wish to remain here. One of the arrested students, Viridiana Martínez, described her experience in a recent interview: “I think that this place is systematically set up to keep these women here — and on the men’s side, the men — because there’s money being made in this place. This place is owned by a company, GEO. And every time someone is detained, they are given money: $170 per day.” (democracynow.org, July 31) Federal tax money this year earmarked for immigrant roundups is expected to exceed $2 billion and will contribute big profits for private corporations involved in the immigrant incarceration system. The federal government plans new facilities to house 400,000 immigrants detained annually. (Associated Press, Aug. 2) With the capitalist media ramping up racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric, the prison-for-profit system has become one of the most profitable industries in a failing economy. Innocent people languish in the centers for years. While Congress debated immigration reform, private prison corporations built facilities to hold hundreds of thousands of immigrants. In 2011, nearly half the beds in the U.S. civil detention system were in private facilities. There is little federal oversight. The big three — Corrections Corporation of America, the GEO Group, and Management and Training Corp. — have spent at least $45 million on campaign donations and lobbyists at the state and federal level in the last decade. (AP, Aug. 2) Concentration camps for immigrants The Dream infiltrators went into the Broward facility and saw how GEO was profiting from the creation of concentration camps for poor immigrants. Boldly, they reported on the incredible humiliation and dehumanization the immigrants face. The private prison guards routinely abuse detainees, sexually assault and threaten women, and leave the lights on all night, making it hard to sleep. Food is bad and medical care is abysmal. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers constantly push people to sign voluntary deportation orders. Most people have no idea where their family is. (See “The Metrics of Change” at dreamactivist. org, Aug. 8.) Martínez spoke of the concern she had for all of the non-Dreamer immigrants who were overwhelmed by the systematic oppression of the Department of Homeland Security and the private prison industry. “I have all of these things to my favor. … I’m a Dreamer, but there are so many people in here that ... are not in that situation. … They’re here alone. … They got picked up, and their kids are … at home by themselves. Our movement has taught us, the undocumented youth movement. … We’re going to look out for each other, and we’re going to fight each other’s deportations.”

No light at end of economic tunnel
By Gene Clancy Numerous politicians and economists, from all across the political spectrum, have decried the “slow rate of recovery” of the U.S. economy since the financial meltdown and great recession of 2007-08. The usual story, most often coming from the Democratic Party, is that while the “recovery” is too slow, there, nevertheless, is “light at the end of the tunnel.” The Republican position is about the same, except that they assert that there can be no “light at the end of the tunnel” unless President Barack Obama is defeated. None of the mainstream candidates question whether the capitalist economy is, in fact, undergoing a recovery at all. And none dare even whisper that government policies, as proposed by either the liberals or conservatives, have no chance of changing the direction that the economy will take. One of the most recent commentators to join the fray is Catherine Rampell, an economics reporter for the New York Times, who writes that the current recovery, while very slow, is not the worst. Looking back at past periods of expansion following several post World War II recessions, she claims that “on almost every measure I looked at, there was at least one (completed) recovery that performed worse.” (New York Times, Aug. 10) Rampell’s analysis is accompanied by a colorful chart that compares the present with past post-recession periods on the basis of a number of economic indicators. Although her evidence actually undermines her thesis, Rampell assumes that there is some kind of recovery going on presently. She states, for example: “Usually, payrolls grow 15 percent from trough to peak over the course of a business cycle. So far in this recovery, they have grown only 2 percent.” Or, “The only major metric I looked at wherein today’s recovery outperformed the average expansion of the previous 60 years was corporate profits.” Given that corporate profits rose by 45 percent compared to a 2 percent rise in payrolls (Rampell’s figures), it is difficult to see how there is any sort of “light at the end of the tunnel” unless it be the light of an approaching train! Like most mainstream pundits, reporter Rampell, while mentioning the Great Depression, does not include it in her analysis. But she should! The fact is that conditions today are different than those in the recent past. Marxist economics writer, Fred Goldstein, has written that far from being in a recovery, we actually “are at the early stages in the development of the present crisis.” (Introduction to “Capitalism at a Dead End,” 2012, which can be read at workers.org) Comparing the current crisis, not to the post WWII recessions, but to the deeper and more significant Long Depression of 1873, and the Great Depression of the 1930’s, he concludes that “the capitalist system, as in those two previous great crises, cannot restart itself despite all the efforts of central banks and capitalist governments.”

By Chris Fry Myriad media sources have reported that Mitt Romney has stored much of his $250 million in exotic tax-shelter locations like Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and, of course, Switzerland. We are often told that this is all legal. Of course, the wealthy have always bought the best laws for themselves. Millionaires abound in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Millionaire Romney ran for the Senate in 1994 but lost to millionaire Ted Kennedy. In fact, figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics in November 2011 showed that 47 percent of the members of Congress reported assets of over a million in 2010 — and that’s after the big housing and financial crisis that wiped out so many working people. In the richer Senate, 37 Democrats and 30 Republicans were in the millionaire bracket. In the slightly poorer House, 110 Republicans and 73 Democrats had made the club. Romney’s secret bank accounts are but a few drops in a vast ocean of wealth stored in these same locations by the billionaires of the world. In late July, a study by the Tax Justice Network of the U.S. revealed that deposits stored in these tax shelters amount to the stupendous sum of between 21 and 32 trillion (that’s with a “t”) dollars. This is more than the total annual production of the United States and Japan together, the report states. Where did this vast wealth come from? It is the unpaid wages appropriated from hundreds of millions of workers around the world — from miners in Chile to hospital nurses in Philadelphia, from helpdesk workers in Mumbai, India, to New York City taxi drivers, from Michigan auto workers to Indonesian textile workers. It is accumulated and then hoarded from the goods and services created by workers around the globe. Of course, the Tax Justice Network focuses on the hundreds of billions of dollars that the wealthy are not paying in tax-

es to world’s governments, showing that the tax burden rests on the shoulders of the same workers whose labor has made them rich. And that is all true. But it goes much deeper than that. Why are the capitalists hoarding their wealth instead of investing it to finance new factories, expand their operations and hire the millions of unemployed workers? After all, their minions in Congress call them the “job creators.” So why don’t they use this vast ocean of cash to create jobs? The answer is simple: Right now they cannot expand production and at the same time make a profit. They have gorged themselves so much on new technology and the vast new armies of lowwage workers from around the globe, they have depressed the wages of workers here so much and thrown so many out of their jobs and their homes that they simply cannot step up the pace of hiring workers at decent wages and at the same time amass the huge profits that they crave. So they hoard their stolen wealth. They hide it from the eyes of the world’s workers who created it. They redistribute it among themselves in their stock markets and through other financial “wizardry.” And they task governments, armies, police, prisons and the media to keep their wealth safe from those who produced it. But this golden hoard is a sign of both decline and for more information wwp@workers.org crisis. A system based on or call 212.627.2994 workers.org billions of workers producing an ocean of wealth for a handful of parasites to store in secret caches is a system A conference of communists that has stagnated, that has & revolutionary forces failed and that deserves to Initiated by Workers World Party be discarded. This ocean of wealth rightfully belongs to A Marxist discussion of the way those who produced it — the forward in the class struggle global working class.  Evaluate the capitalist elections Chris Fry is a former  Discuss the Occupy Movement, racism Chrysler auto worker.

Occupy for Socialist Revolution
Learn about Workers World Party
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and state repression, liberation & revolution. To register email: wwp@workers.org 212.627.2994

Page 6

August 23, 2012


‘Marxist School of Theory & Struggle’ opens in N. Carolina
Members, candidate members and friends of Workers World Party kicked off a week-long Marxist School of Theory and Struggle on Aug. 12 with a forum called “Capitalism at a Dead End and the Global South.” Held at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the forum was chaired by WWP youth and student leader, Caleb Maupin. Featured speakers were the party’s First Secretary, Larry Holmes, and Mundo Obrero/Workers World editor, Berta Joubert Ceci. After their well-received presentations, Holmes and Joubert-Ceci fielded questions and comments from participants, many of whom had come from across the United States to attend the Marxist school and to assist in building activities for the Sept. 2 March on Wall Street South. — Report and photo by Bryan G. Pfeifer
Participants in Workers World Party’s Marxist school.

Eyes on North Carolina
By Dante Strobino Textile workers built unions, led major strikes and fought racism starting in the 1920s in the South’s largest industry. The heaviest concentration of textile mills was in North Carolina. Charlotte was the Southern industry’s center point since its inception during the post-Reconstruction era, with many factories ringing its perimeter, within a few hours drive. Dick Reavis describes, in the Introduction to the Southern Worker online, “The Southern textile industry had boomed in response to government orders during World War I, but when peace came, orders and profits plummeted. Workers at more than a dozen mills went on strike in 1919-21, some of them spontaneously, some fanned by the AFL’s United Textile Workers. As many as 20,000 North Carolina [textile workers] walked out, including those at the Loray mill, [the largest textile plant in the region]. [But within] weeks, the mills were running again, having made no important concessions. The UTW largely abandoned the region, leaving both mill hands and their bosses embittered.” Fred Beal, organizer for the National Textile Workers Union and the Communist Party, by March of 1929 realized that “North Carolina [is] key to the South; Gaston County [is] key to North Carolina, and the Loray Mill [is] the key to Gaston County.” Most of the 2,000 Loray workers lived in the company-owned, 450-unit village. Reavis writes, “In 1929, Loray’s white employees were laboring 55-66 hours per week for $12-$20, while their children worked 55-60 hours for as little as $5 per murder, including two communists. Sixteen went on trial. On Sept. 15, 22 workers from the Bessemer City plant drove to Gastonia to support the ongoing protest. Company goons blocked and ambushed their truck and shot at them, killing Ella Mae Wiggins, a worker and fervent union supporter. A white worker, she supported struggling Black plant workers. “For the next five months, the Communist Party and the International Labor Defense spent most of their resources to mount a defense in hearings, a mistrial, and finally, two Charlotte jury proceedings for the NTWU defendants whose indictments their lawyers had been unable to defeat,” states Reavis. Seven strikers and organizers who had fought off the June police attack were convicted. Denied an appeal, they forfeited bail and fled to the Soviet Union. Two returned, including Beal, and served prison time. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt — following workers’ struggles across the country — signed the National Industrial Recovery Act, which promised better wages and working conditions. When mill owners reduced workers’ hours without raising their hourly wages in May of that year, the United Textile Workers, AFL, threatened a strike, pushed by Southern mill workers. In September 1934, some 170,000 textile workers went on strike in the South, starting in Gastonia. The strike spread to the North, encompassed 1 million workers in the industry and was the largest strike in U.S. history at the time. It lasted 22 days. The bosses and their state governments mobilized 23,000 sheriff deputies, National Guard soldiers

Textile workers built unions, led strikes an

Left, Ella Mae Wiggins. Above, Loray Mill owners evicted the striking workers from company housing.

payday. The lowest-paid adult workers in the mill, a correspondent for the Baltimore Sun found, were African-American “scrubbers,” who earned $10.20 per week.” The plants were segregated. On March 30, 1929, some 1,000 workers from the Loray Mill attended a meeting. Afterwards, five participants were fired. Workers agreed to strike unless the mill owners granted their demands to rehire those who’d been fired, end piecework, ensure a five-day week with a $20-dollar weekly wage, pay women and children equally, end speed-ups, and provide less costly, better housing. Moreover, they had to recognize the union. 1929: Strike wave in the Carolinas The mill owners refused to accept the demands, forcing 2,000 white mill workers to strike. On April 3, Gov. Max Gardner, a mill owner, called in the National Guard, who arrested 10 striking workers the first day. When textile workers at nearby mills heard of the strikes, strikes soon occurred in Pineville, Forest City, Lexington and Bessemer City in North Carolina,

and Spartanburg, Union, Woodruff, Anderson and Buffalo in South Carolina. The union really didn’t have a strategy for including African-American workers, who faced racism every day. White workers were often concerned with economic issues while Black workers had to deal with physically defending themselves from frequent white supremacist attacks. Union organizing in the South required understanding its unique conditions. By the end of April, the Loray Mill owners began evicting striking workers from the company-owned housing. In May, the NTWU had constructed a tent city to house striking workers, along with a new union office building. Many workers returned to work, some returning to picket lines after payday only to be violently attacked by police officers. After run-ins between the police and workers, 100 masked men, mostly police, attempted to raid the union office on June 7, resulting in the death of Chief Aderholt, and the wounding of two officers and several workers. By night’s end, 75 workers had been arrested and charged with conspiracy and capital

Boston unionist:
Special to Workers World|Charlotte, N.C.

Why it’s important to organize the South
we’re not going to do anything, so this is why we’re here. “The Southern Workers Assembly [see information in italics below] has the biggest potential to drive labor forward, to drive Civil Rights forward, to drive immigrant rights forward, to drive community rights forward, to drive workers in general forward. It’s the Southern Workers Assembly that the workers and their communities here are taking on themselves and organizing.” Join the Southern Workers Assembly “The workers here understand and that’s why they’re building the Southern Workers Assembly. The Democrats and the Republicans are both here politicking in Charlotte because of Wall Street South. Charlotte has the second-highest concentration of finance capital in the U.S. outside of Wall Street. That’s why they’re here. “The Democrats and the Republicans are not here to spread any wealth, rights, justice, democracy or anything like that to workers here in North Carolina and Charlotte, in particular. They’re here to welcome finance capital to exploit the South, to exploit the workers, to drive unions underground, which they basically have done here. “But workers here are saying, we’re gonna use this Democratic National Convention and we’re gonna use it to build our movement because the Democrats are part of the problem, not part of the solution, and they’re going to try and force right-to-work laws all over the country. That looks like a Republican thing, but it’s a bipartisan thing.

“In this country the most repressed workers are right here — the city and state Ed Childs, chief steward of UNITE workers in North Carolina. They have the HERE Local 26 in Boston, has been in most racist, anti-labor laws here, worse Charlotte since Aug. 1, hitting the streets, than any other place in the U.S. We have meeting and talking with poor and to all come together and defeat our enworking people throughout the city as emies who have hit our workers the hardpart of organizing efforts for the March est here. These are laws stemming from on Wall Street South on Sept. 2. slavery, from post-Reconstruction. On Aug. 6, Childs participated in an “The workers here are sticking it out informational picket of Charlotte city in the toughest situation in the country. workers, members of United Electrical We’re being hit hard all over, but the Workers, at City Hall. hardest place we’re being hit is here in the Workers World talked to Childs on South. Unless every worker is organized, the picket line and asked why, as a trade nobody is going to achieve anything. Launion activist from a Northern state, he bor has to come here with the Black workbelieves it is important to organize the ers, the immigrant workers, and the poor South. Following is an edited version of white workers who are in the worst conhis response. ditions. If we don’t organize this place,


August 23, 2012

Page 7

Conference plans for March on Wall Street South
By Bryan G. Pfeifer Charlotte, N.C. Members and supporters of the March on Wall Street South: Building People’s Power at the DNC Coalition held an allday national organizing conference at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Aug. 11. With only three weeks left to mobilize for the coalition’s protest activities scheduled for Sept. 1-6 around the Democratic National Convention, organizers gave reportbacks, conducted workshops, made outreach plans, provided cultural presentations, developed relationships with other participants and much more. Events scheduled or supported by the coalition include the Festivaliberación Sept. 1, the major MOWSS march and rally Sept. 2, and the Southern Workers Assembly Sept. 3. A major focus of the MOWSS coalition is to support and help build local progressive struggles in Charlotte and the entire South while mobilizing for protest activities around the DNC and continuing to build a fighting people’s movement in the South. Towards that end, at the conclusion of the conference, many participants from across the United States, including from the Carolinas, Massachusetts, Illinois, New York and Wisconsin, packed into vehicles so they could distribute MOWSS fliers throughout Charlotte neighborhoods that evening. MOWSS weekly organizing meetings take place at the Charlotte Solidarity Center every Monday at 7 p.m. For more in-


City workers and allies from throughout the U.S. participate in informational picket at Charlotte City Hall Aug. 6.

nd fought racism
and private gunmen. Thirteen strikers were killed in the South, and two died in the North. Seven workers were murdered at the Chiquola Mill in Honea Path, S.C. The despair produced by this broken strike was manipulated by virulent racists, and the Ku Klux Klan grew in mill towns. Black workers led struggle against racism in the mills Opening up the textile mills to Black workers was a long struggle. Textile barons didn’t quickly adhere to anti-discrimination laws won by the Civil Rights Movement. Housing in the Cannon Mills’ company town of Kannapolis, N.C., was still segregated in 1969. Jim Crow bathrooms were the norm in the Greensboro plants of the Cone Mills until 1973. African-American workers led the fight against racist discrimination in the textile industry. In September 1965, Shirley Lea, with other African-American women, applied for work at the Cone Mills plant in Hillsborough, N.C. Denied jobs, they filed a groundbreaking lawsuit, Lea v. Cone Mills, under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In October 1969, Julius Adams — who was a leader of the 1963 civil rights protests in Danville, Va. — and 24 other Black workers sued Dan River Mills for biased hiring and promotion policies and segregation in the plants. Betsy Ann Broadnax took Burlington Industries, the biggest textile company of them all, to court. Despite these actions, in 1969, President Richard Nixon refused to enforce antidiscrimination provisions in military contracts held by Burlington Industries, J.P. Stevens and Dan River Mills. Yet the struggle continued. In 1970, Lucy Sledge sued J.P. Stevens, the second-biggest textile company, for racial discrimination in 11 plants in Roanoke Rapids, N.C. She was joined by 3,000 textile workers. Just a year before, the company had hired only 18 percent of African-American men and 4.5 percent of the Black women who sought work there, as compared to employing nearly 50 percent of white male and 25 percent of white female job applicants. Black workers persevered and made inroads into the textile industry. In 1976, nearly 33 percent of South Carolina textile workers were African American, up from 5 percent 12 years earlier. By 1980, African-American women formed 21 percent of the industry’s workforce countrywide, up from 12.4 percent in 1972. The largest union organizing drive of the 1970s was against J.P. Stevens. African Americans comprised 23 percent of its workforce in 1974. The textile company’s big Roanoke Rapids plant — where African-American workers made up 40 percent of the employees — was the heart of the union campaign. They voted in the Textile Workers Union that year. Spurred on by these workers, the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, formed in 1976, pushed on. Aided by a national boycott, the union forced J.P. Stevens to sign a contract in 1980. On Sept. 3, the Southern Workers Assembly, will be held from 1 - 5 p.m., at Wedgewood Baptist Church, 4800 Wedgewood Drive, Charlotte, N.Car. See SouthernWorker.org for information. Stephen Millies contributed to this article.

formation and to help with organizing, contact 704-266-0362, 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.

LGBTQ movement organizes for Charlotte protests
By Kris Hamel Organizing is in high gear for protests outside the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in Charlotte, N.C., and Tampa, Fla., respectively. In Charlotte, the Sept. 2 “March on Wall Street South” will target the big banks that are headquartered in that city as well as the Democrats’ role in keeping up the status quo of the wealthy 1% or ruling elite. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people are a vital part of this movement and are organizing a contingent in the Sept. 2 march. A recent call to action listed some important reasons to join this contingent: “Demand equal access to employment, housing, health care, and education NOW! Equal rights now! Show your outrage over the passing of North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ marriage amendment. Free LGBTQ activists CeCe McDonald and Pfc. Manning!” The call noted: “As LGBTQ people we are discriminated against [in] housing, health care and education, paid less as workers, fired for being who we are and then excluded from societal institutions like marriage. Marriage equality is, of course, not just about the recognition of our relationships and families, but it is rooted in fighting for economic justice. “There are over 1,000 federally provided economic benefits that we are denied access to that are granted to heterosexual married people. We believe that all working people — married or single — should have access to affordable health care and health insurance. We also want to see an end to cuts in social services, including HIV/AIDS-related programs.” Workers World asked MOWSS activists in North Carolina why the LGBTQ contingent is so important. Here’s what some of them said: “We’ve seen a tremendous upsurge in the mass LGBTQ movement, from struggles around marriage to bullying and beyond — and now we are taking aim at the banks because we want to raise this struggle to the next level. It’s the ruling class bankers that use anti-LGBTQ bigotry to divide the people, and we want to take the fight to their doorstep.” — Eva Panjwani, MOWSS youth and community organizer “As LGBTQ people, we have always been leaders in our communities. We have been a crucial part of historic movements for justice, and we are a crucial part of the 99%! The struggle for queer liberation is deeply intertwined with the struggles for economic justice, antiracism, environmental justice, and justice for immigrant communities. In North Carolina and throughout the country, discrimination against queer people, immigrants, people of color, and working people is law. At the DNC, we will show the corporate-controlled political parties what the democracy of the 99% looks like. We’re here, we’re queer, and we organize!” — Carly Campbell, Durham, N.C., with the Accessibility Working Group of the Coalition to March on Wall Street South “The Democrats pretend to support LGBTQ people, but they only do just enough to keep up their image, while the Republicans straight-up spit in your face. The only way we can be sure to get the justice for LGBTQ people we so desperately need is to get out in the streets and fight for it.” — Andy Koch, nursing student, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and MOWSS organizer To endorse the LGBTQ contingent for the Sept. 2 March on Wall Street South at the Democratic National Convention, send an email to mowsslgbt@gmail.com. Imani Henry contributed to this article.

“The Democrats have instituted and enforced the right-to-work laws in North Carolina for decades, and they intend to keep them here — their program is not to undo the right-to-work laws. The only ones who will undo these laws are the workers and their allies here, and they’re going to use the DNC — they’re going to use any tool possible — to undo these laws and help workers throughout this country.” Charlotte city workers’ informational pickets are taking place every Monday beginning at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 600 E. 4th St. For more information, call 919539-2051. The Southern Workers Assembly is Sept. 3 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Wedgewood Baptist Church, 4800 Wedgewood Dr., Charlotte. For more information go to southernworker.org or contact Saladin Muhammad of the Southern International Worker Justice Campaign at info@southernworker.org.

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August 23, 2012


The Gu Kailai trial & the struggle in China
A spectacle directed at the left as world capitalist crisis deepens
By Fred Goldstein Gu Kailai’s trial and conviction for the alleged murder of British businessperson Neil Heywood is a show trial staged by the top leadership of the Communist Party of China for purely political purposes. Whatever Gu may or may not be guilty of, the trial is a judicial procedure meant to support a political attack on her spouse, Bo Xilai, and his supporters in China who want to push back against the reckless further advance down the capitalist road by the present Chinese leadership. These are the underlying issues at stake. The timing and political context of the CPC leaders and imperialists trial are extremely important. It comes at press vili cation campaign a moment when the selection of the new With Bo in detention, both the Chitop CPC leadership for the next 10 years is nese and the imperialist media launched scheduled to take place — presumably this a campaign of vilification against both Bo fall at the annual meeting of the National and Gu. The timing of the trial of Gu is People’s Congress. This process has been significant. The advance leak of the leaddiscussed internally for the past year. ership’s version of the details was calcuBo Xilai, Gu’s spouse, had held the im- lated to poison the political atmosphere portant post of Party Secretary of the mu- against Bo, and thus pave the way for punicipal province of Chongqing, population nitive measures against him. 32 million, since 2007. Bo With regard to the trial of Gu The more developed itself, it is important to note that was on the 25-member Politburo of the Chinese the capitalist side of every bit of information available Communist Party and was the Chinese economy, on the case is in the hands of a a strong candidate to be leadership which is politically the more vulnerable hostile, in the extreme, to her promoted to the sevenmember Standing ComChina is to the spouse. The pre-trial conviction mittee of the Politburo, of Gu and the simultaneous camirrationalities of which is the governing paign against her and Bo in the the system of council of China. official Chinese media as well as private property. the Wall Street Journal, the New Bo and Mao York Times, the London GuardBo, while never opposing the funda- ian, the Financial Times, etc., reflected a mental concept of so-called “market so- coincidence of interest between the capicialism,” became the de facto leader of the talist-road, market-reform sectors of the left within the CPC when he developed the Chinese leadership and world imperialism. “Chongqing model.” The two sides were in league in this In Chongqing, Bo promoted increased case, despite the fundamental hostility state investment and planning, especially of U.S. imperialism to socialist China. It emphasizing infrastructure and massive is laughable to think that the imperialist low-cost housing for the workers, as well forces are really concerned about murder as social programs. He made it easier for and corruption. peasants to gain access to benefits availLeaders fear Bo supporters and the left able to urban residents. Bo waged a hard campaign against corThe circumstances of the trial are also rupt party officials, business people and important. It was moved from Chongqthe underworld, often interconnected, ing, where the alleged crime took place, to and called upon the masses to assist in a site 750 miles away in Hefei province. identifying corrupt officials. The authorities fear the popularity of Bo He promoted Maoist culture in the among the masses in Chongqing. Moving province, organizing the singing of Mao- the trial is a virtual confession of its poist songs, tweeting Maoist sayings to state litical nature and the leadership’s fear of workers, stopping the use of state television the left. The most important Maoist web for commercial use and substituting social- site in China, Utopia, has been shut down, ly conscious broadcasting. Maoist-inspired and other web entries defending Bo have songs were an integral part of the Cultural been censored. Revolution, and Bo brought a choir of There were many apparent inconsis1,000 singers to perform in Beijing. tencies in the trial. It is important to note Bo was purged after the former police that Gu was not allowed her own lawyer. chief of Chongqing, Wang Lijun, went to Her son, whose role was key to the case, the U.S. Consulate (read CIA station) in submitted a letter to the court, which was Chengdu in Sichuan province, 210 miles east of Chongqing, on Feb. 6 and stayed for 30 hours. During that time Wang is alleged to have brought evidence against Gu Kailai. Bo had been under investigation by the party leadership at the time. Once the Gu Kailai charges were made, Bo was removed as leader of Chongqing in March and then removed from all party posts in April. He has been under detention for alleged and unspecified “serious discipline violations” since then and has been held incommunicado. not allowed to be heard. In a political stockpiling coal and steel, it is because struggle of this magnitude, confessions the profit side of the Chinese economy is can be obtained, evidence can be fabri- faltering under the twin blows of its own internal contradictions and the world cated, and frameups can be planned. But whatever the true facts of the case capitalist crisis. Each setback for the workers and peasturn out to be, this trial is part of the ants in what was supposed to struggle over China’s future at a time of growing Whatever the facts of become a socialist economy economic and social conthe case turn out to be, gives more evidence of the bankruptcy of trying to fit a tradictions. Promoting this trial is part of the continuous, upward developprivate enterprise, capitalment of capitalism into a soist exploitation, imperialist struggle over China’s cialist framework. As has been investment and the growth future at a time of said: “It is like trying to put a of the capitalist market growing economic and saddle on a cow.” to compete with socialist This is the framework in planning and state-owned social contradictions which the trial of Gu Kailai enterprises leads to an unmust be viewed and evaluated. This is the tenable future for China. prism through which the struggle against World capitalism and ‘market socialism’ Bo Xilai must be seen. at a dead end The CPC leadership, since the defeat of This is all the more so since the world the left and the rise of Deng Xiaoping and capitalist system is at a dead end, with the capitalist-road wing of the party, has permanent low-growth, stagnation, crisis sold the socialist soul of the great Chinese Revolution of 1949 under the name of naand growing mass unemployment. The more developed the capitalist tional development. Each year they are side of the Chinese economy becomes, endangering more and more of what rethe more integrated with and dependent mains of the socialist structure of China. Now the chickens are coming home to upon the world capitalist economy it becomes, the more vulnerable it will be to roost in a mountain of internal contradicall the irrationalities of the world system tions and increased suffering and instability for the workers, who are supposed of private property. China counteracted the effects of the to be the foundation of socialism and global capitalist crisis in 2008-2009, whose well-being is supposed to be the when 20 million Chinese workers in the aim of socialism. It has become evident that what was export-driven manufacturing industry in the eastern provinces were laid off, by first advertised by the proponents of soturning to socialist measures. It imple- called “market socialism” as a clever demented state plans and made massive vice to build up the productive forces, so as to strengthen the material foundation state investments in infrastructure. In this way China managed to replace of socialism, has become a permanent re20 million jobs and also raised workers’ treat from the real building of socialism. World capitalism is at a dead end. Fraudincome by state spending on benefits. ulent Chinese so-called “market socialism” Chickens come home to roost can only be dragged down by the undertow But the world capitalist crisis remains. of this crisis, with the danger that it will all And the problems of the capitalist market end up in the depths of capitalist chaos and economy remain along with it. With the full-scale counterrevolution. The only way out is to break with the downturn in Europe and elsewhere around the globe, layoffs are already taking place capitalist road and put China back on the once again in China. The ruling-class press revolutionary road to socialist construcand the Chinese media talk about “over- tion. The coming period will show the capacity” in steel and other basic materi- relationship of forces between those who als. But a crisis of “overcapacity” is really want to pursue the self-destructive path generated by capitalism and applies to pro- of relying on the capitalist market and the imperialist world economy, and those duction for profit under capitalism. If the Chinese leadership has “overin- who are the partisans of the working class vested” in steel to keep employment up, and the peasants, not just of China, but of it is because their investment strategy is the world. Goldstein is the author of “Low-Wage being determined by the capitalist market and not by the social and economic needs Capitalism” and the soon-to-be-released of the population. If there is growing un- “Capitalism at a Dead End.” He can be employment and a dangerous real estate reached at fred.goldstein@workers.org. bubble, which the leaders are trying to manage by bourgeois monetary methods, it is de facto evidence of the failure of the capitalist-road strategy. And if they are

SEIU protests layo s
Unemployment Compensation Center workers joined Service Employees union activists outside their call center during their lunch hour on Aug. 8 to protest the state’s closing of their workplace — despite Philadelphia’s official 10.1 percent unemployment rate. State officials claim the layoffs were due to fewer jobless claims. However, union organizer Ray Martinez said the workers were told that they are losing their jobs because the lease was up on the center’s office space at 2901 Grant Avenue, and that it was too expensive to renew. Martinez said: “The unemployed already find it hard to get a live body on the phone to answer questions. It’s now going to get even worse.” The state runs nine unemployment compensation service centers; Philadelphia’s is the only one that will close. A press release cited Labor and Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway, who said: “Claimants are encouraged to use the Internet to file UC claims and to get information they need. We are promoting our ‘Online is Easy’ campaign to let claimants know that filing online is fast, simple, secure and available

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

Low-Wage Capitalism
any time.” (EIN News, July 16) The telephone-based customer service office, which is now staffed by 75 department employees, will close on Aug. 15. Special rules stipulate that when they file for unemployment benefits, they must do so through UC supervisors. Report and photo by Joe Piette
What the new globalized high-tech imperialism means for the class struggle in the U.S. LowWageCapitalism.com

High Tech, Low Pay
A Marxist analysis of the changing character of the working class workers.org/Marcy/HighTech/ Available at Amazon.com and other bookstores.


August 23, 2012

Page 9

Class struggle intensi es as

Honduran Resistance declares ght for socialism
By Teresa Gutierrez A historical and wonderful thing is happening in the small country of Honduras in Central America. Despite terror imposed by the U.S. and Honduran ruling classes; despite beatings and assassinations; despite centuries-old poverty and misery, the masses and their organizations are organizing, mobilizing and fighting back. In fact, developments in Honduras today brilliantly bring to life the old saying, “Repression breeds resistance.” Three years ago, in June of 2009, the democratically elected and popular president, Manuel Zelaya, was illegally ousted in a U.S.-backed coup. The coup ushered in a reign of terror. But it also gave birth to resistance. The coup was symptomatic of the desperate attempt of U.S. imperialism and its corrupt cronies in Latin America to turn back the revolutionary tide sweeping Latin America and the Caribbean. Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and other countries are part of a left-leaning movement that is breaking from U.S. imperialism and attempting to build societies that put the people’s needs before Wall Street profits. Honduras was no exception. Zelaya attempted to carry out changes that would alleviate the misery of the Honduran masses, such as raising the minimum wage and taking control of Honduras’ natural resources. For his efforts, a right-wing coup was carried out with the full knowledge and complicity of Washington. In fact, the concept for the coup was hatched at the Palmerola U.S. Airbase, which Zelaya had attempted to turn into a civilian international airport. A thoroughly pro-capitalist, antipoor, anti-worker administration of the elite was imposed when the fraudulent president, Pepe Lobo, took over the government illegitimately despite popular resistance. But, as Karl Marx stated, the capitalist class creates its own gravediggers. That is what is happening in Honduras today. New phase in resistance struggle The coup has opened up a new chapter of revolutionary struggle in Honduras. The masses have awakened and are taking matters into their own hands. Longtime militants and activists have joined together with the youth, workers, students, women, campesinos, the lesbian/ gay/bisexual/transgender community, the Garifunas and Indigenous organizations, and formed mass organizations and united fronts. This includes the Frente Nacional de Resistancia Popular, or FNRP (the National Popular Resistance Front), a 3-year-old formation which is getting stronger every day. On July 1, the Resistance announced to the world a new phase in the struggle. This extraordinary announcement is summarized with the FNRP slogan, “¡Vamos de la Resistencia al Socialismo!” (“Let’s go from Resistance to Socialism!”) This announcement of a call to build socialism in Honduras is a signal to both the allies of Honduras as well as to its enemies that the movement is prepared to take the struggle as far as it can possibly go. The historic announcement has bearing for the worldwide class struggle. It should be heard in every barrio, neighborhood, community center, union hall and plaza around the world. Every youth and worker who occupied in Wisconsin, Zuccotti Park, Tahrir Square or the Zócalo should know what is going on in Honduras. Revolutionary election campaign A few months ago, the FNRP decided — through assemblies, meetings and rich debates — that the Resistance would be entering the 2013 presidential elections. The movement formed a new party, Partido Libertad y Refundación (Partido Libre or Libre Party), that would organize the necessary steps to enter the electoral arena. Revolutionaries and Marxists around the world know that elections do not make fundamental change. It is the masses who are the real agents of change, not elections. Ending capitalist relations and expropriating the means of production from the bosses for the workers — that is what is necessary to end exploitation. Cuba, for example, took its revolution all the way — the Cubans ousted Wall Street and Washington from their country forever and began to organize society for the benefit of all the workers. Revolutionaries also know that there are many steps and complicated processes on the road to liberation. The 2013 elections in Honduras may well be a watershed event that marks a turning point in that road to liberation. On July 1, in the province of Galeras in Santa Bárbara, Honduras, the Libre Party formally launched the candidacies of Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, who was nominated for president, and Juan Barahona, president of the union confederation (FUTH), nominated for vice president. The masses, by their own means, traveled more than 130 miles over difficult terrain from the main city of Tegucigalpa and from throughout the country to gather in Santa Bárbara, where Castro was born and raised. Both candidates are well known, not just in Honduras but outside the country as well. Castro — affectionately called by her first name, Xiomara — was the “First Lady” under the Zelaya administration, while Barahona is a long-time, leading union activist. Both are members and leaders of the Resistance. Workers who come from outside of Tegucigalpa know to go to the Beverages Union (STIBYS) hall to get not only information on where the next action will be held, but food, shelter and water as well. Much of the movement gathers and meets in the union hall. Hope for change brings out masses The people of Honduras are some of the most impoverished in the world. It is the second-poorest country in the hemisphere after Haiti. According to the World Bank, 65 percent of the people live below the poverty line. More than 30 percent of the population, in a country of about 8 million, lives in extreme poverty. So it is no small thing for a worker to travel from one city to another of their own volition to participate in a campaign event for an election that is more than a year away. Yet thousands and thousands of people came. What propelled them? This writer had the privilege to travel to Honduras not long after the coup, and also had the privilege to watch the video of the July 1 campaign launch with some of the Resistance leaders in the U.S. It is clear, both from Workers World interviews with Hondurans and from listening carefully to the candidates’ words on July 1, that what drove the masses to Santa Bárbara was hope. Hope that life in Honduras is not going to be the same. Hope that society is changing for the better, that the hundreds of campesinos, journalists, unionists and LGBT people who have been killed since 2009 will not have died in vain. What motivated the masses was the prospect that many sectors of society are finally coming together in unprecedented revolutionary unity to fundamentally change Honduran society. This unity occurs in the context of the last three years when the movement has not stopped despite repression and brutality. The main point of unity among all social sectors put forth by the FNRP and Partido Libre appears to be refusing to bow down to the golpe (coup). This is no small thing in light of the repression and the ever-present U.S. soldiers and U.S. Drug Enforcement agents. Whether they are students or campesinos, women or the unemployed, gay or straight, from the intelligentsia or from the union hall, the people of Honduras are heroically building a broad united front not just against the golpe, but for a radical and revolutionary step forward. Read the words of the presidential candidate the day of her nomination and it becomes clear that a new day is coming Continued on page 10

Hunger strike in Colombia

GM workers sew lips shut outside U.S. Embassy
By Martha Grevatt No one comes to work expecting or intending to be hurt. Being injured on the job creates both physical and economic hardship. Even if one qualifies for compensation, income is cut and there can be a long waiting period before the checks begin to arrive. In the worst cases, the worker cannot return to his or her job and cannot find work elsewhere. For hundreds of thousands of autoworkers around the world, whose dangerous work leads to both immediate and cumulative injuries, it’s our worst nightmare. The situation is particularly acute for more than 100 injured GM workers in Colombia. They aren’t just suffering from carpal tunnel, spinal column injuries, tendinitis of the elbows and shoulders and other debilitating, job-related conditions. Once these workers became incapacitated, GM fired them for “just cause,” leaving them with no source of income and no medical care. On Aug. 1, members of the Association of Injured Workers and Ex-workers of Colmotores (GM’s Colombian subsidiary), known as Asotrecol, began a hunger strike outside the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá. Four members sewed their lips shut. On Aug. 6, after GM representatives quit a mediation session arranged by the International Labor Organization, three more workers took the same courageous and dramatic action as their four comrades. On Aug. 15, if the situation is not resolved, a third group will follow suit. These workers are exceptionally brave, because their country is the most dangerous place in the world to be a workers’ advocate. More trade unionists are killed in Colombia each year than any other country. “We have spent more than a year dying slowly each day,” explained one of the injured workers. “It’s practically the same whether we die of hunger or die waiting for them to solve this problem,” added Asotrecol President Jorge Parra, who, like many of the workers, now walks with a cane. (Asotrecol YouTube channel) On Aug. 1, workers marked one year since the fired injured have maintained an encampment outside the embassy. The U.S. Embassy was chosen because the U.S. federal government bailed out GM and has an ownership stake in the company since the 2009 bankruptcy process. The encampment is demanding that GM recognize the injuries as work-related, that workers who can work in some capacity be rehired to jobs they can do with their limitations, that those unable to work be given a pension, and that Asotrecol be recognized as a union of injured workers. “General Motors Chevrolet Colombia is breaking the labor rights of its workers to make more profit,” Asotrecol charges on its YouTube channel. Support for the hunger strikers is growing. Close to 2,000 sympathizers have signed a petition to GM CEO Dan Akerson and have been calling Akerson and Peter McKinley, the U.S. ambassador to Colombia. On Aug. 10, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued a statement of support, saying, “The U.S. and Colombian governments must bring GM Colmotores into dialogue with Asotrecol to help facilitate a swift and fair response to the workers’ grievances. … Furthermore, the Colombian Ministry of Labor must thoroughly examine General Motors’ occupational health and safety practices and the use of a collective pact in Colombia for compliance with national law and the labor provisions of the Colombia Free Trade Agreement.” The situation is now urgent, with some hunger strikers showing signs of weakness and dehydration. Supporters, including many UAW members, are planning a protest outside GM world headquarters in downtown Detroit on Aug. 15 and urging demonstrations outside other GM plants and dealerships where possible. Calls and emails must continue to Akerson (Daniel.akerson@gm.com, 313-5665000) and McKinley (AmbassadorB@ state.gov, 571-275-2000) to ask them to pressure Colmotores to address the workers’ concerns. To sign the petition go to tinyurl.com/7udptdc.

Page 10

August 23, 2012


Stop U.S. machinations NBC distorts truth about 1983 U.S. invasion of Grenada in the Middle East!
ashington and the corporate media alike have made it obvious that U.S. imperialism — and its colonialist allies in Europe — have stepped up their already intense aggression in that part of the globe where much of the world’s fossil fuels are found. The Obama administration is carrying on a full-fledged counterrevolutionary intervention against the Syrian government that threatens great harm to the people of Syria and the entire region. U.S. imperialism and its allies have refused all opportunities for a negotiated settlement. They are moving instead to drag the Syrian people into a civil war and expose the region to the threat of major warfare. Washington is again, as it did in Iraq, exacerbating religious and ethnic divisions to further its economic and strategic interests in this formerly colonized region, which the imperialists are trying to reconquer. This strategy even includes using armed groups similar to al-Qaeda as cannon fodder against the Syrian army and the Syrian people in the battles for Aleppo and Damascus. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said again that the Pentagon would be able to enforce a “no-fly zone” against Syria. While he claims this is not imminent, he is keeping the threat alive. That was the term used for the months-long bombing of Libya in 2011 and the destruction of that country’s infrastructure, along with its legitimate government. In Egypt an apparently major political move has taken place. The new civilian president, who represents the Muslim


At the Olympics


By Monica Moorehead

Brotherhood, fired the two top generals of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Since the removal of the unpopular President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, Washington is hedging its bets between the SCAF — its traditional military ally — and the Muslim Brotherhood. While it is hard to unravel right now just what this latest move means, we do know that neither Washington nor the imperialist media have begun to attack the civilian Egyptian government for this move, as they would if they felt an immediate threat. A military strike by forces unknown in the Sinai Peninsula against the Egyptian army exposed the isolation of the military and the Brotherhood. Neither has a program to answer the growing poverty of the mass of the people. Neither represents the revolutionary masses in Tahrir Square, whose protests brought down Mubarak and who have continued to protest the SCAF. Washington’s strategic goal regarding Egypt is to guarantee the maintenance of the 1979 Camp David accords that neutralized Egypt with regard to Israel’s military threat to the region and its continued oppression of Palestinians. The Pentagon has nurtured its ties to the Egyptian generals, whom they want on the U.S. side, just as they have with the monarchies in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf emirates. With U.S. direct aggression imminent in Syria and possible in Egypt, the slogans of the progressive movement in the U.S. must be: “U.S., Pentagon, NATO, stop promoting counterrevolution in Syria. U.S. out of the Middle East!”

Honduran Resistance declares ght for socialism
Continued from page 9 in Honduras. ‘Let us build a socialist society’ Xiomara Castro de Zelaya — on the platform surrounded by campesinos and union members, with her son, daughter and spouse, former President Zelaya — said under the bright morning sun, “Come people of Honduras, let us build a socialist and democratic society. Let us bring down the bourgeois state and build a socialist one.” Xiomara evoked the global struggle as she paid tribute to the resistance in the Middle East, the Occupy Wall Street movement and the “indignados” (indignant ones) in Spain. The talk, a call to arms, sounded more like a rally speech in socialist Cuba than a presidential nomination speech. It was an example of how the struggle of the Honduran masses and the unity of the movement have spurred on a revolutionary consciousness. A grouping of leaders in Honduras has chosen to commit class suicide, to break with the elite and to join the masses in their struggle for liberation. To help assure these leaders stay with the masses, it becomes more important than ever to do the necessary work to build the struggle, a painstaking and difficult task but one that the Resistance is clearly waging — and winning. The clarion call being made in Honduras today will earn the ire of the U.S. ruling class forever. For Xiomara, Barahona, Mel Zelaya, the Frente and the Libre Party to declare socialism with the Honduran masses is to declare war with Washington, a war the Hondurans must win. Progressives and revolutionaries want to be a part of this moment in history, part of the revolutionary process, not outside of it. The masses were awakened by the golpe, but so were other sectors of society. That is why it is time to close ranks around the revolutionary movement in Honduras. Building the struggle for solidarity and unity with Honduras, especially from inside the belly of the U.S. imperialist beast, will help ensure that the movement can take further steps to transform Honduras into a nation that defends the interests of the workers and not the capitalist elites. Long live the FNRP and Partido Libre! Long live the Resistance and long live the struggling people of Honduras! To read the full version of the talks by Xiomara Castro and Juan Barahona, visit resistenciahonduras.net.

The Summer Olympics, since 1960, has provided a global forum for a whole host of important social issues and struggles. The great Muhammad Ali, at the age of 18, threw his boxing gold medal into a river near his home of Louisville, Ky., to protest U.S. racism in the aftermath of the 1960 Rome Olympics. Only 10 days before the 1968 Olympics opened in Mexico City, a student-led protest against government repression at the city’s Plaza de las Tres Culturas was attacked by government forces, resulting in the Tlatelolco Massacre, during which hundreds of unarmed civilians were killed. At the same games, African-American gold and bronze medal winners, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, raised their fists in defiance as the U.S. national anthem was played during their medal ceremony. Their electrifying gesture was a clear statement of protest against racial discrimination in the U.S. Following this heroic act, former International Olympic Committee President Avery Brundage banned Smith and Carlos from the games. This is the same Brundage who had defended the Nazi salute at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. At the 1972 Munich Olympics, Palestinians took Israeli athletes hostage to help bring world attention to the Palestinians’ plight as a dispossessed people, oppressed by the U.S.-backed Zionist state. The Olympics have also been used as a reactionary platform to push forth a rewrite of history in the interests of imperialist domination. Anti-China bashing has been a common thread throughout the current games in London. The accusation that members of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the imperialist media have made most often against Chinese athletes is that they are doping, though no scientific evidence of any sort has been presented to back this charge. It’s the most blatant example, but there are others. Grenadian wins race On Aug. 6, Kirani James made history when he won the 400 meter track and field race, becoming the first runner to win a medal for the small island nation of Grenada. NBC exploited this glorious moment as a pretext to spread the lie that the U.S. had “liberated” the once-British colonial possession from a “Communist” invasion. There was no such invasion, only some Cuban construction workers helping to build an airport there in 1983. From 1979 until 1983, Grenada was governed by Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, a leader of the anti-imperialist New Jewel Movement, which established fraternal ties with socialist Cuba. Under this movement, Grenada’s impoverished


Grenadian Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, a leader of the anti-imperialist New Jewel Movement with Cuban President Fidel Castro.

masses, including women, were making important social gains. The New Jewel Movement was inspiring to Black and other oppressed peoples as well as workers and the left worldwide, including in the U.S. The charismatic Bishop, the movement’s main spokesperson, increased its reach. The Ronald Reagan administration began taking steps to counter the growing influence of the Grenadian revolution. Tragically, a violent internal struggle developed within the New Jewel Movement, resulting in the executions of Bishop and other government officials on Oct. 19, 1983. The crumbling of the New Jewel Movement gave a big opening for Reagan and the Pentagon to intervene militarily in Grenada on Oct. 25. Washington used two false, really absurd pretexts for sending 7,300 troops from the U.S. Army’s Rapid Deployment Force there for an invasion: that the new airport would become a “Soviet military base” and that the internal struggle in Grenada threatened the lives of U.S. students at a medical school there. The Cubans at the airport were workers, not soldiers. But they were armed and revolutionary, and fought the invaders. At least 24 Cubans died alongside their Grenadian comrades defending the airport against the overwhelming Yankee invasion. U.S. forces also bombed civilian targets, including a psychiatric hospital. Much of the world, through protest and other means, condemned the U.S. invasion as a gross violation of international law by the largest imperialist power against an island nation of 91,000 people with an area slightly less than the city of Detroit. This is the real truth that NBC refused to tell on Aug. 8. In 2009, the same airport was inaugurated as the Maurice Bishop International Airport, exhibiting the Grenadian masses’ wish to preserve this revolutionary leader’s legacy over two decades later. Read more from the pages of WW at tinyurl. com/8ceq6x7.

U.S. invasion force lands in Grenada, 1983.


August 23, 2012

Page 11

How much are the Olympics worth?
By Monica Moorehead Can a dollar figure be put on the Olympics? The answer is yes, according to a July 25 CNN article entitled, “Is the Olympics worth more than Google?” The article dissects a report released by Brand Finance, a worldwide consultative firm, which reveals that the XXX Olympics in London are worth $47.5 billion, second only to Apple at $70.6 billion and just ahead of Google at $47.4 billion. This particular view is based on figures in the International Olympic Committee’s financial statements. The worth of the games is reportedly more than that of Coca-Cola, Samsung and General Electric. Brand Finance’s mission is to show “strongly branded organizations … how to maximize their value through the effective management of their brands and intangible assets.” (brandfinance.com) Their clients include investment banks, corporations and tax authorities. To put this almost incomprehensible number into historical perspective, the Olympics is worth 134 times more than the assets of the National Bank of Greece, which come to $334 million. Greece was the birthplace of the modern games in 1896. The same report states that, in comparison to the 2008 games in Beijing, “total revenue has increased 38 percent to $5.1 billion. Of that amount, broadcast revenue has boomed by 51 percent to $3.9 billion (compared to just $1.2 million in 1960) with the largest spent by continent in North America ($2.3 billion).” That $2.3 billion was only spent by NBC, owned by GE, and its affiliates to telecast the games on TV and the Internet — live and tape delayed. The revenue for the 2016 Summer Olympics scheduled for Rio de Janeiro is expected to extend beyond $6 billion. Brazil’s major sport is soccer. The World Soccer Games are the most popular in the world. The Olympics come in second. Great Britain is expected to net $25 billion from this year’s games. Pro ts vs. sports In the same CNN article, Simon Chadwick, from England’s Coventry University Business School, disputed Brand Finance’s report comparing the Olympics to other corporations because the numbers don’t necessarily include costs that the host nations contribute to the games. He says these costs “can divert resources away from investment in other sporting projects that might normally be pursued.” Additionally, he mentions that a significant part of the brand value of the Olympics comes from only two sources: broadcasting and sponsorship, which is “limited.” Chadwick states, “The IOC has created value for the brand on the back of unprecedented protection; there can be few corporations across the world that oblige governments to pass legislation aimed at protecting the Games’ interests. As such, the IOC is afforded competitive and commercial benefits that are essentially unique and highly distinctive.” The article raises that due to this lack of legal restrictions, corporate giants like McDonald’s — with an estimated worth of over $22 billion — have a virtual monopoly on food supply at the Olympics, so they reap huge profits, while encouraging unhealthy eating habits. Corporations that join The Olympic Partner program are assured hefty profits on their investments in the games. TOP accounts for at least 40 percent of the IOC’s revenues. The Brand Finance report says: “Procter & Gamble expects to generate an extra $500 million in sales from London 2012, having already generated $100 million from Vancouver [Winter Olympics] 2010. GE, which reportedly paid $200 million for TOP sponsorship rights covering London and Vancouver, already believes it has earned back its investment. GE uses its Olympic links to win big contracts in the host nations, particularly in developing nations such as China (after Beijing 2008) and the upcoming Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, for 2014.” Chadwick says that the sponsorship or the corporate investments in the games grossly misrepresent the viewership, meaning that “this sense of corporatism is further amplified by the geographic figures, which are heavily skewed towards North America. The implication is that there is little value in the Olympics brand in Africa (which provides just 1 percent of the broadcast revenue).” The African continent has a much greater population than North America but remains the most underdeveloped continent, with many of the poorest countries, due to the legacy of the slave trade, colonialism and present-day imperialism. “The domination of broadcasting revenues is an especially worrying point as it implies that the majority of brand value is delivered by media spectacle alone,” asserts Chadwick. “This casts some doubt on the extent to which consumers and fans value the brand, but also implies that the generation of brand value is delivered by broadcasters and sponsors, and not by the IOC or the inherent or intrinsic qualities of the products it delivers.” Whether Chadwick and others like him agree or disagree with what the Olympics are worth or not, the games are a lucrative source of big profits. Whether the athletes win medals or not, they are all losers because in the eyes of the corporations, they are nothing more than commodities to be bought and sold for the purpose of making profits. This unequal relationship will eventually help to lead to the downfall of a system that is incapable of meeting human needs. Next: Militarization and the Olympics

China, Britain, the Olympics and capitalist media
By Caleb T. Maupin Four years ago, the Summer Olympics were held in China. The U.S. media, from right-wing Fox News to the liberal pundits of MSNBC, had a great deal to say about the host nation. Claims were made about China’s air quality due to pollution. Tibetan separatists assaulted a woman in a wheel chair while snatching the Olympic torch in Paris. The anti-China and anticommunist attacks and rhetoric seemed endless. The China bashers were given a multimillion-dollar megaphone, before millions of viewers, to call for the U.S. to boycott the Olympics and paint the Chinese government as the face of evil. This year, however, the Olympics were held in London, and the tone of the press was quite different. But here are some facts to consider about these two countries. No corner of the globe has been untouched by the lust for wealth and profits of the British Empire, the British capitalists, or the plundering monarchs who preceded them. Their human rights violations have gone on for centuries. Let us not forget the infamous “Opium War,” when Britain declared war against China for refusing to accept the importation of narcotics. British settlers throughout Africa colonized, exploited and killed millions of people, indisputably. It was Britain that once colonized Zimbabwe, calling it “Rhodesia” after a brutal imperialist thug named Cecil Rhodes. The revolution led by Robert Mugabe kicked the British out, and they have not forgiven Zimbabwe, especially as it redistributes stolen land back to the people. It was against Britain that the people of India fought for independence, only to face brutal repression. It was Britain that issued the Balfour Declaration, allowing the earliest settlements on Palestinian land, and paving the way for decades of Zionist terror, war and apartheid against the Palestinian people. British troops currently occupy the North of Ireland, with a record of torture and murder there that is miles long. British bombs recently tore apart Libya, as they helped lead a NATO crusade for oil. Britain has killed thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan. British workers, youth face austerity Conditions inside Britain itself are not so great either. The British government is imposing austerity. Public sector workers in Britain are being rapidly laid off. College students are facing privatization and fee hikes, and being arrested when they protest these attacks. British youth are taking to the streets and fighting the police. Like many youth throughout the world, they face a future without hope inside a dying capitalist economy. Fascist thugs like the English Defense League are terrorizing the immigrant communities. The open fascists of the British National Party represent the country in the European Parliament. If a government’s real or alleged crimes are grounds for a boycott, Britain fits these criteria perfectly. But such information hasn’t appeared in the Olympic coverage. The editorial pages and pundits of cable news have remained silent about Britain’s ugly history as a founding pioneer of racist colonialism and capitalist imperialism. The banks and corporations that plunder the world have no problem with Britain. Many of their giant banks are even headquartered in London. The British government, from the right-wing racist Tories to the “socialists” in the Labour Party, are not merely their friends, but their hired stooges as they sit atop a world empire. China’s story is quite di erent In 1949, China had a revolution. The brutal autocrat Chiang Kai-Shek, who was adored by the British and U.S. ruling classes, was driven out. Mao Zedong announced, “The Chinese people have stood up!” The drug addiction which Britain reinforced with the Opium War was nearly wiped out in the following decades. The signs in China’s parks that said, “No Dogs or Chinese Allowed,” were removed. Women emerged with unbound feet. Today, instead of trading with Britain,

A revolutionary youth’s perspective
the old exploiter and colonizer, many African countries are happy to do business with the People’s Republic of China. China’s history, as celebrated in its opening ceremonies four years ago, contains truths that are quite threatening to the banks and corporations. They show that the capitalist world order of profits and misery is not the only option. A quarter of humanity opted out of bondage with a people’s revolution in 1949, and they are better off as a result. In the opinion of the ruling elite, Britain, with its unemployment, colonialism and racism, sets a much better example for the global 99% to follow. The last thing the global 1% who rule Britain, the U.S., and most of the world want us to hear, are the words Mao Zedong once said to the people of China: “It is right to rebel!”

Romney picks Ryan

Wall St. wants class war
How the 99% can ght back
Continued from page 1 In this period, everything has moved to the right. Conservative pundits like Newt Gingrich, who had earlier criticized Ryan’s plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system as “right-wing social engineering,” are now praising him. Mouthpieces for the ultra-right Tea Party forces, like Glenn Beck, are cheering, of course. But let’s not forget that the Tea Party was created by right-wing billionaires to give political cover to neofascists, inducing them to crawl out of the woodwork. They created a weapon to push the entire political establishment to the right. This is not a period of social liberalism on the part of the imperialist bourgeoisie. The days of guns and butter are gone. The contradictions within their system, which make it convulse just when it becomes more productive than ever, can only be combated by class struggle. Compromise with the super-rich by electing their “lesser evil” candidates to run the government merely postpones the real struggle to combat — combatting the class of capitalist parasites that is wrecking the world.

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

Trabajadores de GM comienzan huelga de hambre frente a Embajada de EE.UU.
Por Martha Grevatt Nadie viene a trabajar esperando o con la intención de ser lastimado. Ser lesionado en el trabajo crea dificultades físicas y económicas; incluso si uno califica para una compensación, el salario se recorta y puede haber una larga espera hasta que los cheques comiencen a llegar. En el peor de los casos el trabajador no puede regresar a su trabajo y no puede encontrar trabajo en otros lugares. Para cientos de miles de trabajadores del mundo, cuyo trabajo peligroso conduce a lesiones inmediatas y acumulativas, esta es nuestra peor pesadilla. La situación es particularmente grave para más de 100 trabajadores heridos de la GM en Colombia. No solo padecen del túnel carpiano, lesiones de la columna vertebral, tendinitis de los codos y los hombros y otras condiciones debilitantes. Una vez que estos trabajadores quedaron incapacitados, la GM los despidió por “justa causa”, dejándolos sin atención médica y ninguna fuente de ingresos. El 1 de agosto, miembros de la Asociación Trabajadores Lesionados y Ex trabajadores de Colmotores (subsidiaria de la GM en Colombia) iniciaron una huelga de hambre frente a la Embajada de Estados Unidos en Bogotá. Cuatro miembros de ASOTRECOL cerraron sus labios el 6 de agosto después de que representantes de la GM abandonaran una sesión de mediación organizada por la Organización Internacional del trabajo, tres trabajadores más tomaron la misma acción valiente y dramática que sus cuatro camaradas. El 15 de agosto, si no se resuelve la situación, un tercer grupo hará lo mismo. Estos trabajadores son excepcionalmente valientes, porque su país es el lugar más peligroso del mundo para ser defensor de los trabajadores. Más sindicalistas son asesinados en Colombia que en cualquier otro país. “Llevamos más de un año muriéndonos lentamente cada día” explicaron uno de los trabajadores lesionados “Es prácticamente lo mismo si nos morimos de hambre o esperando a que ellos resuelvan este problema”, añadió el Presidente de ASOTRECOL, Jorge Parra, quien como muchos de los trabajadores ahora camina con un bastón. (Canal de youtube ASOTRECOL) El primero de agosto marcó un año desde que los despedidos heridos han mantenido un campamento fuera de la Embajada. La Embajada de Estados Unidos fue escogida por el papel del gobierno federal en rescatar a la GM y sus acciones en la compañía desde el proceso de quiebra de 2009. El campamento está exigiendo que la GM reconozca las lesiones como relacionadas con el trabajo, que los trabajadores que pueden trabajar en cierta capacidad sean re contratados a trabajos que pueden hacer con sus limitaciones, que aquellos que no se pueden trabajar reciban una pensión, y que ASOTRECOL sea reconocida como el sindicato de trabajadores lesionados. “General Motors Chevrolet Colombia está rompiendo los derechos laborales de sus trabajadores para hacer más ganancias” denuncia ASOTRECOL en su canal de youtube. Crece el apoyo a los huelguistas de hambre. Cerca de 2000 simpatizantes han firmado una petición al CEO de GM Dan Akerson y están llamando a Akerson y Peter McKinley, Embajador de Estados Unidos a Colombia. El 10 de agosto el Presidente de AFL-CIO Richard Trumka emitió una declaración de apoyo, diciendo que “ el gobierno de los Estados Unidos y el gobierno colombiano deben traer GM Colmotores en diálogo con ASOTRECOL para ayudar a facilitar un rápido y justa respuesta a quejas de los trabajadores.... Además, el Ministerio colombiano de trabajo debe examinar cuidadosamente las prácticas de salud y seguridad ocupacionales de General Motors y el uso de un pacto colectivo en Colombia para el cumplimiento de la legislación nacional y las disposiciones laborales del acuerdo de libre comercio de Colombia”. Partidarios, incluyendo a muchos miembros de la UAW, están planeando una protesta fuera de la sede Mundial de GM en el centro de Detroit. La situación es urgente, ahora con algunos huelguistas de hambre mostrando signos de debilidad y deshidratación. Las manifestaciones se instan a fuera de concesionarios y las plantas de GM cuando sea posible. Llamadas y mensajes de correo electrónico deben continuar Akerson (Daniel.akerson@gm.com, 313 566 5000) y McKinley (AmbassadorB@state.gov, 571 275 2000) para pedirles que presionen a Colmotores para abordar las preocupaciones de los trabajadores. Para firmar la petición, vaya a http://www.change.org/ petitions/gm-resolve-situation-of-workers-dismissed-for-occupational-injuries.


No necesitamos superhéroes
Por Caleb T. Maupin El tipo de personaje conocido como un “superhéroe” se originó en los comics de EE.UU. durante los años de la gran depresión en la década de 1930. El primero fue Superman, con Batman, Spiderman y los demás no muy por atrás. Estos superhéroes ocultan su identidad con algún tipo de disfraces extravagantes o máscara e ir alrededor de la “lucha contra la delincuencia”. No puede ser descartada como una mera coincidencia que el tema de vigilantismo enmascarada por hombres blancos ha pillado en gran parte con la psique de EE.UU., especialmente en esta era de varias guerras de EE.UU., el capitalismo en un callejón sin salida y el crecimiento del estado opresor. Gotham City: Una tierra de fantasía fascista La última película de Batman, “The Dark Knight Rises,” abarca todos los aspectos negativos del tipo de superhéroe. Bruce Wayne, identidad secreta de Batman, él mismo es un multimillonario, pero la película le retrata como una víctima oprimida de los pobres desconsiderados y desagradecidos. El villano es un agitador que predica la lucha de clases, provocando a la gente empobrecida contra la gente rica de alguna manera no apreciada. La policía es retratada como inútil y restringida por las libertades civiles. Así, en su lugar, como un Batman con una capa, George Zimmerman va a proteger “ley y orden” mientras que los pueblos oprimidos están engañados en rebelarse. Solamente en la ciudad ficticia de Gotham hay ricos oprimidos. En realidad, una décima parte de 1 por ciento de los más ricos controla toda la capital de los Estados Unidos, tiene control de los bancos, las fábricas, los pozos petroleros y la economía. La clase dominante controla los dos principales partidos políticos, otorgando dinero ilimitado sobre sus candidatos favoritos. Posee los medios masivos de comunicación y así forma la opinión pública a su gusto. Lanza guerras de agresión para mantener el flujo de su ganancia. La policía en el mundo real no es nada restringida. Frecuentemente mata con impunidad a personas inocentes en lugares como Nueva York y Anaheim, California. No hay ninguna “suavidad sobre la delincuencia.” El sistema penitenciario tiene 2,50 millones de personas detrás de las rejas, el número más alto de cualquier país del mundo. La mayoría de gente encarcelada es gente de color, con pocas posibilidades de encontrar un empleo digno. Se utiliza la pena de muerte con frecuencia en los Estados Unidos, con muchas personas inocentes como Troy Davis como sus víctimas. Esta sociedad violenta y punitiva ha dado lugar a asesinos como James Holmes y George Zimmerman, así como los fascistas del Tea Party y los Minutemen. Estos racistas violentos parecen pensar que sean héroes para “tomar la ley en sus propias manos” cuando atacan a trabajadores/as inmigrantes indefensos/as o asisten a reuniones públicas sobre la reforma de salud con armas de fuego. Tenemos que tener la historia en nuestras propias manos El retrato falso de la sociedad que está pintado en “The Dark Knight Rises” es claramente diseñado a incitar a estos elementos, y también a demonizar los crecientes movimientos progresistas por el cambio. La respuesta par gente pobre y trabajadora no es alguien salvador. La respuesta es unirnos y luchar contra la clase capitalista. Juntos/as podríamos agarrar a la sociedad del 1 por ciento y empezar a construir un mundo socialista sin racismo, sexismo y homofobia, y con empleos, educación y el cuidado de salud para todos/as. La historia verdadera tiene muy pocos “superhéroes” El movimiento laboral, la lucha para los derechos civiles, las rebeliones de Ocupar Wall Street y las revoluciones de la clase trabajadora del siglo 20 todos han sido el resultado del trabajo de millones de individuos abnegados y heroicos. Como ellos/as, debemos formar la historia con nuestras manos. Juntos/as podemos derrocar al 1 por ciento capitalista y su sistema y empezar a construir un mundo mejor. No podemos esperar que alguien nos salve.

Perspectiva de los jóvenes revolucionarios


Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Ramón Labañino Salazar, Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez and Fernando González Llort. Rene González Sehewert salió de la cárcel, aunque deberá permanecer en Estados Unidos bajo el régimen de libertad supervisada.

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