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March 8, 2002 | Issue 397

FRONT AND BACK PAGES

NYPD thugs go free! No more police brutality!
Getting away with torture
Is there no limit to what the "justice" system will let New York police get away with? Last week, a federal appeals court threw out the convictions of three cops who helped torture Haitian immigrant Abner Louima in 1997.

Colombia's bloodbath in the making
Bush backs this dirty war
When Colombian President Andrés Pastrana called off peace talks with left-wing rebels in February, he claimed that he was getting tough against "terrorists." Then the real terrorists went to work.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Voices of resistance against Israel's brutality
In this special report, Socialist Worker talks to Toufic Haddad and Tikva Honig-Parnass, co-editors of the left-wing journal Between the Lines, about Israel's brutal occupation--and we report on the "refusenik" movement of Israeli soldiers and the efforts of activists in this country to build solidarity for the Palestinian struggle.

Argentine workers take to the streets in new protests
The struggle continues
Workers took to the streets of Argentina again in late February to protest the government of President Eduardo Duhalde. Socialist Worker reports on the ongoing struggle--and talks to Raúl Castells, a veteran socialist and leader of the militant retirees' movement.

Grapes of Wrath author inspires hope for a better world
Steinbeck: Poet of the dust bowl
One hundred years after John Steinbeck's birth, his books continue to be read and loved by millions around the world. He gave voice to workers' struggles during the Great Depression and expressed hope for a better world.

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WHAT WE THINK

Bush's scheme for the next phase of welfare "reform"
Work or starve
Millions of poor people will lose welfare benefits this year under a deadline imposed by Bill Clinton's 1996 welfare "reform" law. But Bush doesn't think Clinton went far enough.

What's behind the violence in India?
The mainstream media had a ready-made formula to explain why 58 Hindu train passengers were burned to death February 27 in Gujarat: Muslim fanaticism. But it didn't exactly explain the three days of nightmarish rioting by Hindus, in which nearly 10 times as many Muslims were killed.

The real solution to the steel crisis
George W. Bush ruled in favor of tariffs on imported steel this week at the request of steel company bosses. But the real solution to the crisis is to take steel away from the profiteers and put it under national, public control.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Bush's concentration camp at Guantánamo Bay
Caged at Camp X-Ray
"Humane and appropriate." That's how Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld describes the treatment of prisoners from the war in Afghanistan being kept in cages in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Behind bars for being Arab
Human rights groups believe that as many as 2,000 people are detained in the U.S. as a result of the investigation into the September 11 attacks. Of course, that's just an estimate--John Ashcroft's Justice Department stopped counting in November.

Protest in Washington, D.C., April 19-21
Stop the IMF and World Bank!
Global justice protesters who marched against the bosses' World Economic Forum summit in New York City last month were right to declare: "They are Enron, we are Argentina." In April, we have another opportunity to show our solidarity with the struggle in Argentina.

Understaffed nursing homes
Elderly deserve better than this
More than 90 percent of U.S. nursing homes are horribly understaffed, according to a new federal government study. But the Bush administration isn't going to do anything about it.

Legal bribes line the politicians' pockets
Even as they solemnly debate "reforms" to the campaign finance system, leading members of Congress have a new scam for raking in even bigger bucks from Corporate America.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Israel escalates war on Palestinians
The Middle East "peace" plan offered by Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia made front-page news around the world last week. And the Israeli government was quick to respond--with an unprecedented ground offensive into Palestinian refugee camps.

Savage new weapon in the U.S. war
George W. Bush may take credit for winning the war on Afghanistan. But that hasn't stopped the U.S. from using a new and savage weapon there that Human Rights Watch says is comparable to "low-yield nuclear munitions."

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COLUMNS

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?
A "recovery" that workers can't feel
"The U.S. economy appears to be steaming out of recession," rejoiced the Wall Street Journal this week. The New York Times went a step further, arguing, "There is now some question whether the country was ever really in a recession." Tell that to the more than 1 million workers who lost their jobs last year.

THE MEANING OF MARXISM
How do struggles lead to revolution?
In periods like today, where the level of struggle still remains quite low (in terms of strikes, for example, or mass protests), socialists must continually argue with people not only that change is possible, but that the struggle to achieve it is possible.

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ON THE PICKET LINE

Latest agreement opens door to concessions
IAM pushes contract at United
Mechanics at United Airlines were set to vote March 5 on a contract that both the company and union leaders call an "industry leader" but that in fact opens the way to concessions.

Charleston Five celebrate win
More than 250 people turned out in Charleston, S.C., to celebrate the freedom of the Charleston Five, one of labor's biggest political victories in decades.

Queens bus drivers
Bus drivers in Queens struck for two days last week to pressure the city and private bus lines to settle after 14 months without a contract.

Labor in brief
Washington, D.C., public schools; World Trade Center Marriott Hotel

Reports from the struggle
Fighting for immigrant rights in San Diego; Stop repression in Zimbabwe

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SW READERS SPEAK OUT

Civilian casualties aren't simply statistics
The toll of U.S. bombs
While living in Libya, I experienced firsthand the aerial bombardment of Tripoli. In the light of the recent tragic events in the U.S., Afghanistan and Palestine, I feel the need to speak up about my experiences in order to raise awareness about the horrors and unacceptable nature of violence.

These tests only show who's rich and who's poor
The Rhode Island Department of Education recently released the results of statewide math, English and health assessments that showed--surprise--that the rich suburban districts did well, while the urban districts did poorly.

Other Letters
UAW layoffs in Ohio; Boeing workers need job security; A long history of mistreating people; Why I'm renewing my SW subscription

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REVIEWS

"We should be treated like men"
The Showtime movie 10,000 Black Men Named George chronicles the 10-year battle of the Black Pullman porters for a union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.

New Rollerball packs bigger punch
Although the new movie Rollerball is based on the same sci-fi story as the 1975 movie of the same name, it comes to completely different conclusions.

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