You've come to an old part of SW Online. We're still moving this and other older stories into our new format. In the meanwhile, click here to go to the current home page.
Views in brief

January 20, 2006 | Page 4

Thanks from a Texas prisoner
Working-class voting?
Turning art into ads
An untold part of Munich

Time for labor to fight back

ON JANUARY 8, I attended a protest in Detroit arranged by the Soldiers of Solidarity. Not only did I attend, but I had the privilege of riding up with one of the key organizers, Todd Jordan of Kokomo, Ind. I myself am not a Delphi or General Motors worker, but a fellow United Auto Worker (UAW) member who works at the Chrysler plant here in Kokomo.

I'm sure that some readers, if not most, know about the wage and pension concessions proposed by the corporate CEOs and the wait-and-see attitude of the international UAW leadership.

I am very new at all of this, but I always had a very radical and compassionate spirit, strongly believing that an injury to one is an injury to all. One thing I would like to point out is that this is more than UAW members frustrated with corporate greed and inept leadership of their top officials. What I witnessed at the demonstration was the beginnings of the entire working class getting fed up with our system.

Upon returning to work, I was approached by many people curious over the event from someone who experienced it firsthand--people who were also supportive and expressed much anger and irritation at the corporations as well as the government. Many working-class people who I talk to seem to share the same thoughts and feelings that something must be done--and perhaps that something is a new revolution.
Chris Ryan, Soldiers of Solidarity, from the Internet

Back to the top

Thanks from a Texas prisoner

THIS CORRESPONDENCE is to thank you for recently adding my name to your mailing list to receive Socialist Worker newspaper. I have received three issues to date, and already have no fewer than five prisoners on my list to read each issue as they come in.

I fully intend to share the issues with others, and dialogue with those who have questions about its contents. Those who are the victims of the Texas prison-industrial complex need an alternative to politics as usual, and for those in my wing of this building who are searching politically, I am more than willing to share with them the socialist philosophy.

Thank you once again.
Arbry Clifton, Price Daniel Unit, Snyder, Texas

Back to the top

Working-class voting?

I HAVE just received the current issue, and after reading the essay on the class war ("The class war economy," December 16), I remain baffled. Not because I disagree with your observations on the economic policy of the current administration (or its predecessors, for that matter), but because it is so difficult for me to understand working-class voting behavior.

Do you have any recommended reading that might shed light on that subject?
Jon Koppenhoefer, Springfield, Ohio

Back to the top

Turning art into ads

PRIOR TO the holiday season, Sony Corp., maker of Playstation, embarked on a marketing campaign which involved guerilla tactics, illegally advertising their new portable unit by recruiting graffiti artists.

The work, consisting of figures interacting with the design of Sony's handheld unit, but without the Playstation logo, has been seen stenciled, painted and wheat-pasted directly on buildings in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

Graffiti is not a market. Graffiti in itself is an expression against the private ownership of public visual culture by the business community. It's a reclamation of a landscape by that which does not serve the market. Graffiti also supports a vibrant underground hip-hop culture, with grassroots accessibility.

In a world dominated by the "bling bling" MTV spectacle, the underground's means of survival is in essence tied to the integrity of graffiti and its ability to forgo the art gallery. Any successful saturation into underground culture by such a mega-corporation would mark the beginning of the end for any faith an audience has in relation to such forms of expression.

This paradigm represents the same saturation present in most of the media forms of our culture. One only needs to look as far as the news to observe the ambivalence in which a public views the truth of news coverage in its "incorporation." Once such forms of expression are permeated by capitalist integration, their very strength, in terms of either radical dissent or conservative existence as "public" domain (culture), are subverted into a private scheme for entering the market as objective things, and they thus lose their essence.

These tactics cannot be tolerated. Thankfully, there has been a backlash against Sony in terms of graffiti artists vandalizing graffiti--defacing the defacement. Such endeavors as Sony's must be met with a determination of identity which shows itself in the equally energetic force to deface any such image, should you come across one. We must draw the line, physically, in the "act" of declaring that this is off limits.
Richard Martinez, New York City

Back to the top

An untold part of Munich

NEAR THE end of Geoff Bailey's review of Steven Spielberg's Munich, he writes: "When, late in Munich, Avner suggests that the Palestinian terrorists could have been arrested and tried against the backdrop of the United Nations, the unspoken question is never asked: Which court would ever try an Israeli assassin?" ("The conscience of a killer," January 13)

This made me curious. The aftermath of the Munich strike is fairly well known in Norway, as it involved the assassination of Ahmed Bouchiki in the small Norwegian town of Lillehammer in 1974. However, some of the Mossad assassins were caught and later tried by a Norwegian court. Admittedly, they were given fairly short sentences, but they were convicted.

From the rhetorical question in the above quote, it would seem that this incident is not featured in the movie?

Ahmed Bouchiki's assassination was a case of mistaken identity. He was thought by Mossad to be another man, Ali Hassan Salameh (who was later assassinated by a car bomb). In reality, Bouchiki was a Moroccan with no links to any Palestinian organization.
Tor Fuglerud, from the Internet

Home page | Back to the top