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July 6, 2001 | Issue 372


Enough of Washington's empty words
We want health care for all!
Decent health care. That's the dream of millions across the U.S. But when all the grandstanding about the Patients' Bill of Rights is over in Washington, millions of Americans will be as far away as ever from decent health care.

Firestone shuts Decatur plant
Corporate killers make workers pay
The decision by Bridgestone/Firestone to close its tire plant in Decatur, Ill., is the result of management's relentless drive to make workers pay for corporate greed. By shutting down the plant and eliminating 1,500 jobs, Bridgestone/Firestone is hoping to scapegoat workers for its faulty--and deadly--tires.


U.S. gives pennies to global battle against AIDS
Patients before profits!
At last month's United Nations (UN) conference in New York City on how to stop the global AIDS epidemic, some of the most committed fighters against the disease weren't invited. They had to make their voices heard by storming the dining room for conference delegates and government bureaucrats.

Solidarity and struggle around the world
At last month's Socialist Summer School 2001 conference in Chicago, the leaders of struggles across the globe--from Bolivia and Brazil to South Africa and Zimbabwe, from Palestine to Mexico, from Greece to the heart of the beast, the U.S.--came together for an extraordinary panel discussion on the fight against corporate power and greed.

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Polls show growing anger with Bush's right-wing agenda
The emperor has no clothes
Only a few months after his bootlickers in the media proclaimed the Bush administration a stunning success, a series of opinion polls have shown that Bush's popularity is plummeting.

U.S. blackmails Yugoslavia into turning over Milosevic
The war criminals who got away
The transfer of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague stinks of hypocrisy. Western countries aren't interested in justice, but in demonstrating that might makes right in the Balkans. But only their might, not Milosevic's.

Mobilizing the fight for global justice
The outrage over the shooting of protesters at the European Union summit in Gothenburg, Sweden, was still fresh last month when Spanish authorities viciously attacked a peaceful demonstration for global justice in Barcelona, Spain.

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Whistleblowers tell how energy giant forced up prices
Gouged by Duke Energy
Three former employees are blowing the whistle on the power bosses who've made out like bandits during California's energy crisis.

Judges overturn breakup decision
Microsoft off the hook
The champagne was flowing at Bill Gates' estate following a decision by federal judges last month to stop the breakup of his Microsoft empire.

Slander campaign against Anita Hill exposed
Lies and intimidation. Those were the tools that author David Brock now admits he used in his crusade to smear Anita Hill when she came forward with sexual harassment charges against Clarence Thomas during Thomas' confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court.

Millionaire goes on trial for date rapes
Andrew Luster, a 37-year-old heir to the Max Factor fortune, will stand trial on 87 counts of wrongdoing, including rape, sodomy, sexual assault, poisoning and drug and weapons possession.

What's Cheney afraid of?
Flabbergasted investigators from the nonpartisan General Accounting Office run by Congress are trying to figure out what to do after they were blown off by Cheney's office in their attempt to find out which corporate honchos helped the White House come up with its energy plan.

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Convicted again by a corrupt system
Free Lori Berenson!
Lori Berenson, a 31-year-old New Yorker, was convicted for a second time last month and sentenced to 20 years in a Peruvian prison for supposedly collaborating with left-wing Peruvian rebels.

Spreading rebellion shakes the military regime
Algeria's president announced a ban on demonstrations in the capital of Algiers last month after weeks of protests that have shaken the military regime.

Unionist bigots escalate violence
Northern Ireland was facing a new political crisis at the beginning of July in the wake of stepped-up violence against the Catholic minority.

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What the Patients' Bill of Rights won't fix
Health care disaster
Democrats and Republicans are fighting a pitched battle over the Patients Bill of Rights legislation pending before Congress for the fifth straight year. Judging from the level of acrimony, one would think that a piece of sweeping workers' rights legislation is being debated.

Bush pushes deadliest form of energy ever devised
No nukes!
George W. Bush's energy plan is a disaster for the environment. Its goal is to gut regulations and let the oil and gas industry run wild. But even worse in some ways is its encouragement of the nuclear power industry--the deadliest form of energy ever devised.

The truth about Israel's violence
"I've seen people who can't get to hospitals"
Reema Abu-Hamdieh, the public relations officer for the Palestine Red Crescent Society, talked to Socialist Worker about conditions in the Occupied Territories.

Can change be made by a committed few?
There are two opposing ideas that, strangely enough, are both attributed to Marxism. One is fatalism, the idea that history takes an inevitable course independent of what people do. The other is voluntarism, the idea that sheer will power can achieve anything.

Learning from Cuba
The World Bank is notorious for its religious devotion to the free market as a cure for any and every social problem. So it was entirely surreal to hear World Bank President James Wolfensohn praising the government of Cuban President Fidel Castro for doing "a great job" in providing for the social welfare of the Cuban people.

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Airline bosses get their money's worth from Bush
Late on June 30, as the clock was ticking down to a possible strike by American Airlines' 24,000 flight attendants, the company and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants announced a tentative contract. The deal came less than a week after Bush renewed his threat to prevent all airline strikes this year.

The fight to defend the Charleston Five
The campaign to defend the Charleston Five might seem like a throwback to another era. But this is a high-stakes fight for the future--not just for dockworkers in Charleston, S.C., but for the entire labor movement.

Leedham backers defy old guard at Teamster convention
Step up the fight to kick out Hoffa
The two opposing sides of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters were on full display from June 25-29 at the union's 26th convention at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Illinois strikers take on energy bosses
Some 1,150 members of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 15 walked out at seven northern Illinois electrical power stations on June 28 after Midwest Generation refused to negotiate.

Labor in brief

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Stop global AIDS
"Pills cost pennies, greed costs lives!" That chant rang out on the streets of midtown Manhattan in New York City as activists kicked off a demonstration and march June 23 as part of the fight to stop global AIDS.

Reports in brief

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Mentally ill and railroaded onto death row
"Deep in the heart of bloody Texas"
I am an African American man on death row in Texas. Very soon, I'll be given an execution date and likely murdered--like so many others that I've seen since I've been here--for a crime that I was convicted of and "confessed" to in a sham trial.

Cicero mayor gets what she deserves
The FBI arrested Betty Loren-Maltese, the mob-connected town president of Cicero, Ill., June 16. Loren-Maltese and nine others were charged with looting $10 million that was earmarked for town employees' health insurance payments.

Other letters

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Who made the American Revolution?
The real story of the Fourth of July
Just in time for the Fourth of July, Ray Raphael's A People's History of the American Revolution is in bookstores.

Dealing with social and political issues on a TV sitcom
Carroll O'Connor, the actor best known for his portrayal of bigot Archie Bunker on Norman Lear's 1970s sitcom All in the Family, died last month at the age of 76.

A museum for the civil rights struggle
In early April, I visited Memphis, Tenn. Although I gladly took in the sights--like Beale Street and Sun Records, where Elvis Presley recorded his first records--and ate my fill of catfish and ribs, the high point was a trip to the National Civil Rights Museum.

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