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February 15, 2002 | Issue 394


Enron and its politician pals
The whole system stinks
The nerve of this guy! Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling managed to keep a straight face when he told a congressional committee last week that he knew nothing at all about how Enron cooked its books--leading to bankruptcy, layoffs and a wipeout of workers' retirement savings.

Struggle for change grows in Argentina
"Enough of this hunger"
Some 10,000 people poured into the downtown Plazo de Mayo in Buenos Aires on February 8 in the latest in a series of protests that have continued since an uprising ousted two presidents in December.


From India to California:
Ripped off by Enron
In this special section, Socialist Worker tells how Enron committed the crime of "grand theft energy" around the globe. Plus, Bill Allison of the Center for Public Integrity talks about how Enron bought political influence in Washington.

Brother of September 11 victim speaks out:
"This war has nothing to do with justice"
The Bush administration claims that its "war on terrorism" is being waged for people like James Potorti, who died in the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. But David Potorti, James' brother, is part of a group of family members who have a different message: Not in our names.

The movement for global justice after Porto Alegre and New York City
"Taking the next step forward"
SW talked about the future of the global justice movement with participants in the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil--and with protesters who turned out in New York City to demonstrate against the World Economic Forum.

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Washington gets ready to take its war on the road
Building the resistance to the war machine
The Bush administration is gearing up to take its war on the road to prove that the U.S. can do whatever it wants, wherever it wants--no matter how many innocent people die in the process.

Victims of Israel's reign of terror
Israel lashed out again at Palestinians with a string of jet strikes over two days that left some 50 people injured.

The recession that they want to hide
"What recession?" asked Business Week magazine last week, as reports appeared claiming that the U.S. economy was bouncing back. But a look at the details reveals a different story.

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Salt Lake City turned into armed camp for Olympics
Frenzy of patriotism
The Olympic Games are supposed to foster "mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play," as the Olympics Web site puts it. But the hype surrounding the Winter Games in Salt Lake City exposes the real forces behind the Olympics: greed and nationalism.

Three-strikes law challenged in California
After seven years of injustices since California's "three strikes and you're out" sentencing law went into effect, a federal appeals court overturned hundreds of 25-years-to-life sentences, agreeing that a life sentence for shoplifting is cruel and unusual punishment.

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Botched U.S. raid on an Afghan school
Massacred by Special Forces
"This has been the most accurate war ever fought in this nation's history," blustered Gen. Tommy Franks to the Senate Armed Services Committee last week. But Niaz Mohammed has a different opinion about the "accuracy" of U.S. forces.

Turkish regime puts free speech on trial
Veteran political activist and author Noam Chomsky will travel to Turkey this week for the trial of a publisher facing prison for daring to publish books, including a collection of Chomsky's essays, critical of the country's regime.

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Behind Bush's talk of an "evil axis"
Those who believe that Bush's war on terrorism has anything to do with justice for those killed in the September 11 attacks should review the president's January 29 State of the Union address.

How can racism ever be overcome?
Statistics continue to show that racism is part and parcel of the world today--not a relic of the distant past, as right-wingers like to claim. But many believe that racism can never be overcome because, we are told, it is part of human nature.

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Portland nurses end their two-month strike
"I gained a sense of pride"
Nurses at Oregon Health Science University Hospital voted 736 to 118 to return to work after almost two months on strike.

Labor in brief
United Airlines; Macy's; Flex-O-Tex; Harvard University

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Fighting for global justice
Activists in several cities protested in solidarity with demonstrations in New York against the World Economic Forum the weekend of February 2.

Other reports
Stop Maryland's death penalty; Defend immigrants' rights

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Missing from the AFL-CIO forum in New York
Why weren't rank and filers invited?
As part of opposition to the World Economic Forum, the AFL-CIO hosted an excellent roundtable discussion featuring workers from Mexico, China, Guatemala and the U.S. But missing from the audience was one key element--rank-and-file workers.

Enron's greed is the rule, not the exception
The chant raised at the World Economic Forum protests, "We are all Argentina, they are all Enron," could not be more apt, as a whole line of companies are now stepping forward to say that they, too, lied about profits, hid exorbitant payouts to executives and otherwise cooked their books.

We can't wait for Democrats to fight
It would be a good thing if the Democrats actually did fight back against Bush and the Republicans. But this isn't an argument to have illusions in the Democrats.

Her death was an execution
On January 19, Marcella Byrd left a supermarket in Long Beach, Calif., allegedly without paying. Shortly afterward, she was shot to death by the Long Beach police.

Crooked cops threw my brother in jail
I am writing on behalf of my brother, Antonino "Nino" Lyons, who has been thrown in jail unjustly. He was set up by the local police and federal government.

Cynical flag stunt at Olympics
The International Olympic Committee allowed the American team to carry a tattered flag recovered from the rubble of the World Trade Center. The U.S.--the world's biggest bully, which has killed so many innocent people--now gets to play the victim?

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Hollywood leaps on war bandwagon
Days before the U.S. bombed Afghanistan, a Bush adviser met with Hollywood executives to enlist them in a Second World War-style propaganda offensive. And the Hollywood elite, most of them Democrats, raced to show their willingness to grease the wheels of Bush's war machine.

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