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June 8, 2001 | Issue 370


Working poor in Bush's America
Struggling just to get by
Fully 30 percent of the U.S. workforce--more than 40 million people--make less than $8 an hour. What's Congress's solution? To push through a $1.35 trillion tax cut whose benefits will go to the rich.

Defend the Charleston Five
Stop the attack on our unions!
Thousands of union members and supporters are set to turn out for a protest in South Carolina's capital June 9 in a high-stakes battle for labor and civil rights--the biggest action yet in the growing campaign to defend the "Charleston Five"--members of the International Longshoremen's Association who face felony charges after a police riot in January of last year.

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Washington for sale
Bought by big business
Washington was abuzz last month about how Democratic control of the Senate would shape national politics. But while the people who chair Senate committees may change, the corporate lobbyists will be conducting business as usual.

"We're going to stop them"
Harvey Wasserman, an expert on energy issues and a veteran of the anti-nuclear movement, spoke with Socialist Worker's Eric Ruder about California's power pinch--and the politics behind it.

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Jeffords' defection throws the Senate to the Democrats
Wrench in Dubya's plans
It was certainly a pleasure to see Vermont Sen. James Jeffords hand Bush and his henchmen their biggest setback since they stole the presidency when he decided to leave the Republican Party. But throwing the Senate to the Democrats isn't necessarily the political earthquake it's been made out to be.

America's killing machine exposed
Politicians hoped that Timothy McVeigh's execution would give the death penalty a new lease on life. But the FBI revealed last month that it withheld documents that McVeigh's attorneys were entitled to see.

Mobilize against the globalizers
Global justice campaigners won a victory last month when the World Bank canceled its June conference in Barcelona, Spain. Meanwhile, activists around the U.S. are already planning for protests against the IMF-World Bank joint meetings in late September.

Justice for Jaggi Singh!
Jaggi Singh, a leader of the Canadian direct-action group CLAC, was grabbed off the streets of Quebec during April protests against the Summit of the Americas and held for three weeks on trumped-up charges.

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Oil and gas White House pushes nuclear power
Summer of the blackout. That's what the months ahead hold for California. George W. Bush has a simple answer to the problem: drill, mine and build nuclear power plants.

Politicians' war on migrants is responsible
Death at the border
Jose Isodoro Colorado managed to trudge on in the desert heat despite the grief of leaving behind the dead bodies of family and friends.

Ford and Firestone try to shift the blame
Family feud!
With a press release on May 22, tiremaker Bridgestone/Firestone CEO John Lampe ended his company's 95-year-old corporate family affair with Ford Motor Co.

Supporters protest Sharpton's jailing
Feds crack down after Vieques protest
Rev. Al Sharpton is among the latest victims of a crackdown on activists fighting the U.S. Navy's use of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques for target practice.

Scapegoated in South Carolina
"I didn't kill my baby," Regina McKnight repeated throughout her trial, but jurors took just 15 minutes to convict her of murder--because she smoked crack cocaine during her pregnancy.

Embassy bombing trial exposes hype about bin Laden
Blame Osama bin Laden. That's Washington's response to any international attack against the U.S. these days.

Racist cop-turned-mayor charged with murder
York, Pa., Mayor Charlie Robertson was charged with murder May 18 for the July 1969 killing of an unarmed Black woman named Lillie Belle Allen.

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Politicians demand blood after Palestinian suicide bombing
The bloody toll of Israeli repression
In the deadliest attack on Israelis in five years, a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 17 people and wounded 90 more. Within hours, Israeli politicians were baying for blood.

Impeachment vote sets off a political crisis
A fresh political crisis erupted in Indonesia last month as the country's parliament voted overwhelmingly to begin impeachment proceedings against President Abdurrahman Wahid.

What's next after New Labour victory?
Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party government was headed for a landslide victory in Britain's June 7 general election as Socialist Worker went to press.

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U.S. tries to keep embargo in place
End sanctions on Iraq!
After 11 long years and 1.5 million Iraqis dead, are the U.S. and Britain finally lifting their sanctions against Iraq?

A power greater than their hoarded gold
At the heart of our tradition is the belief in the centrality of the working class to making change. In The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels wrote that workers are the "gravediggers" of capitalism--because, when united, they have the power to overthrow the system.

Why we need to build a "vanguard" party
Socialists who consider themselves Leninists are often criticized for wanting to create a "vanguard party. But Lenin himself was a leader of a mass party in Russia that led a successful revolution. Lenin and the Bolsheviks were a vanguard in the true sense of the word--not isolated cranks.

Using "war on drugs" as justification
U.S. fuels dirty war in Colombia
Colombians are dying from war-related violence at a rate of about 30,000 a year. At the heart of the war is Plan Colombia--the U.S. government's program for winning the "war on drugs" by wiping out production and trafficking in the country that produces 90 percent of the world's cocaine.

Two strikes for Jenna
Jenna Bush's hankering for a cold, frosty one has got her in trouble--for the second time in two months.

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Chicago Peoples Gas workers enter week two of strike
Fed up with their corporate greed
Gas workers from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 18007, in their second week of a strike, are focusing their pickets on the downtown corporate offices of Peoples Gas, which has refused to negotiate.

UMWA sits in at Massey
Seventeen United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) members were arrested in a sit-in May 23 at Massey Energy's Elk Run mining complex. About 250 people took part in the march to protest Massey's disregard for workers' rights and the environment.

Labor in brief

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Cincinnati protest against killer cops
We want justice for Timothy Thomas!
Some 2,000 people gathered June 2 to protest police brutality in the wake of the cop murder of a Black teenager that touched off days of rioting in April.

Jailed protesters tell SOA they won't be silenced
"I refuse to be intimidated for standing for what is right," said Erik Robinson, a 21-year-old from Spokane, Wash., as he was sentenced to six months in jail for demonstrating against the School of the Americas (SOA).

Reports in brief

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The Charleston Five need our support
Justice for the dockworkers!
SW readers from Atlanta and Winston-Salem, N.C., talk about the excitement in their communities about the June 9 demonstration in Columbia, S.C., in support of the Charleston Five.

Students strip-searched on D.C. jail tour
It's hard to imagine our education and prison systems sinking to new lows, but that's exactly what has happenbed recently in Washington, D.C.

Other letters

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Hollywood blockbuster peddles lies
Pearl Harbor according to Mickey Mouse
If Pearl Harbor is good for anything, it's proof that you should never get your history lessons from Disney Corp.

Exposing Bush's tax cut con job
George W. Bush sold his $1.35 trillion tax cut plan as something that would help ordinary people. Nonsense, says liberal economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. Bush's tax breaks are skewed to go to the rich.

A powerful indictment of executions
The Widow of St. Pierre is a brilliant condemnation of the death penalty--and of those who use it to hold onto their power.

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