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June 1, 2007 | Page 4

Our right to be lazy
Standing up to the LAPD
Heading for an imperial defeat?

Our right to be lazy

THANK YOU so much for Paul D'Amato's article "The economics of laziness" (May 4). I read it at work, while my partner was asleep in our van. Later after he read it, we talked about how much more work we do to make someone else rich with all the new technology.

If it's shocking that we have that much freedom on the job to bullshit and rest, I think it's something more people should have, given how stressful and crazy work is these days.

In our job, we are outside in the freezing cold, the blistering heat, rain, snow, humidity and everything else. Most of us wind up with chronic pain from working in cramped spaces and with repetitive motion, or serious falls. We work on roofs and underground and up poles. We get stung by bees, chased by dogs and verbally, and sometimes sexually, harassed by customers. We've been robbed and beat up and stabbed.

Yet the bosses think they take the risk by investing "their" money, so they deserve the bigger piece of the pie! It makes no sense to work harder just to put money in their pockets.

Thanks again for always putting the perspective of working people right at the heart of your paper. We love reading it every week.
Anonymous, from the Internet

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Standing up to the LAPD

I WOULD like to thank Socialist Worker for its coverage of the brutal attacks by the thugs in the LAPD on the 15,000 participants of a May Day rally for immigrant rights in historic MacArthur Park in Los Angeles ("Outrage at LA cops' May Day assault," May 11).

I was one of the millions across the U.S. who were outraged when they watched on TV how riot cops tear-gassed, clubbed and fired rubber bullets at the crowd and at reporters covering the demonstration.

The LAPD has a long record of brutality, exemplified through the 1992 beating of Rodney King. The LA riot was a product of that, but it was also a product of the mass class and racial anger that existed in black and Latino communities.

Police Commission President John Mack was quoted saying that the attacks on immigrants will "reopen old wounds, regrettably." "Regrettably," in the sense that it would really hurt the LAPD and the government if victims of police repression and immigrant workers united to denounce police brutality and fight for immigrant rights.

The anger that exists in society towards the war on Iraq, the raids and deportation of undocumented workers and the lack of health care are having an impact on mainstream politics, shifting it to the left. This welcome shift is being driven by the rising inequality between workers and bosses. In turn, this increases the volatility of this period, where, for example, a pro-immigrant rally on May 1 can turn into a movement that involves groups and organizations fighting against police brutality and for worker's rights.

It is important that the May 17 rally against police brutality brought out 10,000 people to demand justice and civil rights for all immigrants and to declare "our voices will not be silenced!" This could be the beginning of an important step of linking the immigrant right's movement to the broader attacks against working people of this country.

We should demand the jailing of the cops who attacked the peaceful protesters. Both the government and the bosses enjoy the role that the police play in keeping immigrants underground and frightened and we should jump on the opportunity to begin turning the tables around.
Alvaro Lopez, New York City

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Heading for an imperial defeat?

THANKS FOR the excellent editorial, "Heads buried in the sand" (May 11). There is one part of the article that is extremely interesting: "But instead of showing off Washington's overwhelming strength, the war has exposed its weakness. The best-armed war machine in the history of the world has been unable to defeat a poorly equipped guerrilla force."

Is history repeating itself? Back in the latter part of the 18th century, the world's mightiest war machine was Great Britain. When the "insurgents" in the colonies tired of that occupation, they banded together in a form of guerrilla warfare that not only kept the Brits off balance, but managed to send Britain home, defeated by a rag-tag army of farmers and shopkeepers. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

I agree that both Bush and his enabler, Cheney, have their heads buried--but not in sand. No, these two have chosen to bury their heads closer to home. Anatomically speaking, they are both suffering from the classic "cranial-rectum" inversion.
Greg Bacon, Ava, Mo.

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