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Letters to the editor

April 30, 2004 | Page 4

OTHER LETTERS BELOW:
Will Kerry voters think it's worth it?
Why voting for Kerry is right
Standing up to the "Protest Warriors"
Girls Scouts didn't win their battle

The shelter system nightmare

Dear Socialist Worker,
I am writing to you because I am just so upset with the way the shelter system is being run.

My nephew's mother is having so many problems there. They shelter you in the system on a 10-day trial. After they feel you are in need of shelter, they will give you an extension.

My nephew's mother is suffering many things emotionally, and now even physically, being in the shelter system. Even I feel I have suffered misconduct from these people. An investigator who was to evaluate my nephew's mother came to my home. He asked questions about her and the time she spent living at my home.

But what was sad was how he made advances to me. I felt very uncomfortable, and I feel that it was because of my rejection to his advances that she was not placed and was found illegible for the shelter system. It angers me the way men with such important jobs treat women, especially someone who is a struggling single mother.

I think it was unprofessional to start with, and I have found no other reason why she would not be eligible. Her oldest child is mentally handicapped, has tumors in his head and goes to a special school for his disabilities.

I have spoken to her about the importance of staying positive and making a life for herself. I am living proof that a woman can somehow manage to be strong and independent.

It so upsetting and as well as angering to find that people in the city have jobs, who are so unprofessional and irresponsible--how they use the life of a struggling mother to their advantage. I hope this doesn't happen to other women. I hope you can find a way to help me voice my opinion, my pain and anger.
Glorimar Vendrell, From the Internet

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Will Kerry voters think it's worth it?

Dear Socialist Worker,
Before the current war, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said that the cost of 10 years' of Iraqi sanctions--half a million children's deaths alone--to further U.S. policy objectives had been "worth it."

Today, many of us who oppose the current war approach the U.S. presidential elections with an anyone-but-Bush-and-therefore-Kerry position. Unfortunately for those who loathe the war, Kerry is firmly in favor of escalating it. The cost of that escalation will be tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of lives, and unimaginable, mass suffering. (One is reminded of the relentless escalations in Vietnam by the "liberal" electoral "alternative" of that era--Lyndon Johnson.)

What will Kerry's left, antiwar supporters say, if their candidate prevails, about the cost, in tens or hundreds of thousands of lives, of their electoral strategy? Will they, in one or two or three years' time, shake their heads ruefully, and like Madeline Albright, tell us the price was "worth it?"
Candace Cohn, Skokie, Ill.

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Why voting for Kerry is right

Dear Socialist Worker,
Your articles on the presidential election leave me with a hollow feeling. You correctly point out the deficiencies in Kerry's position. You endorse the position that he's "Bush lite." You seem to encourage a vote for Nader.

But you miss the main point, which is the different constituencies of Bush and Kerry. Kerry, like most "liberal" Democrats, has a mixed constituency, including workers, businessmen who want to have influence with whoever wins, people fed up with Bush, etc. Bush serves only a constituency made up of tremendously reactionary right-wing Christian fundamentalists and Bush's own oil-industry cronies.

If Kerry wins, things will either get slightly better or slightly worse. At least Roe v. Wade will probably be saved. If Bush wins, Roe v. Wade is probably history, the Supreme Court gets even more reactionary, and Ashcroft remains in power.

In 2000, I voted for Nader because I thought he might be building a movement and because it was hard to see much difference between Bush and Gore. This year, Nader is not building a movement. He isn't the candidate of the Greens. Besides, in 2000, I hadn't realized that Bush's core constituency was as bad as it is.

For years, at least starting with Nixon, people have wondered if the right had plans to cancel the next election. Until now, I've thought those conspiracy theories were exaggerated. I hope these theories are still exaggerated, but watching Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft at work, I can't help but wonder if they will use the next big terrorist attack on us to officially cancel what's left of our democracy in the name of the "war on terror."

Because of all this, I'm going to vote for Kerry. He certainly isn't a candidate who represents my views, but at least he doesn't represent the Christian Coalition, and he won't appoint the Supreme Court justice who will provide the vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Joe Grossman, Suffern, N.Y.

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Standing up to the "Protest Warriors"

Dear Socialist Worker,
I just wanted to relate a small story about the March 20 anti-Iraq occupation demonstration in New York City.

At the end of the parade, International Socialist Organization (ISO) members were busy selling copies of Socialist Worker and the International Socialist Review to the crowd, when someone pointed out several offensive signs coming down the route. It turned out they belonged to a group called Protest Warrior, whose motto is "Fighting the left: Doing it right."

Quickly, a dozen or so of us lined up, locked arms, and blocked their path, chanting "Racist, sexist, antigay--pro-war bigots go away!"" This attracted the attention of others nearby, and our group quickly swelled to a hundred or so. Parade security confronted them as well, which got the cops involved--in order to get the bigots out!

After a couple minutes of chanting, we started stepping forward, trying to get the bigots to back down. Which, finally, they did--and were escorted off the parade route to cheers and shouts of "Whose streets? Our streets!"

The ISO and other groups should become familiar with Protest Warrior and confront them every time they try to crash our events. They can mock us from the sidelines like all the other right-wing counterprotesters if they want to. But we don't want them alongside us.
Jeff Skinner, Washington, D.C.

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Girls Scouts didn't win their battle

Dear Socialist Worker,
Nicole Colson wrote (SW, March 19) about Baylor professor John Pisciotta's promoting a cookie boycott because of the Waco, Texas, Girl Scouts' association with Planned Parenthood. The article said that the boycott seemed to have backfired.

I don't think so. When Beth Vivio, executive director of the Bluebonnet Council (Waco), returned my contribution, she wrote that the Council board had determined that they "can no longer serve as a cosponsor of the Planned Parenthood Nobody's Fool sex education conference." I'd say Pisciotta and the anti-choice bigots won.
Bob Simmons, Houston

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