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July 4, 2003 | Issue 459

FRONT AND BACK PAGES

End the occupation
Bush calls this freedom
The White House warlords insist that attacks on the U.S. forces occupying Iraq are the work of "international terrorists." But when it comes to "terrorism," the Pentagon has no rivals.

Washington's "compromise" on Medicare
What a fraud!
Bush's proposed prescription drug benefit program would funnel billions of dollars to the giant health insurance and pharmaceutical companies--and do nothing to stop skyrocketing drug prices.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Nights of rioting against police and poverty
Anger erupts in Benton Harbor
Like Los Angeles in 1992, the riots in Benton Harbor in June show the pent-up anger brewing below the surface in U.S. society--especially among the African American poor who have been pushed to the edge by the economic crisis.

How Washington's warlords are...
Sending the poor to war
The daily lives of rank-and-file U.S. military personnel set them far apart from the rich and powerful Washington warlords who order them into battle.

Father of a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq:
"They're cannon fodder"

A witness to revolution and counterrevolution
The legacy of George Orwell
Socialist Worker looks at the life and writing of George Orwell on the 100th anniversary of his birth--a self-proclaimed socialist whose writings are used to teach schoolchildren the futility of fighting for a different world.

WHAT WE THINK

"Covering up crimes that would disgrace a nation of savages"
What July 4 really means
Washington's warmongers will wave the flag with special fervor this Fourth of July. But how can this orgy of patriotism look to someone in Iraq today?

The Supreme Court's affirmative action decision
Should we celebrate?
Supporters of civil rights had reason to celebrate as right wingers were blocked from winning their goal of abolishing affirmative action. But this was only half of the court's split decision.

NATIONAL NEWS

Students and faculty protest CUNY tuition hike
Education is a right!
Students at the City University of New York have just been hit with the biggest tuition hike in the school's history. And now they're organizing to fight back.

State budget crisis out of control
State politicians across the U.S. are swinging the budget ax in response to what one state official called "clearly the worst [crisis] since we've been keeping statistics."

Strom Thurmond dead at last
Good riddance to a miserable bigot
The world became a better place last month with the death of reactionary former Sen. Strom Thurmond.

COLUMNS

WHAT DO SOCIALISTS SAY?
Is Bush's America becoming fascist?
With the Bush administration's trampling of civil liberties and warmongering abroad, many activists have naturally made comparisons with the rise of another right-wing regime--Adolph Hitler's. But it's important to recognize the significant differences.

THE MEANING OF MARXISM
Proving Marxist ideas into practice
What is there to recommend Marxism over any other view of society and how to change it?

ISSUES IN THE LABOR MOVEMENT
How can unions stop their decline?
How can labor reverse its decline--and what role will rank-and-file activism play in a turnaround? Those pressing questions will be posed even more sharply this summer as unions face a series of key contract battles.

ON THE PICKET LINE

"The best safe patient care contract in the U.S."
Vermont nurses win big
Unionized nurses won a major victory at Fletcher Allen Health Care, the largest hospital in Vermont, with a new contract that will include an end to forced overtime and limits on the number of patients nurses must care for.

On the picket line
Washington, D.C. teachers; Claremont Resorts and Spas

NEWS FROM THE STRUGGLE

Whose world? Our world!
More than 900 people came together in Chicago at last weekend's Socialism 2003 conference, one of the largest gathering of revolutionary socialists in the U.S. since the 1970s.

News and reports
Stop Bush at home and abroad; Stop the attacks on civil liberties; Free Ryan Matthews

SW READERS SPEAK OUT

Using USA PATRIOT to protect corporate profits
Verizon on the attack
I have seen the new face of terrorism--and I'm afraid I'm it. I am an employee of Verizon in New York City, and our current contract is expiring August 2.

Obituary
Costella Cannon
Costella was a tireless fighter for abolition who was an inspiration to all of us in the Campaign to End the Death Penalty.

Other letters
We deserve better than the "lesser evil"; ILWU took a dive in our contract fight; Brutality of prison after death row

REVIEWS

Pearl Jam takes political dissent on the road
Reading Dubya the riot act
While challenging their audience with politically charged lyrics is nothing new for Pearl Jam, as their recent tour shows, they've matured into a more potent political force.

Sweet Sixteen and struggling to survive
British socialist filmmaker Ken Loach is known for his gripping movies about the lives of ordinary people struggling to survive in a world where the deck is stacked against them. His latest movie, Sweet Sixteen, is no exception.

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