Transit union seeks a decent contract

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					   workers.org                                                                                                     Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite!
                                                                                                                           DEC. 22, 2005          VOL. 47, NO. 50                 50¢




                                             Transit union seeks
 El juicio de
 Saddam Hussein                      12      a decent contract
                 TOOKIE
                                             NYC riders support workers over MTA bosses
                 WILLIAMS                    By Milt Neidenberg
                                             New York
                 Another
                 legal                          Dec. 14—With the countdown to a possible transit strike in
                 lynching                3   New York just two days away, thousands of members of Local
                                             100 of the Transport Workers Union converged on 42nd Street
                                             across from Grand Central Station at rush hour on Dec. 13.
                                             Their chant of “Shut the city down!” was an angry rallying cry
                                             in response to the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s heavy pres-

DELPHI                                       sure to force a weak contract on them.
                                                With their sea of placards and banners, these workers sent a
RUMBLINGS                                    powerful message to the MTA, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and
                                             Gov. George Pataki. They would not be intimidated in their fight
Workers determined                           for a decent contract. They found a sympathetic ear from work-
to save their jobs                   4       ers and shoppers making their way through the congested
                                             streets to subways and buses.
                                                The MTA, top Republican and Democratic city officials, and
                                             the major media are waging a frenzied anti-union campaign to
                                             get the workers to accept a two-tier wage contract that would
END RACIAL                                   create divisions within the union. However, a progressive group
                                                                                                                                                                      WW PHOTO: G. DUNKEL
                                             of City Council members from working-class neighborhoods
PROFILING                                    held a press conference on Dec. 14 to say that any strike will be
                                                                                                                   Workers rally as MTA threatens huge fines.

• Al-Arian not guilty                8       the responsibility of the MTA.                                           Another sore point is the tens of thousands of disciplinary
• Air marshals shoot to kill         8          The MTA wants newly hired workers to pay 2 percent of their        actions taken against the workers every year. New York 1 televi-
                                             wages toward health benefits. This includes higher premiums,          sion news reported that a worker cleaning the platforms can be
                                             deductibles and co-payments. It demands the union extend the          disciplined just for answering a rider’s questions about subway
                                             retirement age to 62 from 55. It has offered a paltry wage            service.
                                             increase that is far below the cost of living in a city where rent,      The contract expires at midnight on Dec. 15. The transit work-
WORKERS IN SOLIDARITY                        food, energy and other goods and services are rising at an alarm-
                                             ing rate.
                                                                                                                   ers at a mass rally on Dec. 10, in the most democratic fashion,
                                                                                                                   voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike. The vote sent a pow-
Cuba, Venezuela,                                The arrogance of the MTA bosses extends to working condi-          erful message to the MTA to start negotiating in good faith.
Mexico, U.S.                         5       tions. They demand more productivity from workers who have               Instead, the MTA went to State Supreme Court and got a pre-
                                             to labor in an atmosphere fraught with dangers and unhealthy          liminary injunction that would impose huge fines on the union
                                             conditions, both in the subways and the streets above. They           itself and also punish the 34,000 individual transit workers with
                                             demand tighter restrictions on sick leave. They want a one-per-       the loss of two days’ pay for each day they’re on strike.
                                             son train operation—conductors would be removed from trains.             The bosses are relying on the Taylor Law, an anti-labor law in
FRANCE,                                      They have closed station booths and reassigned clerks to clean-
                                             ing and other station chores.
                                                                                                                   New York State passed nearly 40 years ago and signed by then-
                                                                                                                   Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, a scion of the billionaire Rockefeller
MARTINIQUE                                      There are presently 2,700 conductors and 3,300 station             dynasty.
Anti-racist struggles                        agents in the subway system; they make up almost 18 percent              Another billionaire, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has
widen                            11          of the union.                                                                                                      Continued on page 4


                                               NEW ORLEANS PROTEST                                                     .


MERCOSUR
Latin America’s answer
                                             Katrina survivors demand right to return                                                                                            6-7

to FTAA                9




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                                             Evacuees and their supporters lead off march through the streets of New Orleans Dec. 10.
Page 2     Dec. 22, 2005      www.workers.org




Cause for hope
in Mumia case
By Betsey Piette                                                           The Third Circuit Court’s decision was a surprise, how-
                                                                                                                                        # In the U.S.
                                                                                                                                        Transit union seeks a decent contract . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
                                                                                                                                        Cause for hope in Mumia case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
                                                                                                                                        Philadelphia: ‘Troops out now!’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Philadelphia                                                            ever, because the appellate court was only required to con-
                                                                                                                                        Stanley Tookie Williams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
                                                                        sider an appeal from the defense on a single guilt-phase
                                                                                                                                        Cops defend Nazis as hundreds protest . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   As supporters of imprisoned African-American jour-                   issue: that the prosecution had illegally removed quali-
                                                                                                                                        Delphi workers launch fightback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
nalist Mumia Abu-Jamal gathered here on Dec. 9 to                       fied jurors from the case on the basis of race. While Judge
                                                                                                                                        On the picket line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
observe the 24th anniversary of his arrest, there was new               Yohn rejected this claim in 2001, the appellate court had
                                                                                                                                        ‘Justice after Katrina: The people must decide!’ . . . . . 6
cause for hope.                                                         previously agreed to take up the issue.
                                                                                                                                        March on New Orleans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   The U.S. Court of Appeals of the Third Circuit had just                 Racism in jury selection was well documented in Abu-
                                                                                                                                        Katrina survivors revisit the Ninth Ward. . . . . . . . . . . 7
decided, on Dec. 7, to hold hearings on three claims by                 Jamal’s case. The defense appeal was based on the charge
                                                                                                                                        Florida jury rejects anti-Arab charges . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Abu-Jamal that his 1982 trial, overseen by “hanging”                    that exclusion of 11 of 14 Black jurors constituted an
                                                                                                                                        Air marshals shoot passenger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Judge Albert Sabo, and a subsequent hearing were tainted                unconstitutional violation of the Supreme Court ruling on
                                                                                                                                        Richard Pryor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
by constitutional violations.                                           this issue in the case of Batson v. Kentucky.
   If any one of the three claims is upheld by a three-judge               Prosecutor McGill has a record in murder trials of           # Around the world
panel, it could lead to a new trial for Abu-Jamal, who still            rejecting roughly three out of four potential Black jurors—     Conference builds worker solidarity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
sits on Pennsylvania’s death row despite a 2001 ruling by               even after they had already agreed they would vote for          Venezuela becomes full member of Mercosur. . . . . . . 9
Federal District Court Judge William Yohn overturning                   capital punishment. This was a rate of peremptory rejec-        Cuba plays key role in Pakistan quake aid . . . . . . . . . 9
his death sentence.                                                     tion of qualified jurors three times higher than for poten-     Pinter: ‘Bush and Blair are war criminals’ . . . . . . . . . 10
   At the annual commemoration, attorneys Leslie Jones                  tial white jurors.                                              Why the youth rebelled in France . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
and Michael Coard explained the significance of the court                  Under the provisions of the 1996 Anti-terrorism and          Martinique: Marchers say no to ‘law of shame’ . . . . . 11
ruling, while reminding Abu-Jamal’s supporters that the                 Effective Death Penalty Act, the court had no obligation
                                                                                                                                        # Editorials
Third Circuit Court, of which Supreme Court nominee                     to consider defense challenges to the Federal District
Samuel Alito is a member, has never been a friend of                    Court ruling, so the fact that the judges agreed to hear two    The Montreal summit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
workers and oppressed people.                                           other claims is a major victory for the defense.
                                                                                                                                        # Noticias En Español
   The Third Circuit’s rulings granted two “certificates of                However, attorney Jones pointed out that Abu-Jamal’s
appealability” that allow Abu-Jamal to challenge alleged                previous defense team, led by Attorney Leonard                  El juicio de Saddam Hussein . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
race and judicial bias in his 1995 Post-Conviction Relief               Weinglass, submitted 29 claims when filing the Petition
                                                                                                                                                              WW CALENDAR
Action proceedings. Like the trial, these proceedings were              for Writ of Habeas Corpus on Mumia’s behalf. Jones
also overseen by Sabo, who went to extreme lengths to keep              noted, “The Third Circuit Court chooses to ignore the 26         LOS ANGELES.                           NEW YORK.
evidence of Abu-Jamal’s innocence out of the court record.              other claims, as well as the affidavits of former Philadel-     Fri., Dec. 16                          Fri., Dec. 16
   Jones noted that 29 of the 32 people of color on                     phia Court stenographer Terri Mauer-Carter that she             Eyewitness report from the Dec.        Workers World Party forum:
Pennsylvania’s death row were put there by Sabo.                        overheard Sabo in 1982 make the statement ‘Yeah, and            10 Right to Return march in New        Eyewitness Reports & Video
                                                                                                                                        Orleans. Hear Gloria Verdieu,          Justice After Katrina:
   The ruling also allows Abu-Jamal to challenge the trial              I’m going to help them fry the n****r’ in reference to Abu-     Jefferson Azevedo and John             ‘The People Must Decide.’ Also,
summation remarks of the state’s lead prosecutor, Joseph                Jamal; nor the affidavit by Arnold Beverly, that he, not        Parker report from their trip to the   Marsha Goldberg on: “Class soli-
                                                                                                                                        strategy conference for Katrina        darity & the transit workers’ fight
McGill, who instructed the jury: “If you find the defen-                Abu-Jamal, murdered Officer Faulkner.”                          survivors and their supporters,        for a decent contract.” 7 p.m.
dant guilty of course, there would be appeal after appeal                  “They are just pulling out some pieces, but it’s okay,”      and the march in New Orleans.          (Dinner at 6:30) At 55 W. 17 St.,
                                                                                                                                        7:30 pm, 5274 W Pico Blvd #203.        5th Fl., Manhattan. For info phone
and perhaps there could be a reversal of the case, or what-             Jones noted. “Mumia has so many issues in his case that         (Between Fairfax and LaBrea)           (212) 627-2994.
ever, so that may not be final.” This made it easier for the            have brought other people home; however, Mumia is still         323-936-7266
jury to convict.                                                        on death row.”
   McGill also used the fact that Abu-Jamal had been a                     Attorney Michael Coard, along with Pam Africa of
member of the Black Panther Party when he was 16,                       International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia
claiming Abu-Jamal “had always wanted to kill a police                  Abu-Jamal, cautioned that this is probably the most crit-       Workers World
officer.”                                                               ical time ever in the case. “The courts will do what they       55 West 17 Street
   According to Abu-Jamal’s lead attorney, Robert R.                    are forced to do,” said Africa. “These people will never tell   New York, N.Y. 10011
Bryan, McGill’s statements had the effect of qualitatively              you how powerful the movement is, yet it’s the movement         Phone: (212) 627-2994
                                                                                                                                        Fax: (212) 675-7869
lowering the historic burden of proof regarding reason-                 that has kept Mumia alive for the past 10 years.”
                                                                                                                                        E-mail: editor@workers.org
able doubt and presumption of innocence. Similar                           The case is now on the fast track, with stringent dead-
                                                                                                                                        Web: www.workers.org
remarks by Pennsylvania prosecutors have resulted in                    lines set for filing a series of briefs and counter briefs,
                                                                                                                                        Vol. 47, No. 50 • Dec. 22, 2005
new trials in other cases. However, Jones cautioned that                beginning as early as Jan. 17, 2006. Once completed,
                                                                                                                                        Closing date: Dec. 14, 2005
“the rules never seem to apply in Mumia’s case.”                        the court will issue a decision or set a date for a hearing
                                                                                and oral arguments. I                                   Editor: Deirdre Griswold
                                                                                                                                        Technical Editor: Lal Roohk
                                                                                                                                        Managing Editors: John Catalinotto, LeiLani Dowell,
                                                                                                                                        Leslie Feinberg, Monica Moorehead, Gary Wilson
                                                                                   PHILADELPHIA:                                        West Coast Editor: John Parker

                                                                                  ‘Troops out now!’                                     Contributing Editors: Greg Butterfield,
                                                                                                                                        Fred Goldstein, Teresa Gutierrez, Berta Joubert-Ceci,
                                                                                                                                        Milt Neidenberg
                                                                                  Over 1,000 protesters met George W. Bush as
                                                                                  he arrived in downtown Philadelphia on Dec.           Technical Staff: Shelley Ettinger, Maggie
                                                                                  10 to address the World Affairs Council at a          Vascassenno
                                                                                  $10,000-a-plate luncheon, held at the Park            Mundo Obrero: Carl Glenn, Teresa Gutierrez,
                                                                                  Hyatt hotel. At a rally outside, mothers of GIs       Berta Joubert-Ceci, Donna Lazarus, Carlos Vargas,
                                                                                  killed in Iraq, soldiers who had served in Iraq       Internet: Janet Mayes
                                                                                  and Vietnam, community and labor activists,
                                                                                  and students and youth all spoke. Over 35             Workers World (ISSN-1070-4205) is published
                                                                                  organizations endorsed the protest to demand          weekly except the first week of January by WW
                                                                                  “Troops out now.” Many Center City workers            Publishers, 55 W. 17 St., N.Y., N.Y. 10011. Phone:
                                                                                  stopped to join the protest.                          (212) 627-2994. Subscriptions: One year: $25; foreign
                                                                                                                   —Betsey Piette       and institutions: $35. Letters to the editor may be
                                                   WW PHOTO: BERTA JOUBERT-CECI                                                         condensed and edited. Articles can be freely
                                                                                                                                        reprinted, with credit to Workers World, 55 W. 17 St.,
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                                                                                                                                                www.workers.org     Dec. 22, 2005   Page 3




Stanley Tookie Williams
Racist governor kills, but
can’t break, an honest man                                                                                                                                   Stanley Tookie Williams


By Deirdre Griswold                             ing silence by putting their fists in the air   mitted the murders for which he was sent        the killing of law enforcement.
                                                and shouting out that the state had killed      to death row. His whole mature life was            “But the inclusion of George Jackson
   Stanley Tookie Williams had great            an innocent man.                                more than mere “atonement” for his              on this list defies reason and is a signifi-
courage and integrity. He refused to               Outside the prison, over a thousand          past—he became a very conscious, organ-         cant indicator that Williams is not
betray himself, his people and all those        anti-death penalty protesters who had           ized influence on young people to never         reformed and that he still sees violence
who believed in him—and for that the state      kept up a vigil during the night mourned        become what he had once been.                   and lawlessness as a legitimate means to
of California put him to death by lethal        his death and vowed to keep up the fight.          His inspiring turnaround led to the film     address societal problems.”
injection in the early hours of Dec. 13.        The Campaign to End the Death Penalty           “Redemption” with actor Jamie Foxx, one            For hundreds of years, from the kidnap-
   Williams could have been pardoned by         and other organizations called demon-           of the many people who tried to keep the        ping of millions of African people to the
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger—who broke            strations in dozens of cities across the        state from executing him.                       enslavement of those who survived the
into politics after a film career in which he   country.                                           But none of this was enough for the gov-     “Middle Passage” to the lynching of their
played the epitome of a killing machine,           There are thousands of people on death       ernor. This darling of the ultra-rich, who      descendants and the murders of civil
the “Terminator.” All Williams had to do        rows in the United States, and, as Williams     has alienated the public workers of             rights activists, Black people in this coun-
was “confess” to murders that he had            himself has said, none of them are million-     California with his anti-labor budget cut-      try have suffered incredible “violence and
always denied committing.                       aires. The U.S. has executed more than          ting, betrayed the political character of his   lawlessness” at the hands of those who
   In his statement denying clemency, the       1,000 people since the death penalty was        decision when he said, in his denial-of-        would exploit them. So have Native peo-
governor said: “Without an apology and          reinstated in 1976. Many have been              clemency statement:                             ple, who were nearly exterminated by the
atonement for these senseless and brutal        posthumously proven innocent. The                  “The dedication of Williams’ book ‘Life      capitalist settler state.
killings there can be no redemption. In         “criminal justice” system is distorted at       in Prison’ casts significant doubt on his          The great historical figures to whom
this case, the one thing that would be the      every step of the way by class and racial       personal redemption. This book was pub-         Williams had the audacity to dedicate
clearest indication of complete remorse         oppression.                                     lished in 1998, several years after Wil-        his book have been selfless fighters in
and full redemption is the one thing               What made Williams stand out was his         liams’ claimed redemptive experience.           the struggle for freedom, equality and
Williams will not do.”                          deep transformation from a young African        Specifically, the book is dedicated to          self-determination. They exemplify the
   Williams would not lie—even to save          American gang leader, a co-founder of the       ‘Nelson Mandela, Angela Davis, Malcolm          very best traditions of all progressive
his life. He would not grovel and debase        Crips, to an eloquent prison author who         X, Assata Shakur, Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt,       movements.
himself. He would not abandon the dig-          reached out to young people and com-            Ramona Africa, John Africa, Leonard                Schwarzenegger’s statement betrays
nity that he had painfully acquired dur-        pellingly urged them to turn away from          Peltier, Dhoruba Al-Mujahid, George             the utterly reactionary character of this
ing over 20 years on death row.                 violence against each other and do some-        Jackson, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and the               execution, and shows how frightened the
   He died at peace with himself because        thing positive for themselves and their         countless other men, women, and youths          plutocrats at the top are that their crimes
he refused to capitulate. And his support-      communities.                                    who have to endure the hellish oppression       against the people, here and around the
ers shocked the officials at San Quentin           Williams had no problem talking and          of living behind bars.’ The mix of individ-     world, are already igniting another great
when, for the first time since executions       writing about the terrible role of gang war-    uals on this list is curious. Most have vio-    mass struggle for justice. Stanley Tookie
resumed there in the 1970s, those who had       fare, or his own lost early years. But he       lent pasts and some have been convicted         Williams will be remembered and honored
witnessed the execution broke the deafen-       always maintained that he had not com-          of committing heinous murders, including        long after the “Governator” is gone. I



Cops defend Nazis as hundreds protest
By Alex Gould                                   cops used tear gas on the hundreds of
Toledo, Ohio                                    mostly Black youth who had gathered in
                                                the streets to defend their city against both
   Chanting “No Nazis, no KKK, no police        the Nazi provocation and the racist cops
intimidation,” about 200 anti-fascist           who were escorting the Nazis.
demonstrators made themselves heard                Parroting the Nazi line, the police and
here on Dec. 10 as the city rolled out the      city authorities decried the “violence” of
red carpet for the second “National             the protesters as they gassed the people
Socialist Movement” (NSM) Nazi rally in         and pursued them with helicopters, horses
Toledo this year.                               and phalanxes of riot cops.
   Toledo residents were joined by groups          Knowing that they could not guarantee                                                                                   Police
from other towns in Ohio, from Detroit          the Nazis safety in the neighborhoods, the                                                                                 arrested one-
and other points in Michigan, and from          city of Toledo obtained a court order from                                                                                 tenth of the
                                                                                                                                                                           demonstrators.
Chicago. The Nazis were far outnumbered         Judge Thomas Osowik, which awarded
when they finally peeked out from behind        the Nazis center stage in downtown
four massive rows of riot cops and began        Toledo for their rally on Dec. 10. While the
spewing their message of terrorism and          Nazis protested this limitation in court,       into the dense crowd of protesters, stomp-      defeat the Nazis and the racist system that
genocide at the multinational and very          the weight of the court injunction was not      ing on at least one protester’s foot, and       supports them.
unwelcoming audience below them at              aimed at them but at the protesters, who        dragged people out of the crowd by their           As political prisoners from the Toledo
City Hall plaza.                                were confined to a small protest pen. They      necks and into the waiting jail cells.          protest waited in the county jail—which
   The city authorities allowed the Nazis to    had to enter through a metal-detector and          Elizabeth O’Brien of Lansing, Mich.,         charges its mostly indigent and Black
use a sound system but forbade anti-Nazi        were subjected to a pat-down search while       says she was stunned repeatedly with a          inmates $100 per night for reeking cells,
protesters from carrying picket signs or        the cops took individual photographs of         Taser electric-shock gun by the police and      putrid food and drinking fountains built
megaphones.                                     each protester. They were not allowed to        has 35 welts on her left thigh. Ileana Cortez   into toilets—the capitalist media was
   What the Nazis lacked in numerical           carry bags or backpacks into the desig-         of Detroit was charged with assaulting a        already spreading lies and justifications
strength, however, was made up for by           nated protest area.                             police horse, although no injuries to police    for the police attacks. On Dec. 13 the
political support from the city of Toledo,         Even before the rally began, the police      animals were reported. No Nazis were            Toledo Blade editorialized that the mas-
county sheriffs, state highway patrol, and      had set up an assembly-line arrest-and-         arrested, although three local racists who      sive police violence was “almost a non-
cops and SWAT teams from as far away as         booking operation in the police station         infiltrated the protest were.                   event” and lied that “nobody was injured.”
Michigan, who came to harass the anti-          next to the rally site, and the arrests            City officials showed they would use any        What they can’t hide is the overwhelm-
Nazi protesters.                                started. Five youths in a car from Chicago      means necessary to give fascists an unob-       ing poverty in a city where the workers
   The newspaper Toledo Blade estimated         on their way to the protest were pulled         structed platform from which to spout           have made millions of dollars for Daimler-
that 700 police officers were at the Nazi       over and searched by cops. The passengers       their genocidal, racist garbage.                Chrysler’s Jeep division and other corpo-
rally and counter-demonstration.                and driver were thrown to the ground,              This time, the protesters were not           rate monopolies. They can’t hide the fact
   On Oct. 15, the NSM, an avowed terror-       cuffed and charged with “contempt of            numerous or organized enough to deci-           that Black motorists are twice as likely as
ist organization whose stated purpose is        court” for violating the anti-free-speech       sively defeat the Nazis and their cop           whites to be stopped by police and issued
the mass murder of most of the world’s          injunction by “congregating” in another         friends, but, despite overwhelming police       tickets in Toledo, according to USA Today.
population, had accused the African-            part of the city.                               oppression, they made it clear that Nazis       They can’t hide the monstrous racist injus-
American residents of Toledo of “Black             Judge Francis X. Gorman told the             were not welcome in Toledo.                     tices of the “war on terror” or the genoci-
crime” and attempted to march through           Toledo Blade, “We had this whole thing             The police carried out a premeditated        dal neglect and abandonment of the peo-
their neighborhoods. At that point, the         planned out really well,” referring to the      plan to violently suppress opposition to        ple of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. It’s
people of Toledo rose up in a heroic rebel-     mass arrests of the protesters. Some 29         the fascist recruitment rally, proving that     time to bring this racist system down.
lion against racism that threw the fascists     people were arrested—more than a tenth          the state is not a neutral arbiter of free         Alex Gould was one of those the police
out. Over 100 anti-Nazi protesters were         of the protesters.                              speech but a patron and defender of ultra-      dragged from the protest and arrested.
arrested; some are still facing charges. The       The cops repeatedly rode their horses        right terrorists. Only the working class can
Page 4    Dec. 22, 2005   www.workers.org




                                                                                 WW PHOTOS: G. DUNKEL
Workers rally as MTA threatens huge fines.



Transit union seeks a decent contract
Continued from page 1                                                                         plan other actions to get it. TWU president      Long Island Rail Road, let the transit
                                               ered up a billion-dollar surplus until they
also filed a lawsuit that asks the court to                                                   Roger Toussaint told the crowd at the            workers know that the MTA’s plans to get
                                               were exposed for cooking the books. They
fine the TWU $1 million and each striker                                                      rally, which stretched over several blocks,      Bronx and Queens straphangers into
                                               had already divided up this surplus in
$25,000 on the first day of a strike—and                                                      “They’re not going to force a lousy contract     Manhattan that way will not happen. “We
                                               their own interests, applying most of the
double the fines every day the strike goes                                                    down our throats.”                               will take care of scabs the Teamster way,”
                                               funds to replacing workers with technol-
on.                                                                                              To end his speech, Toussaint tore a copy      he said.
                                               ogy.
   Showing contempt for the right of the                                                      of the Bloomberg lawsuit into little pieces,        The negotiations will go down to the
                                                  The MTA claims the pension fund is
transit workers to exercise their right to                                                    to thunderous cheers from the members.           wire. If there is a strike, the responsibility
                                               under-funded, a typical corporate maneu-
withhold their labor and express their free                                                   Other speakers included the Rev. Al              for it lies with the MTA, Governor Pataki
                                               ver, and has promised to put back the
assembly and free speech rights, these                                                        Sharpton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and a          and Mayor Bloomberg.
                                               money.
capitalist politicians have torn up the U.S.                                                  number of leaders from other labor                  The money is there and the demands of
                                                  The transit workers, who created the
Constitution.                                                                                 unions.                                          the transit workers are just. The labor
                                               wealth of the MTA and should be the
   The high-paid MTA executives pro-                                                             Chris Silvera, president of Teamsters         movement and the straphangers have a
                                               trustee of those funds, want a major part
voked this crisis. Crying poverty, they cov-                                                  Local 808, representing Metro North and          stake in the outcome of this struggle. I
                                               of this surplus. They may have to strike or




Delphi workers launch fightback
By Martha Grevatt                                                                                                                              ers from a number of plants described how
Dayton, Ohio                                                                                                                                   they are insisting on obeying all safety reg-
                                                                                                                                               ulations, rejecting parts and vehicles of
   Some 1,000 workers from the auto                                                                                                            substandard quality, and otherwise refus-
parts company Delphi and their support-                                                                                                        ing to cooperate with management unless
ers packed Courthouse Square here on                                                                                                           absolutely mandatory.
Dec. 10, sending the message that “labor                                                                                                           This is empowering the workers.
rights are human rights” to Delphi CEO                                                                                                         “Workers rule when they work to rule,”
Steve Miller and his buddies at federal                                                                                                        explained Gregg Shotwell, leader and
bankruptcy court.                                                                                                                              spearheader of SOS, in his opening
   Unions in over 100 cities across the                                                                                                        remarks to the Flint meeting. “We are not
country had chosen International Human                                                                                                         victims, we have power.” Work to rule pre-
Rights Day to hold rallies on this theme.                                                                                                      pares workers psychologically to think
   Larry Cohen, president of the Interna-                                                                                                      about the next step.
tional Union of Electrical Workers-Com-                                                                                                            On the question of whether or not to
munication Workers of America (IUE-                                                                                                            strike, Shotwell posed the question, “Why
CWA), announced the M@D campaign.                                                                                                              not stay inside?” This sentiment was sec-
M@D, which stands for Mobilize @                                                                                                               onded in a number of comments during a
Delphi, has been launched by the Delphi                                                                                                        three-hour meeting dominated by the
Union Coalition: the Autoworkers (UAW),                                                                                                        rank and file attendees. At least half a
Steelworkers (USWA), IUE-CWA, and                                                                                                              dozen speakers identified themselves as
three other unions that represent Delphi                                                                                                       sons or grandsons of the original Flint sit-
                                                                                                                    WW PHOTO: MARTHA GREVATT
workers in the U.S.                                                                                                                            down strikers of the 1930s.
                                               One sign at the Dayton rally read: ‘IUE-CWA has not forgotten how to fight!’
   “To show how ‘M@D’ we are, we’re                                                                                                                Other ideas offered include a one-day
wearing red every Thursday,” said Cohen.          Both the IUE-CWA and the UAW rep-           against Delphi were reactionary appeals to       nationwide work stoppage, having retirees
“We need to have actions every week.”          resent Delphi workers in the Dayton area       national chauvinism and bashing China            use their free time to build support among
   Delphi CEO Miller’s outrageous attack       and around Ohio, and both were well rep-       for “stealing jobs,” when it is U.S. corpo-      teamsters and dockworkers, and reaching
on organized labor has left the unions no      resented at the rally. A large and visible     rations who opt to move production over-         out to Delphi workers in other countries.
other choice but to fight. Delphi declared     contingent also came from the American         seas and demand low wages.                       Workers in Brazil, where Delphi has a sub-
bankruptcy after the UAW rejected a            Federation of State, County and Municipal                                                       sidiary, have already contacted the group,
package of “proposals” that included           Employees. AFSCME and other non-               Rank and file is fighting                        offering support. The SOS steering com-
reducing wages from $27 an hour to             Delphi unions know that if the bosses             Independent of the official UAW lead-         mittee announced plans to demonstrate at
$9.50, gutting the pension plan, eliminat-     break the UAW, no union’s wages and            ership, rank-and-file Delphi workers and         the North American Auto Show and at the
ing Supplementary Unemployment                 benefits are safe.                             their supporters have organized them-            Delphi world headquarters—on the aptly
Benefits (SUB) and the job bank, dropping         Besides Cohen, speakers included            selves as “Soldiers of Solidarity” (SOS).        named Crooks Road in Troy, Mich.
dental and vision coverage, cutting back       Director Lloyd Mahaffey of UAW Region             SOS has already held meetings in                  A leaflet by the Job is a Right Campaign
vacations and holidays, imposing an            2B, which covers all of Ohio; UAW Local        Michigan and other states, attracting hun-       gave additional ideas for consideration,
attendance policy that would bypass griev-     696 President Joe Buckley; USWA Ohio           dreds of workers wherever they go. They          including demonstrating at the bank-
ance procedures to fire workers perma-         Regional Director Dave McCall; Ohio            understand that their real fight is not with     ruptcy court in New York, having the UAW
nently, wiping out seniority rights, out-      AFL-CIO President Bill Burga; Congress         their sluggish and compromising union            call a special emergency convention, and
sourcing most skilled trades work, and         member Tim Ryan, and Montgomery                leaders but with Delphi and ultimately           holding a general strike in the entire auto
allowing the company to close plants and       County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman.          General Motors. They are not, however,           industry.
lay off workers at its sole discretion.        The crowd waved signs and roared               waiting for official approval to begin the           While the meeting was taking place in
   The only aspect of the current contract     approval whenever the speakers talked          fight.                                           Flint, 1,000 Delphi workers and allies ral-
that Delphi would keep is the “no strike”      fightback.                                        Central to SOS’s strategy is the concept      lied in Kokomo, Ind., where Delphi is one
clause.                                           The program had its drawbacks. Out of       of “work to rule.” Work to rule involves         of the largest private employers.
   The UAW has also rejected a second          perhaps a dozen speakers, not one was a        slowing production solely by following the           The fight is taking on many forms, but
offer from Delphi that would “only” reduce     person of color and only two were women.       company’s own rules to the letter. At a          it is clearly on and is not likely to die down
hourly wages to $12 an hour.                   Interspersed with militant agitation           recent SOS meeting in Flint, Mich., work-        soon. I
                                                                                                                                                 www.workers.org         Dec. 22, 2005   Page 5




  ON THE PICKET LINE                                              U.S., Cuba, Venezuela and Mexico
                                           By Sue Davis


                                                                  Conference builds
                                                                  worker solidarity
                                                                  Special to Workers World
                                                                  Tijuana, Mexico

                                                                     Trade union leaders from Cuba
                                                                  and Venezuela, along with union-
NYU strikers ignore deadline                                      ists, students and activists from
                                                                  Mexico, the U.S., and several other
   The Graduate Student Organizing Committee, UAW Local
                                                                  countries, gathered in Tijuana on
2110, has kept its word. The GSOC strike, begun on Nov. 9,
                                                                  Dec. 9, 10 and 11 for a labor confer-
continues despite New York University President John
                                                                  ence organized each year by the
Sexton’s ultimatum that all stipends and teaching assign-
                                                                  US/Cuba Labor Exchange.
ments would be stopped for those who continued to strike
                                                                     Ignacio Meneses of the US/Cuba
after a Dec. 7 deadline.
                                                                  Labor Exchange chaired the first
   Support for the GSOC continues to pour in. It held a rally,
                                                                  plenary session, which heard a
including representatives of national and local labor organi-
                                                                  presentation by Ermela García
zations, on the day of the deadline. A petition signed by
                                                                  Santiago, director of the National
more than 5,000 scholars around the world urges Sexton to
                                                                  School of Cadre of the CTC/Lázaro
recognize and negotiate with the union. (Read it at petition
                                                                  Peña. The CTC is Cuba’s national
online.com.) On Dec. 3 the Collective Bargaining Congress                                                                                                                 WW PHOTO: BOB MCCUBBIN
                                                                  labor organization.                           Ruth Vela of San Diego FIST speaks at plenary of Labor Exchange
of the American Association of University Professors, on
                                                                     García focused on new govern-              conference hosted by Mexican former “braceros.”
behalf of the 28,000 unionized academic employees it repre-
                                                                  ment measures and plans to bene-
sents, called on Sexton “to rescind immediately his threat to
                                                                  fit Cuban workers that emphasize              aggression the U.S. has in mind.           Five—the heroic Cubans now held
retaliate against workers exercising their democratic rights.”
                                                                  raising the incomes of those who                 He also dealt with ongoing              in U.S. federal prisons for the
   A letter signed by about 90 international graduate stu-
                                                                  earn the least. Recently, the mini-           efforts to democratize the Vene-           “crime” of exposing terrorist plots
dents notes their special concerns: “We, as international stu-
                                                                  mum wage was increased from 100               zuelan union movement, which has           against their country—and the
dents, feel especially vulnerable to your antagonizing, intim-
                                                                  pesos to 225 pesos. One and a half            been used in the past by the right         escalating efforts by Washington to
idating and outrageous threats. Many of us have had to deal
                                                                  million Cuban workers have bene-              wing against the revolution. Rivero        keep people in the U.S. from visit-
with increasingly restrictive U.S. immigration policies,
                                                                  fited from this increase.                     addressed the important role that          ing Cuba.
enhanced surveillance and record keeping and with hostility
                                                                     New apartments are being built             youth have played in bringing                 Solidarity statements were offer-
when being questioned by immigration officers. Some of us
                                                                  jointly by the government and the             Chávez to power and predicted they         ed by a number of conference par-
have suffered the threat of deportation. Thus, we are con-
                                                                  people who will live in them. There           will continue to be active both in         ticipants, including a British acti-
cerned with maintaining our legal status in this country.”
                                                                  is also an expanded effort to make            their communities and in the gov-          vist, a leader of the Mexican
Despite that, the letter affirms the students’ support for the
                                                                  medical services more convenient              ernment. The youngest member of            Electrical Workers Union, a Team-
right to unionize.
                                                                  by decentralizing facilities. Electric        Venezuela’s parliament in history,         ster and several teachers from Los
   In the meantime there have been several new proposals to
                                                                  power sources are also being decen-           a 27-year-old, was just elected            Angeles.
create various graduate-student bodies at NYU. GSOC
                                                                  tralized.                                     there.                                        A unique, politically powerful
spokesperson Susan Valentine said of them: “All the propos-
                                                                     New municipality-based univer-                The second plenary focused on           and highly moving part of the con-
als say the same thing—to get rid of our union. And nothing
                                                                  sities are being set up and a “univer-        the trade pact known as the Free           ference was the Sunday morning
has shown us that we need a union more than the adminis-
                                                                  sity of the elderly” has been estab-          Trade Area of the Americas                 plenary, held at a large hall several
tration’s willingness to threaten and intimidate us as we try
                                                                  lished. García added that the unions          (FTAA—ALCA in Spanish), which              blocks from the conference site.
to bargain for better working conditions.”
                                                                  are playing an active role in all these       is being pushed by the U.S.                Close to 500 members of the
                                                                  efforts, and there is a process of con-       Speakers said that, if implemented,        Mexican Ex-Bracero Movement
NWA mechanics hold the line                                       tinual evaluation and adjustment.
                                                                     José Ramón Rivero, director of
                                                                                                                it would bring to the rest of Latin
                                                                                                                America the same economic disas-
                                                                                                                                                           were meeting there. These former
                                                                                                                                                           immigrant workers have been
   Mechanics at Northwest Airlines (NWA), who’ve been on
                                                                  the Metalworkers Union of Vene-               ter already experienced in Mexico          engaged in a long battle to recover
strike for nearly four months, are continuing to walk picket
                                                                  zuela and a member of the Venezue-            under NAFTA.                               the substantial funds deducted
lines despite freezing weather. Rallies were held recently in
                                                                  lan parliament, spoke about how                  Leonel González González, direc-        from their pay by the Mexican gov-
the Minneapolis area and in Detroit.
                                                                  the U.S. dominated Venezuela eco-             tor of foreign relations of Cuba’s         ernment, with the help of the Wells
   At the Dec. 7 rally for all NWA workers in Minneapolis,
                                                                  nomically and militarily for                  CTC, summarized the current                Fargo Bank, while they worked in
the mechanics’ union handed out a leaflet that expressed
                                                                  decades, but today the Bolivarian             debilitated state of the workers’          the U.S.
solidarity with all the workers. It pointed out that NWA’s
                                                                  Revolution has opened a new and               movements in the U.S., Europe and             The Braceros generously opened
ultimate aim is crush all the unions and just “monitor out-
                                                                  inspiring chapter in the country’s            Latin America. He said the overrid-        their meeting to the Labor Con-
sourcing contracts.” The final paragraph reads: “As an
                                                                  development. He cited attempts of             ing goal of a recent labor conference      ference participants and listened
employee group that has been under attack and forced to
                                                                  the imperialist media to portray the          in Havana, attended by representa-         attentively to the presentations. A
strike by NWA management, we recognize and uncondition-
                                                                  government of President Hugo                  tives from 72 countries, was the           high point of this plenary was a
ally support the efforts of all other groups to defend them-
                                                                  Chávez as a dictatorship when, in             renewal of the class struggle. He          presentation on immigrant work-
selves, their jobs, and their living standards from company
                                                                  fact, the Bolivarian revolutionaries          urged participants at the Tijuana          ers by Ruth Vela of the San Diego
assault.”
                                                                  have won 10 elections in a row, elec-         conference to get copies of the 28         International Action Center and
                                                                  tions certified as legitimate by              resolutions passed at the Havana           the revolutionary youth group
Breakthrough for unionization                                     European Union observers.                     conference and distribute them             FIST—Fight Imperialism, Stand
                                                                     Rivero indicated that Vene-                widely, especially to trade union-         Together. The text of her talk is
in South                                                          zuelans expect no letup in U.S. plots         ists.                                      available in Spanish and English at
   In what has been described as “the biggest unionization        against their country, but said that             Other topics addressed by speak-        the WW web site,
drive in the South in decades,” the Service Employees union       they are prepared for whatever new            ers were the situation of the Cuban        www.workers.org. I
has just won collective bargaining rights for thousands of jan-
itors in Houston as part of its Justice for Janitors campaign.
   The janitors, nearly all of them immigrants, earn just over                                              Marxism, Reparations & the Black Freedom Struggle
$100 a week on average, usually working part time for $5.25       NYC security                              N   Racism, national oppression & the right to self-determination
an hour. No wonder the union billed the union drive as an
anti-poverty movement. Of course, the workers do not
                                                                  guards unionize                           N
                                                                                                                Larry Holmes
                                                                                                              Black labor from chattel slavery to wage slavery Sam Marcy
receive benefits.                                                    As part of its program to organ-       N Reparations & Black Liberation Monica Moorehead
   Because the union movement is not strong in Texas, the         ize 75,000 security guards nation-        N Harriet Tubman: woman warrior Mumia Abu-Jamal (Guest Commentary)
union had to use creative ways to pressure the companies          wide, Service Employees Local             N Black labor & the fight for reparations Bill Cecil
that employ the janitors. Calling a strike at one building in     32BJ will now represent 1,000             N Alabama’s Black Belt: Legacy of slavery, sharecropping & segregation
Houston helped, but sympathy strikes at 75 office buildings       security guards with Burns                    By Consuela Lee (Guest commentary)
in four other states really stepped up pressure.                  International Security Services in        N   Black farmers demand justice Monica Moorehead
   Office building janitors average $20 an hour in New York       New York City. This is the union’s        N   Greetings from Mumia Abu-Jamal to the 3rd UN World Conference
and $13.30 in Chicago and Philadelphia, where office rents        first victory to unionize 10,000              Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia & Related Intolerance
are comparable with those in Houston. In New Jersey a             security guards there. Local 32BJ         N Nigerian women take over Chevron Texaco Monica Moorehead
recent union contract boosted wages for 4,500 janitors from       will soon negotiate better wages          N Nigerian women’s takeover ends in victory Monica Moorehead
$5.85 an hour three years ago to $11.90 an hour today.            and benefits for guards at City           N Causes of turmoil in Jamaica PART I PART II PART III Pat Chin
Many workers also achieved full-time status with health           University campuses, Yeshiva              N The driving force behind the land seizures Monica Moorehead
benefits.                                                         University, AT&T and Pfizer. I                                                     Order online at   www.LEF TBooks.com
Page 6    Dec. 22, 2005      www.workers.org




Jackson conference

‘Justice after Katrina:
The people must decide!’
By Monica Moorehead
Jackson, Miss.

   More than 400 Hurricane Katrina sur-
vivors and their supporters converged on
Anderson United Methodist Church in
Jackson, Miss., on Dec. 9 for a one-day
conference to help organize a national
movement to rebuild the Gulf Coast in the
interests of the people, not big business.
                                                                                                                     WW PHOTOS: GLORIA VERDIEU
   The conference was organized by the
People’s Hurricane Relief Fund and                                                                                   Workshop reports, left;
Oversight Coalition, founded by Com-                                                                                 Father Luke speaks on
                                                                                                                     Vietnamese Katrina
munity Labor United. Its theme was
                                                                                                                     survivors, above. Northland poster for the conference
based on a popular South African anti-                                                                               above right. Below, Monica Moorehead and Curtis
apartheid slogan: “Nothing about us                                                                                  Muhammad, Community Labor United leader.
without us is for us.” Besides the sur-
vivors themselves, anti-war, labor and
community activists attended from all
parts of the country.
   The purpose of this gathering was to put
forth a united action plan for Katrina sur-
vivors to be able to rebuild their devastated
cities and eventually return to their
homes.
   Small and large group discussions and              federal governments make conditions
plenaries were held throughout the day                possible for our immediate return. This
where the Katrina survivors had a platform            includes the following:
to express the horrors that they faced                   “The [Mayor Ray] Nagin administra-
immediately after the hurricane destroyed             tion must make temporary housing such
their homes. They described how govern-               as apartments, hotel rooms, trailers and
ment agencies and police authorities                  public housing developments available for
exploited this natural disaster by separat-           us while we rebuild our homes.
ing families and imprisoning youth. They                 “The government must put an end to
spoke for the tens of thousands of mostly             price gouging, stop all evictions and make
Black survivors who were abandoned, left              rents affordable.
to try to make it on their own without                   “Local residents must take the lead in
water, food and other basic necessities. An           rebuilding our communities and must be
estimated 300,000 Katrina survivors who               hired to do the rebuilding work.
once lived in New Orleans and other parts                “There must be immediate debt relief         people be made public.                        Gras takes place until the suffering of the
of the Gulf Coast region have been dis-               for debt associated with this disaster.            “We demand accountability for and          people is lifted.
placed.                                                  “Quality public education and childcare      oversight of the over $50 billion of FEMA       “We are calling for survivors and sup-
   Labor, youth and women’s caucus                    must be provided for our children.              funds and the money raised by other           porters to participate in a Martin Luther
meetings were also held. A youth speak-                  “Quality affordable health care and access   organizations, foundations and funds in       King Jr. weekend 2006 conference and
out on the impact of Katrina had been held            to free prescriptions must be provided.         our name.                                     demonstration to make these demands
the day before at the historically Black col-            “The government must immediately                “We demand representation on all           heard!”
lege of Jackson State.                                clean up air, water and soil to make it safe    boards that are making decisions about          The full statement can be found at
   At the conference, the Katrina sur-                and healthy for people to return home.          relief and reconstruction. We also demand     www.communitylaborunited.net.
vivors agreed upon a New Orleans                         “We demand that the government pro-          that those most affected by Hurricane           Many of these demands were raised the
“People’s Declaration.” It includes the fol-          vide funds for all families to be reunited      Katrina be part of every stage of the plan-   next day, International Human Rights
lowing objectives:                                    and that the databases of FEMA, Red             ning process.                                 Day, during a march and rally on New
   “We demand that the local, state and               Cross and any organizations tracking our           “We demand that no commercial Mardi        Orleans led by the Katrina survivors. I




March on New Orleans ‘We shall not b
                                                          By LeiLani Dowell
                                                          New Orleans

                                                              The streets of New Orleans were
                                                          filled with angry and determined pro-
                                                          testers, both survivors of Hurricane
                                                          Katrina and their supporters, on Dec.
                                                          10, International Human Rights Day.
                                                          Chanting “We’re back to take it back”
                                                          and “No justice, no peace!” a crowd
                                                          estimated at 5,000 marched from the
                                                          historic Congo Square—also known as
                                                          Louis Armstrong Park and described
                                                          by Reuters as “a centuries-old meeting
                                                          place where African slaves once gath-
                                                          ered to trade, play music and dance”—
                                                          to City Hall for a rally, where they
                                                          demanded “Justice after Katrina.”           lective; Million Worker March Movement;          Survivors traveled from as far away as
                                                              The march was a vibrant display of      Millions More Movement; Troops Out            Texas and California to speak their minds
                                                          the culture and resistance of the peo-      Now Coalition; FIST—Fight Imperialism,        and lend their voices and feet to the effort.
                                                          ple of New Orleans. Babies were             Stand Together; New Black Panther Party;      The march and rally were organized by the
                                                          pushed in strollers alongside marching      ANSWER and others. African drums              People’s Hurricane Rights Fund and
                                                          youth and elders. Groups represented        accompanied the chants, and the march         Oversight Coalition, which raised money
         WW PHOTOS: GLORIA VERDIEU AND MONICA MOOREHEAD
Historic Congo Square—also known as Louis                 on the march included Community             was led by the Soul Rebels, a New Orleans     to bring survivors home for the day. The
Armstrong Park                                            Labor United; Common Ground Col-            brass band.                                   PHRF announced a list of demands to be
                                                                                                                                                www.workers.org       Dec. 22, 2005      Page 7




  Katrina survivors revisit
  the Ninth Ward
  By Gloria Rubac                                were twisted and topless. Many, with           one will help me. I want to come home so        “The African people, the poor, working
  New Orleans                                    roofs still intact, had holes in them where    badly. I know this government has money         people—their culture, their dignity—that’s
                                                 people had clawed and chopped their way        but I wonder if I will ever see any.”           what made New Orleans what it was. When
     We met at 4 a.m. in a dark parking lot      through to survive the floodwaters.               Other evacuees reminisced about the          my family and my neighbors were evicted
  near Houston’s Mosque #45. About a                One of the evacuees recalled being on       wonderful meals of seafood gumbo and            from public housing in Houston because
  third of our group were Hurricane Katrina      top of the family house and seeing helicop-    crayfish etouffee in days gone by. They         our land became too valuable for the poor
  evacuees, and we were about to take the        ters fly over. When the people waved to get    spoke softly of how now their kitchens          to live on, I felt violated. But what the gov-
  bus from Texas to New Orleans for the          their attention, those on the helicopter       were ruined, the cast-iron pots rusted and      ernment did in New Orleans is beyond
  Dec. 10 march and rally. It was decided        would mock them and wave back, as if say-      their dining-room tables gone.                  comprehension,” she said.
  that afterward we would make time to           ing hello. “We were deliberately left to          Njeri Shakur, with the Texas Death Pen-         “I am more determined than ever to
  drive through New Orleans, particularly        die,” she said.                                alty Abolition Movement, said she felt such     help our sisters and brothers rebuild their
  the lower Ninth Ward.                             Brother Miller X with the New Black         empathy with those from New Orleans.            lives and their city.” I
     The march and rally charged everyone.       Panther Party in Houston said, “When
  But the profound impact of the day came        we were here right after Katrina, we saw
  when we drove through the French Quar-         dead bodies floating down these streets.
  ter, through the lesbian/gay/bi/trans com-     What you see now has been cleaned. It
  munity and then entered the Ninth Ward.        was horrible.”
     We passed a giant red steel barge in the       Joy had just fixed up her house and had
  middle of a field. Then we saw the house       moved in only three weeks before Katrina
  of rock and roll legend Fats Domino. His       hit. “I have worked all my life and never
  possessions were piled in the street like      asked anyone for anything. Now I have
  garbage. His daughter’s sixth-grade read-      been hit by a disaster and I wonder if any-
  ing book, stacks of 45-rpm and 78-rpm
  records, books, papers and other items
  that were surely treasured by the family
  were now filthy, mildewed garbage.
     While many of us walked around, most
  of those from New Orleans stayed on the
  bus, too heart-sick to look any closer.
     We drove on to the lower Ninth Ward.
  The evacuees on the bus were quiet. They
  began whispering to themselves and could
  barely look up.
     The streets were deserted and there was
  not a light anywhere, just a vast wasteland
  of houses that had floated onto other
  houses, cars and trucks. Some houses
                                                                                                                          Dec. 10 contingents; PHRF activist, Malcolm Suber speaks,
                                                                                                                          above; Mama Dee at the podium, below.




be moved’



                                                                                                                                                    WW PHOTOS: GLORIA VERDIEU AND MONICA MOOREHEAD
  presented to the office of Mayor Ray Nagin     a damn about poor people, the working          female friend, at the hands of the police.      Katrina survivors at City Hall.
  that included an end to evictions, the right   class, and especially don’t give a damn           An environmental justice activist led
  to return for evacuees, and a halt to Mardi    about Black people.”                           the crowd in a chant: “We have the right        When the hurricane hit, these toxics
  Gras festivities in the midst of the devas-       Speaker after speaker pressed their         to healthy and safe neighborhoods.” She         leached out into the rest of the area.
  tation of the Black community.                 demands and told horror stories of the tra-    spoke about the high levels of toxic arsenic       Mama Dee, a New Orleans resident who
     The rally at City Hall was chaired by       vails they had to endure at the hands of the   that have been found in every area where        opened her own home early in the wake of
  New Orleans resident and activist              government, both local and federal. One        flooding occurred, and how the federal          Katrina for relief efforts, described the
  Malcolm Suber, who told the cheering           protester noted, “They could get troops        government has consistently done noth-          poverty and neglect that Black people in
  crowd: “We want our voices heard. We’re        over to Iraq overnight, but couldn’t get       ing about it. The toxicity in the wake of the   the region had suffered long before Katrina
  here standing tall, ready to fight. The gov-   anyone here to save our people.” Another       hurricane was exacerbated by the environ-       struck. She demanded, “Come clean, New
  ernment promises everything and gives          young man told about being beaten, along       mental racism that allowed housing for          Orleans! Enough of my babies are dead,
  you nothing. This government don’t give        with his pregnant sister and another           the poor to be built on top of a landfill.      and it didn’t start with Katrina!” I
Page 8    Dec. 22, 2005    www.workers.org




Florida jury rejects anti-Arab charges

How a government frame up failed
By Dianne Mathiowetz                            tigators to present intelligence gained         getting Congress to consider legislation          his Florida home.
Atlanta                                         from foreign surveillance into a domestic       outlawing “secret evidence” when 9/11                For six months, prosecutors from the
                                                criminal trial.                                 happened.                                         Justice Department presented some 80
   One month before the U.S. launched its          The government persecution and sur-             After the courts ruled that Al-Najar had       witnesses and introduced 400 pieces of
war on Iraq, then-Attorney General John         veillance of Sami Al-Arian goes back more       to be released, he was deported in August         evidence, mostly edited transcripts of the
Ashcroft on Feb. 20, 2003, personally           than 10 years.                                  of 2002.                                          more than 20,000 hours of taped phone
announced that the government had filed            Born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents,          Right-wing and pro-Israeli elements,           conversations. Many of the tapes had been
charges against Dr. Sami Al-Arian, declar-      Al-Arian came to the U.S. as a student in       including local reporters for the Tampa           recorded prior to 1995, when the
ing him to be the “North American leader        1975. An esteemed computer engineering          Tribune and Bill O’Reilly of Fox News,            Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) was first
of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”              professor at the University of South            undeterred by the lack of evidence, pub-          included on the “terrorist” list maintained
   Ashcroft said Al-Arian’s arrest was a        Florida (USF) in Tampa since 1986, Al-          licly tried to link Al-Arian to acts of terror-   by the government.
“milestone in the war against terrorism”        Arian was a recognized leader in the            ism—not only in the Middle East, but even            Israeli witnesses to bombings attrib-
and credited the Patriot Act for facilitat-     Muslim community. He had founded a              in the Oklahoma City bombing—in an                uted to the PIJ were brought to Tampa to
ing the case against the Florida professor.     mosque, developed a school and initiated        unrelenting campaign to vilify him.               testify. Videos of exploded buses were
His remarks were carried live on CNN as         a research center. He was well-known for           For example, the Tampa Tribune has             shown to the jury, even though the prose-
breaking news.                                  his active support of the Palestinian peo-      printed more than 700 stories about Al-           cution agreed that the defendants had
   He insinuated that the public would be       ple and their struggle to end Israeli occu-     Arian and his pro-Palestinian views—an            nothing to to with the planning or carry-
safer now that Al-Arian was behind bars,        pation, speaking at meetings and confer-        average of one article every five days for        ing out of these attacks.
demagogically linking him with Osama            ences across the country.                       10 years.                                            Under cross-examination, the defense
bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.                      Ironically, during the closely contested        Following his arrest in February 2003,         exposed the lack of any evidence tying the
   The Bush administration expected to be       2000 presidential election in Florida, the      Al-Arian and his co-defendant Hammou-             four men to any terrorist activity.
able to railroad the outspoken supporter        well-spoken academic was courted by the         deh were imprisoned in the maximum-                  On Oct. 27, Al-Arian’s lawyers shocked
of the Palestinian people. That plan was        Bush campaign to influence Arab and             security section of the federal penitentiary      the courtroom. William Moffit told the
shattered on Dec. 6, when a Tampa, Fla.,        Muslim voters to vote Republican.               in Coleman, Fla. Kept in solitary confine-        jury that the defense would rest without
jury acquitted Al-Arian and his co-defen-          The FBI tapped his phone for more than       ment in a small cell that was constantly lit,     calling a single witness or introducing any
dants of most of the charges lodged             nine years and twice raided his home and        he was denied regular contact with his            evidence.
against them.                                   offices, seizing dozens of boxes of personal    family, restricted in the practice of his reli-      “Because there is a document called the
   Al-Arian was found not guilty of eight       belongings.                                     gion, and shackled hand and foot when             U.S. Constitution ... it protects Dr. Al-
of the 17 counts, including conspiracy to          In 1996, then-USF President Betty            allowed limited meetings with his defense         Arian’s right to speak and the government
maim and murder and providing material          Casto placed him on paid personal leave         team. Even getting pencils and paper to           has not proven that Dr. Al-Arian has done
support for Islamic Jihad. Two co-defen-        after learning he was under investigation       aid in his defense became a matter of liti-       anything but speak... The fact that Dr. Al-
dants, Ghassan Ballut and Sameeh Ham-           by the Justice Department.                      gation with federal officials.                    Arian is a Palestinian deprives him of no
moudeh, were acquitted on all charges and          Academic organizations came to his                                                             civil rights.”
Chicago business owner Hatem Fariz was          defense. Two years later, when the FBI          10 years of surveillance                             Thirteen days later, the jury’s decision
found innocent of 25 of 33 charges. The jury    admitted it had no grounds to charge him,          Although the government had been               shocked the Bush administration. As the
deadlocked on the remaining counts, with        Al-Arian was restored to his position as a      spying on him and monitoring his activi-          four defendants stood in a packed court-
the clear majority in favor of acquittal.       tenured professor.                              ties for close to 10 years, the Justice           room of family and supporters, they heard
   In the U.S. and around the world, news-         Almost immediately, the U.S. govern-         Department told the presiding judge in the        “not guilty” over and over as the charges
paper articles all commented on what an         ment detained his brother-in-law, Mazen         trial, U.S. District Judge James Moody,           were read.
embarrassing setback and stunning defeat        Al-Najar, who worked at the university as       that it needed at least two more years to            Jurors interviewed by St. Petersburg
the verdict was for the U.S. government in      well, and held him in prison without            prepare its case.                                 Times reporter Meg Laughlin all men-
its moves to silence dissent in this country.   charges on “secret evidence” for three years.      The much-hyped trial began on June             tioned that they found no evidence of
   It was the relaxed provisions of the            Al-Arian worked passionately to win the      6, 2005, almost two and a half years              crime in the voluminous record presented
Patriot Act that had allowed federal inves-     release of Al-Najar. He was on the verge of     after Al-Arian’s early-morning arrest at                       Continued on the next page


Air marshals shoot passenger
Racial profiling behind brutal killing?
By Larry Hales                                    Initial reports given by the two air mar-        Another passenger,                                       in Miami, said the marshals
                                                shals who shot Alpizar stated that he           John McAlhany, stated,                                      had the right to shoot to
   Air marshals shot Rigoberto Alpizar          yelled he had a bomb before running off         “I heard him saying to                                      stop the “threat” and even
to death on Dec. 7 on a boarding bridge         the plane and reaching into his backpack.       his wife, ‘I’ve got to get                                  repeated their story that
to an American Airlines jet in Miami            However, several witnesses have come            off the plane.’ He                                          Alpizar had said he had a
International airport. The naturalized          forward and stated that Alpizar never           bumped me, bumped a                                         bomb. Amat wasn’t there,
U.S. citizen—Alpizar was born in Costa          yelled he had a bomb.                           couple of stewardesses.                                     and not one passenger
Rica—and his wife had just boarded the            Passenger Mike Beshears told                  He just wanted to get                                       recalled hearing him say
plane for a short flight to Orlando after       reporters, “He just was in a hurry and          off the plane.”                                             anything about a bomb.
returning to Florida from a trip to Peru.       exited the plane.”                                 In fact, not one wit-                                    They first heard the word
                                                                                                ness has come forward                                       from the FBI when being
                                                                                                to substantiate the                                         questioned.
                                                                                                claims of the air mar-                                         “They kept asking if I
                                                                                                shals who brutally shot                                     heard him say the B-word.
                                                                                                Alpizar, a mentally dis- Rigoberto Alpizar and his          And I said, ‘What is the B-
                                                                                                abled man diagnosed wife, Anne Buechner.                    word?’ And they were like,
                                                                                                with bipolar disease.                                       ‘Bomb.’ I said no. They said,
                                                                                                   The government agents claimed they        ‘Are you sure?’ And I am,” said passenger
                                                                                                were justified in the shooting and have      McAlhany, a construction worker.
                                                                                                the right to “neutralize” a suspect             This shooting is very similar to the
                                                                                                deemed a threat. Alpizar was clearly no      killing of Jean Charles de Menezes in
                                                                                                threat. He was unarmed and made no           London. The police who shot the young
                                                                                                threatening motions to anyone. He            Brazilian worker there were caught lying
                                                                                                merely wanted to get off the plane.          from beginning to end.
                                                                                                   His wife, Anne Buechner, who was             They said Menezes was wearing a bulky
                                                                                                behind him as he tried to exit the air-      jacket, that he appeared agitated, and that
                                                                                                craft, told the air marshals that her hus-   he jumped a turnstile and ran into a sub-
                                                                                                band was bipolar, that he was harmless       way car. However, videotape doesn’t lie,
                                                                                                but had been off his medication. Her         nor did witnesses. The video showed a
                                                                                                words went unheeded. Moments later,          calm young man in a light jeans jacket
                                                                                                after Alpizar left the aircraft, followed by who used a subway card and walked,
                                                                                                two marshals, the 44-year-old Home           rushing only to catch his train. He was
                                                                                                Depot worker was gunned down.                grabbed by several cops while sitting in
                                                                                                   John Amat, a federal official and a       the subway car, was knocked to the floor
                                                                                                deputy with the U.S. Air Marshals service
                                                                                                                                                                 Continued on page 11
                                                                                                                                             www.workers.org      Dec. 22, 2005    Page 9




As U.S. grip weakens in Latin America

Venezuela becomes full member
of Mercosur
By Arturo J. Pérez Saad                        the Americas at Mar del Plata, Argentina,     has imposed on Latin America have under-           This new trade bloc now represents
                                               to symbolically bury the U.S.-proposed        mined attempts to eradicate poverty, illit-     member nations with more than $1.3 tril-
   The incorporation of Venezuela into the     Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).       eracy, bigotry and racism in the area.          lion in gross domestic product, and asso-
Common Market of the South (Mercosur)          Chávez was joined by the representatives         In a giant step for the region, Argentina,   ciated nations with $2.1 trillion GDP. With
is a historic step in the economic integra-    of Mercosur and Cuba in a vote that           Brazil and Venezuela have signed an             Venezuela’s oil reserves, it will be the third
tion of Latin America. Venezuela was           defeated this attempt to extend imperial-     agreement to complete a gigantic gas-           most important economic and geopolitical
upgraded from associate to full member at      ist trade agreements to the whole Western     petroleum pipeline within five years. This      trading bloc in the world.
Mercosur’s 29th summit meeting, held on        Hemisphere. The U.S. and Canada, with         agreement, based on cooperation and                Venezuela is now the only South Amer-
Dec. 8-9 in Montevideo, Uruguay.               Mexico as their lap dog in NAFTA, have        integration of the region instead of an         ican country with full membership in both
   Mercosur’s four founding members are        used trade agreements to impoverish the       imperialist-imposed FTAA, is part of the        the Andean Community of Nations (CAN)
Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.       producing countries’ working people           Venezuelan-initiated Bolivarian Alter-          and Mercosur. These two trade blocs are
Its associate members include Bolivia,         while enriching the importing countries’      native for the Americas (ALBA). President       expected to be fully integrated by 2007,
Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.             transnational corporations.                   Chávez says that “not only is this historic     bringing the entire continent into the
   The inclusion of Venezuela comes one           The defeat of the FTAA and Venezuela’s     but we, the heads of state, are responsible     South American Community of Nations
month after its president, Hugo Chávez,        acquiring full-member status in Mercosur      for the demands set upon us” to make sure       (CSN)—another step to fulfilling the dream
brought a shovel to the Third Summit of        are due in part to the success of the         it benefits the 367 million people in the       of Simón Bolívar, who in the 19th century
                                               Bolivarian Revolution and “to a large part,   region.                                         tried to liberate the continent from colonial
                                               [to Brazilian] President Lula da Silva,”         Cuba’s press agency, Prensa Latina,          rule. When completed, the CSN would
                                               said President Chávez to a TeleSur corre-     explains, “This pipeline would run from         have a GDP of over $2.6 trillion and
Anti-Arab frame up                             spondent in Montevideo, “because he           Venezuela over Brazilian territory to           encompass 367 million inhabitants.
                                               played a key role for us to be included.”     Manaos in the north and then to the north-         During the course of the Mercosur sum-
by the government. Prosecution attorney           Meanwhile, Washington continues to         east, continuing to the south of Brazil,        mit meeting, Chinese Minister of
Cherie Krisgman had urged the jury to          discredit itself with every unilateral and    Buenos Aires and Montevideo.”                   Construction Wang Guangtao said in a
“trust them” that evidence existed to show     undemocratic attempt it makes to alienate        The pipeline would extend to between         speech that China wants to broaden and
that the defendants belonged to a “terror-     Venezuela and overthrow its popularly         4,969 and 6,211 miles long and cost up to       deepen bilateral cooperation with Mer-
ist” cell operating in the U.S.                elected leader. The neoliberal policies it    $10 billion.                                    cosur member states. (Xinhua, Dec. 11) I
   One juror said, “We were a hair’s
breadth away from acquitting on four
more Al-Arian charges when the judge
stopped us.”
   Judge Moody said that a juror had sent
him a note saying she was feeling
                                               Cuba plays key role
“coerced” by the rest of the panel.
   “It shocked us,” said a Vietnamese-
American woman juror.
                                               in Pakistan quake aid
   Todd, a 40-year-old truck driver,           By G. Dunkel                                  of the 400,000 tents delivered so far are          Oliver Behn, coordinator of Médicins
added, “If we had stayed and worked ... we                                                   winterized. Oxfam and the UNHCR are             Sans Frontiers in the Hattian Bala region,
would have acquitted on everything but            The disaster from the powerful earth-      trying to buy 20,000 small stoves to heat       comments: “When we arrived here with
the immigration fraud charge.”                 quake that on Oct. 8 devastated the north-    the tents that have been winterized.            MSF there were great needs in the Hattian
   Federal prosecutors are now consider-       eastern part of Pakistan in the Himalayan        As of Dec. 2, according to the UN Office     population which we could only partially
ing retrying Al-Arian and Fariz on the         foothills is still unfolding. The quake       for the Coordination of Humanitarian            satisfy. A few days later the Cuban med-
deadlocked charges. Conviction on a rack-      immediately killed an estimated 73,000        Affairs (UNOCHA), just $160 million, or         ical team of doctors and nurses arrived.
eteering conspiracy charge carries a pos-      people and left 3.5 million homeless. Now,    29 percent, of the $550 million needed for      They have made a significant contribution
sible 20-year prison sentence. They say        as temperatures plummet, hundreds of          the first six months of earthquake relief       to cover the needs of the population. I
there is no deadline for when they will        thousands remain at risk of extreme suf-      had been received, although $240 million        think they are doing a very good job.”
announce their decision.                       fering and death.                             had been promised for delivery by that
   The Immigration and Customs                    While a variety of groups have rushed      date.                                           U.S. and British military
Enforcement Agency (ICE) has said that it      tents, food and medical care to the sur-         The British, Irish and Australian press         According to the English newspaper
will proceed with deportation hearings if      vivors, it hasn’t been enough.                report scattered deaths, particularly           The Guardian of Dec. 4, “large boxes of
Al-Arian is released from jail on bail or if      Many international aid agencies            among the most vulnerable populations in        Stars and Stripes-branded toys and
the Justice Department declines to retry       dependent on the rich imperialist coun-       isolated villages not reached by relief         scarves [are] regularly delivered by U.S.
the case.                                      tries for most of their funds have been       teams. As conditions get worse, many            helicopters with aid packages.” A large
   Defense lawyer Moffit declared any          operating in the area, from the Red Cross/    more thousands are expected to die, not         number of U.S. helicopters are taking part
effort to deport his client “totally vindic-   Red Crescent to Oxfam, the UN children’s      just from the cold but from pneumonia           in the fighting in Afghanistan, a few hours’
tive,” since he has not been convicted of      fund (UNICEF), the UN refugee agency          and bronchitis due to lack of shelter. Some     flight time away. Given that many roads
any crime.                                     (UNHCR) and Médicins Sans Frontiers/          areas affected by the earthquake normally       and bridges were destroyed by the earth-
   However, in these much-publicized           Doctors Without Borders. Their own per-       get 20 feet of snow by midwinter. Some          quake, along with houses, schools and
“terrorism” cases, following the arrest of     sonnel complain that they haven’t enough      survivors are digging graves before the         clinics, helicopters are often the only
many thousands of Arab and Muslim men          resources to cope with this disaster.         ground freezes.                                 mode of transportation in this rugged and
since 9/11, the overwhelming majority of          Socialist Cuba, which by contrast is a        The Cuban contingent has 17 field hos-       devastated area. Britain also has com-
defendants have been found guilty of no        relatively poor country after having been     pitals in action and plans to set up another    mando teams in Pakistan providing engi-
crime but were deported on the basis of        blockaded for almost half a century by the    13. Cuba’s deputy minister of foreign           neering help to the Pakistani army.
immigration technicalities.                    U.S., has sent over 1,000 doctors and         affairs, Bruno Rodríguez, is responsible           After the number of Cuban doctors grew
   Like Al-Arian, they suffered months         nurses from its Henry Reeve International     for coordinating Cuban efforts in               from 300 to 789, the U.S. freed up some
and even years of imprisonment, public         Medical Contingent. They make up the          Pakistan. He says the contingent has 789        of the resources it has been using to
slander, separation from their families,       largest medical contingent working in the     doctors, about half of them specialists with    occupy and control Afghanistan.
loss of jobs and homes, denial of civil        area.                                         experience in natural disasters, 315 para-         The presence of foreign troops has
rights and deliberate mental and physical         The left-wing Pakistan Trade Union         medics, all university graduates or techni-     raised the hackles of some of the Islamic
anguish at the hands of a clique of right-     Defense Committee has tried to bring in       cians, and 128 backup staff. This includes      groups in Pakistan, in particular the six
wing ideologues in pursuit of a political      relief supplies purchased in nearby India,    80 engineers who set up the high technol-       major Islamic parties in a coalition called
agenda.                                        but has been blocked by the Musharraf         ogy that the field hospitals use—ultra-         Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), who
   The government counted on fear and          government. A variety of Islamic groups       sound, electrocardiograms, x-rays and           see the troop presence as an extension of
racism to convict Al-Arian and his co-         are also helping the people.                  clinical laboratories.                          their activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
defendants, but the public distrust of the        The U.S. Army, which is fighting a mer-       All the Cuban medical personnel live         Some of the ethnic groups in this part of
Bush administration’s policies since the       ciless war in neighboring Afghanistan and     under the same conditions as their              Pakistan also live in Afghanistan.
war in Iraq and Hurricane Katrina cer-         has enormous military resources in the        patients.                                          Washington is urging the Pakistani
tainly gave the jurors a context in which to   area, has supplied helicopters to fly in         UNICEF’s director of operations in           army to take control of all the relief efforts
judge the political views of the Palestinian   tents and take out some of the injured.       Pakistan, Indiana Gonzalez Mairena,             and undercut the Islamic groups. While it
activists.                                     These flights, it should be noted, have       told the Cuban newspaper Vanguardia,            hasn’t moved against the Islamic groups,
   They ultimately agreed with Moffit’s        increased in an obvious response to the       “I recognize this as valuable humanitar-        the Pakistan army did stop the trade
summation: “This case concerns Dr. Al-         political impact of Cuba’s solidarity.        ian aid which we would not expect from          unions’ Fifth Revolutionary Solidarity
Arian’s right to speak, our right to hear         According to the UN, about 800,000 of      other countries possessing much more            Caravan at the border, after it had picked
what he has to say and the attempt by the      the homeless have only their blankets to      resources than Cuba. It’s just a matter of      up supplies in India, and seized all its
powerful to silence him.” I                    keep off the falling snow. Just 10 percent    will.”                                          goods. I
Page 10    Dec. 22, 2005    www.workers.org




                                                                                                               RICHARD PRYOR .
                  The Montreal                                                                 A comedian who told it like it is
                    summit                                                                     By Larry Hales                                                         Pryor was born in


I
      n its first term the Bush gang not        well as in Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland,                                                                             Peoria, Ill., in 1940 in a
      only unilaterally sparked aggression      France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy,          Richard Pryor, recog-                                            brothel owned by his
      against Iraq and Afghanistan, and         New Zealand, Norway, Philippines,              nized as one of the great-                                          grandmother.           He
tried to bully China, North Korea, Iran         Russia, South Africa, South Korea and          est comedians to take the                                           started stand-up com-
and Venezuela—it also thumbed its nose          Turkey—a total of 100,000 people on            stage, died from a heart                                            edy as a teenager. He
as the rest of the world attempted to           Dec. 4. Some 10,000 people marched             attack on Dec. 10. He was                                           began to find himself
come to grips with global warming’s link        through London, carrying banners link-         only 65 years old and had                                           and his act in the late
to greenhouse gases. That is, Washing-          ing Bush and British Prime Minister            suffered with multiple                                              1960s, and by the early
ton refused any cooperation with the            Tony Blair as “climate criminals.” That        sclerosis for 20 years.                                             to mid-1970s he was in
Kyoto Protocol, a first and limited inter-      can be added to the charges against them          In all the news articles                                         full stride. His act
national attempt to lessen damage to the        for war crimes against Iraq.                   that have appeared sur-                                             began to reflect his
environment.                                       The biggest demonstration was in            rounding the comedian’s                                             frustrations, and those
   Now, 30 months of Iraqi resistance           Montreal itself, where Inuit people from       death, Pryor’s history of                                           of Black people in gen-
have shown that building a foreign pol-         the far north explained how the melting        drug addiction along                                                eral, as he remarked on
icy based on fear of the Pentagon can           ice is ruining their home economy of           with other troubles is                                              racist police brutality
expose U.S. military weaknesses and             fishing and hunting.                           dredged up along with                                               and the Black commu-
lead to a disastrous quagmire. Hurricane           Many U.S. mayors took part in the           interspersed acknow- Richard Pryor                                 nity’s distrust of the
Katrina has shown in a most devastating         summit, but the Bush administration            ledgment of the come-                                              police, which can never
way that the global warming threat goes         remained dead set against in any way           dian’s unique talent. Though everything         be rectified. He commented on the
beyond South Pacific islands and the            subjecting the economic strategy of the        that Pryor did and said and every mistake       Vietnam War as well and on Richard
frozen tundra in the North. The war, and        major U.S. private corporations to the         made by him were part of who he was,            Nixon, remarking, “If you can pardon
the water, can come home to the U.S.,           needs of humanity. There, it is clear, is      there was no need to addle articles with        Nixon, you can pardon anybody.”
which produces 25 percent of the world’s        the crux of the problem. The Bush              tales of mistakes or addiction. His life was       Pryor didn’t tell jokes. He told stories
greenhouse gas emissions with only 5            administration, still in bed with the oil      always an open book and he never shied          about unforgettable characters, many of
percent of its population.                      monopolies and serving their greed,            away from it.                                   whom he grew up with, that lingered in
   After a precedent-setting hurricane          refuses all cooperation. But the other            Very simply put, Richard Pryor was           the mind. He was great at it and drew
season coupled with a shift in the Gulf         capitalist governments also have their         ingenious. He was the embodiment of             endless laughter, but the stories could
Stream and a long-lasting drought in—of         hands tied to profit-hungry corpora-           the struggle of Black people for justice in     just as easily make a person cry. His tal-
all places—the Amazon basin, a large            tions. The forces involved represent           the United States. Like Paul Robeson,           ent was that he would make people dou-
majority of scientists and a solid major-       competing capitalist economic entities         with his booming baritone voice; or John        ble over laughing until tears welled up in
ity of people, including in the U.S., are       and their bottom line is—the bottom            Coltrane’s abstract jazz improvisation          their eyes and, even while being enter-
convinced that global warming is real           line, that is, profit.                         that soared, breaking form, almost              taining, at the same time make observa-
and that it is connected with burning oil,         Every attempt should and must be            imprinting the clouds; or hip-hop artist        tions from a Black perspective.
gas and coal. The Bush gang, however,           made to slow down the rush toward              Tupac Shakur, whose life ended too                 Richard Pryor will be remembered for
still think they can unilaterally flip a fin-   environmental disaster that unre-              soon, exclaiming the many degradations          his groundbreaking material and how it
ger at the world.                               strained capitalism represents. But the        of being Black in North American society        sprang from outrage and hurt and com-
   They showed this arrogance once              only way for humanity to get a grasp on        but who left an indelible mark on the           bined both entertainment and social
again at the 10-day-long Global                 the vast problems caused by global             consciousness of so many young Black            commentary. He will forever be remem-
Warming Summit in Montreal that                 warming is for the means of production         males—Richard Pryor was able to com-            bered as one of a number of Black artists
ended Dec. 12. Washington came in once          to be in the hands of that section of          municate the Black struggle for self-           who brilliantly expressed the anger and
again as the major world power refusing         humanity that doesn’t live off of profits—     determination with humor devoid of              determination of an oppressed people
to cooperate with plans to at least slow        the working people. Only they can decide       being self-effacing. Comedian Chris             through culture.
down the climate’s descent into chaos.          how to control development so that the         Rock stated, “Richard Pryor was the
   The world demanded much more                 world economy develops without putting         Rosa Parks of comedy.”
from the summit. There were protests in         the world itself in peril. That means
New Orleans and 40 other U.S. cities, as        socialism. I


                                                HAROLD PINTER’S NOBEL SPEECH .

                ‘Bush & Blair are war criminals’
British playwright Harold Pinter used           procedures. No sedative or anaesthetic.        it “bringing freedom and democracy to the       tograph published on the front page of
the platform of accepting his Nobel             Just a tube stuck up your nose and into        Middle East.”                                   British newspapers of Tony Blair kissing
prize for literature on Dec. 7 to call for      your throat. You vomit blood. This is tor-         How many people do you have to kill         the cheek of a little Iraqi boy. “A grateful
putting George Bush and Tony Blair on           ture. What has the British Foreign Secre-      before you qualify to be described as a         child,” said the caption. A few days later
trial as war criminals. He was too ill to       tary said about this? Nothing. What has        mass murderer and a war criminal? One           there was a story and photograph, on an
travel from his home in London to               the British Prime Minister said about this?    hundred thousand? More than enough, I           inside page, of another four-year-old boy
Stockholm but recorded his 45-minute            Nothing. Why not? Because the United           would have thought. Therefore it is just        with no arms. His family had been blown
talk on video. Below are excerpts.              States has said: to criticise our conduct in   that Bush and Blair be arraigned before         up by a missile. He was the only sur-
                                                Guantanamo Bay constitutes an unfriendly       the International Criminal Court of             vivor. “When do I get my arms back?” he
   What has happened to our moral sensi-        act. You’re either with us or against us.      Justice. But Bush has been clever. He           asked. The story was dropped. Well,
bility? ... Look at Guantanamo Bay.             So Blair shuts up.                             has not ratified the International              Tony Blair wasn’t holding him in his
Hundreds of people detained without                The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an   Criminal Court of Justice. Therefore, if        arms, nor the body of any other muti-
charge for over three years, with no legal      act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrat-    any American soldier or for that matter         lated child, nor the body of any bloody
representation or due process, technically      ing absolute contempt for the concept of       politician finds himself in the dock, Bush      corpse. Blood is dirty. It dirties your
detained forever. This totally illegitimate     international law. The invasion was an         has warned that he will send in the             shirt and tie when you’re making a sin-
structure is maintained in defiance of the      arbitrary military action inspired by a        Marines. But Tony Blair has ratified the        cere speech on television.
Geneva Convention. It is not only toler-        series of lies upon lies and gross manipu-     Court and is therefore available for pros-         The 2,000 American dead are an
ated but hardly thought about by what’s         lation of the media and therefore of the       ecution. We can let the Court have his          embarrassment. They are transported to
called the”’international community.”           public; an act intended to consolidate         address if they’re interested. It is            their graves in the dark. Funerals are
   This criminal outrage is being commit-       American military and economic control         Number 10, Downing Street, London.              unobtrusive, out of harm’s way. The muti-
ted by a country, which declares itself to      of the Middle East masquerading—as a               Death in this context is irrelevant. Both   lated rot in their beds, some for the rest of
be “the leader of the free world.” Do we        last resort—all other justifications having    Bush and Blair place death well away on         their lives. So the dead and the mutilated
think about the inhabitants of Guanta-          failed to justify themselves—as liberation.    the back burner. At least 100,000 Iraqis        both rot, in different kinds of graves. ...
namo Bay? What does the media say about         A formidable assertion of military force       were killed by American bombs and mis-             Many thousands, if not millions, of peo-
them? They pop up occasionally—a small          responsible for the death and mutilation       siles before the Iraq insurgency began.         ple in the United States itself are demon-
item on page six. They have been con-           of thousands and thousands of innocent         These people are of no moment. Their            strably sickened, shamed and angered by
signed to a no man’s land from which            people.                                        deaths don’t exist. They are blank. They        their government’s actions, but as things
indeed they may never return.                      We have brought torture, cluster            are not even recorded as being dead. “We        stand they are not a coherent political force
   At present many are on hunger strike,        bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable           don’t do body counts,” said the American        —yet. But the anxiety, uncertainty and fear
being force-fed, including British resi-        acts of random murder, misery, degrada-        general Tommy Franks.                           which we can see growing daily in the
dents. No niceties in these force-feeding       tion and death to the Iraqi people and call        Early in the invasion there was a pho-      United States is unlikely to diminish. I
                                                                                                                                                  www.workers.org     Dec. 22, 2005     Page 11




Why the youth rebelled in France
Below are excerpts from an article by            Sarkozy’s remarks not only insulting, but         symbol of the French Republic—ed.) has             These community movements, effer-
Senegal-based Samir Amin, president              also a demonstration of hatred against the        brown skin. The evidence is there: in the       vescent, disturbing, dispersed, are the
of the Third World Forum and the                 poor in general. The working class as a           working classes, the ordinary people,           self-organized expression of the popula-
World Forum of Alternatives, and Rémy            whole, employed and unemployed, all               many of the young people, and also those        tions of the working-class districts, mixed
Herrera, a teacher at the University             those who undergo and who resist the              not so young, made their choice long ago.       French and foreign-born poor, advancing
of Paris and researcher at France’s              destructive offensive of neoliberalism, felt      Despite the difficulties confronting such       side by side toward a progressive transfor-
National Center of Scientific Research           they were his targets.                            an anti-racist project, in the poor dis-        mation of society. These struggles
(CNRS). The full article is available at                                                           tricts—the fields of battle on which the        emerged unceasingly from the cités, fed by
www.workers.org.                                 A class problem                                   decisive combat against racism takes            the burdens of living conditions and [lack
                                                    Those who interpreted the rebellions           place—very broad sectors of the people          of] work, exploding after each police
   Our goal here is to try to explain the rea-   solely through the prism of race and reli-        consciously chose to accept each other,         excess, starting with the immigrants’
sons for the revolt that the media called        gion forget that this revolt is at root a prob-   live and build a life together in mutual        movements in the 1970s through today.
the “insurrection of the suburbs,” which         lem of class. It was a rebellion of the chil-     respect. Even if the majority of these             To get the demands of these various
took place between the end of October,           dren of the common people, whose condi-           young rebels are not politicized, their         movements to converge is not easy, but the
after the suspicious deaths of two young         tions of life are insecure and who are cur-       action is political.                            points of convergence are plentiful—for
people pursued by the police force of            rently experiencing the class struggle from          The great majority of the young people       example, employment. In these suburbs,
Clichy-Sous-Bois, and the end of                 the blows of the repressive state appara-         who rose up are French citizens and have        many youth, even when their papers are
November, after the decision of the gov-         tus: reinstatement of the double penalty of       no need to be “integrated”—into what?           in order, cannot find regular jobs. The rate
ernment to extend a state of emergency for       prison and deportation, disproportionate          They need to be accepted and recognized         of unemployment is over 20 percent for
three months.                                    sentences given to first offenders, even the      for what they are and what they do. They        such youth, and almost 50 percent among
   Many reports exaggerated the extent of        very night of their first arrest—such as one      are French like the others, they will build     those of African origin.
these events. The disorders took place only      year in prison for setting fire to garbage        the France of tomorrow: a society of               It is time that the French left express its
in or near the extensive public housing          cans and eviction of those holding resi-          mutual acceptance, a community of the           solidarity with this overexploited sub-pro-
projects, called “cités,” in the poorest         dence permits who were picked up during           races and nationalities.                        letariat, with these economically disad-
working-class suburbs, where tourists and        the riots.                                           Since Nov. 8, 2005, in the “significant      vantaged youth of the suburbs. The peo-
business executives seldom go. The young            This is class repression, directed against     zones,” the rebels face a state of emer-        ple of the cités certainly do not constitute
people who revolted against the estab-           the poor, against this underprivileged            gency: exception laws that, allow the           the whole of the left’s social base, but with-
lished order focused their attack on prop-       class of the cités, of diverse origins. That      authorities to prohibit circulation, make       out them, the French left will never be
erty, setting fire to thousands of cars and      many are of North African and sub-                house arrests, close performance spaces         truly popular.
to shopping centers, police stations and         Saharan origin does nothing to diminish           and prohibit meetings, search homes,               Solidarity with the demands of the
banks but not attacking people—except for        the fact that the common feature of those         control the press, publications, radio and      young people of the suburbs needs to be
the police force.                                who revolted, whether they be from                cinemas, and allow military tribunals to        coordinated with the traditional struggles
   Without accepting the forms that it           French parentage or from immigrants or            seize people for crimes and offenses con-       of the workers in France—whether they
took, much of France understood this             from foreigners, is poverty.                      cerned with the common law. That is to          are French-born, immigrants or foreign-
explosion and, indeed, considered it                This class repression, aggravated by the       say, a repressive law which the “democ-         ers—with those other sectors of the eco-
absolutely inevitable. The entire capitalist     race hatred of the narrow, bloated,               rats” who control us had resorted to only       nomically disadvantaged, the unem-
society here offers nothing to these young       coupon-clipping French elite that weighs          against the Algerians (1955) or the Kanak       ployed, the undocumented, the homeless,
people—neither satisfactory housing con-         down the young rebels of the suburbs, can         people of New Caledonia (1985)—but              those without rights.
ditions, nor education leading to stable         expose a fact that is often hidden. The           which, in metropolitan France, they did-           For the French left and all progressives,
employment, nor hope of social advance-          struggles of these young people cry out for       n’t use even in 1968 [when there was a          this is undoubtedly a historical opportu-
ment, nor recognition—nor does it listen         an alternative to the current society, to the     general strike of 10 million workers].          nity to rebuild clear, modern class posi-
to them. The capitalist state connects with      hard reality of the cités: the failures at                                                        tions, a revolutionary spirit and interna-
these young people through its police            school, discrimination, unemployment,             Role of the left                                tionalism. Without idealizing the role of
stopping, questioning and searching              noisy and deteriorated housing, badly                It is nevertheless true that many young      the youths of the suburbs or exaggerating
them; this is sometimes brutal, and is           served by too-expensive public transport,         people of the suburbs, and in France gen-       the opportunities for revolutionary strug-
always intimidating and humiliating.             with all-too-rare social and cultural infra-      erally, are today completely cut off from       gle, it is apparent that even if these youth
   Many observers rightly condemned the          structures.                                       the struggles for emancipation by the           in revolt do not form parties, even if they
repression directed at the youths, but in           These young people, along with their           French labor movement and knowledge of          still cause much mistrust and a certain
general concentrate their criticisms on          parents, friends and neighbors, are in the        its history. But what is undoubtedly more       concern in the remainder of the country,
Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, a can-        front line of the struggle for an alternative     serious still is that many militants and        the left must see them as allies for the nec-
didate for the 2007 presidential election.       being built today of an ethnically mixed,         progressives are unaware of all the history     essary progressive, social and democratic
His resignation would obviously not of           multicolored France, open to the world—           and the news of resistance in the cités and     transformation of France, not just as a vot-
itself resolve the problems of the suburbs.      and especially to the South, the Third            of the immigrants in France.                    ing bloc in the next elections. I
Sarkozy says he wants “to clean with the         World, a France strong and proud of its
karcher” (high-pressure water hose) the          diversity.
cités of the “rabble” which “pollutes               In the very fury of these events, these
them.”                                           young people remind us that France is              MARTINIQUE.
   The inhabitants of the cités consider         growing more diverse, that Marianne (the

                        Marchers say no
Racial profiling behind to ‘law of shame’
brutal killing?                                                                                    By G. Dunkel                                    clamped a tight lid on angry protests by
                                                                                                                                                   young people in October and November in
Continued from page 8                                                                                 Thousands of inhabitants of the Carib-       poor, working-class public housing proj-
                                                 France. While the police of all these impe-
and shot at point-blank range.                                                                     bean island of Martinique marched               ects surrounding the major cities of
                                                 rialist countries are used to beat down
   Had Menezes been agitated or nervous,                                                           through the streets of its capital, Fort-de-    France, where the residents are mainly
                                                 workers and “keep them in their place,”
he would have had due cause. The British                                                           France, on Dec. 7 to denounce a ‘law of         North African and West African in origin.
                                                 the violence and brutality is especially
government had just given greater profil-                                                          shame’ recently reaffirmed by France’s             Sarkozy, who used inflammatory, racist
                                                 intense against people of color and occurs
ing powers to cops and authorized them to                                                          parliament.                                     and derogatory language to describe the
                                                 daily. That is why the outlying ghettos of
use deadly force after a group of bombings                                                            Martinique is one of France’s colonies       youth in revolt, was due to visit Martinique
                                                 Paris burned recently. Young North and
on subway cars. These had been attributed                                                          in the Caribbean. Its 430,000 people are        on Dec. 7, igniting a firestorm of anger.
                                                 Sub-Saharan African youth expressed out-
to anger among young Muslims over the                                                              descendants of Africans kidnapped and           Some 30 unions, associations, student
                                                 rage by rebelling in the streets after two
brutal war in Iraq and Britain’s junior                                                            enslaved to work on sugar plantations. As       groups, and the independence movement
                                                 youth died while being hunted by cops.
partnership with American imperialism.                                                             citizens of France today, they are subject      in Martinique called for the mass mobi-
                                                    The youths’ righteous clamor came after
It kicked up rampant racism against peo-                                                           to its laws.                                    lization in Fort-de-France to make sure
                                                 years of brutality by cops and years of
ple of Middle Eastern, Indian and South                                                               The controversial law instructs schools      Sarkozy knew he was definitely not wel-
                                                 oppression and poverty. That outcry can be
East Asian descent, as well as from Latin                                                          to teach “the positive aspects of the French    come.
                                                 heard in oppressed communities through-
America, the Caribbean and Africa.                                                                 presence overseas and in North Africa.” It         Aimé Césaire, who represented Martin-
                                                 out the United States, and it should indeed
   The two shootings highlight the racism                                                          was passed last February, but some pro-         ique in the French parliament from 1946
                                                 be extended to the racist profiling involved
that is endemic to the U.S., Britain and                                                           gressives in the French parliament              to 1993 and is a major French literary fig-
                                                 in the Alpizar shooting. I
                                                                                                   recently tried to amend it by removing the      ure, announced he would not meet with
                                                                                                   word “positive.”                                such a “shameful” politician.
                                                                                                      The UMP, France’s ruling party, voted           On Dec. 6 Sarkozy canceled his trip,
                        O N L IN E:                                                                the amendment down after a campaign             but the demonstration happened any-
                  W W W.W O R K E R S.O R G                                                        led by Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.       way because it was about “a law, not the
                                                                                                   This was after the French government had        man.” I
                                                           ¡Proletarios y oprimidos de todos los países, uníos!

                                                 El juicio de Saddam Hussein

 El movimiento en contra de la guerra
tiene que rechazar la ‘justicia’ colonial
Por Sara Flounders                                  Chalabi había regresado a Irak desde su     se oculta la brutalidad de la abrumadora           12 años.
                                                 exilio con la ayuda de tanquetas de los        agresión y da legitimidad a los nuevos                Clark, fundador del Centro de Acción
   El juicio de Saddam Hussein, que              EEUU en abril del 2003. Abrió un despa-        soberanos.                                         Internacional, y como asesor legal de
comenzó con mucha publicidad inter-              cho de abogados para hacer un ante-               Los procesos de Denmark Vesey y Nat             Saddam Hussein, ha desafiado valiente-
nacionalmente, es un intento desesperado         proyecto de nuevas leyes que abrieran a        Turner en el Sur de los EEUU durante el            mente la ilegitimidad y la ilegalidad del
para justificar y prestar algo de legitimi-      Irak al capital extranjero, en colaboración    período anterior a la guerra civil fueron,         Tribunal Especial Iraquí.
dad a la criminal invasión y ocupación de        con el despacho de abogados de Douglas         para los dueños de esclavos, la manera de             Como abogado internacional de dere-
Irak. Es un intento por desmoralizar y divi-     Feith, un beneficiario de la guerra e ideól-   esconder la violencia y brutalidad                 chos humanos, su posición es totalmente
dir la resistencia a la ocupación. No tiene      ogo de la pandilla de Bush, Cheney, Rums-      degradante de la esclavitud como dere-             consistente con sus 15 años de oposición a
nada que ver con la justicia o la verdad.        feld y arquitecto principal de la guerra.      chos de propiedad “otorgados por Dios”.            la guerra estadounidense en Irak—desde
   Todas las fuerzas que internacional-             Bremer también nombró a los jueces          El secuestro y el proceso del presidente de        su visita a Irak en 1991 cuando Estados
mente se han opuesto a la guerra que por         del tribunal. El financiamiento y el per-      Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic después              Unidos bombardeó cada 30 segundos por
15 años ha librado EEUU contra Irak –            sonal están controlados totalmente por las     del bombardeo estadounidense/NATO de               42 días, a lo largo de los 12 años de san-
la cual ha incluido sanciones causantes de       fuerzas militares de los EEUU. El Con-         Yugoslavia que duró 78 días, y en que cien-        ciones, hasta su oposición a la invasión del
hambruna, bombardeos e invasión, tam-            greso de los EEUU ha apropiado $128 mil-       tos de personas murieron, fue un caso sim-         2003. Es consistente con su oposición
bién deben oponerse a todos los esfuerzos        lones para pagar por el funcionamiento de      ilar de justicia del triunfador.                   ética a otras guerras e intervenciones
para justificar la ocupación, incluyendo el      la corte. Por supuesto, la corte no tiene                                                         estadounidenses en Vietnam, Nicaragua,
actual juicio del ex mandatario de Irak y        ninguna jurisdicción sobre los crímenes        Estados Unidos y las Armas                         Granada, Irán, Libia, Líbano, Panamá y
siete miembros de su gobierno.                   cometidos por las fuerzas militares de los     de Destrucción Masiva                              Yugoslavia.
   No importa la variedad de perspectivas        EEUU durante la invasión y la ocupación.           Mientras Estados Unidos convierte a               Oponerse a la satanización (de Saddam
políticas sobre el carácter del gobierno de                                                     Saddam Hussein en un demonio, debe                 Hussein) es parte de la oposición a la
Saddam Hussein, lo que es esencial es            El papel de la satanización                    recordarse que el Pentágono ha usado               guerra estadounidense y su aparato de
oponerse a esta justificación de los EEUU           El juicio que ahora está en proceso es      armas de destrucción masiva, no solo en            propaganda.
para la guerra. Guardar silencio sobre esta      parte del esfuerzo sostenido de los EEUU       Irak sino en contra de otras innumerables
cuestión significa prestar credibilidad a la     por totalmente satanizar a Saddam              poblaciones indefensas, desde Corea y las          El objetivo político y militar
falsa corte creada por los EEUU en el            Hussein. Esto ha sido parte esencial de la     Islas Filipinas, hasta Vietnam, Laos, Cam-         es la soberanía iraquí
gigantesco centro de comando de los              guerra de 15 años contra Irak.                 boya, Nicaragua, Granada, Libia, Líbano               Los agentes del imperialismo estado-
EEUU conocido como la Zona Verde.                   La propaganda estadounidense ince-          y Yugoslavia.                                      unidense han establecido dictaduras bru-
   El gobierno de los EEUU no tiene              santemente ha descrito a Hussein como              Es el aparato militar estadounidense el        tales y corruptas y han financiado gobier-
ningún derecho a mantener ni siquiera un         un maníaco malévolo, un dictador brutal        que debe ser enjuiciado por haber usado            nos militares desde una parte del mundo
solo soldado en Irak. No tiene el derecho        y una amenaza a todo el planeta, que           las armas más horrendas, desde bombas              al otro—desde Indonesia, hasta Chile y el
a bombardear, imponer sanciones o forzar         estaba listo para atacar con armas             nucleares a napalm, pasando por fósforo            Congo.
a que la gente de Irak pase hambruna. No         nucleares, químicas o biológicas en pocos      blanco, armas contra-personales, las lla-             Su problema con Saddam Hussein no es
tiene el derecho a imponer un gobierno           minutos. Fue acusado de jugar un papel en      madas bunker busters (armas de pene-               que fuera un dictador. Es que él se negó a
colonial o a establecer cortes en Irak. No       el ataque del 11 de septiembre y estar         tración), y armas radioactivas de uranio           rendir la soberanía de Irak. Él rehusó dar
tiene el derecho a decidir el destino de         colaborando con al-Queda.                      reducido.                                          a las corporaciones estadounidenses con-
Saddam Hussein así como no tiene el                 Tanto los republicanos como los                 En Irak, la destrucción civil inten-           trol sobre el petróleo iraquí, el cual había
derecho a controlar el petróleo y los demás      Demócratas sabían que esto era un fraude.      cionada fue calculada, fotografiada, y estu-       sido nacionalizado desde los años 60. Para
recursos naturales de Irak.                      Las bombas de los EEUU habían destru-          diada. La infraestructura fue deliberada-          los imperialistas, el peor crimen fue que él
   La detención de Saddam Hussein y los          ido totalmente la capacidad industrial de      mente convertida en objetivo militar. Los          rechazó someterse al Nuevo Orden
otros acusados, al igual que la de decenas       Irak. Pero ningún político fue capaz de        depósitos de agua, los sistemas de alcan-          Mundial.
de miles de otros iraquíes, está totalmente      cuestionar la satanización.                    tarillado y saneamiento, las estaciones de            Son Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld y Blair
basada en una guerra criminal e ilegal de           Todas las guerras de los EEUU contra        cloro y los surtidores de agua fueron bom-         quienes deben estar encausados por sus
agresión.                                        pueblos y naciones oprimidas han comen-        bardeados. Redes eléctricas y de comuni-           crímenes de guerra y sus crímenes contra
   El Tribunal Especial Iraquí y el juicio de    zado saturando completamente a la              caciones fueron destruidas. La producción          la humanidad.
Saddam Hussein también son violaciones           población civil con propagandas de guerra      de alimentos fue un objetivo militar, desde           El movimiento global que se opone a la
al derecho internacional. La Convención          que satanizaban tanto al líder de la           la irrigación, fertilizantes y pesticidas, hasta   ocupación estadounidense de Irak debe
de Ginebra, de la cual los EEUU son fir-         población que cualquier crimen era             el procesamiento, refrigeración y almace-          considerar en serio su responsabilidad de
mantes, explícitamente prohíbe que un            entonces tratado como algo aceptable y         namiento. En el bombardeo de 1991 más              oponerse a cada aspecto de la guerra esta-
poder ocupante cree cortes. Además, el           fuera de cuestionamiento. Esto ha sido la      de 150.000 iraquíes murieron, comparado            dounidense – especialmente a las cortes
juicio en si, junto al aislamiento de los acu-   realidad desde las guerras contra las          con156 soldados estadounidenses muertos.           falsas y las elecciones montadas que tratan
sados, la prohibición del derecho a visitas      poblaciones indígenas y la satanización de         Año tras año, las delegaciones interna-        de legitimar y legalizar esta piratería.
y la privación de los derechos legales, viola    Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Jerónimo y          cionales que fueron a Irak, incluyendo                Implícita en el llamado de regresar las
la Convención Internacional sobre los            muchos otros líderes indígenas, hasta los      muchas organizadas por el Centro de                tropas ahora es la demanda de detener
Derechos Políticos y Civiles.                    líderes de todas las luchas progresistas y     Acción Internacional encabezadas por el            todo el brutal proceso de recolonización.
   Los abogados defensores que se han            revolucionarias durante los últimos 50         ex fiscal general estadounidense Ramsey            Esto quiere decir la cancelación de los con-
presentado han sido amenazados e intim-          años.                                          Clark, han informado sobre el impacto del          tratos de las corporaciones estado-
idados. Dos abogados defensores, miem-              No importa cuán comprometido esté el        bombardeo de 1991 y los años de san-               unidenses que han privatizado y saqueado
bros del equipo de defensa, han sido             líder con la no violencia. Consideremos el     ciones de la ONU impuestas por los Esta-           los recursos iraquíes, la clausura de cien-
asesinados.                                      caso del ex sacerdote secuestrado, el          dos Unidos. Las sanciones crearon una              tos de bases estadounidenses y los miles
   Hoy en Irak no hay sistema judicial. No       Presidente Jean-Bertrand Aristide de           hambruna artificial. Las importaciones de          de puntos de inspección, la cancelación de
hay códigos, ni leyes, ni cortes. Aún no hay     Haití, que fue acusado de corrupción, nar-     alimentos, medicinas y materiales nece-            las misiones de “buscar y destruir” y la
un acuerdo sobre una constitución. La            cotráfico y violencia pandillera. Hoy, el      sarios para la vida civil eran negadas.            clausura de las prisiones secretas donde
estructura completa del estado iraquí fue        Presidente Hugo Chávez de Venezuela y el           Según cálculos de la misma ONU, más            miles y miles de iraquíes están siendo tor-
destruida. En su lugar sólo queda la forma       Presidente Mahmoud Ahmadinejad de              de 1,5 millones de iraquíes murieron de            turados y humillados.
más brutal de dominación militar.                Irán están descritos cada vez más como si      enfermedades prevenibles. Medio millón                Y la clausura de las cortes ilegales
   El Tribunal Especial Iraquí ha sido ilegí-    fueran maníacos, dictadores y el mal           de niñ@s menores de 5 años murió entre             creadas por los Estados Unidos.
timo desde su formación. Es la creación de       encarnado.                                     1991 a 1996. Tanto las sanciones como el              Sara Flounders es co-directora
L. Paul Bremer III de los EEUU, el ex jefe          Desde la época del Imperio Romano,          bombardeo, que comenzaron bajo George              del Centro de Acción Internacional.
de la Autoridad Provisional de la Coalición      la justicia practicada por el vencedor ha      H.W. Bush, continuaron a lo largo de los           Ha redactado cinco libros sobre Irak
–el poder ilegal de ocupación. Bremer ini-       significado la humillación, degradación        ocho años de la administración de Clinton.         y ha coordinado varias delegaciones,
cialmente nombró a Salem Chalabi, el             y el aislamiento del líder vencido para así    El bombardeo estadounidense continuó a             encabezadas por Ramsey Clark, que
sobrino del Primer Ministro Suplente de          establecer un orden nuevo. De este modo        un promedio de 25 incursiones al día por           han visitado Irak para desafiar el
Irak, Ahmad Chalabi, a que organizara y                                                                                                            bombardeo y las sanciones
encabezara la corte.                                 LIBERTAD PARA LOS CINCOS CUBAN@S                                                              estadounidenses.

				
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