 Colombia: Negociaciones de paz  Mercaderes de la muerte 12

Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite!


Sept. 27, 2012

Vol. 54, No. 38


One year after Occupy began:

Class war on Wall Street
By Caleb T. Maupin New York A huge, militant demonstration took place in Manhattan’s financial district on Sept. 17, the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. More than 150 people were arrested in actions that began at 7 a.m. that day. For several days prior to the rally, the major capitalist media predicted that the events of the day would be minor, and that the Occupy movement was “fading.” These predictions and proclamations were proven to be incorrect. The demonstration was highly organized and effective. Four different assembly points throughout lower Manhattan were announced. At 7 a.m., several thousand protesters assembled, mostly youth, and after a few speeches poured into the streets. One of the four contingents, dubbed the “99% Assembly,” met across the street from Zuccotti Park. The activists proceeded to march down Pine Street, near the back entrance of the New York Stock Exchange. The crowd of more than 1,000 surged into the street, and as the police panicked, glitter bombs exploded, raining confetti and glitter on the crowd. Placards and signs denouncing capitalism were everywhere. The police violently cleared the street, trying to keep the world financial center running as usual. They failed in their efforts, as chaos and protest erupted. Raising signs with slogans like “Capitalism is destroying the planet” and “Where is my f— -ing future?” youth withstood police batons and other crowd-control measures. Multiple intersections were blocked off as youth linked arms. When the police charged with clubs, the youth fled and soon blocked other intersections. This pattern was repeated over and over again. Some intentionally remained in the street in order to get peacefully arrested. Many clergy, including the Rev. Stephen H. Phelps, of Harlem’s Riverside Church, were among them. Others fled, causing New York Police Department officers to chaotically chase them. Sit-ins took place inside symbolically selected bank lobbies. Police were forced to drag

Momentum builds


Leslie Feinberg in court

Wall Street, Sept. 17

Mining struggle continues
youth out of the banks one by one. The issues of the military-industrial complex, police brutality, hydraulic fracturing, unemployment, education cuts and union rights were raised, as Wall Street became a class war zone for the entire morning. Justin Wooten, a student at Montclair State University, was violently arrested by the NYPD. He screamed out, “You’re a bunch of terrorists!” at the NYPD as they dragged him away. Lisa Grab, a member of Students for a Democratic Society, filed a criminal complaint against a police officer after he brutally choked her during the morning’s chaotic events. Amidst the chaos, many looked up to see a Workers World Party banner bearing the slogan: “Expand Occupy Wall Street, Shut Down Capitalism, Fight for Socialism.”


Chicago teachers suspend heroic strike Issues re ect crisis of capitalism
Bulletin: On Sept. 18, the Delegates Assembly of the Chicago Teachers Union announced the suspension of the one-week strike. The union membership will vote to ratify the contract over the next two weeks according to CTU president, Karen Lewis. Read updates on workers.org
By G. Dunkel Sept. 17 — The Chicago teachers’ strike, which began on Sept. 10, has been extended to allow more discussion of a tentative deal worked out this past weekend between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools. According to some CTU Delegate Assembly members, the deal didn’t go far enough in settling some of the issues that MORE ON sparked the walkout. One unsettled issue, in particular, is that the CPS wants to shift students into charter schools — non-unionized for the most part and therefore cheaper to run — and consolidate neighborhood schools whose enrollments have declined. There are already 96 charter schools in Chicago. The union states that Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to expand that number by eliminating 20 percent of the current 681 schools in the CPS. The CPS would be allowed to use stan-

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elected members representing all work sites, to decide to spend a proposed two days talking to members each delegate represents, while the strike continues. CTU President Karen Lewis said, “This union is a democratic institution, which values the opportunity for all members to make decisions together. The officers of this union follow the lead of our members. The issues raised Continued on page 7

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dardized testing to evaluate teachers. Under some proposals for this testing, it would consume 20 to 25 instruction days a year. The deal also doesn’t put enough limits on the power of principals to hire whomever they want. Important issues, with national implications These are some of issues that led the CTU Delegate Assembly, with 800

Workers World Newspaper 55 W. 17th St. #5C, NY, NY 10011

MIDDLE EAST U.S. Marines in Libya  Oct. 5-7 anti-war protests 9  Two parties, one response


Page 2

Sept. 27, 2012



this week ...

 In the U.S.
Class war on Wall Street . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Chicago teachers suspend heroic strike . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Stop incarcerations & torture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Bene t held for anti-racist Tinley Park 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Leslie Feinberg les for speedy jury trial. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Unity in struggle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Activists demonstrate: ‘You can ght City Hall!’ . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Solitary con nement protested. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Midwest protests Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 ’Corporate welfare, NO! Human welfare, YES!’. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 On the picket line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Autoworkers speak out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 ‘ Saving the auto industry’: Behind the political spin. . . . . . 5 Teachers, communities stand strong on strike. . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Chicago & Philadelphia teachers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Palermo Workers Union in solidarity with teachers . . . . . . . 6 Pizza workers hold informational picket. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Judge strikes down anti-union bill in Wisconsin . . . . . . . . . . 7 Jim-Crow-era voting law protested . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Rally of 3,000 in NYC:
By Monica Moorehead New York


Stop incarcerations & torture
The historic Riverside Church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side was filled Sept. 14 with 3,000 people — many of them activists of all ages and nationalities — for a rally to end mass incarcerations and torture, to shut down Attica prison and to demand freedom of all political prisoners. The rally was timed around the 41st anniversary of the heroic Attica prisoner rebellion, which took place from Sept. 9-13 in 1971. Black, Brown and anti-racist white prisoners took guards hostage to demand an end to inhumane conditions inside the walls and much more. Then Gov. Nelson Rockefeller ordered the police and National Guard to slaughter more than 40 prisoners along with their hostages. At the time of the rebellion, there were an estimated 200,000 prisoners in the U.S. Today, that number has skyrocketed to close to 2.5 million prisoners, the most populous prison system in the world. The U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of its prison population. To go a step further, more than 7 million mainly people of color and the poor are reportedly incarcerated, on parole or on probation within the framework of the U.S. criminal in-justice system. This rally comes eight months after the transfer of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal from Pennsylvania’s death row — where he spent over 30 years — to a minimum-security prison due to the strength of a worldwide support movement. The former Black Panther and MOVE organization supporter is still fighting through the courts against a sentence of life in prison without parole. After an inspiring recorded message, Mumia was able to speak live to the rally by speakerphone, which ignited the crowd with chants of “Free Mumia!” Asha Bandele, poet, author and director of the Advocacy Grants Program at the Drug Policy Alliance, chaired the rally. She introduced the Rev. Stephen H. Phelps, a senior minister at Riverside Church, and Bernard White, a commentator with Community Progressive Radio/Metro, who both greeted the audience. Pam Africa, MOVE’s Minister of Confrontation and a leader of the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, offered a powerful reminder to the crowd to continue the fight to free all political prisoners like Mumia, the MOVE 9 and Sundiata Acoli. Soffiyah Elijah, executive director of the Correctional Association of New York, spoke on why it’s important to build a campaign to shut down Attica, an institution symbolic of the unspeakable brutality that takes place throughout every U.S. prison and jail. The main part of the rally featured a discussion among panelists Angela Davis, author, professor and former political prisoner; Michelle Alexander, civil rights attorney and author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”; and Joseph “Jazz” Hayden, founding member of the Campaign to End the New Jim Crow, who is now on trial for trumped-up charges related to his anti-stop-and-frisk activities in Harlem. Also on the panel were Marc Lamont Hill, a professor at Columbia University and co-author with Mumia of “The Classroom and the Cell”; and Cornel West, activist, author of “Race Matters” and Princeton University professor. Suzanne Ross, also representing ICFFMAJ, moderated the panel, which connected the issue of mass incarceration to the broader issues of global capitalism, education, mental health, racism, transphobia, sexism and activism. Hill raised the case of CeCe McDonald, a Black transwoman falsely imprisoned for defending herself against a racist, anti-trans attack. McDonald’s supporters continue to struggle both to have her moved out of a men’s prison and to free her as soon as possible. To view the panel discussion, go to cprmetro.blogspot.com/. Many of the 50 or more groups that endorsed the Riverside Church rally have joined the Sept. 14 End Mass Incarceration/Close Attica Coalition, which will present petitions to shut down Attica to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office during a noontime protest on Sept. 26. For more information, go to freemumia.com.

 Around the world
COSATU holds congress, maintains existing leadership . . . 8 Afghan resistance grows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 U.S. sends Marines, drones to Libya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 End the wars abroad and at home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Words blow away Pentagon smokescreen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 1 million Portuguese shout: ‘Fxxk the troika!’ . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Forum raises struggles in Latin America. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

 Editorial
Republicans, Democrats & Benghazi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

 Noticias En Español
Colombia: Negociaciones de paz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Mercaderes de la muerte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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. 38 • Sept. 27, 2012 Closing date: Sept. 18, 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

mass incarceration.



Forty-one years a er the massacre of 1971, conditions at Attica remain largely unchanged. We join the Correctional Association of New York in calling for the closing of this internationally known dungeon as a rst step toward ending

demand the Shutting Down of Attica e prison-sanctioned brutality at Attica against the incarWHEN?New York State maximum-security prisons are horri cally1 PM WED., SEPT 26, NOON – simily, several other lar. We focus on Attica as a symbol of the brutality of this system that must end. WHERE? 42nd Street and 3rd Avenue
cerated men represents the worst of the prison-industrial complex. Unfortunate-

WHAT? Delivery of letters to Gov. Cuomo to

WHAT? Delivery of letters to Gov. Cuomo Sponsored by: SEPT 14 — to demand the Shutting Down of Attica End Mass Incarceration / Close Attica Coalition WHEN? information: Call 212.330.8029 For more WED., SEPT 26, NOON 1 PM WHERE? 42nd Street and 3rd Avenue

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.

joi n join us

Sponsored by: Durham, N.C. Pittsburgh Bu alo, N.Y. SEPT 14 END MASS INCARCERATION/CLOSE ATTICA COALITION 331 W. Main St., Ste. 408 pittsburgh@workers.org 367 Delaware Ave. For more information: Call 212.330.8029 Durham, NC 27701 Bu alo, NY 14202 Rochester, N.Y. 919.322.9970 716.883.2534 585.436.6458 durham@workers.org bu alo@workers.org rochester@workers.org Houston Chicago San Diego P.O. Box 3454 27 N. Wacker Dr. #138 P.O. Box 33447 Houston, TX 77253-3454 San Diego, CA 92163 Chicago, IL 60606 713.503.2633 chicago@workers.org 619.692.0355 houston@workers.org 312.229.0161 sandiego@workers.org Los Angeles Cleveland San Francisco 5278 W Pico Blvd. P.O. Box 5963 2940 16th St., #207 Los Angeles, CA 90019 Cleveland, OH 44101 San Francisco la@workers.org 216.738.0320 CA 94103 323.306.6240 cleveland@workers.org 415.738.4739 sf@workers.org Milwaukee Denver milwaukee@workers.org Tucson, Ariz. denver@workers.org tucson@workers.org Philadelphia Detroit Washington, D.C. P.O. Box 34249 5920 Second Ave. P.O. Box 57300 Philadelphia, PA 19101 Detroit, MI 48202 Washington, DC 610.931.2615 313.459.0777 20037c@workers.org phila@workers.org detroit@workers.org
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Sept. 27, 2012

Page 3

Bene t held for anti-racist Tinley Park 5
By Betsey Piette Philadelphia A fundraising benefit was held Sept. 14 at the Turnerdome in north Philadelphia for the Tinley Park 5, anti-racist activists who are currently imprisoned for alleged participation in shutting down a neoNazi gathering of the Illinois European Heritage Association in May. The IEHA, associated with fascist and white supremacist groups including Stormfront, the Knights Party and the so-called “Nationalist Socialist Movement,” was holding an “economic summit” at a restaurant in a Chicago suburb. The IEHA is part of the Pioneer Little Europe (PLE) movement which seeks to establish white supremacist enclaves throughout the U.S. Eighteen white anti-racists, allegedly with weapons in hand, confronted the IEHA members. Ten people were reportedly injured. The confrontation took place on May 19, one day prior to the 15,000-person protest against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Summit in Chicago. While the Chicago police and the Department of Homeland Security were busy wiretapping and arresting anti-NATO activists, they let neofascists, who openly promote the extermination of people of color and Jewish people, meet publicly. The anti-racist activists are supported by the Hoosiers Anti-Racist Movement. Five who were captured by the police on May 19 include brothers Jason W. Sutherland, Cody L. Sutherland and Dylan J. Sutherland, along with Alex R. Stuck and John S. Tucker. While 13 others allegedly escaped and are still being sought by police, the five are still locked in prison, held for $900,000 bail combined. The Philadelphia benefit, billed as an anti-fascist “Show of Unity,” included performances by Erik Petersen from Mischief Brew, Corporate Hearts, The Adults, Mean Streets, Dying and Autocracy East. Organizations including HARM, One People’s Project, Anti-Racist Action, Philly Antifa, Food Not Bombs, Wooden Shoe Books, Free The Streets and the Philly Jail Support Collective participated with information tables. All proceeds went to support the TP5 legal costs. For more information on the TP5, Go to tinyurl.com/88a5rkw.

Unity in struggle

‘Free CeCe McDonald!’
Leslie Feinberg les for speedy jury trial
By Minnie Bruce Pratt Minneapolis Transgender lesbian activist Leslie Feinberg appeared in court in Minneapolis on Sept. 13 to face a charge of 3rd-degree gross misdemeanor for hir/her June 4 action in solidarity with CeCe McDonald. The charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $3,000 fine. No judge was present at the Sept. 13 court appearance, nor has one been selected at this stage. However, the prosecutor has been picked — a former cop infamous for his zeal in pursuit of charges against progressive activists. Attorney Bruce Nestor, from the National Lawyers Guild, legally defended Feinberg and filed a request for a speedy jury trial. The trial date and judge will be assigned after pretrial hearings are concluded. Feinberg’s trial will likely take place in October — National LGBTQ/+ History Month. Feinberg states: “I will take every opportunity during the trial to support the struggle of CeCe McDonald against state hate crimes, to recall the historical lessons of the pink triangle, and to speak out against police brutality, the school-toprison pipeline and racist mass incarceration in the prison-industrial complex.” For more information on the campaign to free CeCe McDonald, see: supportcece. wordpress.com.

Minneapolis City Hall, Sept. 13.

Minneapolis — Leslie Feinberg, center, with activists who drove from Anoka, Minn., on Sept. 13 to demonstrate their ongoing solidarity with CeCe McDonald, to show support for Feinberg in the courtroom that morning and to confront state repression against Minneapolis activists at this lunchtime City Hall protest. The Anoka activists work to defend LGBTQ/+

youths in struggle in their community. A Feb. 2 rollingstone.com article, “One Town’s War on Gay Teens,” summarized that local struggle: “In Michele Bachmann’s home district, evangelicals have created an extreme anti-gay climate. After a rash of suicides, the kids are fighting back.” — Report & photo by Minnie Bruce Pratt

Activists demonstrate: ‘You can ght City Hall!’
By Minnie Bruce Pratt Minneapolis Activists rallied against state repression at a lunchtime protest at Minneapolis City Hall on Sept. 13. Demonstrators gathered in solidarity with Northwest and Midwest grand jury resisters and Occupy Homes MN organizers. Many of the activists there have demonstrated support for the struggle to free CeCe McDonald over the last year. Several planned to take part in a motorcycle “swarm” for a group visit with CeCe McDonald in St. Cloud, Minn., where she is incarcerated. Two activists had traveled to Minneapolis from Anoka, Minn., where they work to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer teenagers resisting ultrarightwing bullying. (justinsgift.org/) Noted transgender author and activist, Leslie Feinberg, who faces charges for an act of solidarity with Cece McDonald, came to the rally to demonstrate solidarity with anti-foreclosure activists and grand jury resisters. Drop all charges against Occupy Homes Occupy Homes MN’s website explains: “On May 30, fifteen community supporters were peacefully arrested at the foreclosed Cruz family home as many linked arms and sat on the front stoop. Though they were originally charged with trespassing, the city decided to escalate the charges. Fourteen of the protesters arrested that day, as well as another arrested during a 4 a.m. raid on the Cruz



family’s home, now face charges of thirddegree riot, a gross misdemeanor, along with four other misdemeanors, which carry a total sentence of up to 2 years in prison and a $7,000 fine. “Occupy Homes MN’s defense of the Cruz home made headlines around the country this spring after protesters repeatedly fended off sheriffs and police who came to evict the home; the Cruz family traveled to PNC Bank headquarters in Pittsburgh to renegotiate their loan in person; the city of Minneapolis spent over $42,000 on police forces at the Cruz home; and 37 people were arrested in acts of civil disobedience, including hip-hop artist Brother Ali.” Activists demand the dropping of all charges, and “that all police who used violence in the course of these evictions, including Chief Tim Dolan, who was photographed stepping on peaceful protesters, be formally disciplined; and that no more Continued on page 11

Solitary con nement protested

A Sept. 17 Philadelphia protest to abolish solitary con nement in Pennsylvania drew more than 100 people, who listened to former prisoners and their family members describe the Department of Correction’s use of long-term solitary and other forms of torture. Organized

by the Human Rights Coalition, the featured speakers were Robert King, of the Angola 3; Hakeem Shaeed (formerly Robert Molley); and Theresa Shoatz, daughter of political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoats.

— Photo & story by Joe Piette

Page 4

Sept. 27, 2012


Midwest protests Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

On the
Warehouse workers on strike in Calif., Ill.
Workers at warehouses in major Walmart distribution centers in California and Illinois have been organizing against horrendous conditions for more than a year. Lack of access to clean water, basic health care, regular breaks and properly functioning equipment, on top of exposure to pollutants, improper ventilation in high heat, frequent workplace injuries (boxes can weigh up to 250 lbs.) and retaliation if workers protest, are common. Such basic labor violations have forced the workers to file unfair labor practice suits against their employers, who are subcontractors of Walmart, the largest, wealthiest, greediest retailer in the U.S. and the world. Workers’ wages are low — $8 per hour and $250 a week, or $12,000 per year, according to Warehouse Workers for Justice. Even though the 85,000 workers in this industry do not yet have union representation, they dared to strike — going out first in Mira Loma, Calif., on Sept. 12, followed on Sept. 15 in Ellwood, Ill. On Sept. 13, organizers in Ontario, Calif., began a “WalMarch,” a 50-mile, six-day protest to demand that Walmart take responsibility and live up to its own “Standards for Suppliers.” To learn more about WalMarch (follow it on Twitter #WalMarch) and sign a petition supporting the workers’ demands, visit warehouseworkersunited. org. For more information about the struggle in Illinois, visit www.warehouseworker.org.

Some 75 housing rights activists from Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis demonstrated in front of the Chicago regional office of Fannie Mae on Sept. 10, demanding an end to foreclosures, a reduction of mortgages to current market values, and

the return of foreclosed properties to families who were evicted. Demonstrators then marched to Freddie Mac’s office, repeating the same demands. They then joined striking Chicago teachers at a massive march through downtown Chicago. Similar

demonstrations took place at the offices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in Atlanta on Sept. 10 and in Los Angeles and New York on Sept. 12. For a more detailed report, visit moratorium-mi.org. — Report & photo by Mike Shane

Activists tell Gov. Corbett:

Hot and Crusty struggle continues
About to be fired by a union-busting boss, the mostly immigrant workers at the East 63rd Street Hot and Crusty, part of a chain of cafés in New York City, occupied the restaurant on Aug. 31. After being evicted by the cops, they had the audacity to open their own sidewalk café outside the restaurant, all the while demanding that owner Mark Samson recognize the Hot and Crusty Workers Association. This spring the workers, who are mostly undocumented and who have used in-your-face tactics to protest below-minimum-wage pay and verbal and sexual harassment, won thousands of dollars in back pay and safer working conditions. On Sept. 8, after a heroic year-long struggle with support from Occupy Wall Street, the Laundry Workers Center and several unions, the workers signed an agreement with a new owner stipulating that all workers will be reinstated, that the union will be recognized for present and future employees, and that a union hiring hall will be set up. (AlterNet.org, Sept. 8) But a major setback occurred on Sept. 14: The owners of the building have refused to sign a lease with the new owner. How did the workers respond to this heavyhanded attack by a parasitic landlord in league with the 1%? They resumed picketing Sept. 17 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in defense of their property right to a job. La lucha continua. (Hot and Crusty Solidarity Committee email, Sept. 17)

’Corporate welfare, NO! Human welfare, YES!’

Queens, N.Y., car washers join union
Sept. 13 protest in front of governor’s Philadelphia o ce demanding reinstatement of general assistance bene ts.

By Joe Piette “Gov. [Tom] Corbett, blood is on your hands,” charged Jeffrey Jordan, pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church, on Sept. 13. He was criticizing Pennsylvania’s elimination of general assistance payments to 61,000 unemployed single adults, couples without children and disabled people. A crowd of more than 100 people, some breathing with the aid of small

oxygen tanks and several in wheelchairs, took over the street in front of the governor’s Philadelphia office. The cuts, which were put into effect on Aug. 1, mean many former recipients have no funds to pay for medicine, shelter, clothing and other items needed to live. Corbett’s office had previously promised to meet with ACT UP, an AIDS and HIV advocacy organization, to discuss what was being done

to compensate for the state’s GA cuts. ACT UP organized the Sept. 13 rally to ask, “Where is the meeting you promised us?” When a governor’s representative addressed the crowd, repeating the administration’s intention to meet with “a few people,” Waheedah Shabazz-El, of the U.S. Positive Women’s Network, took the mic to demand “a meeting with all of us — in the convention center.”

It took only six months of organizing by the Department Store Union (RWDSU) for workers at Astoria Car Wash and Hi-Tek Car Wash and Lube in Queens, N.Y., to vote to join the union. In the process, the mostly immigrant workers faced great risks, including deportation. “Yet the conditions are so bad in the industry that they felt they didn’t have much to lose by standing up,” said RWDSU President Stuart Applebaum. (New York Times, Sept. 9) In July, the workers, with the help of Make the Road New York and New York Communities for Change, filed a federal lawsuit alleging that for at least six years they have been paid less than the minimum wage, received no overtime and


Sept. 27, 2012

Page 5

Picket line

Autoworkers speak out:

By Sue Davis

suffered unhealthy working conditions. In fact, a 2008 New York State investigation of 84 car washes in the city revealed that 1,380 workers were underpaid by $6.5 million. However, nothing was done to change conditions until the workers stepped forward. Though organizing in the city is difficult, with 5,000 workers at 200 individually owned locations, the workers are inspired by a similar campaign in Los Angeles that won collective bargaining agreements — with higher wages and better working conditions — at several car wash companies earlier this year.

‘We got a war going on’
By Martha Grevatt Detroit When you read about the auto industry in the news media, all they talk about is the “rebound” of Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. The Detroit News hailed the fact that plants were “pushed to capacity,” which was “good news for autoworkers, who are earning more overtime than they have seen in years.” (Aug. 28) Forget about “plant capacities.” The truth is that autoworkers are being pushed to the limits of their physical capacities. This point was driven home at a Sept. 9 Autoworker Speakout here sponsored by the rank-and-file group, Autoworker Caravan. Workers called the companies out on overtime, disruptive work schedules, safety issues, heat, two-tier pay and the elimination of skilled trade classifications. About two dozen workers testified, some by name but others anonymously for fear of retaliation. Some expressed frustration that local union officials and the International United Auto Workers union were “going along with management.” Summer temperatures in the plants are a big issue — on many occasions they are topping 100 degrees. Ford worker and Local 600 member Eric Truss testified that even when indoor thermometers read 102 degrees, the company doesn’t grant workers a heat break. Peggy Cicinelli, a GM worker and member of Local 1112 in Lordstown, Ohio, stated, “You have to faint” to get management’s attention. “We got a war going on.” The eight-hour day and the two-day weekend are nonexistent. Mandatory overtime is wearing workers down. “Alternative work schedules” have three crews working ten-hour shifts and weekends — all at straight time — as part of their regular workweek. Workers at a Chicago Ford plant were suspended for leaving at the end of their regular 10.7hour shift, after being ordered at the last minute to work 12 hours. Two-tier pay — with newer workers earning less for the same work as their higher-seniority counterparts — continues to be an issue. Pay raises for “entry level” workers were negotiated in the 2011-15 contracts between the UAW and the Detroit Three, but union members want to see the $9-an-hour pay gap eliminated. As one Chrysler worker put it, “Two-tier must go.” GM, Ford and Chrysler workers hired after 2007 are not the only ones stuck in the lower pay scale. Clyde Walker, a Chrysler worker and member of Local 869 was a “temporary part-time” worker for nine years, reaching top rate. When he and many other TPTs became permanent full-time workers, their pay was knocked down to second tier. Actually, there are more than two pay tiers. Increasingly, work is being contracted out to companies that pay even less than “entry level.” One plant janitor, making about half what the job paid before 2007, spoke about the hazardous job of cleaning the plant basement. Typically, the floor is covered with oil and sharp, sheet metal scrap falling from the punch presses above. The situation is even worse in former Visteon and Delphi parts plants, originally spun off by Ford and GM and now owned by other companies. “There are five or six tiers” at the Nexteer plant in Saginaw, Mich., according to recent Local 699 retiree Dean Parm. “Half the workforce is being whipsawed against the other half.” Since being bought by the French company Faurecia from Automotive Components Holdings, which took over the plant from Visteon, Danny Kelly’s plant in Saline, Mich., is a house of horrors. Under one roof there were first and second tier Ford employees, ACH employees and contract workers, all at different pay rates. Now, Ford workers are being transferred to other plants while new Faurecia employees are forced to work seven 12-hour days for $11 per hour. Kelley, a single father making $16.50 per hour after six years, will lose his seniority when he transfers. Faurecia has received favorable publicity as part owner of a new parts plant that will provide 500 much-needed jobs to inner city Detroiters. What isn’t stated is that this plant will eliminate jobs of more than 500 workers in Saline. Workers could have shared their stories well into the night, but stopped to hear from Jorge Parra, president of Asotrecol, representing Colombian GM workers who were injured and fired. Parra announced that the workers’ encampment outside the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá was in its 405th day. Those workers, living in tents, are now on a hunger strike with their lips sewn shut. Parra is in Detroit seeking a meeting with GM executives. GM has refused to acknowledge responsibility for hundreds of work-related injuries, leaving workers with no income or medical care and offering workers only “a paltry sum” in recent mediation. GM “was saved with your tax dollars that are now being used to finance human rights abuses in Colombia,” Parra stressed. “What we have been living in Colombia, they are bringing to you and we can’t let that happen.” Those who had spoken out about their own working conditions voiced support for the Sept. 17 demonstration outside GM world headquarters, part of an international day of solidarity with Asotrecol. Martha Grevatt has been a UAW Chrysler worker for 25 years.

States that boost minimum wage have fewer job losses
A study by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center of six New England states between 1995 and 2011 found that when states raised the minimum wage in recent recessions, their economies had fewer job losses than those that did not. New Hampshire, which raised the minimum wage several times during that period, had the smallest decline in employment. Rhode Island, the only state that did not increase its minimum wage, had the largest decline, at 5.9 percent. That’s 2.5 percent higher than the 3.4 percent drop in New Hampshire. The other states studied were Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont. The study notes that “although employment has not returned to pre-recession levels in any of these states, growth has been faster … in the three states with the highest minimum wages.” The reason: when people make more money, they can buy more, so more jobs are needed to accommodate the demand! This study provides a living example of why the federal minimum wage must be increased. It’s estimated that if it were raised to $9.80 by July 1, 2014, 100,000 jobs would be created.

‘Saving the auto industry’: Behind the political spin
By Martha Grevatt Detroit The 2009 bailout of Chrysler and General Motors has become a major campaign issue in the contest to see which presidential candidate will capture the state of Michigan. The Democrats are taking credit for “saving” the two companies. The Republicans argue that the bailout was a big payoff to the United Auto Workers for supporting President Barack Obama. They say that “secured creditors” — the poor little bankers and hedge funds — got second-class treatment. Neither party’s version is supported by the facts. The loan terms drawn up by the U.S. Treasury and approved by the White House Auto Task Force — whose members were culled from Wall Street and from corporate think tanks — were for the most part identical to those presented to Congress by the Bush administration’s Treasury Department in 2008 and approved by the House and Senate. The bailout gave nothing new to the union — only more take-backs. Second-tier wages were frozen for the life of the contract, at half the pay of workers hired before September 2007. Language whereby lower-paid workers might at some time move into higher-paying, “traditional” positions was eliminated. At my former Chrysler plant in Ohio, we were told to vote “yes” to keep our plant open. Two days later — in violation of the contract — the company announced in court that our plant and seven others would be closed. The Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association was set up to fund retiree health benefits and relieve the company of any future retiree health care costs. The Bush Treasury had demanded that Chrysler’s and GM’s cash obligation to the VEBA be reduced by 50 percent and the other half given in company stock. This is how the VEBA became part owner of Chrysler. It’s not like President Obama gave us something for nothing. The VEBA was already a gamble, with its investments subject to fluctuations on Wall Street. In 2009, Chrysler stock was valued at zero. By having the lump sum payment to the VEBA cut in half, the Treasury increased the risk that the health fund would go bankrupt, leaving retirees without coverage. Moreover, the loan terms now gave the new company 20 years to pay its cash obligation, putting the fund further in jeopardy. The VEBA’s 56.5 percent stake in Chrysler was entirely in nonvoting common stock, and the fund was allowed to name only one member for the Chrysler board of directors. In contrast, the Italian auto company Fiat, which was granted a 20 percent share of Chrysler at no cost, was allowed to name three. How Fiat made out like a bandit Now Fiat is the majority owner. How? First, by getting another free 15 percent share for reaching certain “benchmarks.” This 15 percent of Chrysler’s stock was transferred to Fiat from the VEBA, but the VEBA was paid nothing for it. Then — with VEBA income generated by us, the workers — Fiat bought the stake held by the U.S., Canadian and Ontario governments. The agreement also gave Fiat first rights to buy the remaining VEBA stake for $5 billion, should the VEBA desire to sell. But right now, Fiat is buying a small portion of VEBA-held shares for an even cheaper price. This is the supposed political payoff to the workers and retirees who built the company?


And what about that “second-class” treatment of the bondholders? Almost all of Chrysler’s debt was held by four entities: JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. A much smaller amount of the original $10 billion debt — borrowed by the investment fund Cerberus in 2007 after it bought the company from Daimler — was shared by a few dozen hedge funds. About $3.1 billion of the principal had already been paid, along with hundreds of millions, if not billions, in servicing fees and interest. All four banks and all but three funds agreed to loan terms which give them around 30 cents on each dollar of the remaining $6.9 billion in debt. At the time, Chrysler debt was selling for only 15 cents on the dollar on the bond market. So these financiers got twice the value of their investment — hardly unfair treatment! Bipartisan attack on labor movement What really happened was a bipartisan attack on the UAW and, by extension, the whole labor movement. The celebrated “rebound” of Chrysler is based on fewer workers making more vehicles at substantially lower pay. That was our precondition for “saving the auto industry.” If there is any difference between the two political parties, it is that the Republicans think the attack should have gone further — that the transfer of wealth from labor to capital wasn’t big enough. Autoworkers need to be independent of both capitalist parties and part of a movement committed to advancing the common interest of workers and oppressed people worldwide. Based on a talk given by Grevatt at the Sept. 9 Autoworker Speakout in Detroit.

Page 6

Sept. 27, 2012


In words & actions

Teachers, communities stand strong on strike
By Eric Struch Chicago Sept. 17 — The popularity of the Chicago Teacher’s Union’s struggle for the future of the city’s children against privatization and educational apartheid continues to surge as of day eight of the strike. According to Capitol Fax, a new poll conducted by We Ask America found that 55.5 percent of respondents approved of the CTU’s decision to strike. The poll also indicated that in communities hardest hit by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s incessant drive to privatize public schools, support was even stronger for the striking teachers — 63 percent of African Americans and 65 percent of Latinos/as approved of the strike. When asked who was “most to blame” for the strike, over 34 percent felt that Emanuel’s intransigence was at fault, and an additional 19 percent blamed the school board. (ctunet.com, Sept. 13) Service Employees Local 1 released a statement of solidarity declaring, “The Service Employees International Union stands in solidarity with 26,000 striking public school teachers, clinicians and


dents showed up at these schools displays the parents’ complete mistrust for the CPS’ board of education and CPS’ ability to provide a safe place for the children of Chicago.” (fightbacknews.org, Sept. 11) Saving public education vs charter schools The United Neighborhood Organization has used the strike to try to boost enrollment in their nonunion, publicly funded charter schools. The UNO portrays itself as a grassroots community organization, but it has been in league with the administration of the notoriously corrupt former mayor, Richard Daley (and now Emanuel), virtually since its inception, causing many genuine grassroots organizers to label it an “astroturf organization.” (http://tinyurl. com/8rgp6mt) The UNO has a racist history of keeping Black children out of its schools, and now its CEO, Juan Rangel, is trying to further his own union-busting scab career by parroting the mayor’s line on the strike. Meanwhile, on the picket lines, spirits remain high. Kenyatta Forbes, a young teacher at Fiske Elementary School on the South Continued on page 11

paraprofessionals of the Chicago Public Schools. The Chicago Teacher’s Union is calling for a better school day and adequate resources for students, as well as fair compensation and improved job security and training for teachers. SEIU supports the CTU in their strike. … Strong public schools are critical for working families in Chicago. SEIU Illinois calls on Chicago Public Schools to give our students, schools and teachers the resources

they need to succeed.” (seiu1.org, Sept. 8) Emanuel had a “contingency plan” of scab schools lined up. According to FightBack! News, “One parent said the contingency school in his area was supposed to receive 1,000 students, but instead only 60 showed up.” According to Sarah Chambers, a member of the CTU bargaining committee, “The contingency plan schools were a colossal failure. The fact that almost no stu-

Chicago & Philadelphia teachers — same struggle, same ght
By Joe Piette Philadelphia The message “Chicago & Philadelphia teachers – same struggle, same fight” was featured on one of the signs being waved at passing Philadelphia rush-hour traffic on Sept. 14 as part of a rally by more than 50 labor activists in solidarity with striking Chicago teachers. The sounds of cars honking, yells of support, and passersby who stopped and talked revealed that many people realize what is at stake — not only in Chicago, but for students and communities all over the U.S. As in many other cities, the Chicago school system’s policies look a lot like this city’s deficit-ridden school district plans: closed schools, teacher and staff layoffs, and cuts in programs and services while turning over scarce resources to for-profit charter school organizations. The “Windy City” school board’s demands against the Chicago Teachers Union also mirror Philadelphia School Board proposals for a longer school day, for teacher evaluations that rely significantly on students’ standardized test scores and for rolling back job-security protections. Impressed by the CTU’s ability to organize not only teachers but also parents and communities into one united front, many rally participants discussed how to

bring the CTU’s tactics, strategy and spirit to Philadelphia.


Palermo Workers Union in solidarity with teachers
The following press statement was released on Sept. 11 by Wisconsin-based Voces de la Frontera. At a Sept. 15 mass rally in solidarity with the striking teachers in Chicago, the Palermo Workers carried signs that read, “Palermo Workers Stand with Teachers” and “Palermo Pizza Workers in Support of Teachers.” On Monday [Sept. 10], 29,000 Chicago public school teachers, represented by the Chicago Teachers Union, walked off the job. They went on strike for the first time in 25 years after failing to reach [an agreement in] contract negotiations with the city. Serious concerns over job security, compensation, and educational procedures, such as teacher evaluations based on standardized test scores, have led to this action. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States, and the largest local union in Illinois. Workers at Palermo Villa in Milwaukee — who are in the midst of their own threemonth strike for union recognition and safer working conditions — have come out in support of the Chicago teachers’ struggle. “As workers who are also fighting for a greater voice on the job, we know how difficult this decision must have been for CTU to make. We stand in full support and intend on marching with Chicago teachers on the picket line, in the same spirit of solidarity that so many people across the country have shown us,” says Raul de la Torre of the Palermo Workers Union. For more information on the Palermo Workers Union strike, visit sliceofjustice.com.

Pizza workers hold informational picket
Palermo’s Workers Union members and supporters participate in an informational picket at a Sendik’s grocery store in Shorewood, Wis., on Sept. 12. They distributed leaflets to store patrons describing why the workers have been on strike since June 1 and asking shoppers not to purchase Palermo’s products. Every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., union workers and their supporters visit a different store in the region to inform patrons of the boycott. Labor and community organizations such as Voces de la Frontera, United Steel Workers, various Occupy groups in Wisconsin, union teachers from Milwaukee and Madison, the United States Student Association, Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement and many others are supporting the striking workers. The group Youth Empowered in the Struggle, YES!, is leading a boycott of Palermo’s products at Costco stores in Wisconsin and nationwide. For the boycott schedule and other information, visit www.sliceofjustice.com or facebook.com/BoycottPalermosPizza. The picket line schedule is Monday through Friday 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 3301 W. Canal St. in Milwaukee. — Report & photo by Bryan G. Pfeifer


Sept. 27, 2012

Page 7

Judge strikes down anti-union bill in Wisconsin
By Bryan G. Pfeifer At a time when tens of thousands of Chicago teachers were striking, a Madison, Wis., judge struck down the main provisions of Act 10, a racist, union-busting bill that illegally stripped public sector workers of collective bargaining rights. The bill had been endorsed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on behalf of Wall Street, and the response by all sectors of the working class — which occupied the state Capitol in Madison in February and March of 2011 — ushered in a new period of people’s resistance in Wisconsin, inspiring poor and working people internationally, including those who initiated Occupy Wall Street. “This is a good day for Wisconsin’s working people and the union movement,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, secretary-treasurer of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. “When workers choose to join together for mutual aid and protection, their employer should honor their choice, come to the table and discuss wages and working conditions.” Judge Juan Colas ruled that the 1% law violated both the state and U.S. Constitution by violating employees’ rights to free speech, association and equal protection. The Walker administration has vowed to appeal the ruling before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Since the bill went into effect in June 2011, the cost for public sector workers in terms of increased pension and health care contributions, among other wage cuts, has been in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Workers of color, their families and communities are being hit the hardest by Act 10. There has been no word yet if the workers, who have been illegally stripped of collective bargaining and continue to be robbed of thousands of dollars individually, will get back pay and other reparations. The lawsuit that went to Judge Colas was brought by the city of Madison’s teachers union and the city of Milwaukee’s laborers union; the law and the ruling only apply to city, county and municipal public sector workers. Other lawsuits are pending by unions representing state public sector workers. A federal court ruling issued in March already knocked out portions of Act 10. A federal appeal to the March ruling will be argued before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 24.

Feb. 15, 2011.

Chicago teachers suspend heroic strike
Continued from page 1 in this contract were too important, had consequences too profound for the future of our public education system and for educational fairness for our students, parents and members for us to simply take a quick vote based on a short discussion.” (ctunet.com, Sept. 16) Emanuel’s immediate response to the extension was to announce that the city would seek an injunction forcing the CTU back to work, since it was striking over demands that included class size and resources, not legally permitted under Illinois law. Cook County Judge Peter Flynn stated that the earliest day for an injunction hearing if there is no settlement is Sept. 19. The fundamental issues that transcend the CTU strike — poverty-stricken communities and the nationwide drive to privatize education — reflect the current global crisis of capitalism, including the drive to maximize profits at the expense of human needs like education. Since teacher unions are the main obstacle to this privatization and the huge profits that will flow from this process, a whole multibillion-dollar industry has grown up around testing students and using the results to “flow through” to the evaluation of teachers. Of course, all parents want the best education possible for their children, and teachers are an essential part of this process. But even the best teacher can’t overcome stifling hot or freezing classrooms, leaky windows, no textbooks until weeks after school starts, no libraries, no music or art instruction, no physical education — all issues the CTU has raised numerous times with the people of Chicago. Even if the CTU Delegate Assembly approves the contract and the teachers go back, the membership will still have to vote on accepting it. Solidarity from other unions The struggle in Chicago to defend public education from the attacks of a Democratic mayor, who was the chief fundraiser for the Democratic Party’s national campaign until last week, has drawn widespread support. Hundreds of unions all over the country have passed support resolutions and made contributions to CTU’s strike fund. The Boston teachers union stands out. Even before the CTU struck, it contributed $1,000 to the CTU’s strike fund, according to a post on the American Federation of Teachers’ Peace and Justice listserv. But when Emanuel claimed at a press conference in early September that they had settled without a strike, BTU took out a full-page ad for $6,000 to rebut him in the Chicago Sun-Times. The ad pointed out that the BTU does not have the right to strike, a right denied most teacher unions. It said, “Thank you for mentioning our contract settlement, which came about as a result of a mutually respectful conversation between the parties. Perhaps you can learn from us — and begin to treat your own teaching force with the same respect.” (Boston Globe, Sept. 14) Maria Elena Durazo, leader of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, spoke on the CTU strike, stating, “No one knows more about teaching than teachers. Politicians and other socalled education experts think they know more about educating children than the professionals who are in the classroom every single day. Some politicians want to blame teachers for a poorly funded pub-

Feb. 18, 2011.

State Capitol in Madison, Wis.


lic education system. We hope the strike is resolved as quickly as possible. In the meantime the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor is sending $10,000 to support teachers as they continue to fight for public education.” (ctunet.com, Sept. 13) The CTU held a large, Wisconsin-style support rally in Union Park on Sept. 15, which drew over 30,000 people, not only parents and members of other Chicago unions but also busloads of teachers from Madison and Milwaukee, Wis. After the rally, the protest marched through the West Side communities of Chicago. Bob Peterson, president of the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association, started his speech with “Greetings from the state where teachers lived to fight Governor Walker to the city where teachers are standing up against Rahm Emanuel.” He went on: “At the time [of the Wisconsin protests in 2011] visiting teachers from Chicago came up to me and said, ‘You teachers in Wisconsin are our heroes.’ And today I come to say to you, ‘You teachers in Chicago are our heroes.’ You demanded that public education be a priority for the city, not privatized charters, not private voucher schools, not turn-

around schools but public schools.” (examiner.com, Sept. 15) Lewis gave the final speech. Obviously tired and angry, she said, “I am tired of billionaires telling us what we need to do for our children as if they love our children more than we do.” One of the most prominent members of Emanuel’s school board is the extremely wealthy, hotel heiress Penny Pritzker. Lewis challenged the school board and City Hall — along with the Bill Gates Foundation and the Broad Foundation, which push business-administration graduates with no teaching experience into education leadership — to turn off their air conditioners and face the same environment as teachers when they’re working in Chicago schools. She asked, “I want to know why when we ask for textbooks and materials on the first day, on the first day when children walk into a building, that somehow we are being unreasonable. I want someone to tell me why that is.” (examiner.com, Sept. 15) Lewis reminded the audience that the CTU was still on strike and that the agreement they had with the CPS was just a framework.

Page 8

Sept. 27, 2012


South African police crack down on wildcat strike activity

COSATU holds congress and maintains existing leadership
By Abayomi Azikiwe Editor, Pan-African News Wire South African police have arrested striking workers in an effort to stem protests and violence in the areas surrounding platinum and gold mines. Since rock-drill operators walked off the job in August at the Lonmin Platinum facilities at Marikana, 45 people have been killed. On Sept. 15, police raided miners’ hostels in Marikana and said they seized spears, machetes and other traditional weapons from strikers. Despite management threats and appeals from the African National Congress-led government of President Jacob Zuma, Lonmin workers had not returned to their jobs as of Sept. 17. Labor unrest is spreading to the chrome facilities. On Sept. 14, workers at Samancor walked off the job demanding R12,500 ($1,500 per month), the same salary sought by the Lonmin miners. Mining operations at Aquarius Platinum’s Kroondal and Xstrata’s chrome facilities in the Rustenberg platinum belt around Marikana reopened on Sept. 17. Some workers had returned to the job; however, there is still tension as other workers refuse to return to the mines. Police arrested 42 people on Sept. 17 at an Anglo-American Platinum (Amplats) mine for engaging in an “illegal” strike. Amplats workers have shut down four mines in recent days. Company bosses said they were determined to reopen the facilities on Sept. 18. Some workers objected to Amplats’ pledge to force them back to work. Mametlwe Sebei, a community leader, said that these mine bosses were “whistling in the dark” for thinking that the mines would reopen on Sept. 18. Sebei asserted, “They can deploy the army, they can shoot people, shooting old men in their shacks, tear gassing young kids … but let us be clear there will be repercussions.” (Reuters, Sept. 17) Expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema was prevented from entering a rally at Marikana where workers had gathered at a soccer field to hear him speak. He has been highly critical of Zuma and the party leadership for not taking measures to nationalize the mining industry and redistributing farmland to African workers and farmers. Malema defended jailed miners who had been charged with murder stemming from the Marikana massacre. Reportedly, the Hawks, a division of the South African police, are investigating him over allegations that he deliberately incited workers, a charge supposedly brought by Solidarity, a largely white mineworkers’ union. Speaking before striking workers at the Gold Fields’ KDC West mine near Carletonville, Malema called for a general work stoppage in the mining industry. He has been traveling to mining areas where industrial unrest is taking place. South Africa contains 80 percent of the world’s known platinum reserves and is the largest platinum producer. Lonmin’s Platinum operation in Marikana is reputedly the world’s third-largest producer of this strategic mineral utilized to produce catalytic converters in automobiles. Hundreds of thousands of workers are employed in the mining industry. In 2011, platinum sales were valued at R82 billion ($10 billion); gold sales were estimated at R66 billion ($8 billion). The ongoing unrest in the mining sector, the largest and most profitable in South Africa, has sparked a nationwide debate on the future of the ANC-led government, which has been in power since 1994. Zuma has defended his administration’s efforts to quell unrest in the mining areas. He told journalists: “[The] government respects the constitutional rights of Marikana residents but has to promote peace and order. … Government cannot allow a situation where people march in the streets carrying dangerous weapons. We cannot allow them to intimidate others or incite violence, and we also have to protect the rights of those who do not want to be part of their protests or the strikes.” (Botswana Gazette, Sept. 17) Zuma addresses COSATU congress The Congress of South African Trade Unions, the country’s largest labor federation, held its national congress beginning on Sept. 17 at the Gallagher Estate in Midrand. The organization reelected the existing leadership, including Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi and President Sidumo Dlamini. The COSATU congress is being closely watched inside the country because its 2 million members are politically indispensable to maintaining the ANC as South Africa’s ruling party. COSATU’s support for Zuma and other party leaders will be important at the ANC congress in Mangaung at the end of the year. Zuma addressed COSATU delegates and defended the ANC government’s

track record under his leadership. He also sought to build support for the government’s efforts to bring stability to the mining industry. Zuma acknowledged that R4.5 billion ($548 million) was lost in the recent wildcat strikes at several platinum and gold mines. Zuma also spoke to the indirect impact of the strikes on other sectors of the national economy: “We cannot afford to go into recession and revert to the 2008 and 2009 period where the country lost close to one million jobs, which we are still battling to recover. We have to find a way to restore workplace stability and labor peace. Violence cannot become the culture of labor relations.” (Financial Times, Sept. 17) A rival but smaller union, the Association of Miners and Construction Workers, has sought to compete with COSATU’s largest affiliate, the National Union of Mineworkers, for the workers’ loyalty. NUM expelled several AMCU leaders more than a decade ago, and this animosity continues in the present crisis. COSATU President Dlamini recognized the challenges facing the federation. He pointed out, “We cannot hide the fact that the plight of workers is being used by some to weaken strategic components of the alliance seen as a threat towards Mangaung.” The ANC along with COSATU and the South African Communist Party have maintained a close working alliance since the days of the former white minority apartheid regime. Debates over the handling of the current economic crisis have brought about strains within the relationship among the organizations.

Afghan resistance grows
By Chris Fry Cold comes early to the villages of the Alingar district in Laghman province in Afghanistan. To heat their houses and cook their food, mothers and daughters go out on well-known paths before dawn to find firewood and carry it home. They have done it many times before and would do it many times after. But on Sept. 16, they did not come back. NATO told CNN that, from thousands of feet in the air, perhaps even from satellites, “a large group of insurgents” were targeted. The women and children were attacked “with precision munitions and direct fire” from NATO jets. Horrified villagers raced to the scene. They found at least eight women and children killed and seven more wounded. They brought the injured to a nearby hospital and the dead to local Afghan officials. At first, NATO denied involvement, but soon was forced to change its story. NATO “offers its sincerest regrets to the families.” (CNN, Sept. 16) The U.S., along with other NATO countries, has occupied Afghanistan for 11 years. For all that time, instead of ending resistance, the military has only managed to create wave after wave of hatred and anger at their presence. Sometimes the anger seems to be vented individually. Four U.S. occupation troops were killed on that same day by Afghan police. This has happened so often it is called a “green on blue attack.” This brings the total of deaths of NATOsponsored military and police to more than 50 from such attacks — most of them U.S. forces. On Sept. 14, exhibiting the resistance’s growing organization, some 15 Afghan resistance fighters, wearing stolen U.S. uniforms, invaded Camp Bastion in Helmand province. Despite the built-up security because Britain’s Prince Harry is stationed there as a helicopter pilot, the fighters were able to destroy six Harrier jets, each costing $25 million, and six refueling stations, while damaging six hangers. Fourteen of the fighters were killed, and one was wounded and captured, NATO claims. Eight NATO soldiers and one contractor were wounded. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. A Taliban spokesperson said the attack was in response to the anti-Islam film that has raised the ire of people
Afghan protest in Kabul, Sept. 17.

across the Middle East and beyond. Perhaps so. But it is occupation by foreign troops that obviously stokes the fire of resistance. Washington and the rest of NATO have failed to break this resistance. It has only grown stronger. The war in Afghanistan benefits not one worker in the United States. This failed conquest of a poor country is only for the sake of the billionaires and their minions in government who have created so much misery here. It is long past time that it is stopped and the troops brought home.

Which Road to Liberation?
by Monica Moorehead


Articles by Abayomi Azikiwe from the pages of Workers World n Africa struggles against imperialism n WikiLeaks on U.S. role in Africa n Tunisian masses rebel n South African workers strike n Famine in the Sahel n Women at forefront of liberation struggles n Africa increases trade with China

Capitalism at a Dead End
Job Destruction, Overproduction and Crisis in the High-Tech Era
will be available soon at Amazon.com and other bookstores.

Written in 1993 after a trip to South Africa
How has the disintegation of the Soviet Union impacted on the struggle against apartheid? Has the bourgeois revolution been achieved in South Africa? How does this t with the worldwide revolution described by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in the Communist Manifesto in 1848?

Order from Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., 5C, www.workers.org/ebooks/SouthAfricaMM.pdf NY, NY 10011 Enclose $2 (plus $1 shipping)


Sept. 27, 2012

Page 9

u.S. sends Marines, drones to libya

Anti-U.S. protests spread worldwide
by Abayomi Azikiwe editor, Pan-African News Wire Sept. 17 — In more than 20 countries throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe, hundreds of thousands of people have held mass demonstrations against the United States and other Western countries. The protests in the Libyan city of Benghazi resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other diplomatic personnel on Sept. 11. Stevens was well known in eastern Libya where the rebellion against the former government of Col. Moammar Gadhafi began in February 2011. The attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi — the very city in which imperialist states initiated their regime-change program for Libya — illustrate the political dilemma the White House finds itself in throughout the region. It has not been clearly stated who was behind the attacks on the consulate, and whether they were planned or spontaneous, or a combination of both. Yet the response of President Barack Obama was to immediately announce the deployment of 50 Marines to Libya. In addition, the president announced that warships would be dispatched off the coast of Libya and both Predator and Reaper drones will be flying over the North African country, ostensibly in search of those responsible for the Sept. 11 Benghazi attack and other purported threats against U.S. personnel or interests. There have been conflicting assessments even within U.S. ruling circles over the character of the attack on the consulate and the killing of its personnel. Some within Congress, including former Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, publicly stated that the destruction of the diplomatic buildings in Benghazi was part of a well-organized plan. Others within the administration have been ambivalent for obviously political reasons. If there was a longstanding perceived threat, then why weren’t precautionary measures taken by the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency or other U.S. personnel operating in Libya? The U.S.-backed General National Congress President of Libya, Mohamed Yusef al-Magariaf, said of the Sept. 11 attack, “The way these perpetrators acted and moved, and their choosing the specific date for this so-called demonstration, this leaves us with no doubt that this was preplanned, predetermined.” Magariaf reported that the GNC regime had arrested 50 people in connection with the investigation. (CBS News, “Face the Nation,” Sept. 16) U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan E. Rice commented during the same TV program, “Based on the best information we have to date … it began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo, where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution.” Who to put the blame on? Neither the U.S. administration nor the GNC government in Libya could address the underlying reasons behind these widespread demonstrations, which have been both peaceful and violent. Washington and its installed puppet regime in Libya have created mass unemployment, poverty and social dislocation as a result of the large-scale bombing, naval blockade and overthrow of one of the most prosperous and stable governments in Africa under the leadership of Gadhafi. Washington Post blogger Glenn Kessler pointed out on Sept.17, “It is in Magariaf’s interest to emphasize that this tragedy does not reflect anti-American feelings by the Libyan people.” He added, “It was planned by foreigners, by people who entered the country a few months ago, and they were planning this criminal act since their arrival.” The demonstration in Libya against the U.S. diplomatic installation was quite similar to protests in other countries throughout the region and internationally. All of these actions could not have been organized by people from outside their respective states. The anger expressed by Muslims throughout the planet is a clear reflection of the animosity generated by the foreign policy dictates of Wall Street and its agents in Western governments. ABC News reported that Glen Doherty, one of the former Navy Seals who was killed along with Ambassador Stevens, was at the consulate on a separate mission related to tracking down the availability of shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles. (Washington Post, Sept. 17) In the aftermath of the killing of the diplomatic personnel, the Obama administration is continuing on the same political trajectory. These diplomatic missions are carried out on behalf of the economic, military and political interests of the U.S. ruling class. U.S. policy toward the nations of Africa, the Middle East and Asia is becoming more aggressive due to the worsening economic crisis of capitalism and the failure of the Pentagon and CIA to control events within these geopolitical regions. With the deployment of additional military personnel to Libya, these imperialist troops will become targets for the groups identified not only by the U.S. as its enemies, but by ordinary Libyans who will surely oppose the ever more aggressive occupation of their country. Global discontent with u.S. imperialism Mass protests also took place in the North African state of Egypt, which last year was the scene of an uprising that led to the toppling of long-time Washington ally President Hosni Mubarak. Even with the election of President Mohamed Morsi in June, the U.S. administration is still attempting to control Egyptian domestic and foreign policy. At the time of the demonstrations in Cairo outside the U.S. Embassy, Morsi was in Brussels, Belgium, attempting to negotiate a deal with the European Union for economic assistance for his new government. Egypt has also been in talks with the International Monetary Fund to reschedule a portion of its foreign debt. The U.S.-allied Gulf state of Qatar also has reportedly agreed to invest $18 billion in the economy of Egypt. All these measures cannot deflect attention away from the social aspirations of the Egyptian masses and other working people and youth throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The historically unequal relations between the oppressed nations and the imperialist states are intensifying and propelling the masses into motion against those elements in opposition to their class and national interests. Protesters in all the countries denounced U.S. imperialism and Zionism. They ripped down U.S. flags from embassy buildings and burned them along with the flag of Israel. In Sudan, demonstrators could not get at the U.S. Embassy and therefore attacked a German outpost, where windows were broken and fires set. In Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen, Palestine and other states, people demonstrated in large numbers, demanding that the U.S. government stop its hostility toward Islam and countries with predominantly Muslim populations. In other countries such as Afghanistan and Indonesia, thousands protested the U.S. and its diplomatic presence in their countries. Demonstrators and even some members of these governments called for severing relations with Washington. Rallies were also held in Britain, Australia, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan on Sept. 17. In Lebanon, Hezbollah mobilized hundreds of thousands of its supporters for a demonstration through South Beirut where chants of “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” rang out. These demonstrations and other manifestations of anti-U.S. sentiment will most likely continue in light of the escalating imperialist aggression around the world. Workers and the oppressed inside the U.S. must express their solidarity with Muslim people internationally. In the U.S. and Europe, Muslims are profiled, persecuted, falsely prosecuted and imprisoned on trumped-up charges. These acts of institutional discrimination against Muslims are designed to demonize the religion of Islam in order to justify repressive measures domestically as well as the continuation of imperialist wars abroad.

On11th anniverary of the invasion of Afghanistan: from across the U.S. and Canada to London actions demand
by John catalinotto Sept. 17 — As of today, organizations in nearly 20 cities in North America have called demonstrations, meetings, vigils or other actions for the weekend of Oct. 5-7, along with a solidarity action in London, to mark the 11th anniversary of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. The demonstrations, which were called and coordinated by the United National Antiwar Coalition and others, have highlighted three issues: ending the occupation of Afghanistan, demanding hands off Syria, and no war on Iran. UNAC is also protesting the “war at home,” meaning both the persecution of Muslims and the stop-and-frisk laws in the U.S. The killing of the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi, Libya, has sharpened the international crisis. U.S. militarists may press for even more intervention, while the Pentagon is sending warships to Libya and posting Marines at U.S. embassies. The proxy war against Syria continues, as do the threats against Iran. This all makes anti-war protests even more necessary. Here are some. In Los Angeles, a rally will be held Oct. 6 at Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., at 2 p.m. The broad coalition sponsoring the protest includes the International Action Center, School of the Americas WatchL.A., Arab Americans for Syria, Latinos Against the War, and Union of Progressive Iranians. For more information and to endorse the protest, call 323-306-6240. Also in Los Angeles, a march to “shut down the military recruitment center” is set for the same day at noon at Hollywood and Highland. In New York, UNAC has called for a march on Oct. 7 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. centered at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building Plaza at 163 West 125th St. in Harlem. A UNAC press release says they were able to win a permit after “a fight and a lot of work by Nellie Bailey, of the Harlem Tenants Council and Black Agenda Report, and Imam Talib, president of the Islamic Leadership Council of Metro N.Y.” The march is timed specifically to avoid conflict with an important Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which is taking place in New York, that same weekend but ending before the protest is scheduled to begin. In Chicago, protesters will march to Boeing headquarters at 435 N. Michigan Ave. at 3 p.m. on Oct. 7. For more information, call 773-301-0109. A particularly broad coalition has set a protest in Minneapolis on Oct. 7 at 1

End the wars abroad and at home
p.m. to meet along the sidewalks at Hennepin and Lagoon Avenues and march at 1:30. For details, call 612-522-1861 or 612-827-5364. In San Francisco, a march and rally will be held Oct. 6 at noon at Powell and Market Streets. Also scheduled in California’s Bay Area is a Civil Liberties Teach-in at Laney College in Oakland on Oct. 1-3, organized by Northern California UNAC. The Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice is setting the time and place at its meeting this evening for the protest in Detroit on the Oct. 5-7 weekend. The time and place of the Philadelphia protest have not yet been set. Other actions are already set for Salt Lake City; Richmond, Va.; Talahassee, Fla.; Duluth, Mn.; Columbus, Ohio; Concord, N.H.; and Albany, N.Y. on or near the Oct. 5-7 weekend. In Vancouver, Canada, at 1 p.m. on Oct. 6 an event at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Robson & Howe Streets downtown, is sponsored by the Mobilization Against War & Occupation. For details, call 604322-1764. The Canadian Peace Alliance is also planning actions in other Canadian cities. For more information on the individual cities or to add your own city to the list, see october7actions.net/wordpress.

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Sept. 27, 2012


Jim-Crow-era voting Republicans, Democrats law protested
& Benghazi
By Betsey Piette Philadelphia Hundreds of people gathered outside the Philadelphia Municipal Building on Sept. 16 for an early morning rally to oppose the implementation of a regressive voter identification law. The rally was held on the first day of arguments in Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court around the controversial law, which many see as an attempt to reinstate racist Jim-Crow — and poll-tax-type legislation. In August, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court refused to grant an injunction requested by the American Civil Liberties Union against the law. Pennsylvania is among 31 states where restrictions on voting rights have recently been implemented. The law here requires all voters to produce a photo identification card with a current expiration date. Voters who lack a driver’s license, passport or other photo identification must secure a Voter ID card through a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation office. It is estimated that more than 759,000 voters are not listed in the PennDOT database for licenses or photo identification cards. An additional 500,000 voters may have expired PennDOT identification cards. It is estimated that one in four active Pennsylvania voters over 80 years of age lack the required identification. The law requires voters to produce original birth certificates and Social Security cards. For many voters, particular the elderly, these documents may be impossible or difficult, time-consuming and costly to produce. Obtaining them poses particular hardship for those with disabilities or people who don’t live near a PennDoT center. Proponents of the Voter ID law have failed to provide any evidence of alleged voter fraud, which is the basis for the law. Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcaulfe




he crisis spawned by the killing of the U.S. ambassador, two ex-Navy Seals and another U.S. official in Benghazi has its roots in the U.S.-NATO takeover of Libya and its oil fields from the former sovereign Libyan government. That the crisis exploded during the presidential elections has led to verbal battles between the two capitalist political parties, the Republicans and Democrats. These parties are both avid supporters of U.S. imperialist foreign policies and all the Pentagon’s wars. In times of war crisis, they usually close ranks behind whatever militaristic moves the administration pursues. Thus the immediate attacks on the Obama administration from Sen. John McCain, Rep. Paul Ryan, former Gov. Mitt Romney and others might leave the impression that there are substantial and serious differences in strategy, tactics and perhaps even goals of the two parties regarding aggressive U.S. foreign policy. That would be a false impression. Both parties express the interests of the U.S. imperialist ruling class. And this class has grown more belligerent and desperate for conquest as the economic crisis drags on and deepens. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, which was a counterbalance to imperialist power from 1945 to 1990, the U.S. and its NATO allies have been trying to reconquer those countries that had won some sovereignty during the USSR’s existence. Washington has waged these wars — under both Democratic and Republican administrations — using diverse but equally fraudulent banners and justified them by equally fraudulent pretexts, from “humanitarian rescues” to “weapons of mass destruction.” Republican administrations invaded Afghanistan and have invaded Iraq twice, wreaking havoc on millions of

people. Democratic administrations bombed Yugoslavia and Libya, destroying those states. The Obama administration uses pilotless drones to bomb Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other African targets while continuing the war against the Afghan people; most casualties are civilians. Both parties have promoted antiMuslim ideology inside the U.S. by imprisoning Muslims in the Guantánamo concentration camp without trial, and by using the FBI and local police to frame up Muslim youth for alleged plots that paid agent provocateurs incited in the first place. There are differences. The Republicans have spoken with more bluster, rattling rockets and threatening to send troops. The Democrats speak softer and maneuver more with local forces, avoiding mass troop casualties if possible. Both pursue an equally militarist, interventionist foreign policy in general that creates a catastrophe for the peoples involved. Right now both want intervention against Syria and threaten war on Iran. In Libya, the irony is that Washington’s strategy of supporting the most retrograde forces to overthrow and murder Col. Moammar Gadhafi has resulted in the death of the U.S. ambassador. Let this event not be used by either imperialist party as a pretext for further intervention and war. For anti-war and anti-imperialist forces inside the U.S., the only option is to oppose both parties and to oppose whatever the Pentagon plans. The next opportunity to do so will be on the weekend of Oct. 5-7 when the United National Antiwar Coalition (nationalpeaceconference.org) has called actions in cities around the U.S. — with protests also scheduled in Canada — to say no to U.S. intervention against Syria and Iran and to get NATO out of Afghanistan.


(R-Butler), who sponsored the bill, has attempted to pass other legislation that adversely affects Muslims, African Americans, immigrants and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities. The real motivation behind the law was revealed by Majority Leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Mike Turzai. He told the Republican State Committee that the law would allow Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to carry Pennsylvania in this year’s election. Organizations participating in the rally included the Pennsylvania NAACP, Action United, Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition, National Action Network-Philadelphia Chapter, The Advancement Project, Fight for Philly, Occupy Philly and the following unions: Steelworkers, Communication Workers, Transit Workers, and Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776. Speakers promised to continue the fight to stop the racist repression of voting rights, regardless of the outcome of the court hearing. The TWU, CWA and NAACP announced the formation of a coalition to protect voting rights. From Sept. 17 until the Oct. 9 registration deadline, all three organizations will mobilize members to hit the streets with registration forms and information on voter ID requirements.

Words blow away Pentagon smokescreen
By Gene Clancy War Without Victory, by Sara Flounders. World View Forum, 2012 (176 pages, index, bibliography), $15.95. There are times in history when war and politics converge with economics to create a true turning point, a point at which things cannot and will not ever be the same. Such points in time are marked by fierce struggle. When imperialist forces are involved, there are usually gargantuan efforts by those on the losing side of history to obfuscate, deny and cover up their defeat. These include not only propaganda efforts to sway the masses of people, but often a large measure of self-deception by the ruling elites themselves. In her latest book, “War Without Victory,” Sara Flounders decisively smashes through the obfuscation and confusion sown by the Pentagon, and in a thoughtful, yet hard-hitting series of essays exposes the true dimensions of the defeat of U.S. imperialism in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East and around the world. Flounders, who is a cocoordinator of the International Action Center and has decades of experience as a top organizer of the anti-war movement in the United States, systematically demonstrates that the U.S., the foremost agent of capitalism and imperialism in decline, is wracked by contradictions which prevent it from achieving its objectives. This is true even as Washington resorts to more and more militarism, greater and greater military expenditures, egregious violations of human rights and increasing depredations of the natural world environment. “Today U.S. imperialism is in a long period of decline and decay. It is unable to prevail in a long ground war in Central Asia against one of the poorest, least-developed countries in the world: Afghanistan. It is unable to reverse the global capitalist economic crisis or solve the growing unemployment faced by millions of workers. Its industrial capacity is now a mere fraction of global production.” Thus, while it spends more on the military than the rest of the world put together, the U.S. cannot even afford to provide safe drinking water for over 40 percent of its people. Even as it claims to promote “freedom,” it maintains the highest per capita prison population in the world and is dependent on this slave labor to produce an increasing portion of its military hardware! Stymied in its attempts to occupy countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon is increasingly reliant on pilotless drones and special forces to carry out targeted assassinations of supposed enemies. But far from crushing or intimidating resistance, such tactics have led to growing outrage and destabilization within nominal allies such as Afghanistan and Pakistan. Attempts to quietly spread low-profile bases to outposts such as the Philippines, where previous military bases were aban-


doned in the face of mass opposition, face increasing exposure and resistance. Flounders points out that U.S. imperialism is especially dangerous when it is losing and emphasizes the need for an aware and militant anti-war movement to monitor and oppose the machinations of the Pentagon. She focuses on the interventions in Syria, Libya and the Palestinian struggle as areas of particular concern. Flounders also shows the role of advancing technology in the struggle of imperialism with the rest of the world. In a chapter entitled “WikiLeaks, the Printing Press & the Bible,” she shows how throughout history technological development has influenced social and political change. Although new technology has put more lethal power into the hands of the Pentagon in the form of drones, GPS guided bombs, computers and satellite communications, many of these developments have given the masses new avenues of struggle and undermined the strategic position of their oppressors. “The U.S. military may have originally developed the Internet for its own emergency military communication in time of


Sept. 27, 2012

Page 11

1 million Portuguese shout: ‘Fxxk the troika!’
By John Catalinotto Some 1 million of Portugal’s 11 million people held massive marches in Lisbon, Oporto and 38 other cities and towns to condemn the austerity policies of the troika — the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — and of the three parties backing austerity in Parliament. Veteran Portuguese political activists called this Sept. 15 demonstration “the largest in Portuguese history,” since the demonstration of May 1, 1974, which followed the revolution that overthrew the decades-long fascist regime. The revolution ushered in a wave of laws favoring urban and rural workers. However, those laws had been slowly eroded over the following decades and sharply curtailed over the past few years. Those calling the demonstration were a relatively new and youthful group. This could be seen by its main slogan, “Fxxk the troika,” which sounds more like protests by groups such as the “Indignant Ones” of Spain or the Occupy Wall Street movement in the U.S., than those called by Portugal’s class-conscious labor and left movement. But any mobilization so massive must have attracted many of the up to 3 million workers who have participated in general strikes over the past four years, the latest in March. In these actions, the CGTP union federation played a leading role, with support from the Portuguese Communist Party and other pro-working-class organizations. A recent speech by Pedro Passos Coelho, the current rightist prime minister, raised such a sharp attack on the workers and people of Portugal that even some government supporters broke ranks and distanced themselves from his program. He promised to raise taxes on workers’ wages and cut them for the corporations. Meanwhile, the government and the ones before it have been cutting health and education programs and laying off caregivers and teachers. An editorial in the progressive odiario.info web magazine commented on the protest: “The slogans adopted (against the ‘troika,’ ‘austerity,’ the theft of wages and rights, unemployment and the national economic collapse) allow no ambiguity: they represent the unequivocal condemnation not only of the present government but of the course adopted by successive governments that are also responsible for the deteriorating situation in the country. … “The protest echoed slogans in the name of popular unity, so strongly implanted in the memory of April [the 1974 revolution]. … Not only did the supportive base of the government collapse, but also the prospect of an outlet for purely cosmetic change in the current situation had its potential greatly reduced. “[These events] did not arise from nowhere, only representing the spontaneous rupture of a rubber band the government stretched too far. This arousal follows a long, courageous and tenacious resistance by workers and peoples on all fronts of national life, in industries, in schools, in cultural institutions and for the rights of access to public services, which had led to an innumerable series of outbursts in small and large struggles, including magnificent general strikes. “Others will surely follow — of comparable or even greater magnitude — especially in other major initiatives already scheduled, as the national demonstration called by CGTP on Sept. 29.” Demonstrations of tens if not hundreds of thousands also took place in Spain that day on similar issues.

Forum raises struggles in Latin America

Representative from the Mexican protest movement Yo Soy 132.

Above left, Manuel Ospina from the Association of Injured Workers and ex-Workers of General Motors Colombia (Astrecol).

By Michael Kramer New York

The Latin America-Caribbean Solidarity Committee (LA-CSC) of the International Action Center held a “Latin America in Resistance” forum, with participants representing struggles in Colombia, Mexico and Honduras, on Sept. 13. Manuel Ospina from the Association of Injured Workers and ex-Workers of General Motors Colombia (ASOTRECOL) participated via Skype from Bogota. He discussed the heroic hunger strike that members of his organization have been conducting since Aug. 1 against GM, the giant, U.S.-based, transnational car manufacturer. Representatives from the Mexican protest movement Yo Soy 132 spoke about the fraudulent 2012 presidential election and the response from a wide and growing cross section of Mexican society who

will settle for nothing less than a new Mexican reality. Lastly, the LA-CSC screened a video of the July 1 launch of the Partido Libre campaign in Honduras, which is running Xiomara Castro de Zelaya for president and Juan Barahona for vice president. Lucy Pagoada from Honduras USA Resistencia introduced the video, in which candidate Castro de Zelaya called for a socialist Honduras. The elections will be held in November 2013, and the LA-CSC has already begun to organize a delegation of


Lucy Pagoada, Honduras USA Resistencia.

election observers to travel to Honduras, at the request of the National Front of Popular Resistance there. The next forum of the LA-CSC, to be held on Oct. 13 at 5 p.m. at the Solidarity Center in New York City, will focus on the struggle of Ecuador to break free from both U.S. imperialism and economic models based on neoliberalism. For more information, call 212-633-6646 or visit iacenter.org.

Minneapolis: ‘We can ght City Hall’
Continued from page 3 public resources be used to carry out evictions.” (occupyhomesmn.org) Donations for legal defense of activists who were arrested for defending the Cruz home can be made at: wepay.com/ occupyhomesmn. For more information on this struggle, see youtube.com/ watch?v=c_6Kz8MIpns. Solidarity with grand jury resisters! The Solidarity Against State Repression page on Facebook stresses: “From the Midwest to the Northwest, let’s create a culture of resistance by showing solidarity with those who have their backs against the wall. A federal grand jury has convened in Seattle and already four people in the Pacific Northwest have been subpoenaed to testify against their comrades. The subpoenaed comrades have boldly refused to cooperate with the grand jury, potentially facing jail time for doing so.” See saynothing.noblogs.org and nopoliticalrepression. wordpress.com for more information on Northwest grand jury resistance. Midwest activists are organizing a National Call-In Day to End the Investigation of Activists. That event’s Facebook page notes: “Two years after the Sept. 24, 2010, FBI raids and grand jury repression that targeted 23 Midwest anti-war, Palestinian and international solidarity activists, the Committee to Stop FBI Repression is urging activists around the country to take action. Two years is enough! It is time for the Chicago U.S. Attorney’s office to say, once and for all, that this investigation is over.” Activists urge progressive forces to organize protests and events on the week of Sept. 20-26. They ask supporters to call Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas at 312-353-5300 ext. 68027 and tell him to “End the investigation of anti-war and international solidarity activists.” See stopfbi.net for more information.

war. But the Internet has long since escaped those bounds. U.S. corporate power cannot shut down the Internet without totally disrupting their own businesses, production and marketing. The contradiction is that the immediate financial interests of the bourgeoisie make the Internet ever more accessible.” Reflecting both Flounders’ esteem among anti-imperialists worldwide and the usefulness of the book, more than a dozen individuals with prestige in the progressive movement — including Ramsey Clark, Cynthia McKinney, Sandinista leader Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, Michael Parenti and leading Black unionist Clarence Thomas — have written statements praising Flounders’ book. U.S. imperialism is in decline and “War Without Victory” is an important and timely documentation of some of the important nails in its coffin. See pentagonachillesheel.com for endorsements and to download. The book is available on amazon.com and barnsandnoble.com. To order from the publisher, send $15.95 plus a $3 shipping charge to World View Forum, 55 W. 17th St., 5th floor, New York, NY 10011 with your name and address.


Teachers, communities stand strong on strike
Continued from page 6 Side, told WW, “It’s simple. You wouldn’t ask someone who isn’t in the health care field to reform surgery practices, so why ask the private sector to reform education? Teachers need to have more involvement in policies. That’s how you close the achievement gap. [You have to] include the people who have the most impact on students — the teachers! This strike is a war of wills. And from the epic display of solidarity today, our will is high! We have everything to lose and everything to gain. It’s a strange dichotomy.” Nathan Johnson, a teacher at Lakeview High School on the North Side, told WW: “Much of the reason why we are in the situation we are in boils down to one thing: respect. Mayor Emanuel, the board of education, the media, etc., have all painted a picture of us that simply isn’t true: that we are all lazy, that we are not doing our jobs, and that we can’t be trusted to know how to teach our own students. In essence, they act as if we the teachers are the problem — forget the overcrowded classrooms, the socioeconomic issues in many of our communities, the lack of resources in our schools. “The board is constantly micromanaging us, giving us new curriculum, standards, programs, and other such topdown initiatives year after year that are applied to many schools across the city, not taking into account the individual needs of each school. And year after year, these initiatives fail and are replaced by a new crop that later fails and the cycle repeats ad nauseum. All of these initiatives are dreamed up by people in the ivory towers of academia. No one ever asks us, ‘what resources would you like?’ “I truly believe that this strike has implications that go far beyond Chicago, and I feel that it is absolutely imperative that we take a stand and say enough is enough!” Read Johnson’s statement in its entirety at workers.org.

¡Proletarios y oprimidos de todos los paises unios!

Correspondencia sobre artículos en Workers World/Mundo Obrero pueden ser enviadas a: WW-MundoObrero@workers.org

Las FARC-EP anuncian inicio de negociaciones de paz
Por Berta Joubert-Ceci Las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo (FARCEP), ofreció una conferencia de prensa en La Habana, Cuba, el 6 de septiembre para anunciar el inicio de las negociaciones de paz con el gobierno colombiano. Transmitido en vivo casi en su totalidad por CNNE (CNN en español), la conferencia ofreció una oportunidad única de ver y escuchar a los/as representantes de las FARC siendo tratados como lo que son – una fuerza beligerante que representa a las masas oprimidas de Colombia en su búsqueda por la paz con justicia social. No hubo mención de palabras como “terroristas” o “narcoguerrilla” tan omnipresentes en los medios de comunicación comerciales. Estas son las etiquetas acuñadas por el Pentágono para describir los movimientos populares armados. Esta concesión en sí fue una victoria para la insurgencia colombiana. Sin duda, el cambio verbal no fue porque el CNNE de repente se convirtió progresista y alteró su posición, tornándose más respetuoso con el ejército guerrillero. Lo que la cobertura de la conferencia hizo fue mostrar el trabajo incansable que la insurgencia ha llevado a cabo durante décadas, tratando de lograr la paz en el país. Las FARC, una organización marxistaleninista, se vieron obligadas a abrir una guerra de guerrillas en 1964, cuando el ejército colombiano, equipado por Estados Unidos, bombardeó Marquetalia, una zona liberada en el sur, donde el grupo comunista se habían refugiado por los ataques anticomunistas desatados por el Estado. En la rueda de prensa, el comandante Mauricio Jaramillo, dirigente de la delegación de las FARC, estaba acompañado por Ricardo Téllez, Andrés París, Aguilar Hermes, Sandra Ramírez y Marco León Calarcá. Ellos y ella habían estado en Cuba durante seis meses en conversaciones con representantes del gobierno colombiano. Jaramillo comenzó la conferencia de prensa mostrando un video de Timoleón Jiménez, también conocido como Timochenko, el más alto comandante de las FARC. En su declaración, Jiménez agradeció a los gobiernos de Cuba, Noruega, Venezuela y Chile por su apoyo a las negociaciones. Hizo hincapié en el compromiso de las FARC con el proceso de paz, que puso en el contexto de la continua persecución por parte del Estado colombiano. “Es claro para nosotros”, dijo Jiménez, que pese a las manifestaciones oficiales de paz, los alzados llegamos a este nuevo intento de reconciliación asediados, no sólo por el mismo embate militar desatado una década atrás, sino compelidos abiertamente mediante su acrecentamiento a recoger nuestras aspiraciones políticas y sociales a cambio de una miserable rendición y entrega. Pese a tales señales, las FARC-EP guardamos la sincera aspiración de que el régimen no intenta repetir la misma trama del pasado”. El presidente Santos había declarado que su gobierno continuará las operaciones militares contra la insurgencia y no se declarará un alto al fuego. Dijo que sólo con la conclusión de las negociaciones se dará el fin del enfrentamiento. Después de seis meses de intensas discusiones “exploratorias,” ambas partes firmaron el “Acuerdo General para la terminación del conflicto y la construcción de una paz estable y duradera”. La segunda fase se abrirá por completo en Oslo, Noruega, el 8 de octubre y continuará en Cuba. Agenda para las conversaciones Los cinco puntos de discusión alcanzados por ambas partes son: 1) Política de desarrollo agrario integral, 2) Participación política, 3) Fin del conflicto, 4) Solución al problema de las Drogas Ilícitas y 5) Las víctimas (los derechos humanos y la búsqueda de la verdad). Estas cuestiones básicas pero fundamentales están a la raíz del conflicto. Las FARC-EP han dejado claro que siempre han tratado de trabajar por la paz, pero por una que resuelva eficazmente los problemas que dieron origen al conflicto. Por ejemplo, el primer punto “Desarrollo Agrario” plantea la posibilidad de una reforma agraria, algo crucial para el logro de justicia para el pueblo colombiano. Hay muchos intereses de terratenientes nacionales y particularmente transnacionales que se oponen a una reforma agraria seria que ayude a los/as campesinos/as y a los/ as trabajadores/as agrícolas. A pesar de todas las garantías verbales dadas por el gobierno colombiano para el éxito de estas negociaciones, las conversaciones son entre enemigos que todavía están en guerra. ¿Cuánta voluntad tiene el gobierno de Santos para llevar a cabo las negociaciones con seriedad? ¿De qué manera los intereses extranjeros y el imperialismo responderán? Hay muchos enemigos de este intento por la paz, incluyendo al ex presidente neofascista, Álvaro Uribe. Un punto importante recalcado por las FARC fue que estas negociaciones no sólo conciernen los intereses del gobierno y la insurgencia, sino que requieren de un esfuerzo mucho más amplio que debe involucrar a todo el pueblo y a los movimientos en Colombia. De hecho, un deber del movimiento progresista por todo el mundo es apoyar este proceso, una deuda pendiente al pueblo de Colombia. Y el primer paso mejor para mostrar ese apoyo es desenmascarar a los verdaderos enemigos de la paz y restablecer el nombre correcto de la insurgencia: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia — Ejército del Pueblo, y el Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN.

EE.UU., mayor vendedor de armas en el mundo
Por Gene Clancy El complejo militar-industrial de los Estados Unidos triplicó sus ventas de armas el año pasado cuando vendió $66,3 mil millones en armamento al exterior en ese período de 12 meses. Esto fue casi el 78 por ciento de todas las ventas de armas en el mundo, las cuales subieron al nivel récord de $85,3 mil millones en 2011. Estados Unidos claramente se mantuvo como el mayor proveedor de armas en el mundo, con casi todos los otros proveedores importantes viendo descensos en sus ventas durante el 2011, según el reporte anual al Congreso del Servicio de Investigaciones de esa misma institución. Estos otros proveedores son casi insignificantes comparados con EE.UU. Rusia, que fue la segunda más alta en ventas, solamente tuvo ventas de $4,8 mil millones. Los traficantes de armas estadounidenses también continuaron dominando en términos del suministro de piezas de repuesto, en la capacitación y en la negociación de acuerdos para futuras entregas. Washington genera un flujo constante de pedidos de actualizaciones, repuestos, municiones y servicios de apoyo de un año a otro, aun cuando no concluye grandes acuerdos para nuevos sistemas de armas, según el informe. A EE.UU. le gusta a menudo pretender ser un “arsenal de la democracia” pero lo contrario es lo cierto. En 2011, más de $33,4 mil millones en ventas – o el 50 por ciento — fueron a Arabia Saudita, una monarquía absoluta que tiene uno de los regímenes más reaccionarios y represivos en el mundo. Bahréin, que ha llevado a cabo una feroz campaña en contra de sus propios/as ciudadanos/as, fue otro de los compradores más grandes. También lo fue Taiwán, reflejando la estrategia asiática del Pentágono y el Departamento Estatal que está diseñada para poner presión militar en China. Todo esto no es nada nuevo. Durante mucho tiempo los Estados Unidos han sido el proveedor dominante de armas en el mundo, aún mientras muchos de sus líderes aceptaban premios Nobel por “la paz”. Henry Kissinger, el secretario de estado bajo la administración de Richard Nixon; el ex-presidente Jimmy Carter; y más recientemente, el presidente Barack Obama, todos ellos han sido recipientes. Cada administración no solamente ha involucrado a EE.UU. en guerras e intervenciones, sino que ha presidido sobre enormes ventas de armas al exterior. Estas exportaciones de armas son una parte importante del complejo militarindustrial, el cual combina corporaciones estadounidenses, la economía estadounidense, y el sistema estadounidense militar y político en una mezcla nociva. Ventas claves de armas estadounidenses en 2011 incluyeron: • $33,4 mil millones con Arabia Saudita por 84 caza-bombarderos F-15 producidos por la Boeing Co. y docenas de helicópteros construidos por Boeing y Sikorsky Aircraft, una unidad de la United Technologies Corp. • $3,49 mil millones por la Defensa Terminal de Área de Alta Altitud producida por Lockheed Martin Corp., un sistema avanzado de defensa contra misiles, vendido a los Emiratos Árabes Unidos, y $940 millones por 16 helicópteros Chinook producidos por la Boeing • $1,4 mil millones por 18 caza-bombarderos F-15 hechos por Lockheed Martin • $4.1 mil millones por un acuerdo con India para proveer 10 aviones de transporte C-17 producidos por la Boeing • $2 mil millones por un pedido de Taiwán de baterías para el anti-misil Patriot. Estas compañías también están entre los contribuyentes más grandes a los dos partidos capitalistas en los EE.UU. Los cinco fabricantes de armas más grandes en los EE.UU. dieron en conjunto $7,1 millones a las campañas presidenciales y congresistas hacia mediados de julio según data analizada por el U.S. News & World Report. De esa cantidad, $6,8 millones fueron a candidatos congresistas, con $4,2 millones donados a los Republicanos. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics y Raytheon han dado $156,182 a la campaña de re-elección de Obama, y $116,101 a la de Mitt Romney, según el Centro para una Política Responsable. General Dynamics y Raytheon fueron los únicos de los “Cinco Grandes” que donaron más a la campaña de Romney. Raytheon tiene su sede en Massachusetts, de donde es Romney. El pueblo pobre y trabajador que vive en EE.UU. y el que vive en los países que reciben cargamentos de armas estadounidenses no tienen nada que ganar permitiendo que sus gobiernos desvíen los recursos socialmente necesarios a estos mercaderes de la muerte.

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