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January 31, 2003 | Issue 438

FRONT AND BACK PAGES

"There won't be a safe place"
He'll turn Baghdad into hell on earth
"There will not be a safe place in Baghdad." Those are the chilling words of an unnamed Pentagon official describing the planned U.S. war on Iraq.

State of the Union details assault on working people
Bush's one-sided class war
To judge from the State of the Union address, George W. Bush is spending as much time planning and plotting for an unjust war on Iraq as he is scheming and maneuvering for an unjust war at home.

SPECIAL SECTION: THE ILLINOIS DEATH PENALTY

The road to victory
Socialist Worker tells the story of the years of struggle against the death penalty in Illinois--a struggle that ended in victory three weeks ago when Gov. George Ryan pardoned four death row prisoners and commuted the sentences of every other prisoner facing execution in Illinois.

Voices from the struggle
Interviews with former death row prisoners, family members of those on death row and anti-death penalty activists on the victory in Illinois and the fight ahead.

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FEATURES

EYEWITNESS REPORT FROM PORTO ALEGRE
Building the fight for another world
Some 100,000 people participated in the third World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, January 23-28, as part of the movement to build an alternative to a world dominated by economic crisis and war. SW reporters provide a firsthand account.

Afghanistan: The misery Washington left behind
Late last year, White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer boasted that: "[I]f you take a look at Afghanistan…they certainly are more free and more democratic than before." Who does he think he's kidding?

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WHAT WE THINK

White House declares it's ready to go it alone in Iraq war
Washington lays down the law
Bush's mad drive to war ran into opposition last week from Washington's European "partners." But while it's refreshing to hear someone take on Bush, no one should expect much from this "den of thieves."

Bloody cost of Sharon's victory
Elections in Israel handed the largest number of seats in the country's parliament to the right-wing Likud Party, despite financial scandals swirling around party leader and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

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NATIONAL NEWS

No executions in Maryland!
"Consider the moratorium lifted." With those smug words, Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich's spokesperson declared that the state's machinery of death was being restarted.

One year after Washington's Leave No Child Behind Act...
They left our schools behind
On January 8, Bush marked the first anniversary of his "Leave No Child Behind" education act. But it's the new money for schools that's been left behind.

Child abuse tragedy in N.J.
Blame the cuts, not caseworkers
The starvation and beating death of a 7-year-old boy in New Jersey just after the New Year has once again exposed the terrible cost of cutbacks in state programs for the poor.

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COLUMNS

WHAT DO SOCIALISTS SAY?
Are SUVs the reason for Bush's Iraq war?
At the massive January 18 antiwar demonstration in San Francisco, demonstrators from a group called Environmentalists Against the War carried placards blaming Sports Utility Vehicles for the U.S. war drive against Iraq. But pointing the finger at SUVs is wrong for two reasons.

Inside the system
George W. Bush gets boxed in; Emma causes a ruckus; Hollywood goes to war; Heard it through the grapevine

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ON THE PICKET LINE

Why won't IAM leaders challenge wage cuts?
United goes after unions
United Airlines successfully petitioned a bankruptcy judge to unilaterally cut wages 14 percent for workers represented by the International Association of Machinists District 141M.

New York City transit workers
More than a month after union officials struck a deal to avoid a transit strike, members of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 have approved their new contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

Labor in brief
West Coast dockworkers; Cook County nurses; New York City teachers

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REPORTS FROM THE STRUGGLE

Say no to Bush's war on Iraq
Celebrating King Day by opposing the war
Activists used Martin Luther King Day on January 20 as an opportunity to celebrate the slain civil rights leader's antiwar legacy by protesting the pending U.S. war on Iraq.

Fight for abortion rights
On the 30th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, 100 activists gathered in New York City's Union Square to demand that abortion be kept safe and legal.

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SW READERS SPEAK OUT

Politicians of every stripe tolerate bigotry
Racism on the agenda
The reason why Sen. Trent Lott's (R-Miss.) comments had many in an uproar is not only due to racism being wrong and immoral, but also because there's an unspoken and unwritten rule in America--that you can be a racist, as long as you don't openly express your racist views and opinions publicly.

An activist caught in the web of the INS
On December 3, Roger Calero, an editor of the left-wing Spanish newspaper Perspectiva Mundial, affiliated with the U.S. Socialist Workers Party, was arrested by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) as he returned from a trip to Cuba and Mexico.

Other letters
Cruel fate suffered by the homeless; Cameroon's unions demand democracy; Jailed by Nevada's racist justice system

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REVIEWS

Why work is bad for your health
Throughout Lisa Cullen's book, A Job to Die For are the personal stories of workers struggling to fight for justice and dignity after an injury or illness to--or worse yet, the death of--a loved one.

Bush's "what we say goes" foreign policy
September 11, the war on Afghanistan and the looming invasion of Iraq have ushered in a new epoch of international relations. Phyllis Bennis' new book Before and After traces this shift in foreign policy before and after September 11.

Tying music to the struggle
The (International) Noise Conspiracy combines punk rock, soul and radical politics into music that hopes to move a new audience to activism. Singer Dennis Lyxén spoke with SW before a show in Chicago.

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