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May 17, 2002 | Issue 407

FRONT AND BACK PAGES

Executions halted in Maryland
End the death penalty now!
In states across the country, politicians are being forced to admit what opponents of capital punishment have long known: The death penalty system is racist, arbitrary and punishes the poor.

Right wing on the offensive
Israel tightens its grip
With Israeli tanks ringing Gaza and prepared to launch an attack on a moment's notice, the central committee of the party that leads the Israeli government passed a resolution that explicitly repudiates the idea of a Palestinian state.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Israel's long and bloody record of war crimes
The master of terrorism
What Israel has carried out in its war against Palestinians invites comparison to some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century--a comparison that at least some Israelis are making themselves.

Tariq Ali on pro-Palestinian protests
"The mood is changing"
Left-wing author and activist Tariq Ali was in Washington, D.C., for the April 20 protests against Bush's "war on terrorism" and in support of Palestinian rights. He spoke to Socialist Worker about the growing struggle against Israel's war.

The Charleston Five speak out about their fight
"We need to keep the union strong"
The Charleston Five took to the road this month to speak out about their struggle during 18 months of house arrest--and to thank all those who supported their victorious defense campaign. Here, SW reprints excerpts from an interview with the five.

Confronting the menace of France's Nazi National Front
How can Le Pen be stopped?
Often, the mainstream media accept the respectable front that Nazis like Jean-Marie Le Pen put on for voters. But no one should be fooled by sheep's clothing--or underestimate the threat that the Nazis represent, not just to immigrants, who are the main targets of their scapegoating, but to all working people.

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WHAT WE THINK

Democrats give ground on Bush's push for fast track
Free-trade fraud
Should the poison come with a sugar coating or not? That just about sums up the debate on "fast track" trade legislation that was underway in the Senate as Socialist Worker went to press.

California power rip-off exposed
"I don't think there's any doubt that somebody ought to go to jail." That was the reaction of mild-mannered Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) to the latest revelations in the Enron scandal, which expose its role in last year's California energy crisis.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Right-wingers target pro-Palestinian instructor
Witch-hunt in Berkeley
"The Intifada Curriculum" screamed the headline from the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal last week. The article, written by conservative hack Roger Kimball, attacked a class on "The Politics and Poetics of Palestinian Resistance," scheduled for next fall at the University of California-Berkeley.

Washington white power rally a warning
Keep Nazis out of D.C.!
In the largest white power demonstration in the U.S. in years, more than 200 neo-Nazis rallied on May 11 outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Impact of the welfare cuts
Hunger on the rise among children
According to a report released at a Baltimore medical conference last week, the number of children suffering from hunger and malnutrition who visited emergency rooms in Boston and Minneapolis increased by 45 percent over two years.

How pollution kills around the world
More than 2 million children die each year--5,500 every single day--because of exposure to pollution, according to a new United Nations report.

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COLUMNS

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?
How the U.S. flouts international law
On April 11, the United Nations hosted a ceremony commemorating the new International Criminal Court. The Bush administration, however, not only boycotted the ceremony, but withdrew its signature from ratification.

THE MEANING OF MARXISM
Who's destroying the environment?
Some environmentalists argue that environmental catastrophes are caused by too much industrial development. For Marxists, on the other hand, the problem is capitalism--the ceaseless quest for profit that ignores everything but the bottom line.

ISSUES IN THE LABOR MOVEMENT
Is this the return of the AFL-CIA?
Following the failed coup in Venezuela last month, it seems that labor officials may be returning to the bad old days when their international efforts were known as the AFL-CIA.

INSIDE THE SYSTEM
Death squad, how may I help you?
How should right-wing paramilitaries clean up their brutal image? Start a complaint line.

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ON THE PICKET LINE

Rank and file angry after 18 months without a raise
NYC teachers to vote on strike
After 18 months without a contract, more than 90 percent of teachers at last week's delegate assembly of the United Federation of Teachers called for a strike authorization vote.

Labor in brief
Los Angeles Unified School District; United Parcel Service; University of Vermont

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REPORTS FROM THE STRUGGLE

News and reports
Fight for immigrant rights; Protest Ariel Sharon

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SW READERS SPEAK OUT

NYC students protest against pro-Israel speaker
Exposing their racist lies
After attending the biggest pro-Palestinian demonstration in U.S. history on April 20 in Washington, D.C., many of us here at Hunter College were surprised to see flyers on our campus advertising a lecture by Daniel Pipes on "Achieving a Lasting Arab-Israel Peace."

We should celebrate the rebellion in LA
Jim Tapscott, in response to my article on the Los Angeles Rebellion (SW, May 10), is breathtaking in his outrageous condemnation of one of the most heroic examples of oppressed workers--Black, white and Latino--fighting back against racism, poverty and police violence.

More May Day suggestions
Your recent review of books and movies to celebrate May Day (SW, May 3) left out a few excellent films that I feel offer rich and inspiring views of workers and oppressed people in struggle.

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REVIEWS

Good riddance to Ally McBeal
Ally McBeal wasn't single-handedly responsible for the right-wing project of attacking anything that could be smeared as "politically correct." But the Fox TV show was a sickening reflection of the anti-left crusade.

Zinn's powerful voice against war
Since September 11, the media has dedicated itself to dishonesty and spinelessness in its support of George W. Bush's "war on terrorism." Need some air? Then pick up a copy of Terrorism and War, a collection of interviews with Howard Zinn.

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