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A socialist world is possible

June 21, 2002 | Page 3

GEORGE W. BUSH and his buddies are oozing confidence. They think that if they scare enough people and threaten the rest, they'll get their way.

But last weekend, more than 750 people gathered in Chicago to put forward the vision of a better world--a socialist world. Socialism 2002, a conference co-sponsored by Socialist Worker, featured activists from the front lines of some of today's most important battles--from Ken Riley, the president of the International Longshoremen's Association Local 1422 in South Carolina, to Palestinian rights activists Rania Masri and Naseer Aruri.

And socialists and activists from across the globe--from Argentina and Brazil to Greece, Italy and Canada--came to talk about their own fights and show their solidarity.

Just as importantly, those who attended discussed the history of the socialist tradition--and the ideas and theories that have guided our movement. Crowds of people spilled out of meetings on everything from Marxist economics to the politics of religion.

"I came to the conference this weekend because I really want to make a difference in society--if not for me, then for my daughter and her children," said Stephanie Reyes of Washington, D.C.

Greta Holmes, a member of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty in Chicago, agreed. "I've been before, and I just think it's a marvelous educational experience, a mind-expander," she said. "I just like being in all this energy, all this dynamo of humanity that's so committed to changing this system."

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