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May 3, 2002 | Issue 405

FRONT AND BACK PAGES

Higher bills, less coverage
Health care: Denied
Liz Carvin thought she had affordable health care. The wages at her janitor's job were low, but the health plan made up for it. Then CalPERS--the California Public Employees' Retirement System, which administers her health plan--announced that premiums were going up by 25 percent.

Huge protests shake France
Outrage erupts at Nazi Le Pen
As many as 1 million people are expected to take to the streets in France on May Day to show their disgust and horror at Nazi Jean-Marie Le Pen--the culmination of a week and a half of protests in which masses of people have said no to France's fascists.

How can Le Pen be stopped?
Le Pen's opponent Jacques Chirac wants voters to support him to protect France's "honor" and "democracy," and Socialist Party leaders have echoed this call. But a vote for Chirac to defeat Le Pen is mistaken.

SW SPECIAL FEATURE

Voices from the West Bank
The truth about Israel's reign of terror against Palestinians--carried out with weapons and equipment supplied by the U.S.--needs to be told. Here, Socialist Worker hears from some of the voices of resistance.

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WHAT WE THINK

Don't be fooled by Bush's rhetoric about Middle East peace
Washington wants war
"A hopeful day," thanks to Israel's "constructive and helpful" dedication to peace, George W. Bush declared last weekend. But even as Bush was patting himself on the back for getting Israel to release Yasser Arafat from a month-old military siege, Israeli tanks were plowing into the West Bank city of Hebron to wreak more devastation.

No recovery for workers
George W. Bush hailed the latest economic statistics as "a good sign that we're on the path to long-term recovery." But the business press and CEOs had a different message: Even if the recession is really over, hard times for workers are not.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

ARGENTINA
Unemployed and assemblies plan for mass protests on May Day
Pushed to the edge by the IMF
Argentina's President Eduardo Duhalde almost lost his job last week when every member of his cabinet resigned--a sign of renewed conflicts in the government that highlight the importance of protests slated for May Day.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Students for Justice in Palestine suspended at UC-Berkeley
An attack on our right to protest
Administrators at the University of California-Berkeley have barred a Palestinian rights group from campus and threatened its members and supporters with suspensions --all for the "crime" of protesting.

Feds arrest airport workers in raids
Ashcroft's scapegoats
The federal government stepped up its attack on immigrants last week with raids at three airports in the Washington, D.C., area, in which more than 140 people--including food service workers, baggage screeners and custodians--were arrested.

"This is a great victory"
Judge orders probe of police torturers
Chicago activists won an important victory last week when a Cook County judge appointed a special prosecutor to investigate charges of torture by Chicago police.

Leading Palestinian activist arrested in NYC
Faruk Abdel-Muhti is a well-known Palestinian activist in New York City and outspoken opponent of Israel's terror. Now he's being targeted for it by the federal government.

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FEATURES AND COLUMNS

A fighting tradition that stands for international solidarity
Is Marxism relevant in the Third World?
Critics of Karl Marx often dismiss him as a "dead, white, European man" whose ideas don't apply to--or are even at odds with--the majority of people around the world who are nonwhite. But the opposite is true--Marxism offers a solution for ending poverty and suffering around the world that's even more relevant today.

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?
Are U.S. workers part of the problem?
With only 4 percent of the world's population, the U.S.'s per-capita consumption is 14 times greater than low-income countries with 40 percent of the world's population. Taken at face value, these statistics seem to demonstrate that the vast majority of the U.S. population are part of the problem, not the solution. But this view is profoundly mistaken.

THE MEANING OF MARXISM
How do workers' ideas change?
The richest fifth of Americans have nine times more wealth than the poorest fifth, and the wealthiest 1 percent of U.S. society has 38 percent of the nation's wealth. Why don't the vast majority, whose labor makes such obscene wealth possible, take the 1 percent "by the throat"?

INSIDE THE SYSTEM
Fighting for the millionaires
Multimillionaire Republican candidate for California governor Bill Simon struck a blow for fellow rich people everywhere in late April. When incumbent Gov. Gray Davis called for Simon to release his tax returns to prove that he had paid his "fair share," Simon refused.

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ON THE PICKET LINE

NYC transit workers kick off contract campaign
"People are ready to strike"
A sea of nearly 12,000 transit workers gathered in front of Metropolitan Transit Authority headquarters in New York City to protest a proposal that would make union workers make up for budget shortfalls by paying premiums for family medical benefits.

Labor in brief
Lockheed Martin; ILWU Local 6; Illinois state workers; Kinko's; United Airlines; Hershey Foods

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REPORTS FROM THE STRUGGLE

Reports in brief
Fight for Palestinian rights; Defend Cochabamba water rights

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SW READERS SPEAK OUT

Don't let right-wingers intimidate us into silence
We can stop these bigots
Since the beginning of the year here at the University of Vermont, a right-winger on campus has made it his crusade to try to "purge" the International Socialist Organization from campus.

Workers fight dirty tricks at Pictsweet
Workers at the Pictsweet Mushroom Farms site in Ventura, Calif., are suffering horribly at the hands of management.

The myth behind privatization
Right-wingers who backed tax credits for children to attend private schools hailed them as aid for poor and minority students in failing schools. But a recent study exposed the tax credit program for the scam that it is.

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REVIEWS

Books and movies to celebrate May Day
The rich history of U.S. workers' struggle
May 1 is May Day, the international workers' holiday. It's a good time to honor this fighting tradition by checking out some books and movies that tell the stories of workers' struggle.

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