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German Greens vote to support the war in Afghanistan

By Peter Schwarz, 30 November 2001

At its national conference November 24/25, the Green Party voted by a large majority to support the participation of German troops in the “war against terrorism”. More than two-thirds of the 700 conference delegates voted in favour of a resolution proposed by the party executive, ratifying the decision made by the German parliament on November 16.

US steps up pressure on North Korea

By James Conachy, 30 November 2001

Before the war on Afghanistan is even over, the Bush administration is already naming other potential targets for American aggression. While the most publicised have been Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries, the past weeks have also seen veiled threats against North Korea.

France: 5,000 Moulinex jobs slashed as workers end protest

By Gerard Naville, 30 November 2001

On November 23, thousands of workers from the French company Moulinex heard that they had been sacked. This followed two and a half months of protests, demonstrations and other dramatic actions to defend their jobs. Moulinex, a major producer of household appliances, employed nearly 9,000 workers in France and abroad. While most of the Moulinex factories producing irons, microwave ovens, pressure cookers etc are based in Normandy, the company also had subsidiaries in China and Brazil.

A desire for what?

By , 30 November 2001

Surrealism, as an artistic movement, was concerned with the nature of the unconscious and its connection with creation. The surrealists sought to break the deadlock of conventional thinking: their experiments tried to highlight the role of the unconscious in creativity in order to break new ground.

A revealing speech by a US Federal Reserve Board governor

By Nick Beams, 30 November 2001

Two conclusions emerge from a speech delivered by US Federal Reserve Board member Laurence Meyer this week: that the deterioration in the American economy has gone much further than financial authorities expected, and that they are not at all confident that interest rate cuts will bring it to an end.

Felony charges dropped against "Charleston 5" dockworkers in South Carolina

By Alan Whyte, 30 November 2001

The five rank-and-file workers framed up last year on felony rioting charges for participating in a mass picket on the Charleston, South Carolina docks have accepted the state’s offer to drop felony charges in exchange for no contest pleas to lesser offenses. On November 7 two of the men, Jason Edgerton, 22, and Kenneth Jefferson, 41, pled no contest to misdemeanor charges of rioting without the use of a weapon. Circuit Judge Victor Rawl sentenced the men to 30 days in jail or a $100 fine.

Letters on US war in Afghanistan

By , 30 November 2001

Below we post a selection of recent letters to the WSWS.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 29 November 2001

French dockworkers continue strike action

Britain: Government expands use of classroom assistants to cover teacher shortage

By Liz Smith, 29 November 2001

Education Secretary Estelle Morris has announced the most far-reaching changes affecting the conditions of teachers in England and Wales.

Deal to privatize Philadelphia schools

By Tom Bishop, 29 November 2001

In what is being characterized as a change from a “hostile takeover” to a “friendly takeover,” Democratic Philadelphia Mayor John Street and Republican Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker have announced an agreement to begin the privatization of Philadelphia public schools beginning November 30. The plan is the most far-reaching attack on public education in Pennsylvania since public schools were started under the Free Schools Act of 1834, and makes the 210,000-student district the largest public school privatization project in the United States.

After US massacre of Taliban POWs: the stench of death and more media lies

By Jerry White, 29 November 2001

Journalists and International Red Cross representatives reported a horrific scene of carnage Wednesday as they entered the prison compound near Mazar-i-Sharif, where up to 800 foreign Taliban prisoners were slaughtered during a three-day siege of the fortress directed by US special forces and CIA operatives.

Major powers pull the strings at Bonn talks on Afghanistan

By Peter Symonds, 29 November 2001

The UN-sponsored talks on the political future of Afghanistan opened on Tuesday in the Petersberg Castle, a luxury hotel just outside the German city of Bonn. The meeting was opened with due pomp and gravity by German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and UN special envoy to Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, who read out a message from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Britain: Government suppresses report showing hospital patients face danger from Human BSE

By Paul Mitchell, 29 November 2001

The Labour government has suppressed a damning report into the procedures used by hospitals to prevent the spread of the incurable brain-wasting disorder variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD).

Arab residents denounce government witch-hunt at Detroit-area forum

By Shannon Jones, 29 November 2001

On November 20, the US Justice Department Civil Rights Division sponsored a public meeting in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan, billed as a “community forum” on combating the post-September 11 discriminatory backlash against Arabs. The irony of the government posing as a friend of Arab residents, while carrying out a dragnet and holding hundreds of Middle Eastern immigrants in secret detention, was not lost on those who attended the meeting.

Hunger and homelessness on the rise in New York

By Jeremy Johnson, 29 November 2001

Hunger and homelessness among New York City’s poor, already on the rise before September 11, have shot up markedly in the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center. Details are provided in two reports issued last week.

Expertos liberales estadounidenses debaten la posibilidad de la tortura

By , 29 November 2001

WSWS : Español

Once again: government, media silent on right-wing role in US anthrax attacks

By Patrick Martin, 28 November 2001

The evidence continues to mount that extreme right-wing elements are responsible for the anthrax attacks that have killed five people in the United States since early October. But both the Bush administration and the American media have lapsed into virtual silence on the subject, a noticeable contrast to their portrayal, barely a month ago, of the anthrax attacks as a major terrorist threat.

US atrocity against Taliban POWs: Whatever happened to the Geneva Convention?

By Jerry White, 28 November 2001

Despite the silence in the American media and the lies from Bush administration officials, there is growing international outrage over the systematic massacre of hundreds of Taliban prisoners of war in Mazar-i-Sharif on Sunday and Monday. This act of mass murder was carried out by US warplanes and helicopter gunships, directed by US Special Forces and CIA personnel, and backed by several thousand soldiers of the Northern Alliance. As many as 800 prisoners were killed at the Qala-i-Janghi fortress.

Sri Lanka: JVP election campaign aimed at securing business support

By Vilani Peiris, 28 November 2001

The campaign of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) in the Sri Lankan general elections to be held on December 5 is characterised by two features: extreme Sinhala chauvinism and an attempt to establish its credentials in ruling circles as a responsible party that will provide “good governance”.

Nothing to say, badly said

By David Walsh, 28 November 2001

These are essentially pointless and witless films about which it is no great pleasure to write. They have little to say and say that badly.

New government established in Burundi

By John Farmer and Chris Talbot, 28 November 2001

After two years of talks, a transitional administration was established in Burundi at the beginning of this month. Despite the deal being described by its main facilitator Nelson Mandela as a “breakthrough which will bring permanent peace and stability”, however, it appears only to have exacerbated the country’s civil war.

Social Democrats routed in Danish parliamentary election

By Helmut Arens, 28 November 2001

The Social Democrats suffered a drastic defeat in the Danish general election, which had been brought forward to November 20. They polled just over 29 percent of the vote, in contrast to 35.9 percent at the last poll in 1998, reducing their representation from 63 to 52 in the 179-seat Folketing (parliament).

US recession now official: "new economy" expansion one of weakest on record

By Nick Beams, 28 November 2001

The announcement by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) that the US economy has entered a recession has not just confirmed what was widely felt to be the case. The official ending of the longest period of expansion on record has raised a number of questions as to the nature of economic growth in the decade of the 1990s, particularly the “new economy” of its latter years.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 27 November 2001

Workers oppose job cuts at Peruvian Airlines

US Middle East proposals strengthen Sharon’s position in Israel

By Jean Shaoul, 27 November 2001

US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s long-awaited speech November 19 had been heralded as signalling a new approach to securing a negotiated settlement in the Middle East, in order to maintain Arab support for the war against Afghanistan. In the event, his speech at the University of Louisville, Kentucky was carefully crafted to deflect criticism of US support for Israel and appear even-handed in the Israel-Palestine conflict, without materially changing US foreign policy in the region.

Sri Lankan police kill three at fishermen’s protest

By W.A. Sunil, 27 November 2001

Three people were killed when Sri Lankan police opened fire on demonstrating fishermen near Colombo on November 20. The fishermen were protesting against the destruction of their livelihood in Uswatakeyyava village, 10 kilometres north of the capital.

Kenyan herdsmen take court action against British Army

By David Rowan, 27 November 2001

The Labour government has called on the High Court in London to block a £4 million compensation claim brought against the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the British Army by nomadic herdsmen in Kenya.

US war crime in Afghanistan: Hundreds of prisoners of war slaughtered at Mazar-i-Sharif

By the Editorial Board, 27 November 2001

The killing of as many as 800 captured Taliban prisoners Sunday in Mazar-i-Sharif is a war crime for which the American government and military, right up to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush, are politically responsible. This massacre reveals the real nature of the US attack on Afghanistan. The terrorist attacks of September 11 are but a pretext for a colonial-style war of pillage and mass murder.

Letters on war in Afghanistan and attack on civil liberties

By , 27 November 2001

Below we post a selection of recent letters to the WSWS

Race-based regime clings to power in Fiji

By Peter Byrne and Mike Head, 27 November 2001

Since elections nearly three months ago, the racially-based Fiji government of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase has consolidated its hold over the country, primarily due to the role played by the Labour Party, led by ousted prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry.

The New York Times and Bush’s military tribunals

By David Walsh, 26 November 2001

In a November 16 editorial, the New York Times acknowledged the anti-democratic and authoritarian character of the Bush administration’s decision to establish—by executive order—secret military tribunals to try alleged terrorists. The newspaper’s editors described the tribunals as “the latest in a troubling series of attempts to do an end run around the Constitution.” The Times referred as well to the government’s monitoring of conversations between prisoners and their lawyers and its detention of hundreds of people “without revealing their identities, the charges being brought against them or even the reasons for such secrecy.”

One in three jobless workers in US lack health insurance

By Paul Scherrer, 26 November 2001

The recent surge in unemployment in the United States has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of Americans living without health insurance.

US attorney general supports fundamentalists on physician-assisted suicide

By Fred Mazelis, 26 November 2001

US Attorney General John Ashcroft’s attempt to kill the Oregon law that allows physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients has ignited a storm of opposition and is being challenged in court.

China’s stake in the US "war on terrorism"

By James Conachy, 26 November 2001

Since September 11, the Chinese regime has cautiously extended its political support to the Bush administration’s war on Afghanistan. At the same time, Beijing has, like other countries, sought to use the opportunity to its own advantage, both at home and internationally.

A question on the contradictions of capitalism

By , 26 November 2001

Dear Nick Beams,

Bush nominee linked to Latin American terrorism

By Bill Vann, 24 November 2001

As the Bush administration exhorts governments throughout the world to line up behind its “war on terrorism,” it is pressuring the US Senate to push through confirmation of a nominee to a key foreign policy position whose own links to terror and an illegal CIA propaganda operation have raised concerns even among the usually docile Democratic leadership.

Tamil Nadu government steps up repression to crush bus strike

By Ram Kumar, 24 November 2001

The Tamil Nadu state government in south India has resorted to all means possible to break a two-week statewide strike of 125,000 bus workers, which it had provoked by slashing this year’s Deepavali Festival bonus. Having cut the bonus from 20 percent of annual salary (6,000 rupees or $US125) to 8.33 percent, Chief Minister Paneerselvam has threatened to sack strikers, warning of “disciplinary action”.

Canada’s social democrats debate winding up NDP

By Guy Charron, 24 November 2001

Canada’s New Democratic Party is holding its biennial convention in Winnipeg this weekend under conditions of unprecedented crisis. Since 1993 the NDP has suffered one electoral rout after another and seen its share of the vote in federal elections more than halved to just 8.5 percent.

Strikes mount as Israeli economy plunges into recession

By our correspondent, 24 November 2001

On November 14, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) announced a drop in the economy for the third-quarter, officially putting the country into a recession after two consecutive falls.

German parliament votes for participation in Afghanistan war

By Ulrich Rippert and Peter Schwarz, 24 November 2001

On November 16, Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Green Party deputies voted overwhelmingly in favour of sending German troops to participate in the Afghanistan war. Their 336 votes secured a majority for the ruling “red-green” coalition. Three votes less and the government would have been finished. Prior to the vote, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) turned the issue into a vote of confidence for the government, thereby exerting massive pressure on SPD and Green parliamentary deputies.

Letters on "US planned war in Afghanistan long before September 11"

By , 24 November 2001

Below we post a selection of recent letters on Patrick Martin’s “US planned war in Afghanistan long before September 11”.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 24 November 2001

Three Indonesian garment workers still in custody

Argentina on the edge of default—Is Brazil next?

By G. Rojas, 23 November 2001

In recent meetings with Wall Street bankers and members of the Bush administration, Argentina’s President Fernando De la Rua and Economics Minister Domingo Cavallo outlined the latest scheme to prevent an outright default on the country’s $132 billion debt.

France: Support for war, attacks on democratic rights

By Marianne Arens and Françoise Thull, 23 November 2001

French troops have been participating in the Afghanistan war since November 16.

Stock markets rise but global growth forecasts revised down

By Nick Beams, 23 November 2001

There is a growing divergence between financial markets and the increasingly gloomy forecasts about the state of the world economy. In the past two months, the Dow Jones index has risen by 20 percent, wiping out the losses sustained on Wall Street in the aftermath of September 11. But this rise is not being matched by a rebound in the real economy, with forecasts for both US and global growth being revised down, amid warnings that the indebtedness of the Japanese banking system is approaching a disaster.

Britain: Parliament overwhelmingly approves anti-terrorism bill

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 23 November 2001

Monday’s near unanimous parliamentary vote for the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill marks a political watershed in Britain. It confirms the absence of any commitment to the defence of democratic rights throughout much of the Labour Party and the ruling establishment.

Four Weddings actress Charlotte Coleman dies, aged 33

By Paul Bond, 23 November 2001

The death of any young artist inevitably evokes a feeling of regret at the talent that has been cut off, at the work that will not now be achieved. In the case of actress Charlotte Coleman, who died suddenly last week of a bronchial asthma attack aged 33, that feeling is exacerbated by the awareness that she was just beginning to grow into her full capabilities as an original and inventive performer.

A socialist platform for the 2001 Sri Lankan election

By by Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 23 November 2001

The Socialist Equality Party is fielding a slate of 24 candidates in the Colombo district to advance a socialist solution to the ever-deepening social and economic disaster confronting ordinary working people as a result of the policies of the Peoples Alliance, the United National Party and their various coalition partners.

Federal agents visit "anti-American" art exhibition in Houston

By David Walsh, 22 November 2001

In an obvious attempt to intimidate voices of opposition, federal agents visited the “Secret Wars” exhibition at the Artcar Museum in Houston on November 7. Agents from the local FBI and Secret Service, presumably members of the agencies’ Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), told a museum employee that they were responding to complaints of “anti-American activity” at the gallery, insisted on touring the show, took notes about its content and asked about the museum’s directors and its financing.

New attacks on academic free speech in US

By Shannon Jones, 22 November 2001

Academics critical of the US war in Afghanistan continue to be targeted by the media and right-wing forces in a campaign aimed at silencing opposition to government policies.

Collapse of Sabena heralds drastic cuts in European airline industry

By Patrick Richter, 22 November 2001

On November 7, Sabena, the Belgian airline, ended its 78-year history and filed for bankruptcy. The collapse of Sabena, which employs 12,000 workers, is the biggest commercial failure in Belgian history and another link in the chain of airline bankruptcies, following this year’s termination of Canada 3000 (the second largest Canadian airline) and Australia’s Ansett, and the dissolution of Swissair into its own subsidiary.

Bush moves to block strike by United Airlines mechanics

By Jerry White, 22 November 2001

The White House announced Tuesday that President Bush would block a strike by 15,000 mechanics at United Airlines set to begin next month. Bush’s spokesman, Ari Fleischer, said the president was prepared to do “whatever it takes” to prevent a walkout.

Afghanistan: US sets stage for a massacre in Kunduz

By Peter Symonds, 22 November 2001

The conditions are being established for a slaughter at Kunduz, in northern Afghanistan. Up to 20,000 Taliban fighters, including several thousand of the Taliban’s foreign supporters, are trapped in the city—many of them fled there last week after neighbouring cities such as Mazar-e-Sharif and Taloqan fell to the US-backed Northern Alliance. Apart from the southern city of Kandahar, it is the last significant Taliban stronghold.

West Papuan separatist leader murdered in suspicious circumstances

By John Roberts, 22 November 2001

The murder of Papuan Presidium Council leader Theys Eluay in murky circumstances on the night of November 10-11 has provoked accusations that he was killed for supporting independence for the Indonesian province of West Papua or Irian Jaya. More than a week after his death, few details have been released.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 22 November 2001

Professional soccer players in England to hold first ever national strike

Why the US bombed al-Jazeera’s TV station in Kabul

By Steve James, 21 November 2001

Just before the Northern Alliance marched into Kabul on Monday November 12, US armed forces dropped a 500-pound bomb on the studios of the popular Arab satellite TV station al-Jazeera (the Peninsula). No one was hurt, as the building was not occupied at the time by any of the 10 al-Jazeera journalists and technicians based there, a decision having already been taken to evacuate the building in advance of the Northern Alliance’s entry into Kabul. The same attack damaged nearby offices of the BBC and the Associated Press.

Tensions in New Zealand government over Afghanistan war

By John Braddock, 21 November 2001

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton moved forcefully last week to stamp out dissent within the Labour-Alliance coalition over a New Zealand government offer of Special Air Services (SAS) troops to serve in Afghanistan. Anderton, the Alliance Party leader, effectively nullified a vote at his party’s conference to “review” a decision by Alliance MPs to support the troop deployment.

Bulgaria: Presidential elections reveal drop in support for former Tsar Simeon II

By Verena Nees, 21 November 2001

Recent presidential elections in Bulgaria resulted in a debacle for the government of the former Bulgarian Tsar Simeon II, with a surprise victory for Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) leader, Georgi Parvanov. Simeon’s government was first voted into office in June with a huge majority.

Infernal relations of rich and poor

By Joanne Laurier, 21 November 2001

From Hell, directed by Allen and Albert Hughes; written by Terry Hayes and Rafael Yglesias, based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell

America’s "killing hour": a revealing comment in the Wall Street Journal

By Joseph Kay, 21 November 2001

An opinion piece in the November 13 Wall Street Journal (“As Taliban Falter, We Must Show No Restraint”) reveals the thinking of the most militaristic and fascistic-minded sections of the US ruling elite, whose views are routinely expressed in the Journal’s editorial pages.

Arbitrary arrests of Muslims in Kenya

By David Rowan, 21 November 2001

The Kenyan government has ordered the arrest of more than 50 Muslims over the past week. A small number of those detained were released on November 15, but the majority continue to be detained without charge and are reported to be under interrogation. They are accused of having business connections with Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda organisation.

US planned war in Afghanistan long before September 11

By Patrick Martin, 20 November 2001

Insider accounts published in the British, French and Indian media have revealed that US officials threatened war against Afghanistan during the summer of 2001. These reports include the prediction, made in July, that “if the military action went ahead, it would take place before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.” The Bush administration began its bombing strikes on the hapless, poverty-stricken country October 7, and ground attacks by US Special Forces began October 19.

Australian companies slash jobs to protect profits

By Barry Jobson and Noel Holt, 20 November 2001

Throughout the five week-long election campaign in Australia, the ongoing destruction of jobs barely rated a mention. Yet, major airlines, banks, IT companies and other employers continued to axe jobs right up to polling day on November 10, and the job losses have escalated since.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 20 November 2001

Unemployed protest in Argentina

100,000 demonstrate in London to demand end to war in Afghanistan

By Mike Ingram, 20 November 2001

Up to 100,000 people marched in London November 18, to demand an end to the bombing of Afghanistan.

Mass trial of opposition group in Iran

By Justus Leicht, 20 November 2001

On November 11 and 12, court proceedings began in perhaps the biggest political trial since the establishment of the Islamic regime in Iran in 1979. It is directed chiefly at the “Iran Freedom Movement” (IFM, nehzat-e azadi-ye Iran), a 40-year-old nationalist-religious group which supported the “reform movement” of president Mohammed Khatami, while demanding a more thorough-going liberalisation and pro-western orientation than Khatami himself.

Anti-war protestors speak out in London

By our reporter, 20 November 2001

A number of participants in the London demonstration against the war in Afghanistan held November 18 spoke to the World Socialist Web Site.

UAW to cut benefits to Kentucky workers in four-year strike

By Eric Anderson, 20 November 2001

The United Auto Workers (UAW) bureaucracy has announced its intention to cut off strike pay to members of UAW Local 2036 in Henderson, Kentucky after nearly four years on strike against Accuride Corporation, a supplier of wheels for Ford and other truck manufacturers.

Canadian "anti-terrorism" law attacks democratic rights

By François Legras, 20 November 2001

Canada’s Liberal government is rushing to enact an “anti-terrorism” bill that breaks with key tenets of British-Canadian jurisprudence—tenets historically-developed in the struggle against arbitrary and unfettered executive power.

No substance to Blair’s new evidence against Al Qaeda

By Chris Marsden, 19 November 2001

Last week, Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair, announced that the dossier of evidence supposedly linking Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network with the September 11 terrorist attacks had been updated and strengthened.

Last-minute deal starts new trade round

By Nick Beams, 19 November 2001

Faced with a deepening global recession and a severe reduction in the growth of world trade, the major economic powers were anxious to ensure that the World Trade Organisation ministerial meeting in Doha, Qatar, did not end in failure, like the gathering in Seattle two years ago. After extending the talks by nearly a day beyond the original schedule, the 144 trade representatives finally agreed on a statement to begin a new round of trade negotiations.

US exploits chaos to push its own political agenda in Afghanistan

By Peter Symonds, 19 November 2001

Following the collapse of the Taliban regime over the last week, Afghanistan is rapidly reverting to the political pattern that existed in the early 1990s, with rival ethnic and religious groups, tribal clans and militia leaders all staking their claim to power.

Hollywood enlists in Bush’s war drive

By David Walsh, 19 November 2001

“Samuel Johnson’s saying that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels has some truth in it but not nearly enough. Patriotism, in truth, is the great nursery of scoundrels, and its annual output is probably greater than that of even religion. Its chief glories are the demagogue, the military bully, and the spreaders of libels and false history. Its philosophy rests firmly on the doctrine that the end justifies the means—that any blow, whether above or below the belt, is fair against dissenters from its wholesale denial of plain facts.”—H. L. Mencken

Britain: Jack Straw and "The Invention of Peace"

By Ann Talbot, 17 November 2001

Speaking to the International Institute of Strategic Studies on October 22, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw proposed a plan to, as he put it, bring “order out of chaos.”

Danish elections overshadowed by the "fight against terrorism"

By Helmut Arens, 17 November 2001

On November 20, Denmark is holding a general election. The Social Democratic Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen called the election at short notice on October 31, although he could have remained in office until March next year. Rasmussen has been prime minister since 1993 and presently leads a minority government of Social Democrats and Radical Liberals (Radikale Venstre).

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 17 November 2001

Indian transport workers strike over festival bonus

Western powers consider further sanctions against Liberia

By Chris Talbot, 17 November 2001

Last week the United Nations met to consider the effect of its sanctions on Liberia. The meeting follows a campaign by the United States and British governments over so-called "conflict" diamonds, said to be financing the purchase of arms and fomenting wars throughout Africa.

Britain: government unveils draconian "anti-terror" bill

By Julie Hyland, 17 November 2001

Home Secretary David Blunkett unveiled his proposed Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Bill Tuesday. The sweeping and draconian character of the measures it contains refutes the claim that they are aimed at ensuring the security of the population from terrorist attack. The bill’s aim is to enable the government to impose long-sought restrictions on civil liberties.

Military tribunals, monitoring of lawyers: Bush announces new police-state measures

By Kate Randall, 17 November 2001

In the space of little more than a week, the Bush administration has issued a series of executive orders that amount to the most far-reaching assault on democratic rights in modern legal history. The directives violate protections laid down in the US Constitution and upheld by judicial precedent over many decades.

Interviews with voters on the Australian election

By our correspondents, 17 November 2001

The World Socialist Web Site sent a number of reporting teams on November 10 to polling booths in various suburbs—both working class and middle class—in Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle. Their interviews provide some interesting insights into the shifts in political thinking among voters.

Letters on assault on democratic rights in the US

By , 16 November 2001

Below we post recent letters on “The 2000 elections and Bush’s attacks on democratic rights” and “Chilling episode in Bush’s war on democratic rights—Green Party activist recounts military detention at Maine airport”

A thoughtless protest against the banks

By Mile Klindo, 16 November 2001

During the last decade Australian banks have foreclosed on hundreds of businesses and destroyed thousands of jobs. Since 1993, according to recent data, they have shut down 2,000 local bank branches—over 700 of these in rural and remote areas—and axed 40,000 jobs whilst boosting profits by over 300 percent. These actions have generated a deep-seated hostility towards the banks, particularly amongst ruined small business operators and family farmers.

Media review of Florida ballots whitewashes theft of 2000 election

By Jerry White, 16 November 2001

On November 12, a consortium of major US news organizations, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and CNN, released the results of a 10-month investigation into disputed votes cast in Florida during the 2000 presidential election. The media report was calculated to boost the political legitimacy of the Bush administration and obscure the profoundly anti-democratic manner in which Bush was installed in the White House.

Death toll mounts as floods devastate Algiers

By Brian Smith, 16 November 2001

A 36-hour deluge over last weekend has claimed the lives of at least 650 people and made thousands more homeless around the Algerian capital, Algiers. Three quarters of the dead are from Algiers itself, with fully half from the working class district of Bab el Oued.

The bombing of Afghanistan and the new "Great Game"

By Chris Marsden, 16 November 2001

The following is the text of a speech delivered by Chris Marsden to a series of four public meetings in the British cities of Sheffield, Leeds, London and Manchester. Marsden is the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Britain) and a member of the editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site .

Chancellor Schroeder calls vote of confidence on German participation in the war

By Peter Schwarz, 16 November 2001

On Friday, the Bundestag (parliament) will debate a motion linking Germany’s participation in the Afghanistan war with a vote of confidence in the government. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder decided upon this procedure, which is unique in the history of post-war Germany, to intimidate and silence those critical voices being raised against the largest ever military intervention by the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces).

Fall of Kabul sets stage for further political conflict in Afghanistan

By Peter Symonds, 15 November 2001

The rapid disintegration of the Taliban hold over much of Afghanistan, including the fall of the capital Kabul on Tuesday to the US-backed opposition forces of the Northern Alliance, has left the US and its allies scrambling to cobble together a regime to fill the political vacuum.

Green Party activist recounts military detention at Maine airport

By David Walsh, 15 November 2001

On November 1 Green Party USA activist Nancy Oden was prevented from boarding a plane to Chicago at the Bangor (Maine) International Airport and temporarily detained on orders of military personnel stationed at the airport. Officials claimed that Oden, 60, a vocal opponent of the war in Afghanistan, had refused to cooperate with security procedures, a claim belied by the facts of the case.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 15 November 2001

Royal Shakespeare Company staff to strike

Fascist attacks in Moscow

By Patrick Richter, 15 November 2001

During the evening of October 30, around 300 skinheads armed with wooden clubs and iron bars launched a vicious attack on Tsaritsyno market in the south of Moscow. They assaulted dozens of stallholders, most of whom originate from the southern regions of the former Soviet Union. Following their initial attack, about 100 skinheads then entered the subway station near the market—lashing out at passers-by and those using the tube. They got off one station further on and then attacked Afghan refugees residing in the Hotel Sevastopol. Some of those assaulted suffered life threatening injuries.

Scotland’s first minister resigns

By Steve James, 15 November 2001

On November 9, Henry McLeish resigned as First Minister in the Scottish parliament. The surprise resignation, over a relatively minor tax and property scandal, again exposes the instability of the new devolved institutions. It poses the Labour Party with the task of finding a credible political leader to head the Edinburgh legislature, for the third time in as many years. Similar problems have beset all the devolved bodies, with the Welsh Assembly now being run by Rhodri Morgan, the third incumbent to occupy the First Minister’s post in Cardiff.

Pennsylvania prepares privatization of Philadelphia public schools

By Tom Bishop, 15 November 2001

In a move that is brazenly undemocratic in its method and purpose, the state of Pennsylvania is preparing the privatization of the management of the School District of Philadelphia and total or partial privatization of two-thirds of its 264 schools. The state takeover of the fifth largest school district in the United States would involve the most radical reform ever undertaken in a large urban school district.

German government approves biggest military intervention since Second World War

By Peter Schwarz, 14 November 2001

The decision to deploy 3,900 soldiers for the military campaign “against international terrorism” means the Social Democratic-Green Party coalition government is leading Germany into a war whose scope, duration and consequences are immeasurable.

Britain's "anti-terror" measures--a fundamental attack on democratic rights

By by Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 14 November 2001

Britain’s Labour government is seeking to rush through the most sweeping attack on democratic rights since the Second World War, on the flimsy pretext of combating terrorism.

The 2000 election and Bush’s attack on democratic rights

By Barry Grey, 14 November 2001

In the weeks since the September 11 terror attacks, the media have devoted their efforts to supporting the Bush administration’s war in Afghanistan and its assault on democratic rights, uncritically repeating the government’s propaganda and tamely acceding to its clampdown on all independent information.

Australian election reveals the decay of parliamentary politics

By Mike Head, 14 November 2001

The Liberal-National Party government of Prime Minister John Howard was returned to office with a slightly increased parliamentary majority at last Saturday’s election, handing the Labor Party its third successive defeat. While, on the surface, little has changed in electoral terms, the results reveal a political system in an advanced state of decay.

El Talibán, Los Estados Unidos y los recursos del Asia Central

By , 14 November 2001

WSWS : Español

Engine failure suspected in New York plane crash

By David Walsh, 14 November 2001

According to US authorities, a preliminary assessment—including the analysis of the cockpit voice recorder—indicates that Monday morning’s crash of an American Airlines flight in New York City was the result of mechanical failure and not a terrorist attack. The tragedy, which killed more than 260 people, occurred only two minutes after Flight 587 took off from Kennedy International Airport bound for Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Nearly all the passengers on board were Dominicans.

Britain: Job losses mount and personal debt increases

By Mike Ingram, 14 November 2001

After much talk of the UK spending its way out of a recession, the government was forced to issue a statement Monday urging the public to think carefully before borrowing money or buying on credit.

Britain: Two die and thirteen injured in Corus steel plant explosion

By Peter Reydt, 13 November 2001

On November 8 at around 5.00pm, an explosion occurred in one of two furnaces at the Corus Steelworks in Port Talbot, South Wales. The furnaces produce molten iron in the initial phase of steel production. For as yet unexplained reasons, hundreds of tons of white-hot metal punched a hole in the structure.