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MUNDO OBRERO Influenza Porcina capitalista 12

Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite! workers.org

may 14, 2009 Vol. 51, No. 19 50¢

Chrysler: Grand theft auto


Bankruptcy used to attack jobs, wages & pensions
By Martha Grevatt by the end of 2010. Four closings were passing the new contract, they promptly

In an atmosphere of fear and intimi-


already known, but workers at plants in
Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio
proceeded to trash it, their appetites
whetted by the contract-busting poten- NOT ANOTHER WAR
dation, Chrysler workers represented by were stunned to hear their plants were tial of the bankruptcy courts. As of this U.S. hands off Pakistan!
the United Auto Workers voted four-to- now “bad assets” and up for sale. Workers writing the rank and file are hoping the Editorial 10
one on April 29 to take major contract at the Twinsburg, Ohio, plant voted 88 UAW International will challenge the
concessions. The consequence of a no percent in favor of the concessions. They announced closings.
vote, workers were told, would be that had no idea. Up until the eleventh hour UAW
the company would declare bankruptcy. The workers were swindled! members and the general public were NEPAL
A yes vote would secure jobs and protect The contract amendments included a led to believe that bankruptcy would be
pensions through a new alliance with the letter stating, “The parties discussed the avoided. Chrysler, Fiat, the UAW, the
Rightist army threatens coup
Italian auto company Fiat. status and long term manufacturing plans Auto Task Force, the U.S. Treasury, the 11
Yet not even 24 hours after the bal- for Twinsburg Stamping Plant. ... The Canadian government and nearly every
lots had been counted, Chrysler double- company is committed to studying these lender holding Chrysler’s secured debt
crossed the workers and filed for Chapter plans with the desire that TSP remains had purportedly agreed to the plans for The incredible shrinking
11 bankruptcy. On May 4 nearly every viable. ... We appreciate the UAW’s con- New Chrysler.
U. S . E CO N O M Y 4
U.S. Chrysler employee was put on layoff tinued support in developing a long-term The lenders were the last holdout, but at
while the “surgical” bankruptcy reshapes viability plan for TSP.” the last minute JPMorgan Chase, Morgan
Chrysler LLC into a leaner, meaner— Sterling Heights Assembly, Kenosha Stanley, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and
and they are plenty mean now—“New
Chrysler.”
Engine and St. Louis North Assembly,
as well as Twinsburg, were covered by a
several dozen hedge funds agreed to
accept $2.2 billion in cash payments to
‘NAFTA FLU’
After the workers were told their sac- moratorium on plant closings. This mora- wipe out $6.9 billion in loans. This is actu-
Pigs & profits 5
rifice would ensure job security, Chrysler torium was not rescinded in the recent Continued on 4
told New York bankruptcy Judge Arthur J. contract modifications. While Chrysler
Gonzalez of its plans to close eight plants thanked the employees on April 30 for

MAY DAY IN U.S., WORLDWIDE


Workers demand jobs & rights 6-7

Boston

New York City

Boston

San Diego
Ww photos: Liz green, Deirdre Griswold, Raleigh FIST, bob McCubbin

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Page 2 May 14, 2009 www.workers.org

Why Brzezinski said:


‘There could be even riots’
By Larry Hales communities. In some oppressed communities, such as H In the U.S.
Trinidad in Washington, D.C., this army employs check- Chrysler: Grand theft auto. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
2009 began with a rebellion. On Jan. 7, seven days points, pulling drivers over and stopping people who are
Brzezinski: 'There could be even riots' . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
after Oscar Grant III had been shot in the back and killed walking, denying them access to neighborhoods if they
by Bay Area Rapid Transit cop Johannes Mehserle, the can’t verify their address. Solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
people of Oakland, Calif., rose up and rebelled. This army is the police and sheriff’s departments in Progressive reporter convicted of felonies. . . . . . . . . . . 3
The rebellion was short-lived. It was confined. every city, town and village across the U.S. In New York Student anti-war conference. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
However, it indicated that whatever distractions might City, the police department numbers nearly 50,000,
Stocks up, economy down. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
exist, even the symbolic victory of the first Black presi- when you add up actual police officers, auxiliaries and
dent, the conditions of oppression and repression remain school safety agents. Swine flu—pigs and profits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
just as intense, and violent rebellion is still possible. Each state also has the National Guard, which has Pa. jury okays immigrant's lynching. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
The response of Oakland’s people was what pushed the historically been called on to put down rebellions when NYC May Day. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
city government to arrest and charge Mehserle. the police have not been able to. The National
Workers in U.S. march on May Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Before that, Mehserle had dodged questioning
PART Guard was used during the Los Angeles rebel-
Protesters assail changes at WBAI radio. . . . . . . . . . . . 8

five
and fled to Nevada, where he was picked up on lion in 1992, with troops patrolling in armored
a fugitive warrant. personnel carriers. Roll back the rents. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
The state has many means of repression: Meeting exposes Fort Dix 5 frame-up. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
‘National Solidarity Fund’ the police, the military, courts, jails and prisons. While
Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was President Jimmy it is right to fear the implementation of the various state H Around the world
Carter’s national security advisor and architect of U.S. agencies, one cannot necessarily anticipate their use
May Day worldwide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
strategy in Afghanistan in the 1970s and 1980s, remarked against the movement.
on MSNBC in February, “And if we don’t get some sort The state exists for the uses of the ruling class. Some Evo Morales presents Mother Earth proposal. . . . . . . . . 9
of voluntary National Solidarity Fund, at some point have decried the federalization of the army brigade for Defend Milanovic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
there’ll be such political pressure that Congress will start domestic use as a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act of U.S. imperialism backs slaughter in Sri Lanka . . . . . . . 10
getting in the act. There’s going to be growing conflict 1878, but it won’t be the first time.
Nepal rightists threaten coup. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
between the classes, and if people are unemployed and Historically, Posse Comitatus was never used pro-
really hurting, hell, there could be even riots.” gressively but was a compromise between Northern
H Editorials
Brzezinski was arguing for the capitalist class and the finance capitalists and the Southern former slave mas-
moneyed small capitalists to band together and create a ters. Federal troops were pulled from the South, ending Hands off Pakistan!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
fund, which he called the “National Solidarity Fund.” The Reconstruction and leaving Blacks to fend for themselves
fund would be used to buy off the poor and the quickly in the face of a well-equipped tide of right-wing paramili- H Noticias En Español
declining middle class. tary groups. Influenza Porcina capitalista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
The idea is inane for a number of reasons. Its title, Struggle happens, and struggle in the interests of work- Puercos y gananciass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
“National Solidarity Fund,” is a severe misuse of the word ing and oppressed people can use whatever means the
“solidarity.” Certainly it is not solidarity to give people people in the struggle deem necessary to protect them-
a pittance of what you have stolen from them through selves. Oakland, a city that has a rich history of struggle,
exploitation, so that the inevitability of the working class signaled that violence in this era is still in the equation
and oppressed beginning to openly struggle against the and will always be. Workers World
conditions forced upon them is staved off for a little while The key is solidarity, which means white workers must 55 West 17 Street
longer. stand in support of the most oppressed and support their New York, N.Y. 10011
Besides the obvious meaning of such a fund, it is right to self-defense and to fight for liberation by any Phone: (212) 627-2994
absurd to think that the capitalists would be into giving means. Fax: (212) 675-7869
workers and the oppressed anything. The capitalists are In the current climate, where the decadence of bour- E-mail: editor@workers.org
demanding more handouts from the federal government, geois society grows fouler and white workers have seen Web: www.workers.org
with trillions of dollars robbed from working people. beyond racism to elect a Black president, the possibility Vol. 51, No. 19 • May 14, 2009
Brzezinski is right to expect that open conflict will of broad working-class unity appears great. Closing date: May 5, 2009
arise, but the capitalist class has always been clear about This unity does not erase the demand of the oppressed
its position. It has always been antagonistic. It is the for self-determination, but that demand will grow stron- Editor: Deirdre Griswold
waking up of the working class that Brzezinski fears. The ger as racism intensifies to divide workers. The demand Technical Editor: Lal Roohk
increasing heat of class contradictions is melting away itself strengthens the overall movement against the bru- Managing Editors: John Catalinotto, LeiLani Dowell,
the one-sided détente. Yes, “there could be even riots.” tal capitalist system. Leslie Feinberg, Monica Moorehead, Gary Wilson
Since last October, many in the progressive movement Millions of people have lost their jobs and homes.
West Coast Editor: John Parker
have raised the specter of federal troops being used inter- Imperialist war wages on, with threats of more. The con-
nally against people in the U.S. Some fear there could be tradictions are starker than ever, but the possibility of Contributing Editors: Abayomi Azikiwe,
martial law, and an Army Unit, the 3rd Infantry Division, open struggle is looking up. n Greg Butterfield, Jaimeson Champion, G. Dunkel,
1st Brigade Combat Team, could be used to put down Fred Goldstein, Teresa Gutierrez, Larry Hales,
Kris Hamel, David Hoskins, Berta Joubert-Ceci,
rebellions.
The state apparatus is meant to stand between the
Marxism, Reparations Cheryl LaBash, Milt Neidenberg, Bryan G. Pfeifer,
exploiter and the exploited, to maintain the status quo & the Black Freedom Struggle Betsey Piette, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Gloria Rubac
by beating back workers and the oppressed. The govern- An anthology of writings from Workers World newspaper. Technical Staff: Sue Davis, Shelley Ettinger,
ment will wield the state as a hammer or sword. So fear Edited by Monica Moorehead. Includes: Bob McCubbin, Maggie Vascassenno
of an infantry unit, one that has been used to beat back • Black liberation & the working-class struggle
Mundo Obrero: Carl Glenn, Teresa Gutierrez,
the resistance of the Iraqi and Afghan people against U.S. • The material basis for reparations in the U.S.
Berta Joubert-Ceci, Donna Lazarus, Michael Martínez,
imperialism, is real. • Brief overview of racist oppression & heroic resistance
Carlos Vargas
The state, though, has many weapons. Already, a • What Hurricane Katrina exposed to the world • Salute to
women revolutionaries • Black labor & class solidarity Supporter Program: Sue Davis, coordinator
battle-hardened army with the most high-tech weap-
onry patrols the streets. This army occupies oppressed Order at Leftbooks.com Copyright © 2009 Workers World. Verbatim copying
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www.workers.org May 14, 2009 Page 3

Book release, birthday events in

Solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal


By Betsey Piette Deveaux, former jailhouse lawyers; and was held at the Malcolm ing around the country for his birthday.
Jamal Joseph, who was a Black Panther X library on April 24. All Njeri Shakur, an organizer with the
Award-winning journalist Mumia Abu- 21 defendant during the early 1970s. present signed a hand-dec- Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement
Jamal’s sixth book, “Jailhouse Lawyers: Former political prisoner Angela Davis orated card for Mumia and that sponsored the evening, told the
Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the was shown on video and spoke about heard a birthday greeting audience, “It is so important that we are
U.S.A.,” written from death row, pays trib- the foreword that she wrote for Mumia’s from Assata Shakur. here, united, to stand up for Mumia and
ute to prisoners who became self-taught book. Cultural performances were provid- Gloria Verdieu read continue to build the broad movement
lawyers to help defend the rights of other ed by The Welfare Poets and the Academy Selma James’ message that will free him.” Long-time civil rights
prisoners who would otherwise be denied Award-nominated Impact Repertory from “Jailhouse Law­ activist Ester King, Black Panther Ayanna
legal representation. Theatre, the singing, dancing and spoken- yers.” Asian Amer­ican Women’s Alliance Ade, and gay rights and prison activist Ray
On April 24 and 25, the book was pre- word youth group. members were there in support and soli- Hill read from the just-released book.
sented in over a dozen cities across the In Philadelphia over 200 people darity with Mumia, who is an honorary Three long-time local activists also read
U.S. to open a new stage in the battle gathered on April 24 to culminate a week member of their organization. from the book and paid tribute to three
for Abu-Jamal’s life and freedom. These of events focusing on political prisoners Many who attended also marched on Texas writ writers. The room was totally
events also commemorated Mumia’s April under the theme “Revolutionary Week: May Day and then made their way to the quiet and many had tears in their eyes
24 birthday shortly after the U.S. Supreme We who believe in freedom cannot wait. World Beat Center in San Diego’s Balboa as former prisoners Bobby Mudd, Black
Court denied a review of his case. We educate!” Park. The video “In Prison My Whole Life” Panther Sensei Benton and activist Prince
In Harlem over 200 people packed a Chaired by former political prisoner was shown there before a concert. Many Imari Obadele told of their life in prison
room at Riverside Church April 25 at a Ramona Africa, the meeting featured people were not aware of some information and how they fought the system by work-
program chaired by Sundiata Sadiq and such entertainers as poet Sonia Sanchez, presented in this video, which traces the ing on their own cases as well as those of
Suzanne Ross, leaders of the New York jazz trumpet soloist Kenneth Taylor, the events leading up to Mumia’s arrest and other prisoners.
Free Mumia Coalition. African American Dance Ensemble, and conviction with new photos and evidence. A moving tribute was paid to Texas’s
The speakers included Pam Africa, lead- Goldi, daughter of Mumia and Wadiya. Sylvia Telafaro, president of AAWA, most famous jailhouse lawyer, David Ruiz,
er of International Concerned Family and Speakers included Paul Wright, editor read a poem for Mumia, and Eliote Lieb whose 1978-79 civil trial was the longest
Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; Ramona of Prison Legal News, who said laws were gave an update on Mumia’s case. The band in U.S. jurisprudence history. At his trial,
Africa, a former jailhouse lawyer and the “codified by judges to serve the ruling Wadi said the struggle to free Mumia and 110 prisoners testified at great risk, and
sole adult survivor of the 1985 MOVE class.” Temple professor Linn Washington all political prisoners must continue. were able to force the legal system to listen.
bombing in Philadelphia by federal and Jr. described the many contradictory court In Houston on April 25, a multi- Chapter 7 in Mumia’s book is about Ruiz
local authorities; Brother Amin, aka rulings on local, state and federal levels national crowd filling the S.H.A.P.E. and the changes he made in Texas prisons.
Harold Wilson, who was exonerated after used to deny justice for Abu-Jamal. Center’s auditorium was thrilled to hear Monica Moorehead, Gloria Verdieu and
16 years on death row with Mumia at SCI In San Diego, a celebration of life, Mumia’s strong voice greet them via an Gloria Rubac contributed to this report.
Greene prison; Paul Wright and Mika’il courage and struggle honoring Abu-Jamal audio recording he did for those gather- Jailhouse Lawyers available Leftbooks.com

‘A clear-cut case of retribution’


Progressive reporter
From left, City
Councilwoman JoAnn
Watson, David Sole
and Diane Bukowski.

convicted of felonies
WW photo: Alan Pollock

a Fox 2 News video was


sures, utility shutoffs and union struggles. shown three times to
By Kris Hamel
The railroading of Bukowski on the jury; it did not show
Detroit
trumped-up charges aroused strong com- Bukowski in any manner
Freelance journalist Diane Bukowski, munity support from unionists, political resisting, assaulting or
whose byline appears frequently in The leaders and community organizers who obstructing the police.
Michigan Citizen newspaper, was con- formed the Committee to Defend Diane The Michigan stat-
victed May 1 on two felony charges stem- Bukowski and Freedom of the Press. Bukowski stated in a May 3 e-mail: ute on impeding a police investigation
ming from her involvement as a reporter Bukowski and her supporters say this is “The judge informed the prosecutor and includes the mere “opposing” of the police
on the scene of a deadly police chase in a clear-cut case of retribution by the cops my attorney both in chambers and on the as grounds for felony charges. This oner-
Detroit on Nov. 4. She will be sentenced and prosecutor for her role in exposing record that [state] trooper Eric Byerly, ous law subjects anyone to arrest and
on June 1, and faces a possible four-year the many injustices of the criminal justice who erased two photos from my cam- felony charges who in any way challenges
prison term. system. era, had committed a crime and should the police.
A majority-white, suburban-based jury Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Mic­ take the Fifth Amendment. However, “I’m a felon now,” said Bukowski. “This
found Bukowski guilty of two counts of hael Hathaway entertained a motion from after Byerly nonetheless testified in detail is the price you pay when you stand up
“assaulting/resisting/obstructing” state Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Trzcin­ski to regarding this destruction of evidence, against such monsters.” She called for a
police officers as she and other report- “preclude argument, the asking of ques- neither the judge nor the prosecutor took federal investigation of the prosecutor’s
ers gathered to cover a police chase that tions, and the introduction of any other the appropriate actions against him.” office. (Michigan Messenger, May 1)
resulted in the deaths of a motorcyclist evidence purporting to show that defen- “Five state troopers committed perjury A meeting to organize further support
and pedestrian. dant was acting in her capacity as a reporter on the stand in my case,” Bukowski told for Bukowski and her appeal will take
Bukowski was arrested as she attempt- during the events in question.” Hathaway the audience at a May 1 forum sponsored place May 7 at the offices of The Michigan
ed to photograph the grisly scene and partially granted the motion in what by the Michigan Campaign for Justice. Citizen. Every anti-racist and progressive
after a state trooper yelled to her, “Who Bukowski and her supporters regard as a “Prosecutor Kym Worthy suborned that activist in Michigan has a stake in the final
the f**k do you think you are?” Police con- clear violation of the First Amendment. perjury,” she stated. Raw footage from outcome of this case. n
fiscated her camera, deleted her photos
and claimed Bukowski had crossed yellow
crime-scene tape, which she denies. Connecticut .
Student anti-war conference
Bukowski was originally charged with
one misdemeanor count of obstructing an
investigation. But Wayne County prose-

links war at home, abroad


cutor Kym Worthy charged Bukowski
with five felony counts that totaled a pos-
sible sentence of 20 years in prison. The
prose­cutor’s office later dropped three of By Larry Hales Panels were held on the occupation of for struggle, for people to defend their
the charges. Middletown, Conn. Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, the occupa- right to a home and jobs, and about Fred
Bukowski and The Michigan Citizen, a tion of Palestine and the crisis in Gaza, Goldstein’s book “Low-Wage Capitalism.”
Detroit-based weekly addressed to African More than 70 people, mostly students, the economic crisis, and U.S. military and The dozen participants in the economic
Americans and the progressive communi- participated in the founding conference of economic interventions. Breakout discus- crisis panel proposed that CTSAW raise
ty, have a history of successfully fighting Connecticut Students Against the War on sions at each panel formulated proposals demands for a massive jobs program,
for access to public documents from the April 25 at Wesleyan University. to present to the broader group and to be housing for all, free education and job
prosecutor’s office in police brutality and Many groups endorsed the confer- voted on as part of the CTSAW program. training, health care for all and access to
murder cases. Bukowski has written doz- ence. They include Iraq Vets Against the At the economic crisis panel, Jaimeson media.
ens of stories chronicling police brutality, War, Youth for Socialist Action, Food Champion of the youth group FIST gave The conference was a success and
prosecutorial misconduct and police mur- Not Bombs, the ANSWER Coalition, the an overview of the capitalist crisis and showed that the students involved under-
ders in Detroit. She is well-known in the National Lawyers Guild, International explained how crisis is built into the capi- stood the linkage of imperialist war to the
community as a strong anti-racist fighter Socialist Organization, and FIST—Fight talist system. Peter Goselin of People’s war being waged against workers and the
and reporter on issues involving foreclo- Imperialism, Stand Together. Bailout Connecticut spoke about the need oppressed at home. n
Page 4 May 14, 2009 www.workers.org

Stocks up, economy down


By Fred Goldstein the first quarter, the highest since records ing productivity of labor. Increasing the with capitalist overproduction means
began four years ago. (Bloomberg.com, productivity of labor is the primary way that, even in the event of a stabilization
Economic activity in the United States May 4) As to the increase in purchases of that capitalists have of increasing the of the economy or some sort of capitalist
shrank by 6.1 percent in the first quarter existing homes—the number that helped exploitation of labor. It makes workers recovery, the crisis of the working class
of 2009. That made this the worst reces- drive up the stock market—50 percent of produce more in less time at the same or will remain.
sion in 50 years, with three consecutive the purchases were by speculators picking sometimes even lower wages. More goods U.S. capitalism has entered a new stage
quarters of sharp economic decline. The up foreclosed homes for resale. must then be sold by each company at a which has been masked by years of stock
decline was worse than predicted by econ- The crisis in unemployment has made faster rate in order to keep up profitability market and housing bubble speculation
omists, who had projected 4.7 percent. the crisis of health care worse. It is esti- and pay for their technology. and is now obscured by the downturn. But
Yet the stock market continued to surge mated, based on U.S. Census Bureau data, This creates the crisis that is unique to in less-publicized news the partial truth is
right past this news. Why? Because inves- that 2.4 million people have lost employer- capitalism: the crisis of overproduction. beginning to come out.
tors seized upon a slight growth in hous- sponsored health care since the downturn With high productivity of labor alongside Bloomberg.com recently ran a piece
ing purchases and construction. began in December 2007. Approximately wages that generally remain at the basic entitled “‘Great Recession’ Will Redefine
There is one capitalist economy in 1.3 million of these losses have occurred in survival level under capitalism, sooner or Full Employment as Jobs Vanish.” The
the United States. But there are two the last four months—more than 320,000 later the working class cannot purchase term “Great Recession” is a quote from
basic classes in society—the bosses and in March alone. (AmericanProgress.org) what it produces and plants and stores Paul Volcker, former head of the Federal
the workers—with the middle class in The talk of recovery comes on the heels shut down. Marxist economics explains Reserve Board, who presided over the
between. It is clearly the representatives of of the announcement by General Motors this crisis of overproduction and its inevi- Carter and Reagan recessions of 1980 and
the bosses that are running the stock mar- that it intends to lay off 47,000 workers tability under capitalism. 1982.
ket and writing the economic headlines. worldwide. Some 23,000 layoffs and 13 The article said a new discussion is tak-
For the bosses, recovery means get- plant closings will be in the United States. Bosses are deliberately ing place on the so-called “natural” rate of
ting their sales and profits back up. For Wall Street regards it as positive news that shrinking economy unemployment based on the permanent
the workers, recovery means getting jobs Chrysler, under cover of bankruptcy, will This is why the bosses are now forced destruction of jobs. To the workers “full
back, getting foreclosed homes back, earn- close eight factories. In fact, 71 percent to shrink the economy. Take Cerberus employment” means everyone has a job.
ing a living wage, health care and some of CEOs are planning more layoffs in the Corp., which bought Chrysler and is now To the bosses, because they keep a perma-
measure of economic security. coming six months. handing it over to Fiat. Last fall Cerberus, nent reserve army of unemployed workers
If the working class were writing the It is not only the auto bosses who are through its NewPage subsidiary, shut at all times, full employment means mil-
headlines and broadcasting the network shrinking industry. ArcelorMittal, the down a high-tech paper mill in Kimberly, lions without jobs as long as enough are
and cable news, there would be few words largest steel company in the world, is dis- Wis. According to Andy Nirschl, presi- working to keep the profits rolling in.
about impending recovery. Instead, the mantling steel mills in Lackawanna, N.Y., dent of United Steel Workers Local 2-9, This kind of “full employment” used to
prime-time news would give the statistics and Hennepin, Ill., even though other Cerberus wanted to raise paper prices and mean a jobless rate of 3 percent. Then it
on how this disaster is getting worse. companies want to buy both plants. Some boost its profits by reducing capacity and started creeping up to 4 percent, 5 per-
260 workers in Lackawanna have to stand throwing 600 workers out of their jobs. cent and so on. In the wake of the pres-
Jobs, housing, health care worse by and watch their custom-built plant be This was in spite of the fact that four com- ent crisis, the number is climbing steeply.
In the week ending April 25, some dismantled as part of ArcelorMittal’s cor- panies wanted to buy the plant. (Dollars Edmund Phelps, a professor at Columbia
631,000 more workers applied for unem- porate strategy to sustain profits as steel & Sense online, March/April, “Corporate University in New York and winner of
ployment insurance, bringing the total production contracts worldwide. America’s Counter-Stimulus Strategy”) the 2006 Nobel Prize in economics, says
to an all-time record of 6.27 million. All There is already 25 to 30 percent unem- “This wasn’t like the usual scenario that fallout from the recession implies a
372 metropolitan areas in the U.S. had ployment in the Lackawanna-Buffalo we’ve seen again and again,” said Nirschl, “markedly higher” rate of unemployment.
increases in joblessness compared to a area. The chance of getting another job “where a corporation moves jobs to Mexico “It was 5.5 percent; maybe it will be 6.5
year ago. What is not mentioned is that the anywhere near the $40,000 to $50,000 or China to increase their profits by pay- percent, maybe 7 percent.”
eligibility for unemployment insurance is a year steelworkers were making is virtu- ing less than a dollar an hour. This was a Another economics professor, this one
so restrictive that 20 million additional ally nil. The same scenario took place in case of a corporation taking a productive, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore,
workers, who are either unemployed or Hennepin, near Chicago, where 285 work- profitable plant and closing it, refusing to said that unemployment may peak at 10
under­employed, are getting no benefits ers will be thrown out so that ArcelorMittal sell it to anyone.” percent and “It will be a long time before
at all. can ship part of the operation to Brazil This new trend of shrinking the econ- we see 5 percent” again.
It is estimated that one in nine hous- and the rest to France. omy is of the greatest importance to the It is important to note how many times
ing units—14 million in all—are vacant. These examples show what is going on working class. The destruction of perfectly the words “may” and “maybe” are used
A total of 803,489 properties received a with the shrinking of the U.S. capitalist good factories, stores and other facilities in bourgeois economists’ projections of
default or auction notice or were seized in economy overall. It is driven by the increas- in order to maintain profitability and deal future “normal” unemployment. It shows

Chrysler bankruptcy used to attack jobs, wages


Continued from page 1 The capitalist class as a whole clearly Does it now have the ability, as a voting in operation and already retirees have had
ally twice the market value of the loans, holds a consensus on this latest theft of shareholder, to control the corporation? vision and dental coverage taken away.
which currently fetch prices of 15 cents on union wages and benefits and is determined Not exactly. The VEBA will be directed Union members are getting nothing
the dollar. to see a much smaller U.S. auto industry. by a “trustee” who will appoint just one from this rotten arrangement. They have
Yet this deal, which would double the For months in Washington and on Wall member to the New Chrysler board of given up holidays, break time, time-and-a-
value of their investment, was rejected by Street, voices clamored for bankruptcy— directors. Three members will be appoint- half after eight hours, COLA, bonuses that
just three hedge funds—Oppenheimer, both Democrats and Republicans. ed by the Treasury, three by Fiat, one by were themselves a concession in lieu of
Stairway Capital and Perella Weinberg. The stated purpose of the sale of eight the Canadian government and one by the annual raises, benefits for laid-off workers
The Chrysler debt they hold represents a plants is to raise capital to pay back lender—all of whom will have a smaller and more. These were precedent-setting
mere sliver of their diverse portfolio and the big banks and the equity firms. The stake in the company than the VEBA. All achievements won through decades of
is likely not more than a few hundred mil- banks, which opted to unload a portion the VEBA’s equity will be in nonvoting struggle, and came on top of major give-
lion dollars. of their Chrysler loans to sharks such as stock, and as Fiat’s stake in New Chrysler backs in the original 2007-2011 contract.
How could their recalcitrant stance, as Oppenheimer, have received nearly $100 grows, the VEBA’s will diminish. The hundreds of millions of dollars’
loathsome as it was, make bankruptcy billion through the government bailout. Yet Left out of press reports is that the worth of concessions represent a transfer
unavoidable? Why couldn’t the Auto Task thousands of workers will be either unem- VEBA itself was a big concession on the of wealth from the working class to the
Force, led by former investment bank- ployed or forced to relocate so JPMorgan part of the workers. What drove Chrysler capitalists. Autoworkers are blocked from
ers Steve Rattner and Ron Bloom, have Chase and company can get paid another (and also Ford and General Motors) to set striking from now until the end of the next
extended the 30-day period they initially couple billion. up the fund was the desire to eliminate contract in September 2015.
set for Chrysler to develop a more aggres- The whole purpose of the loans was to “legacy costs”—compensation to retirees For all this workers were given assur-
sive restructuring? It could have insisted finance the previous round of restructur- who are no longer exploitable. With the ance that the alliance with Fiat “could
Chrysler adopt the same firm “take it or ing that has shrunk the Chrysler work- VEBA the companies were to pay a set result in incremental product loading in
leave it” stand with the three holdout vul- force by almost 50 percent in less than two amount but would be free of future legacy the Company’s assembly and powertrain
tures that it took with the UAW and the years—leaving just 27,000 UAW workers costs. It was a big break for the companies operations” and that there would be “no
Canadian Auto Workers. at the company. and a gamble for the union. Plus, workers termination of pension plans covering
The CAW gave up $19 per hour worth of Yet the corporate media have run feature in the plants gave up much of their cost- UAW-represented employees and retir-
concessions after Chrysler threatened to stories on what a good deal the UAW has of-living allowance and other compensa- ees.” The first promise crumbled with the
pull out of Canada completely. supposedly gotten. This myth is being con- tion to cover the cost of the VEBA. latest plant closing announcements. The
Yet the Treasury, rather than use its structed around the 55-percent share of the Then, as a condition of last year’s bail- second, addressing a legitimate concern,
finan­cial and political leverage to soften the new company to be held by the Voluntary out, the Treasury forced a second conces- could prove false too if the bankrupt com-
company’s attitude, took the same hard line Employee Beneficiary Association. The sion on the union. Half of the VEBA was pany is exempted from making payments
towards the union. It was the Trea­sury that UAW-administered VEBA was agreed to in now to be paid in company stock. Stock to the pension fund.
dictated an expansion of the two-tier wage 2007 to fund retiree health care. Does this prices could fall, jeopardizing the health Rather than mobilize the rank and file
structure agreed to in 2007, freezing “entry mean the UAW now owns a majority stake benefits the retirees earned working years to protest this outrage perpetrated against
level” wages at $14 an hour until 2015. in the company with which it bargains? on the assembly lines. The VEBA is not yet the workers, UAW International presi-
www.workers.org May 14, 2009 Page 5

Swine flu—pigs & profits


that they have no way of predicting what By Hillel Cohen for the rotting remains of hogs that die World Health Organization was reporting
will happen in the capitalist economy, before being slaughtered. Fumes from the about 900 confirmed cases—more than
which is unplanned and based on the After a week where fear of a swine flu hog waste foul the air for miles and resi- half in Mexico—including 20 deaths (19 in
anarchy of production. They see the pandemic spread much faster than the dents believe that their ground water may Mexico and one in the U.S.).
trend in a purely pragmatic way, having virus itself, the media hype is starting to be contaminated. Swarms of flies that feed Health officials have reported that the
no scientific theory to guide them, as do slow down. The virus is showing up in on the manure infest the nearby towns. current strain of virus is a mix of genet-
Marxists. more parts of the world, but the number of It is well known that flies can spread ic material from viruses that infect hogs
The number of workers who don’t ever cases, and more importantly, the number avian flu by carrying infected bird drop- and birds as well as humans. For almost
expect to regain the same job is rising, as of hospitalizations and deaths, appear to be pings from place to place. It is possible a decade, world and U.S. health officials
is long-term unemployment. Mass lay- less than what was originally projected. that the flies feeding and breeding in the have focused on so-called avian or bird flu
offs—those involving 50 or more work- It’s still too soon to predict how wide- hog manure were also in contact with bird (labeled H5N1), which has spread around
ers—rose to a record 2,933 and involved spread and deadly this new variation of droppings and became the mechanism of the world but has not “jumped” to human
300,000 lost jobs. During the recession influenza virus will be. Meanwhile, con- mixing virus material from hogs, birds populations. Although some people con-
257,000 auto jobs have been cut. troversy is growing about how the new and humans that may have triggered or tracted bird flu from close proximity to
Lifetime wages are going to drop for virus got started. accelerated the outbreak. poultry and water fowl, no human-to-
the masses of workers, who will be forced The U.S. Centers for Disease Control According to reports from the Mexican human transmission has been reported.
to compete for low-wage jobs if the capi- and Prevention suggests that the genetic newspaper La Jornada, local residents This new swine flu is a variation of
talists have their way. The so-called “job strain was first seen in hog farms in the tried to block the construction of the farm H1N1, which is much more common in
market,” the market of wage slaves for U.S. in 1998. However, the current out- as early as 2005. In 2008 several activists human flu and spreads by human-to-
hire by the bosses, is going to shrink along break seems to have started in Mexican were arrested by the Veracruz authorities, human transmission. At least one case
with industry and services as a result of towns near a huge factory-farm pig oper- who have worked closely with Granjas of suspected human-to-pig transmission
the laws of the capitalist profit system. ation owned by the U.S. corporate giant Carroll to suppress opposition to the huge has been reported in Canada, where sev-
The only way to interfere with this pro- Smithfield and operated by its Mexican hog operation. eral hogs were found to have contracted
cess is for the rank and file of the working subsidiary Granjas Carroll de México. A Long before the swine flu outbreak the virus after a worker who had been in
class, in alliance with their communities, 2006 article in Rolling Stone magazine made the international news, hundreds Mexico visited a hog farm.
to act in a concerted way to block the estimated that Smithfield alone produced of La Gloria residents were complain- Because the most number of cases have
schemes of the bosses to make us their 26 million tons of animal waste a year— ing of severe respiratory infections, with come from Mexico, some right-wing Fox
victims. It is time to follow the example the byproduct of over $11 billion in sales. many of these infections developing into media commentators have tried to blame
of the Republic Windows and Doors Local residents of La Gloria and Perote pneumonia. Pneumonia is one of the Mexican immigrants for bringing the
workers in Chicago, who occupied their in the Mexican state of Veracruz have been severe complications of influenza infec- virus across the border, and may use the
factory this winter after their boss tried fighting the pork-breeding giant for years. tion. Veratect, a private U.S. company fear over swine flu to whip up even more
to run away and set up a non-union plant The factory-farm was first set up in 1994, that monitors health outbreaks around immigrant bashing.
in Iowa. The Bank of America had denied soon after the beginning of the North the world for its subscribers, noticed the The fact that the U.S. cases seem to be
the company credit so the workers could American Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA outbreak in Vera­cruz about a month ear- among tourists or those close to tourists
not collect the benefits owed them. allowed the “free” flow of capital across lier and called the CDC. With its attention has so far limited the attacks on immi-
Those workers were ready to sacri- the border, allowing U.S. corporations to still on alleged (and nonexistent) bioter- grants. Relatively little attention in the
fice to win their struggle to put workers’ set up factories in Mexico to exploit labor rorism, the CDC apparently ignored the big-business mass media, however, has
rights above the property rights of the there without restriction and to flood the calls for several weeks. been given to the Smithfield connection
owners. It is time for the rank and file of Mexican economy with corn and other The first reported confirmed case of or the fact that similar huge and hazard-
the Chrysler and General Motors work- commodities. Some believe Smithfield set the new swine flu virus was a young boy ous plants can be found in North Carolina,
ers to break up the unholy alliance of the up the hog plants in Mexico to avoid even in La Gloria who has since recovered. Utah and elsewhere. Will the corporate
union leaders, the government and the the weak regulations in the U.S. The outbreak spread to Mexico City and criminals who profit from these environ-
company that is ripping up their con- Producing close to a million hogs per other Mexican areas as well as New York, mental and public health disasters be held
tracts and killing their jobs. year, the company maintains huge lagoons California, Texas and other locations in the responsible?
There is no telling where the present of hog manure as well as open-air dumps U.S. and around the world. As of May 3, the Cohen is a doctor of public health.
economic crisis is going. The bosses have
plans to keep this crisis on the backs of
the workers. The only answer is for the
workers to organize for struggle and take
Pennsylvania jury okays
immigrant’s lynching
their fate into their own hands. n

& pensions By Stephen Millies Jurors ignored the testimony of anoth-


er attacker, Colin Walsh, who implicated
baugh and Michael Savage don’t know any
of the immigrants whom they demonize.
dent Ron Gettelfinger has partnered with While immigrants and their support- Piekarsky and Donchak. Walsh pleaded The immigrants working in the fields and
the company, the Obama administration ers celebrated May Day elsewhere in the guilty to federal charges of violating the packing plants put food on their tables.
and the lenders. The appearance is that of U.S., an all-white jury in Pottsville, Pa., civil rights of Ramirez. Fifteen miles from where Ramirez was
a united front committed to Chrysler sur- approved the lynching of Luis Ramirez. Ramirez was lynched, like James Byrd lynched, Hazelton Mayor Lou Barletta
viving and becoming “competitive,” only A gang of drunken white thugs shouting Jr., a Black man who was dragged to death pushed through a vicious law in 2008
to be stymied by a few inconsequential racist slurs attacked Ramirez in nearby in Jasper, Texas, by white racists in 1998. that prohibited renting to undocumented
hedge funds. Shenandoah last July 12. Foam ran from Or Matthew Shepard, a gay man who was workers. Although a federal judge threw
Yet Gettelfinger has no real voice. Since his mouth when Ramirez was found con- also tortured to death the same year by out this ordinance in 2009, it inflamed the
Ronald Reagan broke the air traffic con- vulsing in the street. bigots outside Laramie, Wyo. hate that killed Luis Ramirez.
trollers’ union, a relentless drive to push The 25-year-old immigrant worker Back in 1955, another all-white jury in Tens of thousands once worked in the
down the cost of labor power has caused and father of three children was taken off Mississippi acquitted the murderers who anthracite coalmines in the region. Some
nothing but suffering for workers and their life support two days later. His body was mutilated the 14-year-old Black youth 51,483 Pennsylvania miners were killed
communities. The only way to prevent flown back to his mother in Guanajuato, Emmett Till. A judge in Queens, N.Y., in mining accidents since 1870. Many of
more mass suffering is with mass struggle. Mexico. recently let the police killers go free who the mine owners’ “Main Line” mansions
The autoworkers should be staging Ramirez was beaten so severely that fired 50 shots at Sean Bell, killing him on outside Philadelphia were built with the
mass protests against the layoffs, the a bruised impression of Jesus from the his wedding day. blood of these miners.
plant closings and any further conces- medallion he wore was imbedded on his Before he was killed, Ramirez was Anthracite coalmines have been closing
sions. Their natural allies—the real stake- chest. Brains oozed from his skull. work­ing two jobs to support his children, for generations. As the economy declined,
holders—number in the millions. Yet on May 1 the Schuylkill County jury Angelina, Eduardo and Kiara. “He worked the wealthy promoted racism to divide
They work in auto parts companies found Brandon Piekarsky and Derrick hard so his kids would have more than he workers.
where every week a new bankruptcy is Donchak guilty of only simple assault. had growing up,” his widow, Crystal Dill­ By 1997 five state prisons were in the
announced. They work in rubber, steel, Piekarsky was acquitted of third-degree man, said. “I just don’t understand how former mining counties of Luzerne, North­
glass, plastics, utilities, construction, murder and ethnic intimidation, while you can beat someone so badly when you umberland and Schuylkill. Some­times the
retail, food service and government— Donchak was acquitted of aggravated don’t even know them.” (CNN, July 31.) only jobs available to descendants of min-
because what happens in auto affects the assault and ethnic intimidation. Radio hate-mongers like Rush Lim­ ers are those of prison guards. There, they
whole economy. They live in once-thriv- are in a hostile situation to inmates, whom
ing communities now hit by double-digit
unemployment.
Low-Wage Capitalism they often brutalize. The inmates are over-
whelmingly Black and Latina/o.
Only a broad working-class movement A timely new book by Fred Goldstein describes in sweeping detail the drastic effect on the Despite bigots like Hazelton Mayor
can beat back the bosses’ attacks. working class of new technology and the restruc­turing of global capitalism in the post-Soviet era. Barletta, many area residents expressed
E-mail: mgrevatt@workers.org. It uses Karl Marx’s law of wages and other findings to show that these developments are not only dismay at the brutal death of Ramirez.
Grevatt is a 21-year Chrysler worker continuing to drive down wages but are creating the material basis for future social upheaval, They need support from progressives
and executive board member of UAW the end of working-class compromise and retreat and must end up in a profound revival of the around the country to oppose the racists.
Local 122 in Twinsburg, Ohio. struggle against capital. Order online at www.Leftbooks.com
n
Page 6 May 14, 2009 www.workers.org

NYC May Day:


Militant display of int’l workers’ solidarity
By Dee Knight
New York

Latina/o workers, along with workers


originally from Asia, Africa, the Americas
and Europe, marched united on Broadway
in New York on May Day 2009, in an
event organized by the May 1st Coalition
for Worker and Immigrant Rights. Inter­
mittent torrential rains drenched the dem-
onstrators, but could not dampen their
spirits. Thousands gathered and marched,
waving colorful flags and holding beauti-
ful banners. A festive air—complete with
dancers, musicians and drummers—was
mixed with a defiant, determined mood:
“¡Aquí estamos, y nos quedamos, y si nos
echan, regresamos!” (“We’re here, and
we’re staying, and if they throw us out, ww photos: Deirdre Griswold and John Catalinotto

l we’ll be back!”) Community Empowerment). Several orga- The Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Guy­anese-American Workers United and
There was a kickoff rally May 1 at Union nizations from the Guatemalan communi- Coalition representative, Dahlia Abisaab, a member of the May 1st Coalition, also
Square—historic site of many May Day ty, including MIGUA (Guatemalan Immi­ stated: “Imagine being driven from your spoke.
gatherings—and then a march to Foley grants’ Move­ment), were present. home and then forced to build a new An Ecuadoran children’s dance troupe
Square, in front of the notorious Federal Latina students from various New York home for your oppressor right on top of it. stole the show—and everyone’s hearts—
Build­ing, where many immigrants have City community colleges carried a ban- ... Palestinians understand and share the with a beautiful dance presentation. One of
experienced abuse, grief and discrimination ner saying, “We have a dream! Pass the suffering of the Mexican people.” the children spoke, appealing to President
at the hands of “la migra,” formerly known DREAM Act now!” This act would allow Sara Rodriguez and Mike Filippo of the Obama not to deport his parents.
as the Immigration and Naturalization all students, documented or not, to attend Stella D’Oro strikers in the Bronx told the Both Nieves Ayress and Victor Toro rep-
Service and now Immigration and Customs four-year colleges. Tens of thousands of crowd that the 160 strikers at the bakery resented La Peña del Bronx at the rally.
Enforcement. immigrant students now have their dreams “will keep fighting for as long as it takes!” Toro, who is currently facing deportation,
At Foley Square, Charles Jenkins, May of education deferred because of discrimi- The mostly women immigrants have been summarized the key demands of the immi-
1st Coalition co-coordinator and member natory laws that hold them back. on the picket line for eight months, and grant rights movement: legalization, stop
of Local 100 Transport Workers Union, the The Filipino representation reflected not one of them has gone back to work, the raids, reunify families and no condi-
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and the the impressive organizing efforts of Bayan- despite intense pressure. tions or discrimination.
Million Worker March Movement, said, USA and the Gabriela Network. Gabriela is Hector Castillo, a representative of the Teresa Gutierrez, co-coordinator of the
“All workers—in unions or not, with papers a Philippine-U.S. women’s solidarity mass Dominican community, said: “People ask, May 1st Coalition, said: “Several members
or not—need to unite. We want to organize organization. Berna Ellorin, general secre- ‘Why organize, if President Obama is giv- of the press called the coalition days before
all workers, so everyone can have good jobs tary of Bayan-USA and co-coordinator of ing immigration reform?’ This is a big the event to ask if the event was cancelled
and union pay.” His remarks were echoed the May Day event, declared: “Migra­tion is error. We’ll only get legalization if we fight because of the swine flu crisis. Our response
by AFSCME District Council 37 leaders for survival. We wouldn’t leave our home for it.” was that it was more dangerous to stay at
Misbah Uddin and Mike Gimbel, who said, countries if we could find work there, but Ray LaForest spoke for Haitian work- home, not fighting for our rights, than to be
“Immigrants’ rights are workers’ rights.” neoliberalism—also known as imperialism— ers, and Walter Sinche for the Ecuadorian at May Day. Our coalition is for keeping the
Grassroots organizations of day labor- has destroyed the economies in our coun- Alliance. African peoples were represented struggle up, on May Day and every day.”
ers and street vendors came from Hemp­ tries. That’s why we come here. Legalization by Fallou Guyere of the Senegalese commu- Larry Holmes, a leader of the Bail Out
stead, Long Island; Queens; the Bronx; for all, and down with imperialism!” nity and by Dr. Asha Samad-Matias of the the People Movement, invited everyone to
Manhattan; Staten Island; and Freehold, Carlos Canales, May 1st Coalition co- SAFRAD-Somali Association, who made a People’s Economic Summit, which will be
N.J. Their T-shirts and banners emphasized coordinator and community organizer of an eloquent appeal against U.S. military held May 31 in tents at Dag Hammarskjöld
the spirit of the day: Esperanza del Barrio day laborers with the Workplace Project and economic aggression in the Horn of Plaza, on the eve of the U.N. Summit on
(Hope of the Barrio), Vamos Unidos— of Long Island, said, “We should do Africa. Jei Fong of Break the Chains repre- the World Economic Crisis.
Vende­d ores Ambulantes Movilizando everything to end [Section] 287(g) [of the sented Chinese workers in New York City. Nicolás, representing the Indigenous
y Organizando en Solidaridad (Street Immigration and Nationality Act], espe- Shahid Comrade spoke for the Pakistan- people of Ecuador and the rest of the con-
Ven­dors Mobilizing and Organizing in cially in Arizona where Sheriff Joe Arpaio USA Freedom Forum. He demanded an tinent, spoke on behalf of non-immigrants.
Solidarity), Centro de Derechos Laborales has been using it to terrorize immigrants.” end to the U.S. drone-bomber attacks “Welcome to this country to all who come
(Center of Workers’ Rights), No Raids Section 287(g) authorizes local police to on his country and to U.S. occupation of in peace and justice,” he said, “but not to
Com­mittee, and NICE (New Immigrant enforce immigration law. Afghanistan. Chuck Mohan, president Sheriff Arpaio and other racists.” n

Worldwide workers say


‘We won’t pay for capitalist crisis’
By Kathy Durkin In Gaza City, Palestine, workers marched protest privatization of oil refineries, cuts
to demand jobs and called for Israel to end in subsidies on petroleum products, and for
International Workers’ Day brought out its blockade of Gaza and reopen the border an increase in the minimum wage. A rally
millions this year. “We want jobs!” rang crossings. The blockade has caused thou- in Abuja brought out 20,000 workers.
out from Jakarta to New Delhi to San Juan. sands of Palestinians to lose their jobs. Workers marched in many European
Millions of workers worldwide focused on Since last year, few Palestinians have been countries.
the spiraling economic crisis as they took permitted to work in Israel. Israeli bomb- Eight French unions organized 283 ral-
to the streets on this historic day. ing of factories there during its 22-day mil- lies of 1.2 million people in Paris, Bordeaux,
Here are some of the actions which took itary offensive in January caused the loss Grenoble and elsewhere throughout the
place. of many jobs as well as workers’ lives. country. It was the first time since World
Tens of thousands of Indonesian work- Palestinians also marched in Jerusalem War II that all the trade union confedera-
ers countrywide called for an end to lay- to protest Israeli destruction of their tions marched together. Union members
offs, temporary jobs, and anti-worker, homes, the ongoing illegal settlements in in Marseille held banners which read:
anti-union laws. They demanded pay San Juan, Puerto Rico the Occupied West Bank, and the crisis of “They are the crisis! We are the solution!”
increases, including a higher minimum for pro-worker laws and government aid unemployment and impoverishment of This was the third national protest over
wage, and called for their government to for the jobless at actions organized by the their people. the French government’s pro-bank, pro-
implement measures to deal with the glob- Japanese Trade Union Confederation. South African workers commemorated corporate policies, and the lack of protec-
al downturn. The Congress of Indonesia Pakistani women joined a march in May Day with 36 demonstrations nation- tions for workers who are being hard-hit
Unions Alliance and the Working People’s Lahore to demand “Equal pay for work of wide. Workers there are engaged in strikes by the economic crisis.
Association were involved. equal value!” while May Day activities also in the transport, metal, trucking and other Rallies were held all over Greece.
In the Philippines, thousands marched in took place in Quetta, Peshawar, Multan industries. The Congress of South African Strikers disrupted public transportation,
Manila for jobs protection, higher pay and and other cities in Pakistan. Trade Unions has put forward a series ferry service and air flights in Athens,
improved working conditions, while 16,000 India saw many marches, with labor of demands to the newly-elected African where thousands also marched. General
marched to the National Assembly in Seoul, unions out front, including in New Delhi, National Congress government headed by Confederation of Greek Workers’ banners
South Korea, with similar demands. where workers protested job and wage Jacob Zuma. read, “We won’t pay for their crises!”
Japanese workers rallied on April 29 cuts. Unions in Nigeria organized rallies to Continued on page 10
www.workers.org May 14, 2009 Page 7

Boston

Miami San Diego


ww Photos: Liz Green, Mike Martinez, Bob McCubbin, Berta Joubert-Ceci, Alan Pollock

Amid economic crisis

Workers in U.S. march on May Day


By David Hoskins Marchers brought demands for full carried a banner which read, “¡La Batalla itant demands for removal of the border
immigrant rights, passage of the Employee de los Obreros No Tiene Fronteras! No wall and for full funding for education and
Workers across the United States turned Free Choice Act, and an end to raids, Borders in the Workers’ Struggle!” A con- jobs programs.
out in mass numbers in cities large and deportations and abusive guest worker cluding rally organized by the Raza Rights Other speakers included workers from
small on International Workers’ Day to programs. The various May Day orga- Coalition was held in the park. An evening the local Food City grocery store chain
march and rally for workers’ and immi- nizers openly challenged the corporate May Day event organized by the San Diego who are fighting for union recognition.
grants’ rights. Inclement weather in many media’s portrayal of them as divided. The Mumia Coalition at the World Beat Center Steelworkers and other union represen-
cities and fear of swine flu was not enough March 25th Coalition and the Southern featured a new film on Mumia Abu-Jamal, tatives called on Congress to pass the
to keep workers off the streets. This year’s California Immigration Coalition partici- bands and poetry. Employee Free Choice Act. Tucson Unified
May Day occurred in the midst of a deep- pated in a unity press conference. At least 1,000 marched in San Jose. School District teachers and University of
ening global economic crisis that has More than 1,500 marched in San Hundreds marched in Oakland, Rich­ Arizona professors spoke about budget
fueled widespread anger against the banks Francisco under the slogan “Workers mond, Berkeley, Hayward, Santa cuts that are eliminating jobs and degrad-
and government bailouts. Without Borders, United in Struggle,” Rosa, Napa, and Martinez. ing the quality of education.
In Miami, labor and community orga- despite steady rain and media-generated In Tucson, Ariz., nearly 2,000 people The Indigenous dance group, Danza
nizations from across the state marched fears of the swine flu. The May Day coali- rallied and marched. Immigrant rights Mexica Cuauhtémoc, led the crowd on
down Biscayne Boulevard. Key partici- tion of immigrant, labor, and community activist Isabel Garcia opened the rally a spirited, chant-filled post-rally march
pants included the Florida Immigrant activists rallied in Dolores Park in the with a brief history of May Day, which she through the streets of Tucson.
Coalition, the local AFL-CIO and a newly working-class Latino/a Mission District called a day for solidarity between work- Detroit protestors called for full legal-
formed union of Miami taxicab drivers. before marching down Market Street to ers, Indigenous people, youth and immi- ization of all undocumented workers, an
Marchers called for a living wage, the Civic Center Plaza and ending with a grants. She gave special recognition to end to ICE raids, deportations and racial
amnesty for all undocumented workers, rally at City Hall. immigrant workers for bringing May Day profiling by law enforcement, and equal
and an end to the bank bailouts. Hundreds Marchers included political and commu- back in the U.S. pay and protection for documented and
marched through downtown Miami and nity organizations like the San Francisco Student leaders from Movimiento spoke undocumented immigrant workers.
drew parallels between the current eco- Day Laborers, the National Alliance for of their struggle against capitalism, rac- As many as 15,000 turned out for the
nomic crisis and the Great Depression as Filipino Concerns, the Gray Panthers and ism, sexism, anti-LGBT bigotry and other May Day event organized by Latinos
they called for relief programs for poor and Transgenders March for Immigrant Rights. injustices. The young speakers raised mil- Continued on page 11
working people. The LGBT immigrant rights organization
Mike Martinez, a key organizer with Out 4 Immigration carried banners that
the Miami May Day Alliance, said, “The read “Stop Deporting Our Partners!” The
fact that there was a march on May Day in Inter­na­tional Longshore and Ware­house
Miami is a big victory in itself. That there Union Local 10 carried a stunning ban-
were hundreds of people, including labor, ner calling for workers’ solidarity to stop
immigrant rights and anti-war groups repressive government attacks on immi-
joining forces speaks volumes to the politi- grant workers.
cal changes taking place in Miami.” In San Diego, an afternoon rally at
In Boston, “Legalization yes, deportation City College drew over 500 pro-immigrant
no!” rang out through the streets of the East supporters, including community groups,
Boston, Chelsea and Everett commu­nities youth and students representing area
as 2,000 immigrants and other work­ers MEChA [Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano
marched and rallied. The May 1st Coalition de Aztlán] chapters and the Filipino
of Chelsea, East Boston and Everett; Chelsea groups AnakBayan and Gabriela. A
Collaborative; the East Boston Ecumenical high point of the rally was the appearance Detroit
Community Council; and La Comunidad, onstage of a contingent of day laborers

Bail Out the People!


Inc. sponsored the march. from Jornaleros of San Diego County with
The Boston School Bus Drivers USW their banners. A militant march to Chicano
Local 8751, the Boston May Day Coalition Park, a historically important parcel of
and dozens of other organizations endor­
sed the action. The Boston Bail Out the
People Movement had a strong contin-
land seized by the community decades
ago, followed. Members and friends of
the San Diego International Action Center
Three events to plan resistance
gent, including the Women’s Fightback By Kris Hamel with four days of active resistance and
Network, New England Human Rights for fightback. Demonstrations, rallies, stop-
Haiti, the bus drivers and the youth group Activists fighting the capitalist econom- ping evictions, cultural events and speak-
Fight Imperialism, Stand Together. ic crisis have three important events this outs are being planned. A “people’s stimu-
A student rally at Harvard supported summer in which to participate. lus plan” and “people’s economic bill of
legislation that would provide conditional A People’s Economic Summit on May rights” will be circulated and voted on at
permanent resident status to undocument- 31 in New York City will take place in con- the tent city.
ed students. Hundreds of flyers were dis- junction with the United Nations Summit On Sept. 19 and 20, protests against
tributed for a May 14 community summit on the World Economic Crisis. Organizers the G20 Summit in New York City will
at Roxbury Community College to defend will set up tents in Dag Hammarskjöld offer activists the challenge of uniting and
equal quality education, which is currently Plaza, outside of the U.N., where they will working together to organize the widest
under attack in Boston. share information and insight on how the protests possible against the governments
In Los Angeles, more than 13,000 economic crisis affects poor and working and bankers of the big capitalist countries.
peo­ple came out on May Day to share the people in the U.S. and worldwide. They will The last G20 Summit, held in London in
message of justice for immigrants. The formulate a vision of a future free of social April, was met with massive protests there
Multi-ethnic Immigrant Worker Org­ and economic inequality and injustice. and throughout Europe. The New York
anizing Network and the Los Angeles A People’s Summit and tent city will G20 meeting will be about “fixing” the sys-
County Federation of Labor marched from occur June 14-17 at Grand Circus Park in tem that puts profits before people. It must
Echo Park to downtown Los Angeles. The Detroit as the National Business Summit be met with strong resistance!
Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, the meets in that devastated city, which orga- For information on these protests, see
Southern California Immigration Coalition nizers call the “ground zero” of the eco- BailOutPeople.org or call 212-633-6646;
and the March 25th Coalition also held nomic crisis. The People’s Summit will contact the Detroit People’s Summit at
marches. Los Angeles counter this meeting of corporate giants 313-887-4344. n
Page 8 May 14, 2009 www.workers.org

Protesters assail changes at WBAI radio


By John Catalinotto as nearly happened during the Dec. 25, language shows, spoke at the protest.
New York 2000, “Christmas Coup.” Nia Bediaquo was the one Pacifica board
It is also the only broadcast medium member present.
Some 100 WBAI radio supporters in the region that gives voice to the Black Pacifica’s interim executive director
and listeners, many of them activists in Liberation and other revolutionary move- Grace Aaron had issued an order to lock
anti-racism, workers’ and pro-liberation ments, as well as a broad and diverse array out WBAI personnel from the station’s
movement organizations in the New York who counter the dominant ruling-class transmitter and install remote-control
area, gathered April 29 on just two days’ culture. Activist Pam Africa, Suzanne Ross broadcasting equipment, threatening
notice outside the station’s Wall Street of New York’s local committee supporting the control of the local board. Aaron also
WW photo: JOHN CATALINOTTO
offices. They were there to protest recent Mumia Abu-Jamal and revolutionary law- approved the maneuver by the current
WBAI’s Program Director Bernard
proposed changes in the station’s man- yer Lynne Stewart all expressed their sup- majority of the local WBAI board to fire White defends his station
agement and support WBAI general man- port for Riddle, White and WBAI. Riddle and White at an “executive ses-
ager Tony Riddle and program director International Action Center co-direc- sion” without an official and thorough Black managers without a thorough inves-
Bernard White, both Black men threat- tor Sara Flounders and the December hearing. The board majority blamed the tigation is a reactionary attack on equal-
ened with firing. 12 Movement’s Omowale Clay, both two for mismanagement based on WBAI’s ity and solidarity. While WBAI should
Pacifica Radio’s WBAI, located in the WBAI local board members, were there. financial problems. be stabilized financially, they say it must
center of the FM dial in the New York WBAI producers whose voices all listen- Supporters of Riddle and White point also maintain and deepen its roots in the
region, potentially reaches 20 million ers would recognize, like labor reporter out that the capitalist crisis has hurt all many communities of New York that suf-
listeners. That makes it valuable and Mimi Rosenberg, Francis Scott Keys, Bob nonprofit organizations and many giant fer oppression in this capitalist society.
attractive to those who want to turn it Lederer and Don Debar, and Daniel Vila, capitalist monopolies as well. To blame To help defend WBAI, see www.justice-
into a profit-making enterprise or sell it, who produces one of WBAI’s Spanish- WBAI’s financial difficulty on the two unity.org. n

Roll back the rents—vouchers for all


By Gavrielle Gemma find a place to live at the rent cap set by the ily in a shelter (coalitionforthehomeless. nesses are also being forced out.
program). There are only 300,000 vouch- org) and $149,650 a year to incarcerate The New York City Planning Board has
In its 2009 “State of the Homeless” ers available, meaning you can only get a a youth—many of whom wind up in jail approved 25 new hotels, 118 luxury bou-
report, released April 23, the Coalition for voucher if someone leaves the program. due to homelessness. (NYC Association tiques and cafes and 26 luxury residential
the Homeless reported that 36,000 people There are one million families throughout of Homeless and Street-Involved Youth’s buildings for Chinatown. (urbanjustice.
use New York City shelters every night. the country and 130,600 in New York City “State of the City’s Homeless Youth org) When the new, unaffordable projects
This includes a record 9,600 families with on the waiting list. An additional 231,000 Report” 2009) Why not spend it on real are built, they receive tax abatements,
15,500 children, representing a 12 per- are on the waiting list for New York City housing and jobs? The city wants to keep meaning developers don’t have to pay
cent increase in homeless families in nine public housing. (nyc.gov) rents high for the profit of their buddies taxes on profit. “Converting Chinatown”
months. (coalitionforthehomeless.org) Previous New York City policy was to and themselves. states that 25 percent of all real estate
Thousands more homeless do not use the move families with children in shelters to The municipal New York City Economic taxes in New York City are currently in
crowded, unsafe shelters or are crammed the top of these lists. Mayor Bloomberg Development Corporation and similar abatement.
into temporary space with relatives. banned this in 2007 and implemented the agencies direct hundreds of millions of
The current economic depression will “Work Advantage” program, which carries dollars to promote gentrification. The city Housing is a right
send the numbers of homeless soaring. a two-year assistance limit. The first 1,400 and state gave Forest City Ratner Com­ Every human being has the right to a
These numbers are due to the system­atic, families in Bloomberg’s program will soon panies a $670 million, low-interest loan decent place to live. That’s why we fight
deliberate capitalist displacement of ten- be cut from assistance, to likely wind up in tax-free bonds, and $200 million in for socialism, where the working class in
ants in New York’s working-class neighbor- in shelters. outright subsidies, to gentrify parts of power will ensure housing to all. But while
hoods, especially people of color communi- Mayor Bloomberg is the eighth richest Brooklyn. (Gotham Gazette, April 28) capitalism still exists we must fight.
ties. It’s called gentrification—workers out, person in the U.S. His company, Bloom­ “Converting Chinatown,” a meticulously Federal Housing Section 8 should be
parasites with luxury apartments in. berg LLP, advises bankers and develop- documented report by CAAAV Organizing available to all who need it. In New York
Real estate developers and banks— ers on how to maximize real estate profits Asian Communities and the Community City we need an emergency rollback in
backed by city, state and federal govern- and obtain low-cost, tax-free loans. He Development Project of the Urban Justice rents to levels people can afford. From
ment policies—have stripped New York appointed Marvin Markus to head the Center, describes the process. First the 1942 to 1974, numerous federal and state
City of affordable housing. Between 2005 so-called Rent Stabilization Board, which city pays for studies that declare an area acts were passed on an emergency basis.
and 2008, 80,000 apartments under the rubberstamps whopping rent increases ripe for picking, such as the East River These were all a result of enormous strug-
monthly rent of $1,000, and 55,000 under each year. Markus is vice-president of Waterfront. Then the city rezones the area gles by the workers and communities.
$800, “disappeared.” (coalitionforthe- Goldman Sachs, an investment company and arranges for loans and subsidies. A steady chipping away at these con-
homeless.org) hugely involved in real estate. Then harassment of tenants begins. trols; the complete merging of the banks
It is estimated that the profit return Seventy-five percent of Chinatown ten- and real estate with government; and high
Bloomberg denies subsidies on real estate is about 30 percent in New ants surveyed reported harassment by unemployment, the destruction of welfare
to homeless families York City—an amount that makes capital- landlords, from disrepair of buildings to and declining wages are evicting thou-
Section 8 is a federal subsidy of housing ists drool. refusing rents or new leases, illegal court sands of people from their right—a home.
costs above 30 percent of income (if you can It costs $36,000 a year to house a fam- action and outright assaults. Small busi- We have the power to fight back. n

Defendants sentenced
Meeting exposes Fort Dix 5 frame-up
By Joe Piette prison sentences. Dritan Duka said there was no plot Support meeting April 23
For instance, Dritan Duka was given 51 by the defendants, but “there was a con- The defendants’ family members and
The Fort Dix 5 defendants—Mohamed points, the most points the judge had ever spiracy against us, created, produced, and a representative of Project Support and
Shnewer, Serdar Tatar, and Eljvir, Dritan seen; 18 points came from enhanced sen- directed by the U.S. government.” Legal Advocacy for Muslims (Project
and Shain Duka—were unjustly sentenced tencing. Defense lawyers objected to the Before sentencing Shain Duka, the judge SALAM) spoke at a meeting in support of
to staggering prison terms for allegedly use of enhanced sentencing, arguing it was argued prejudicially that the defendants the Fort Dix 5 in Philadelphia on April 23.
conspiring to kill soldiers at the Fort Dix, not justified since there were no victims. were taped only when the informants were The evening’s speakers revealed how
N.J., military base in 2007. These young, After the hearings, they explained that present. He asserted that the lack of evi- they were framed, that Homeland Security
working-class Muslim immigrants were the prison terms would have been shorter dence on tape “does not concern me.” continues to harass their families, and that
convicted on Dec. 23. without enhanced sentencing. Shain Duka yelled, “I am innocent! more than 400 other Muslim immigrants
Shnewer, Dritan and Shain Duka Defendants were brought to separate I am innocent! I am innocent! I did not have experienced the same systematic
received life imprisonment plus 30 years. sentencing hearings in handcuffs and conspire!” and “This was a snare by the injustices.
Eljvir Duka was sentenced to a life term. waist and ankle chains. As they were led government, full of foul play and corrup- Zurata Duka, the mother of three of
Tatar was sentenced to 33 years in jail plus to their seats, they smiled at their family tion. …” He called for “an independent, the defendants, their 17-year-old broth-
lifetime probation. All of them insist that members in the courtroom. U.S. marshals honest and thorough investigation,” er, Burim Duka, and Leila Duka, Dritan
agent provocateurs, unethical informants stood near the spectators’ seats. Police cars which he guaranteed “would end up like Duka’s 11-year-old daughter, addressed
and an unfair trial led to their convictions. ringed the building. There was airport-like the dropped conviction of Alaska Senator the meeting. Mohamed Schnewer’s sis-
When the sentencing hearings began security on the first floor and outside the Stevens.” ter, Inas Schnewer, and his mother, Faten
on April 28, District Court Judge Robert courtroom on the fourth floor. Family members will continue to fight Schnewer, also spoke.
B. Kugler explained federal guidelines. After family and friends gave character for their imprisoned loved ones, and Preemptive prosecution was central to
After Sept. 11, 2001, new “enhanced ter- testimony, each prisoner addressed the defense attorneys have filed notices to the FBI’s case. The men never met at any
rorism” guidelines increased potential court. appeal the court decisions. Continued on page 11
www.workers.org May 14, 2009 Page 9

After assassination plot is foiled in Bolivia

Evo Morales presents Mother Earth


proposal at U.N. Bolivian President Evo Morales.

By Donna Lazarus The second principle is that “Mother April 22 speaking engagement at Salem
Earth has to be able to regenerate her bio- United Methodist Church in Harlem.
Within a week after security forces foiled capacity.” Morales’s hunger strike and heavy sched-
an assassination plot against President The third principle declares “the right ule had left him exhausted, a diplomatic
Evo Morales inside Bolivia, the United to a clean life, which means the right of note explained.
Nations General Assembly approved on Mother Earth to live without pollution.” Morales’op-ed in the March 14 New
April 22 the president’s initiative to create The fourth principle is “the right to har- York Times defended coca as a traditional
International Mother Earth Day to protect mony and balance with all and among all. Bolivian plant used to combat hunger and
the rights of Mother Earth and of all living This is the right to be recognized as a part high altitude sickness. Bolivia would like
beings. of a system in which all are interdepen- the United Nations Single Convention on
Bolivian security forces on April 16 dent.” (For the complete speech, see www. Narcotic Drugs to reverse its 1961 stance
busted the assassination plot in the east- boliviaun.org.) ger strikes as a leader of the “cocaleros,” putting the coca leaf in the same category
ern city of Santa Cruz, a stronghold of the Morales’ presentation of Bolivia’s Bolivia’s coca growers. as cocaine. Bolivia manufactures many
Bolivian oligarchy, Morales’s opposition. initi­ative has significance for any coun- The hunger strike was victorious on products for export that use coca, such as
Forces loyal to the president killed three try where capitalist and U.S. imperialist April 14. The resulting legislation will tea and toothpaste.
apparent foreign mercenaries in a hotel interests have stolen resources, stripped give Indigenous communities broader Morales, a former coca farmer, and the
shootout, arresting two more. In La Paz, the land bare and left toxic waste behind. representation in parliament and allow coca growers’ association are waging a
Bolivian Vice President Álvaro García In Bolivia the concept of Mother Earth Bolivian citizens living abroad to vote in cam­­paign to invalidate the International
Linera told reporters that the men were resonates as the traditional Indigenous the December elections. The new legisla- Narcotics Control Board’s 2006 annual
carrying guns and grenades and attacked life-giving force, the Pachamama, a dual tion also enables the president to run for report. Their slogan is “Coca sí, cocaine no.”
police as they approached them. (bolivia­ entity who combines space and time to office again in December. According to Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui,
rising.blogspot.com) provide harmony for the community. Celebrating the victory, Morales said, professor emeritus of sociology at the Uni­
Many Bolivians suspect the plotters to Everyone in an Indigenous, Afro-Bolivian “The people should not forget that you versity of La Paz, who spoke in New York
be linked to the eastern oligarchy, agri- or mestizo (mixed) community acknowl- need to fight to change. We alone can’t on April 24, Bolivian society is focusing
business and/or their imperialist backers edges her in all celebrations and gives a guarantee this revolutionary process, but now on its sovereignty, emphasizing “our
in the United States. Last August a mass little libation to her for what the earth has with people power it’s possible.” (bolivia­ resources,” “our land,” “our memory.”
mobilization of the Bolivian poor set back given to humanity. rising.blogspot.com) Bolivian society is reviving the traditional
eastern agribusiness’s attempts to starve The words “growth” and “develop- On April 17, at the Summit of the precept of “the common good.” (www.
the cities. ment” do not appear in the new Bolivian Amer­icas conference, organized by the stopthedrugwar.org)
Constitution because individual and cor- Organization of American States and held Cusicanqui, who is also the founder of
The Pachamama porate gain are seen as anathema for a the Bolivian group Coca and Sovereignty
in Trinidad, Morales said he could not
At the U.N., Morales based the Mother society which seeks to meet its needs understand how debates over human- and an adviser to Morales, said, “With
Earth proposal on four principles includ- based on cooperation, collective distribu- ity and the environment could take place its opposition to the coca leaf, the INCB
ed in the declaration he presented: tion and reciprocity. without Cuba’s presence. He denounced merely foments drug traffic.”
The first is “The right to life, which sig- capitalism, blamed it for the global finan- Cusicanqui described the massive par-
nifies the right to exist. The right of which Victorious hunger strike ticipation of virtually all sectors of society
cial crisis, and declared himself a Marxist-
not one ecosystem, neither one species On April 9 Morales began a hunger Leninist and communist. He then asked, in constructing a community that benefits
of animal nor vegetable, not one snow- strike to demand that Congress pass “Are they going to expel me now? I want everyone. She reported that traditional
capped mountain, neither river nor lake legislation allowing general elections in them to expel me from the OAS. It’s unbe- institutions such as Carnival, fairs and
would be exterminated or eliminated by an December. Some 1,500 to 3,000 Move­ lievable that you can be expelled from the other public celebrations have become
irresponsible attitude of human beings.” ment for Socialism (MAS) supporters, OAS for being Marxist-Leninist.” (www. transformed so that various groups such
Should Bolivia’s (and Peru’s) high activists, workers and union leaders houston.indymedia.org) as women and LGBT people intervene to
Andean glaciers melt due to global warm- joined Morales, and thousands more express political platforms and manifes-
ing, establishing the right of snow-capped demonstrated outside the presidential Morales defends the coca leaf tos. Students have organized recycling
mountains to exist will enable Bolivia to palace. Bolivians in Spain and Argentina Some 2,000 supporters of Morales and projects, and city dwellers have begun
continue preserving its national water also participated. Before becoming presi- his MAS government were disappointed planting urban orchards to protect the
supplies and protect its living society. dent, Morales had participated in 17 hun- when poor health forced him to cancel his environment and feed people. n

Defend Milanovic
NATO murdered journalists in 1999, blamed Yugoslavs
By Heather Cottin NATO used the court that U.S. Ambassador found Milanovic guilty of the deaths of the On April 23 NATO again rejected the
to the United Nations Madeleine Albright RTS workers. AI charge, claiming that the ICTY—itself
An international movement is protest- had pushed to establish in 1993. The U.S. a NATO creation—had absolved NATO of
ing the already seven-year-long imprison- and its NATO allies funded this court, Free Milanovic war crimes in the past.
ment of Dragoljub Milanovic, the former called the International Criminal Tribunal Activists from Europe and North The court’s decision was thus no sur-
director of Yugoslav television station RTS. on Yugoslavia and based in The Hague, America, including representatives of the prise. The ICTY exonerated NATO of
Milanovic was a target of NATO’s effort Netherlands, to blame the fighting on the U.S.-based International Action Center, responsibility for the crimes against
to blame the victim following its U.S.-led peoples of the Balkans, especially the gov- met March 25 in Pozarevac, Serbia, where humanity committed by the U.S.-led alli-
bombing campaign against Yugoslav civil- ernment in Belgrade. Milanovic is imprisoned, to organize a ance in Yugoslavia, including deliberately
ians 10 years ago. The ICTY’s role starting in 1999 was campaign to free him. bombarding vital civilian infrastructure;
During March and April 1999, RTS’s to cover up NATO’s aggression by blam- Renowned Serbian Journalist Liljana conspiring to initiate a war of aggres-
dedicated workers willingly risked danger ing Yugoslav leaders. Before the bombing Milanovic spoke at the meeting, not- sion; lethally targeting journalists; using
to transmit words and images to the world ended, the ICTY had charged Yugoslav ing that RTS was “deliberately bombed” depleted uranium and anti-personnel
about the U.S./NATO bombardment that was President Slobodan Milosevic with war according to the NATO commander in weapons such as cluster bombs in areas
targeting the Serbian infrastructure and crimes. In 2001, ICTY Prosecutor Carla Europe at the time, Gen. Wesley Clark. of high civilian concentration; and bomb-
slaughtering Yugoslav civilians. Early Del Ponte claimed that Milosevic and British Prime Minister Tony Blair had ing with the intent and effect of causing
NATO statements focused on the need to Milanovic had been “warned” about the admitted that NATO bombed the station environmental catastrophe.
“degrade” the Yugoslav government’s “abil- bombings of the TV headquarters, and after it showed the carnage from a pas-
ity to transmit their version of the news.” were thus responsible for the deaths senger train bombing on the bridge in the No to NATO
(NATO press briefing, April 23, 2000) because they didn’t order an evacuation. Grdelička Gauge where 75 civilians were Today there are 28 NATO members,
NATO bombs and rockets destroyed Though there were many threats that killed. including many former socialist countries
10 private radio and television stations NATO would attempt such a violation of Thus NATO’s primary goal in attack- in the east that are now semi-colonies of
and 50 TV transmitters and relay stations the Geneva Convention, the RTS report- ing the broadcasting facility was not to the U.S. and Western Europe. NATO, still
during the 78 days of air war. On April 23, ers and staff voluntarily stayed at their disable the Serbian military command under Washington’s leadership, backs up
1999, a single NATO rocket—a U.S. rock- posts. and control system, as NATO statements the investors and predators that exploit the
et—hit RTS headquarters in Belgrade, By 2001, a NATO-organized coup later claimed, but an attempt to stifle the human, mineral and strategic resources
killing 16 and severely wounding another had overthrown the Milosevic govern- truth. This makes the assault a war crime, of the world. NATO has encircled Russia,
19 of the 120 workers in the building. ment and put NATO puppets in power in as even Amnesty International charged in sent its navies to the Arctic and to South
To cover its own role in this murder, Belgrade. A Belgrade court then tried and 2000 and repeated in April. Continued page 10
Page 10 May 14, 2009 www.workers.org

U.S. imperialism backs


Hands off Pakistan! slaughter in Sri Lanka
M
ore and more, U.S. imperi- here for even more U.S. intervention in
alism is making Pakistan a Pakistan. They also provide Congress By Sara Flounders and Reuters all reported on this civilian
battleground in its ugly war to with an excuse to pass another whopping massacre.
achieve unchallenged control of western “supplemental” bill, now circulating in The government of Sri Lanka, with U.S. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Raja­
Asia. And more and more, the Pentagon’s Congress and reported to have risen to arms and military aid from Israel and paksa, who is also commander-in-chief of
cold, high-tech ratcheting up of death $94 billion. Pakistan, is waging a brutal war against the country’s armed forces, and Defense
and destruction is driving the Pakistani This amount is just to pay for the wars the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. Minister Gotabahaya Rajapaksa, his
people into open resistance. in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Pakistan. The Tamil population there is a nation- bro­ther, have banned international aid
Mountain villages that once rarely Since 9/11, the total spent on these ally oppressed minority. They have waged groups, human rights monitors and inde-
saw a car are now the targets of pilotless supplemental appropriations—which are a long, strong struggle for self-determina- pendent journalists from the entire region.
drones—the latest deadly gimmick in a above and beyond the regular Pentagon tion in Sri Lanka, a large island country Defense Minister Rajapaksa has dual U.S.
remote-controlled war where the actual budget—will add up to almost $1 trillion. of 20 million people located southeast of and Sri Lankan citizenship. He has often
pilots sit in Arizona or Nevada. These In addition, the Pentagon routinely gets India. compared the Sri Lankan war against the
automatons of the U.S. Air Force, trained more than half a trillion dollars every The Sri Lankan government’s pres- LTTE to the U.S. “war on terror” against
on computer games to have absolutely no year, supposedly to keep us all “safer,” ent campaign is justified as an effort to Islamic militants.
conscience or sense of humanity, push even as tens of millions lose their homes destroy, with a so-called “final offensive,”
buttons that tell the Predator and Reaper and jobs because of the capitalist eco- the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Imperialist policies of divide & rule
drones to rain down real bombs and nomic crisis. (LTTE). Yet the Sri Lankan army has The problems of Sri Lanka today are
Hellfire missiles on their targets, inciner- According to an article in Congress opened a new attack against the entire rooted in the racist divide-and-rule poli-
ating whole families. How can they then Daily, the current supplemental bill civilian population. cies established under British colonial
go home at the end of the day and react includes “$400 million to train and The government has moved tens of rule of the island, then known as Ceylon.
with normal human feelings? Ah, but the equip the Pakistan military, a central thousands of Tamil into strategic ham- Along with the indigenous Tamil popu-
U.S. military has hired whole schools of piece of the new strategy for Pakistan lets and concentration camps. Hundreds lation, the British brought in more than
people with degrees in psychology to help and Afghanistan announced by President of thousands of Tamil civilians have been a million Tamils as indentured slaves to
them shake off any feelings of guilt or Obama last month.” displaced. Recent military operations work the tea plantations on the island in
shame. Pakistan has suffered for decades include mass arrests of civilians fleeing the late 18th and 19th century. Singhalese
This is the total moral bankruptcy that under a series of military dictator- battle areas, torture and targeted assas- chauvinism was encouraged.
a permanent warfare state produces. It is ships supported by Washington and sinations. Many prohibited weapons When British imperialism was defeated
the mindset cultivated by a ruling class the Pentagon. The result has been great designed to create terror among civilians, in the whole South Asian subcontinent in
that values the world’s people only as wealth for a few well-connected families including napalm, white phosphorus and 1948, the British handed the government
labor to be exploited in pursuit of profit— and abysmal poverty for the vast major- cluster bombs, are provided to the Sri in Sri Lanka to the dominant Sinhalese
all in the name of “progress” and “devel- ity. A rebellion against the last military Lankan military by U.S. military aid. nationality. The Sinhalese continued
opment.” Those who stand in the way, dictator, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, ushered The Boston Globe reports: “The United the policy of imposing their language as
even if they are only defending the land in a civilian government but one that is Nations estimates that some 6,500 civil- the only official language and limiting
and homes that sheltered their folk back weak, corrupt and afraid to go against ians have died and 14,000 have been access to health care, schools, universi-
into the mists of time, are expendable. U.S. dictates. This has only fueled the injured in the government’s merciless ties, civil service and all forms of political
But to hear the generals and the Islamic opposition, which is strongest offensive against the Tamil Tigers in the partici­pation for the impoverished Tamil
politicians in Washington tell it, the in the border areas with Afghanistan northeast of the country. ... 100,000 refu- community.
U.S. is very worried about the “stability” where the Pentagon has been openly gees need medical care, food, and shelter, Repeated attempts by moderate Tamils
of Pakistan. Joint Chiefs of Staff head violating Pakistan’s sovereignty for some and another 50,000 are under shelling in to effect change were met by fierce gov-
Adm. Mike Mullen says he is “gravely time, bombings its villages with pilotless a five-square-mile war zone.” (April 25) ernment repression. Communal violence
concerned” about Taliban advances in drones and staging attacks by Special Sri Lanka’s military declared on May by chauvinist Sinhalese, backed by the Sri
Pakistan and Afghanistan. National Forces troops. 1 that their troops had cornered Tamil Lankan government, killed thousands of
security adviser Gen. James L. Jones Thousands of people began fleeing the Tiger rebels, who have been fighting for Tamils in racist pogroms in 1956, 1958,
described the situation in Pakistan as region when the Pakistani army, under an independent homeland since 1983, in a 1977 and 1983. Tamil homes and small
“one of the very most serious problems strong pressure from Washington, began five-kilometer-long strip of territory in the businesses were burnt in many villages.
we face.” Secretary of State Hillary an offensive just one day before President northeast and were poised for their final These systematic and government-sanc-
Rodham Clinton even called Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari was scheduled to meet assault. The LTTE has said that they will tioned attacks led Tamil youths to take
a “mortal threat” to the U.S. because it President Barack Obama in Washington. return to guerilla warfare tactics if they are up armed struggle as the only means to
possesses nuclear weapons. Some half a million have been made refu- forced out of the area they have held in the defend their people.
These highly publicized statements gees since the fighting began. north of Sri Lanka. Just as the U.S. government demon-
are meant to soften up the population The U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan On May 2 the Sri Lankan Army fired izes national liberation movements in
created this terrible situation in Pakistan. artillery shells on the only remaining Palestine, Lebanon, the Philippines, Nepal
The people in the U.S. showed in 2006 make­shift hospital at Mu’l’li-vaaykkaal, and Colombia as terrorist, the LTTE is on
and 2008 that they don’t want any of in a government-declared ‘safety zone’ in the U.S. list of “terrorist” organizations.
But the real terror is the tactics used

Defend
these wars. But elections don’t end impe- the Mullaittivu district of the northern war
rialist wars. Only the independent, mili- zone. The attack killed at least 64 patients against nationally oppressed people to
tant struggle of the people can bring the and attendees, including a volunteer doc- suppress justified resistance.

Milanovic troops home and stop the killing. n tor, and wounded 87. The online news The Tamil diaspora in the U.S., Canada
service TamilNet, the Associated Press and Europe has condemned the atrocities
by the Sri Lankan army against civilians
Continued from page 9 and organized many demonstrations and
America, is in the Horn of Africa and has
occupied Afghanistan.
Milanovic’s continued imprisonment
Worldwide workers protests calling for an immediate halt to
the brutal offensive being waged by the Sri
Lankan army against the Tamil people.
would allow the U.S. and other NATO
governments to commit crimes against
humanity, bomb and kill with immuni-
‘We won’t pay for capitalist crisis’ A statement by professor Jose Maria
Sison, chairperson of the International
League of Peoples’ Struggle, “condemns
ty, and jail those who tell the truth. The Continued from page 6 from the state-owned electrical and water the criminal use of chemical weapons,
current Serbian government is obedi- A march for jobs brought out 65,000 companies, bus drivers, mechanics, fire- nerve gas, cluster bombs and other types of
ently re-trying Milanovic, adding years people in Madrid, Spain, in response to fighters and students participated. Left bombs and artillery fire by the Sri Lankan
to his sentence in the service of its NATO a 17 percent unemployment rate that is forces attended. army against the Tamil people. Under the
paymasters. greatly affecting youth, immigrants and Thousands marched in Caracas and auspices of the U.S., the Sri Lankan regime
Taking up the cause of Dragoljub Mila­ the elderly. throughout Venezuela to celebrate gets open political support from India and
novic is not only to free an innocent per- Throughout Latin America, marches, International Workers’ Day. The National its military acquires its war materiel from
son, it is to vindicate truth. At the meet- rallies and meetings took place. Whether Front of Bolivarian Workers led the Pakistan, a notorious military proxy of
ing in Pozarevac, Vladimir Krsljanin, a in Panama, Honduras or Uruguay, work- mile-long march in Caracas, which sup- the U.S. in the region. The blatant use of
political leader in Serbia, said, “This case ers demanded higher wages, better work- ported the revolutionary process and the banned weapons constitutes a war crime
is about freedom, truth and resistance to ing conditions, unionization rights and government. under the Geneva conventions.”
NATO.” cuts in prices of necessities. Venezuela President Hugo Chávez As with many other struggles for self
The writer represented the Inter­na­ In Puerto Rico, tens of thousands of spoke to the huge crowd and stressed, determination and sovereignty, this
tional Action Center in Yugoslavia at workers, including members of at least 22 “There’s no socialism without the work- struggle of the oppressed Tamil nation-
the Pozarevac meeting. For more infor- labor unions from the public and private ing class ... solid, conscientious, and com- ality deserves international support. It is
mation on the 1999 war and the ICTY, sectors, marched in San Juan. A strike mitted to what is being born in Venezuela, essential that progressive organizations
see “Hidden Agenda: the U.S./NATO was called to protest the government’s which is socialism.” raise their voices in solidarity with the
Takeover of Yugoslavia,” at leftbooks. firing of 30,000 workers and proposed Hundreds of thousands marched in Tamil struggle and against the brutal U.S.-
com. anti-union legislation. Teachers, workers revolutionary Cuba. n financed repression in Sri Lanka today. n
www.workers.org May 14, 2009 Page 11

Nepal rightists threaten coup

Revolutionaries forced to resign


from gov’t, take to streets
By David Hoskins be relocated to Kathmandu by helicopter. who support democracy and land reform, Congress stronghold. The three remain-
The ex-king, Gyanendra, was to be might influence the rank-and-file Nepal ing seats went one each to the Nepali
Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal placed under house arrest, presumably Army troops to defend the people’s inter- Congress, the United Marxist Leninists,
Dahal Prachanda announced his resigna- for his own safety. ests. Historically this army has defended and the Madeshi Jandhikar Forum.
tion from his post as head of the Maoist-led India reportedly played a crucial role the property rights of the old feudal ruling The by-election results demonstrate
coalition government on May 4, just over a in establishing contact between the Nepal class, but its soldiers come primarily from that the Maoists retained their base of
year after his Unified Communist Party of Army and CA President Ram Baran Yadav the peasantry and urban poor. support while leading the government.
Nepal (Maoist) placed first in the country’s for the establishment of presidential rule Katawal flouted the government orders This base of support will be crucial to the
Constituent Assembly (CA) elections. following the coup. Yadav is a former gen- and refused the call to dismissal. CA upcoming period of street struggle.
Prachanda’s resignation follows a eral secretary of the opposition Nepali President Yadav encouraged Katawal to
virtual coup by the armed forces in alli- Congress. violate civilian control of the armed forces Recent crisis follows U.S.-India
ance with the country’s president. The The aborted coup plan was only the by staying in his position. Under pressure interference
UCPN(M)-led government had dismissed most recent and most serious of Katawal’s from Yadav and the Nepali Congress, the Every quarter of foreign and domestic
the chief of army staff, Rookmangad numerous offenses. The army chief had Maoist’s coalition partners, including the reaction has attempted interference in
Katawal, on May 3 following a planned previously interfered with government United Marxist Leninists, deserted the Nepal’s revolution. The recent struggle
coup aimed at toppling the government. plans to retire eight generals. The Nepal coalition government. surrounding the Nepal Army follows
There is evidence that U.S. imperialism Army had also engaged in active recruit- a year of intense counterrevolutionary
UCPN(M) launches street struggle maneuvering. India was recently the site
and the pro-imperialist Indian regime ment under Katawal’s leadership in viola-
tion of the 2006 U.N. peace agreement that In light of this virtual coup, Prachanda of secret meetings between Gyanendra
backed this coup attempt.
had at least temporarily suspended the immediately resigned. A meeting of top and the heads of the Indian Congress par-
Details of the plot were leaked to the
armed phase of the Nepalese revolution. UCPN(M) leaders launched a three- ty, the ultranationalist Bharatiya Janata
Kathmandu Post by unnamed senior
The Nepal Army was a bastion of feu- pronged struggle. The party has begun Party (BJP) and the BJP’s candidate for
officers. Maoists and other select lead-
dal power and royal support during the to organize mass resistance in the streets prime minister.
ers were to be arrested. UCPN(M) and
decade of Maoist-led people’s war. The while lodging formal protests on the floor Gyanendra also held private consul-
Young Communist League offices would
2006 peace agreement called for the inte- of the CA. The Maoists will also challenge tations with his family at their Indian
be forcibly closed. In violation of the peace
gration of PLA fighters into the Nepal in court Yadav’s order for Katawal to residence during the month-long trip in
agreement, the Nepal Army would occu-
Army. The Nepali Congress and top gen- remain in his post. March. The Nepal Samacharpatra daily
py United-Nations-monitored People’s
erals like Katawal feared that close contact The UCPN(M) has the support neces- reported that the meeting was a strat-
Liberation Army (PLA) cantonments or
with the politically conscious PLA fighters, sary to lead a people’s struggle to remove egy session for enthroning Gyanendra’s
military stations. All U.N. monitors would
Katawal from his post and push the grandson as a baby king. Former Crown
Riverside, Calif. Nepalese revolution forward. The Maoists Prince Paras Shah, who lived in India with
won to their side most of Nepal’s workers his infant son before moving to Singapore,
and peasants during the People’s War recently announced plans to return to
and the subsequent popular uprising that Nepal and rejoin national politics.
brought down the centuries-old feudal The U.S. government has continually
monarchy. tried to discredit the UCPN(M) govern-
In the April 10 by-elections, the UCPN- ment. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State
(M) solidified its position in the CA by win- Richard Boucher has refused to remove
ning half of the six vacant seats contested. the Maoists from the U.S. terrorist list.
The elections were widely viewed as a refer- The Maoists have strenuously objected to
endum on the UCPN(M)-led government. their inclusion in the list as the PLA was
The UCPN(M) retained two seats it always a legitimate armed group, is now
previously held and picked up another in U.N.-supervised cantonments, and the
seat that had been considered a Nepali UCPN(M) won last year’s CA elections. n

Fort Dix 5 frame-up


Continued from page 8 of agent provocateurs and informants to
time to plan the supposed crime, but, said entrap innocent people is “deadly.”

May Day in U.S.


Burin Duka, “Judge Robert B. Kugler told She described the cases of Imam Yassin
the jury the prosecution did not have to Aref and Mohammed Hossain in Albany,
prove they made up a plot.” N.Y., where the government used “a con-
Zurata Duka complained that the judge victed Muslim criminal to be an agent pro-
Continued from page 7 The Rochester Alliance for Immigrant would not allow sections of the tape vocateur.” They were set up in an FBI-sting
Unidos and supported by the Michigan Rights organized a May Day march and in which her sons told the informants, operation and are each unfairly serving
Emergency Committee Against War and rally in Rochester, N.Y., demanding an “Violence against soldiers was ‘haraam’– 15-year sentences for money laundering.
Injustice. The two-hour march began at end to ICE raids and forced separation of forbidden and wrong.” Jackson told of Dr. Rafil Dhafir, who
Patton Park on the city’s southwest side immigrant families. A speaker from the Leila Duka moved the audience with raised money for starving Iraqi children.
and proceeded along Vernor Avenue Buffalo International Action Center laid her account of her four younger siblings Though the government could not prove
before ending at Clark Park. Observers the blame for the recent swine-flu pan- crying at night, asking, “‘When is Daddy claims that he was financing terror in Iraq,
lined the streets and joined in the march. demic on NAFTA and corporate greed. coming home?’ I know my father and the FBI succeeded in preemptively pros-
The demonstrators were primarily young Thousands marched through downtown uncles are innocent, and they will always ecuting him for a “questionable charge
workers and students. Seattle to demand an end to Gestapo- be innocent.” of Medicare fraud.” Dhafir is serving a
Abayomi Azikiwe of MECAWI and the style raids, deportations and detentions. Family members told of continuing FBI 22-year sentence in “Little Guantánamo,”
Moratorium NOW! Coalition, Ignacio The Latino/a-led march was called by El surveillance, especially of Burim. They said a prison designed for Muslim “terrorists.”
Meneses and Rosendo Delgado of Latinos Comité Pro-Reforma Migratoria y Justicia agents have harassed character witnesses According to Jackson, Syed Fahad
Unidos, Michigan State Representative Social and had strong contingents from who volunteered to testify at the sentenc- Hashmi is being held in solitary confine-
Cole­man Young II, and representatives Asian, labor and community groups. ing hearing. Faten Schnewer reported, ment while awaiting trial on an unjust
from the Farm Labor Organizing Com­ In Durham, N.C., mostly Latino/a “Our friends were afraid to come tonight. charge of providing material support for
mit­tee addressed the concluding rally at pro­testors rallied against racial profiling, They put fear in the heart of every Muslim terrorism.
Clark Park. raids, detentions and deportations in an here that if you are involved in anything These are just a few of more than 400
Three thousand protestors marched to event organized by El Kilombo. Thousands you will be convicted.” miscarriages of justice by the FBI and the
the federal building for workers’ rights more turned out across the U.S. in cities Department of Justice of which Project
and legalization of undocumented work- Project SALAM defends Muslims SALAM has become aware. The group was
like Portland, Ore.; Philadelphia; and
ers in a Chicago action initiated by the Charlotte, N.C. Lynn Jackson of Project SALAM formed in August 2008 “to record as many
March 10 Committee. March organizers described the U.S. government’s uncon- stories of abuse by the judicial system as
defied last-minute attempts by the City Abayomi Azikiwe, Ellie Dorritie, stitutional model of law enforcement since possible, and to advocate for new policies
Council to use swine-flu fears as a pretext Kris Hamel, Joan Marquardt, Mike Sept. 11, 2001, as “preemptive prosecu- that will not convict innocent people who
to force organizers to cancel the march. Martinez, Jim McMahan, Frank Neisser, tion”: defendants are prosecuted before have not committed any crime.” Among its
Immigrant rights groups and labor orga- John Parker, Dante Strobino, Paul they commit a crime. She charged that co-sponsors are attorney Lynne Stewart
nizations such as SEIU and UNITE sup- Teitelbaum and Bob McCubbin contrib- the combination of preemptive prosecu- and the Muslim Solidarity Committee.
ported the march. uted to this article. tion, which is illegal and wrong, with use (See www.projectsalam.org.) n
Mhndo Obrero ¡Proletarios y oprimidos de todos los países, uníos!

Gripe porcina,
E d ito r ia l .

Influenza
Porcina capitalista puercos y ganancias
C ada desastre, ya sea terremoto, inundación o epidemia,
muestra las fallas en la sociedad.
Tal es el caso de la posible pandemia, o epidemia
mundial, de una influenza virulenta causada por un virus recién
Por Hillel Cohen

El temor a una pandemia de


mente con las Granjas Carroll para
ahogar la oposición a la granja.
Mucho antes de que el brote de
mitiendo de persona a persona.
Como el mayor número de
casos vino de México, algunos
mutado. Esta versión humana de la influenza porcina ha gol- gripe porcina se está extendiendo influenza fuera divulgado por los comentaristas derechistas de la
peado a México más severamente, y a los EEUU en segundo mucho más rápido que el mismo noticieros internacionales, cientos red Fox ya han intentado culpar
lugar. Se ha extendido rápidamente a una decena de países. virus. de residentes de La Gloria ya se a l@s inmigrantes mexican@s de
Políticamente, la amenaza más grande es que los demagogos Aunque es muy temprano para quejaban de severas infecciones haber traído el virus a través de la
derechistas intentarán culpar a l@s mexican@s, especialmente decir cuán extensa y mortal será respiratorias que en muchos frontera y pueden utilizar el mie-
a l@s inmigrantes mexican@, de la propagación de la epidemia. esta nueva variante del virus de la casos se convertían en pulmonía. do de la influenza porcina para
Este es un serio desafío político a las fuerzas progresistas de los influenza, ha comenzando a sur- La pulmonía es una de las compli- provocar más hostilidad contra
EEUU. Va a demandar un nuevo esfuerzo de forjar solidaridad gir información sobre su posible caciones más severas de la influ- l@s inmigrantes.
entre l@s trabajadores/as inmigrantes y l@s nacid@s en los origen. Una enorme granja de enza. Veratect, una compañía pri- El hecho de que los casos en
EEUU, una solidaridad que será enfatizada en los eventos del cerdos propiedad de la gigant- vada estadounidense que sigue las EEUU parecen estar entre turistas
Primero de Mayo a través del país. esca corporación estadounidense epidemias de salud a nivel mun- de este país o personas allegadas a
El intento de culpar a l@s mexican@s no sólo es odioso, sino Smithfield, operada por su sub- dial, hace más de un mes notó ést@s, ha limitado hasta ahora los
que no tiene ningún sentido. Examinemos los hechos. sidiaria mexicana Granjas Carroll este brote en Veracruz y notificó ataques contra inmigrantes.
El 28 de abril la ABC News reportó que “la primera sospecha de México, puede haber produci- a la CDC (siglas en inglés), Centro Hasta ahora, sin embargo, los
de un caso de influenza porcina en México fue descubierta en do esta nueva amenaza a la salud para el Control de Enfermedades medios de comunicación corpo-
el remoto pueblo agropecuario de La Gloria” el mes pasado. pública. de Estados Unidos. Por estar rativos han prestado poca aten-
Cerca de 800 personas, de las 2000 que habitan en el lugar, se L@s residentes de las locali- atenta al supuesto e inexistente ción a la conexión de la empresa
enfermaron. “La forma más probable de que este niño se con- dades en los pueblos de La Gloria y bioterrorismo, la CDC ignoró esa Smithfield o al hecho de que hay
tagiara fue a través de otra persona que había tenido contacto el Perote en el estado de Veracruz notificación por varias semanas. también iguales plantas enormes
con los cerdos”, dijo Dr. Kathryn Edwards del Centro Médico han estado luchando contra esta El primer caso confirmado y peligrosas, en los estados de
Vanderbilt. granja gigantesca por años. del nuevo virus porcino fue el Carolina del Norte, Utah, y en
Lo que la ABC no reportó fue que los cerdos estaban en una Produciendo cerca de un millón de un niño de La Gloria, quien otros lugares.
granja industrial cercana administrada por una subsidiaria de la de cerdos anualmente, la compa- desde entonces se ha recuperado. Un artículo en la revista Rolling
Smithfield Farms, un monopolio agrícola basado en Virginia y ñía mantiene inmensas lagunas La epidemia se ha esparcido a Stone de 2006 estimó que sólo la
Carolina del Norte, notorio por la contaminación y sus prácticas de estiércol al igual que un vert- Ciudad México y a otras áreas de empresa Smithfield produjo 26
anti-sindicales. Por muchos años las comunidades alrededor de edero al aire libre para los restos México al igual que a Nueva York, millones de toneladas de des-
estas plantas se han quejado de las condiciones insalubres y el descompuestos de los cerdos que California, Texas y a otras ciu- perdicios de animales al año, el
hedor producido por miles de cerdos y sus excrementos. han muerto antes de ser sacrifi- dades en los Estados Unidos y en subproducto de más de $11 mil
El historiador Mike Davis, profesor de la Universidad cados. Los gases producidos por otras partes del mundo. millones en ventas. Los llama-
de California en Irvine y autor de “El monstruo en nuestra estos desperdicios contaminan Hasta el momento de este dos acuerdos de “libre comercio”
puerta: la amenaza global de la influenza aviaria”, escribió en el aire a millas de distancia y l@s artículo, de los 1500 casos que se como el TLCAN han facilitado el
el periódico Guardian, basado en Gran Bretaña, el 27 de abril residentes creen que el agua que han reportado en México por lo que empresas gigantescas como la
que el “lodazal fecal de una pocilga industrial” era el medio más toman puede estar contaminada. menos 150 han fallecido. Aunque Smithfield establezcan sus plan-
probable para que un nuevo virus de influenza pudiera desarrol- Enormes nubes de moscas que se los casos en Estados Unidos han tas peligrosas en México con poca
larse. Smithfield, escribió Davis, resistirá ferozmente cualquier alimentan de estos desperdicios sido leves hasta ahora, se han o ninguna regulación, en detri-
intento de cambio de su peligroso pero extremadamente lucra- están cerca de estos pueblos. reportado una o dos muertes. mento de la población local.
tivo proceso de producción. Es un hecho sabido que las Oficiales de la salud creen que ¿Se le exigirá responsabilidad a
Siendo escritor con mucha experiencia en estas cuestiones, moscas pueden esparcir la gripe la cepa actual del virus es una éstos criminales corporativos que
Davis también mencionó tres obstáculos para la defensa eficaz aviaria al transportar material mezcla de material genético de se han beneficiado de este desas-
contra cualquier pandemia: la deficiencia del sistema esta- contaminado de los excremen- virus que infectan cerdos y aves tre ambiental y de salud pública?
dounidense de salud pública, la actitud negativa de los Estados tos de aves infectadas. Es posible al igual que a seres humanos. Por Cohen es doctor de salud
Unidos y otros países ricos para promover facilidades modernas que las moscas que se alimentan casi una década, oficiales de la pública.
de salud pública en los países pobres, y la patente de la medicina de los excrementos de los cerdos, salud en los EEUU y en el mundo
de influenza Tamiflu, registrada por la compañía Farmacéutica también estén en contacto con los se han enfocado en la influenza
Roche basada en Suiza, que impide a los países pobres desarrol- Rene
excrementos de las aves y esto se aviar, denominada como H5N1, González
lar medicinas genéricas anti-virales. haya convertido en el mecanismo que se ha extendido alrededor del Sehwerert
La primera lección de esto es que Estados Unidos tiene un para la mezcla de material viral de mundo pero no ha “saltado” a la
vergonzoso récord en cuanto al cuidado de la salud. Los bil- cerdos, aves y humanos que está población humana. Aunque algu- Antonio Guerrero
lones de dólares gastados en la guerra debían ser usados para Rodríguez
ahora causando el brote. nas personas contrajeron influ-
establecer un sistema de salud nacional de calidad y eliminar la Según reportajes del periódico enza aviar por su cercanía a aves
industria privada del cuidado de salud basada en precios excesi- mexicano La Jornada, l@s resi- de corral y acuáticas, ninguna
vos y ganancias. dentes locales trataron de evitar trasmisión de persona a persona
En segundo lugar, no se culpe a l@s mexican@s por este la construcción de la granja en el ha sido reportada.
brote. Que se investigue a la Smithfield y se tome acción contra año 2005. Hace un año, vari@s Esta nueva influenza porcina
los contaminadores. activistas fueron arrestad@s es una variación del H1N1, que es
Lo otro es que la presión de los bancos imperialistas durante por las autoridades de Veracruz, más común en la influenza huma-
los últimos 30 años ha forzado a los países pobres a recortar sus quienes han trabajado estrecha- na. Ya está claro que se está trans-
gastos para la salud pública. Esto no solamente ha debilitado el Gerardo Hernández
Nordelo
cuidado de la salud, sino que ha incrementado el peligro de pan-
demias. En vez de criminalizar a l@s trabajadores/as inmigrant-
es y militarizar la frontera con México, los Estados Unidos debía
apoyar los esfuerzos de México para mejorar su sistema de
salud, especialmente porque las corporaciones estadounidenses
como la Smithfield están sacando enormes ganancias allí por la
Fernando
súper explotación de l@s trabajadores/as mexican@s. González
Y el último punto es que el monopolio de medicinas nue- Llort.
vas que está en manos de unas pocas farmacéuticas privadas,
impide el desarrollo de una fuente mundial de medicinas
genéricas. Para el bien de la salud de la humanidad, la infor-
mación médica debe ser compartida y todos los países deben ser
libres de fabricar sus propias medicinas.
Todos estos puntos indican una sola conclusión: que el sistema
capitalista entero es un obstáculo para proteger la vida y la salud
de la humanidad cuando se enfrenta con la influenza porcina o
con cualquier otra pandemia. n Ramón Labañino
Salazar