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Letters on “Criminalizing the victim—New York City: Children die in house fire, mother charged for being at work”

By , 31 October 2003

Below we post a selection of letters about Jamie Chapman’s October 28 article, “Criminalizing the victim—New York City: Children die in house fire, mother charged for being at work”

Letters on “The WSWS and the California campaign of Peter Camejo: letters from the Green Party and a reply”

By , 31 October 2003

Below we post a selection of letters on “The WSWS and the California campaign of Peter Camejo: letters from the Green Party and a reply”.

Florida Governor Jeb Bush intervenes in “right-to-die” case: A cruel pandering to the religious right

By Joseph Kay, 31 October 2003

Florida Governor Jeb Bush issued an order on October 21 directing doctors to resume life support to vegetative patient Terri Schiavo. The order came six days after Schiavo had been taken off feeding tubes. Jeb Bush—the brother of President George W. Bush—acted in accordance with a statute passed that day by the state legislature giving him the authority to overrule a court decision.

US: Bush education proposals target community college students

By Charles Bogle, 31 October 2003

The US Congress is presently considering the ultimate form of the Higher Education Reauthorization Act for 2004, which will likely establish federal priorities for colleges and universities for the next decade. As was the case with the first version of this act in 1965, which was aimed at defusing the deepening social crisis created by the Vietnam War and social inequalities at home, the majority of issues are concerned with increasing access to and completion of higher education programs and degrees.

Workers Struggles: Europe, the Middle East & Africa

By , 31 October 2003

Riot police break refuse workers’ strike in Greece

US growth rate climbs, but economic problems remain

By Nick Beams, 31 October 2003

Nearly two years after the official end of the recession, the US economy has recorded its fastest growth rate in almost two decades. Figures released by the Commerce Department on Thursday showed that in the third quarter, gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7.2 percent; well above the 6 percent forecast by economists and more than double the rate of 3.3 percent in the second quarter.

Mahathir’s anti-Semitic comments: fallout from Washington’s “war on terrorism”

By Peter Symonds, 31 October 2003

Just a fortnight before he was due to retire, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad triggered an international furore over anti-Semitic remarks made to the triennial gathering of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC). The episode was symptomatic not just of Mahathir’s racialist outlook but the rising anger in Muslim countries at the murderous actions of Washington and its close ally, Israel.

Britain: Labour expels antiwar MP Galloway

By Chris Marsden, 30 October 2003

George Galloway, MP for Glasgow Kelvin, has been expelled from the Labour Party for the sole crime of opposing the Blair government’s participation in the US-led war against Iraq.

Australia: Grieving families lead march against construction site deaths

By Terry Cook, 30 October 2003

In one of the largest demonstrations of construction industry workers in New South Wales in many years, an estimated 10,000 marched through the Sydney central business district on October 27 protesting deaths on building sites and demanding the state Labor government introduce industrial manslaughter laws.

Groping their way toward power and wealth

By David Walsh, 30 October 2003

“History is the greatest of dialecticians.” - G. Plekhanov

Bush press conference: the bigger the crisis, the bigger the lies

By David Walsh and Barry Grey, 30 October 2003

The contrast between rhetoric and reality reached new heights at the press conference held by President Bush October 28. It was Bush’s first news conference since July 30 and only the second since early March, two weeks prior to the invasion of Iraq.

Huge losses for Social Democrats in German state election

By Peter Schwarz, 30 October 2003

The election held last Sunday in the state of Brandenburg is regarded as the final opportunity this year to gauge the mood of the German electorate. The election confirmed a trend which was already evident in the Bavarian state election of last September.

Casa Blanca prohíbe noticias acerca de ataúdes que regresan de Iraq

By , 30 October 2003

WSWS : Español

Azerbaijani presidential election fixed with the approval of Bush and Putin

By Simon Whelan, 30 October 2003

On November 31 Ilham Aliyev will be inaugurated as president of Azerbaijan. Two weeks earlier, Azerbaijanis entered the polling booths to elect their president, not that it made any difference. The outcome was preordained courtesy of a crude stitch-up approved by both the US and Russian governments. Once the fabricated result was announced, both Washington and Moscow congratulated Aliyev.

ASEAN’s problems on display at Bali summit

By John Roberts, 30 October 2003

The ninth summit meeting of the leaders of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), held on the Indonesian island of Bali earlier this month, announced a series of economic and political steps to create a free trade zone by 2020.

Hunger deepens in the Northwest US

By Hector Cordon, 29 October 2003

The Northwest corner of the United States—the states of Washington and Oregon—has the highest percentage of hunger and unemployment in the nation. Recent data shows this situation worsening.

Tongan monarchy defies mass protests and tightens media controls

By John Braddock, 29 October 2003

Tonga’s parliament last week passed controversial changes to the country’s constitution that will increase state control of the media and increase the power of the near-absolute monarch, King Taufa‘ahau Tupou IV. The amendments were moved, at the behest of the king, in the 30-seat Legislative Assembly after earlier efforts this year to ban the New Zealand-published Taimi ‘o Tonga [Times of Tonga] newspaper failed. The Supreme Court had declared the bans unconstitutional.

Bush’s Philippines model for Iraqi “democracy”

By John Roberts, 29 October 2003

In the course of his address to the Philippines Congress on October 18, George Bush invoked the Philippines as an example of US-sponsored “liberation” and democracy.

Democrats debate in Detroit: No alternative to Bush’s program of war and reaction

By Patrick Martin, 29 October 2003

The latest debate among nine candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, held October 26 in Detroit, provided another demonstration that the Democratic Party is incapable of waging a serious struggle against the ultra-right policies of the Bush administration.

The spectre of Diana returns to haunt Britain’s royals

By Julie Hyland, 29 October 2003

Six years after her death in a car accident in August 1997, the cult of Princess Diana, once so assiduously built up by the royal family in its efforts to re-legitimise hereditary privilege, continues to plague the British monarchy and the political establishment alike.

Police murder French journalist in Ivory Coast

By John Farmer, 29 October 2003

The West African country Ivory Coast was taken nearer to the resumption of civil war when on October 21 Radio France International’s (RFI’s) veteran African correspondent, Jean Helene, was shot dead. A police sergeant shot Helene while he was waiting outside police headquarters to interview opposition politicians being released after four days of incarceration. The policeman was disarmed by his fellow officers, arrested and charged with murder.

17,000 violent deaths in Detroit—the social meaning of a horrifying statistic

By Patrick Martin, 29 October 2003

One incident that occurred during the October 26 Democratic presidential debate in Detroit starkly illuminated the grim social reality of America in 2003. It came in the course of remarks by Dennis Kucinich, the congressman from Cleveland, Ohio.

Israel steps up its war against the Palestinians

By Jean Shaoul, 28 October 2003

The Sharon regime in Israel—secure in the knowledge that it has Washington’s unconditional support—has stepped up its military attacks on Palestinian civilians in Gaza and the West Bank, occupied illegally since 1967. In the process, it has signalled its contempt for international conventions on human rights, the United Nations General Assembly, and indeed the formal strictures of the US-brokered “Road Map” for peace in the Middle East.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 28 October 2003

Teachers strike in Chile

New York City teachers rally against attacks on education

By Steve Light, 28 October 2003

Ten thousand New York City teachers rallied outside City Hall October 21 to protest attacks on the public schools. The podium chiefly consisted of city elected officials and union leaders leading ambiguous chants of “Let teachers teach” and “They just don’t get it.” UFT President Randi Weingarten thought it was something to boast about that of the 864 paraprofessionals laid off with no real action by the union at the end of the school year, 710 have received their jobs back.

Two interesting speeches by Australia’s new Governor-General

By Mike Head, 28 October 2003

When Major General Michael Jeffery, the Howard government’s recently-installed Governor-General, delivered a forthright speech earlier this month on Australian military policy in the wake of the Iraq war, media outlets presented his intervention as a defence of the policies of the Bush and Howard administrations.

Italy: 10-million-strong general strike protests pension cuts

By Marianne Arens, 28 October 2003

On Friday, October 24, an estimated 10 million workers and office employees took part in a general strike with the central aim of protesting the pension policy of the government of Silvio Berlusconi. One-and-a-half million people—including pensioners, students and the unemployed—participated in rallies in the centres of Italy’s main cities. They carried banners with slogans such as “Defend our future” and “Better to die young than live to a ripe old age—if Berlusconi gets his way!”

Prolonged protest by unemployed Sri Lankan graduates

By our reporters, 28 October 2003

Hundreds of unemployed Sri Lankan graduates have been engaged in maintaining a permanent protest outside Fort Railway Station in central Colombo. The campaign, which has now entered its second month, is to highlight the chronic lack of jobs faced by those who have completed their university studies.

US shaken by barrage of attacks from Iraqi resistance

By Barry Grey, 28 October 2003

A spate of rocket and car bomb attacks on Sunday and Monday dealt a shattering blow to US efforts to project an image of steady success in the drive to pacify Iraq.

New York City: Children die in house fire, mother charged for being at work

By Jamie Chapman, 28 October 2003

A Brooklyn woman, Kim Brathwaite, returned home at 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning, October 12, from a 12-hour shift at McDonald’s to learn that her two children, 9-year-old Justina and 19-month-old Justin, had perished a few hours earlier when someone set fire to their basement apartment. Compounding Brathwaite’s tragedy, authorities have charged her with “reckless endangerment” and “child endangerment” for having left her children alone to go to work when their babysitter failed to show up.

Anti-war protests in Canada

By a reporting team, 27 October 2003

Rallies opposing the US occupation of Iraq were held on Saturday in Montreal, Toronto, and Halifax. The Montreal and Toronto protests drew about five to seven hundred people each—a far cry from the tens of thousands who took to the streets of Canada’s largest cities in the weeks before the US launched its illegal war against Iraq. The unions and social-democratic New Democratic Party (NDP) were conspicuous by their absence from last weekend’s protests.

Tens of thousands in Washington demand end to US occupation of Iraq

By Bill Vann, 27 October 2003

Tens of thousands of people from throughout the East Coast and as far away as Wisconsin, Maine and Florida demonstrated in Washington, D.C., October 25 to demand an end to the US occupation of Iraq. Students, workers and a sizable contingent of family members of soldiers (See: Families of soldiers condemn Bush's war) deployed in the Iraqi occupation participated in a rally in the shadow of the Washington Monument and a march that wound its way around the White House.

Bush’s Madrid shakedown nets $13 billion in pledges

By Chris Marsden, 27 October 2003

The international donors’ conference in Madrid, Spain, produced pledges of at least $13 billion to help fund the US occupation of Iraq. While this sum was higher than Washington had anticipated only a few weeks ago, it fell far short of the $35 billion the Bush administration was seeking to extract from generally reluctant governments. Moreover, some two thirds of the funds pledged came in the form of loans, rather than grants.

Australian firms plunder Papua New Guinea

By Will Marshall, 27 October 2003

A central feature of the Australian government’s foreign policy in the Pacific has been the ongoing threat to cut off aid to any of the Pacific Island states that do not agree to implement “good governance” measures, such as economic restructuring and combating corruption.

Families of soldiers condemn Bush’s war

By a reporting team, 27 October 2003

The October 25 demonstration in Washington was particularly noteworthy for the participation of a number of families that have been directly affected by the deployment of their kinsmen in Iraq.

Spain: Thousands protest outside Iraq donors’ conference

By Vicky Short, 27 October 2003

Thousands of people marched in protest at the Iraq donors’ conference held in Madrid on October 23 and 24. The 20,000-strong demonstration renamed the meeting the “Occupiers’ Plundering Conference” and demanded the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 27 October 2003

Government workers protest in the Philippines

Britain awash with debt

By Julie Hyland, 25 October 2003

Britain is drowning in a sea of consumer debt, with potentially catastrophic consequences for the future. Such are the dire warnings made in the wake of a number of reports on household debt released over the last weeks.

Letters from our readers

By , 25 October 2003

Below we post a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

Estados Unidos fuera de Irak! ¡Fuera todas las fuerzas militares estadounidenses del Oriente Medio! ¡Por un movimiento contra la guerra basado en la clase obrera internacional!

By , 25 October 2003

WSWS : Español

Unprecedented security cocoon for Bush’s Australian visit

By Terry Cook and Mike Head, 25 October 2003

United States President George W Bush’s fleeting visit to Australia this week took place behind unprecedented levels of security. Thousands of armed police, soldiers and US security personnel practically “locked down” the capital city to ensure that ordinary people would not get near enough to Bush to voice any opposition to his administration’s criminal war on Iraq.

Child trafficking in eastern Europe: A trade in human misery

By Richard Tyler, 25 October 2003

“No substantial study on the trafficking of children in Europe based on empirical research has yet emerged.”

How Sri Lanka’s “lefts” prop up the rightwing UNF government

By Nanda Wickramasinghe, 25 October 2003

On September 29, just hours after trade union leaders had called off a 13-day strike of 80,000 health workers, a high-ranking government delegation met representatives of a number of “left” parties at Visumpaya, a top security state complex in the heart of Colombo. What took place there should be taken as a warning of what is in store for workers in the name of “peace” and the settlement of the country’s 20-year civil war.

Austrian voters reject government’s attacks on welfare state

By Markus Salzmann, 25 October 2003

The regional elections in Upper Austria and Tyrol on September 28 were not only another disaster for the right-wing Liberal Party (FP), but also made apparent the widespread rejection of the anti-social policies of right-wing/conservative ÖVP/FP (Austrian Peoples Party, Austrian Freedom Party) coalition government. These were the first elections following the pension cuts carried through by Chancellor Schüssel’s (OVP) government despite mass protests.

Protests greet Bush in Australia

By our correspondents, 25 October 2003

The 21-hour visit by George Bush to Australia was greeted with protests around the country. On October 22, the day Bush arrived, demonstrations were held in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart, as well as smaller regional centers. The following day, over 5,000 people gathered in the national capital Canberra to protest while the US president addressed the federal parliament.

Sri Lankan government confronts growing opposition

By Wije Dias, 24 October 2003

Less than two years after coming to power, the United National Front (UNF) government in Sri Lanka faces a deepening political crisis. The conservative United National Party (UNP)—the main component of the ruling coalition—defeated the previous Peoples Alliance government in the 2001 elections by promising to end the country’s 20-year civil war and introduce peace and prosperity. But it has proven completely incapable of satisfying the widespread expectations it helped foster.

British Columbia: Tens of thousands may be cut off welfare next April

By Keith Jones, 24 October 2003

A British Columbia government document estimates that as many as 29,000 people could be kicked off welfare next April. That is when a new time-limit provision that prohibits employable persons without dependants from drawing welfare for more than two years in a five-year period comes into effect.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 24 October 2003

Postal workers in London hold unofficial strike

Art and the facts of daily life

By David Walsh, 24 October 2003

The state of the world concerns and disturbs many artists. So too does the state of art. And rightly so. The self-absorption, triviality and outright banality of so many films, for example, offends the more sensitive and intelligent directors and writers, those least devoted to celebrity and wealth, those attached by stronger threads to the general population and attuned to its interests and needs. In opposition to the false and unreal studio products, most of which seem hazardously distant from any recognizable existence, certain filmmakers set up the principle of “social facts” in the form of documentary filmmaking.

Masas bolivianas derrocan al presidente títere de Estados Unidos

By , 24 October 2003

WSWS : Español

The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003: Republicans drum up support from religious right

By Tom Carter, 24 October 2003

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Hands off Iraq! Withdraw all US forces from the Middle East now! Build an antiwar movement based on the international working class!

By Socialist Equality Party, 24 October 2003

The following statement is being distributed in Washington DC, San Francisco and other cities on October 25 at protests organized against the US war and occupation in Iraq. It has also been posted in PDF format, and we urge our readers and supporters to download and distribute it in their areas.

Deepening poverty and inequality in Northern Ireland

By Steve James, 24 October 2003

The 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which incorporated republican Sinn Fein and the IRA into the structure of British rule in Northern Ireland, was supposed to create a framework within which an era of “peace and prosperity” for all would dawn. Instead, five years later, a new report has been compiled revealing that poverty is more prevalent than either in the UK or in the Republic of Ireland, and both Catholics and Protestants are deeply affected.

Growing anger among US troops in Iraq

By James Conachy, 24 October 2003

An in-depth investigative report published over the past two weeks by the military newspaper Stars & Stripes provides an insight into the disintegrating state of morale among US troops in Iraq. Moreover, it indicates that the military is wracked with tensions and divisions, not only over the foreign policy of the Bush administration, but between different branches of the armed forces and between officers and enlisted men.

German government fleeces pensioners and the unemployed

By Peter Schwarz, 23 October 2003

Just two days after the German parliament agreed on radical cuts in unemployment provision, the German coalition government of the SPD (German Social Democratic Party) and Greens decided new measures on Sunday aimed primarily at the socially disadvantaged. Pensioners in Germany will receive no increase to their pensions in the coming year and will have to pay higher health insurance—measures amounting to a real cut in income for 2004. For the first time in postwar German history, the average pension will be cut by an average of 100 euros per year.

Police spy uncovered in California peace group

By Marge Holland, 23 October 2003

The California antiwar group Peace Fresno was infiltrated by an undercover agent working for the Fresno Sheriff’s Department, according to an article published earlier this month on the website The pacifist organization, based in Fresno, a city of nearly half a million located about 120 miles southwest of the San Francisco, has opposed the war in Iraq and the Bush administration’s attack on civil liberties in the US.

White House bans news coverage of coffins returning from Iraq

By Bill Vann, 23 October 2003

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the Bush administration has ordered the Pentagon to prevent any news coverage of the bodies of US troops being sent home from Iraq. The blackout on casualties is part of the attempt by the White House to recast the nightmare in Iraq as a “good news” story.

Washington warns EU over NATO unity

By Chris Marsden, 23 October 2003

Antagonisms between the United States and Europe’s major military powers have erupted in a public row over the European Union’s (EU’s) plans for a new defence policy.

Sri Lankan government corporatises state rail network

By Panini Wijesiriwardane, 23 October 2003

The Sri Lankan government has begun to implement a far-reaching restructuring plan of the state rail system that will result in the destruction of thousands of jobs and end cheap subsidised transport for the poor. The ruling United National Front (UNF) took the first step on July 23 announcing that Sri Lanka Railway (SLR) will be transformed into an independent authority.

Britain: Planned disposal of defunct US ships poses environmental hazard

By Barry Mason, 23 October 2003

Able UK has signed a £16 million contract to break up 13 US ships that were docked on the James River in Virginia. The ships had once been part of the US National Defence Reserve Fleet, which is administered by the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD). They are part of a fleet of around 150 ships that MARAD wants to send for disposal.

Australia: Howard government announces draconian new industrial legislation

By Terry Cook, 23 October 2003

The Howard government is moving to push through draconian new industrial legislation attacking the rights of workers in Australia’s $50 billion construction industry.

SEP candidate John Christopher Burton speaks with picketing supermarket workers in Los Angeles

By Jack Heinz, 23 October 2003

Supermarket workers in the second week of a strike/lockout warmly greeted Socialist Equality Party gubernatorial candidate John Christopher Burton when Burton visited picket lines in the Los Angeles area on Tuesday. Burton, a civil rights lawyer in Pasadena, ran as a replacement candidate in the October 7 recall election to provide a socialist alternative to the Democrats and Republicans.

US Republican right defends religious zealot general

By Bill Vann, 22 October 2003

Leading members of the Republican majority in Congress have sprung to the defense of Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin, the deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence, urging Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld not to subject him to disciplinary action. The three-star general has come under fire following media exposure of his bigoted anti-Islamic remarks and statements revealing contempt for the separation of church and state laid down in the US Constitution.

26 años desde el asesinato de Tom Henehan (1951-1977)

By , 22 October 2003

WSWS : Español

The WSWS and the California campaign of Peter Camejo: letters from the Green Party and a reply

By Peter Daniels, 22 October 2003

Below we are publishing two letters sent to the WSWS earlier this month by Green Party activists and a reply by Peter Daniels, writing in behalf of the WSWS Editorial Board. The letters were sent in response to an article by Daniels entitled “Peter Camejo and the Greens bid for ‘respectability’ in California recall campaign”. The article was posted September 30, 2003.

Canada: Food bank use continues to rise

By Lee Parsons, 22 October 2003

A study released last week documents an alarming growth of food bank use in Canada over the past 15 years—a phenomenon that points to deepening poverty and hunger in one of the world’s most affluent countries.

National strike closes universities across Australia

By James Conachy, 22 October 2003

Most of the 40,000 academic and general staff employed at Australia’s public universities supported a nation-wide strike on October 16, largely closing down the higher education system. Throughout the morning, staff and their supporters maintained picket-lines at university entrances and some 10,000 took part in lunch-time rallies and marches around the country.

Sri Lankan unions shut down health strike

By Ajitha Gunarathna and Sarath Kumara, 22 October 2003

At the end of last month, Sri Lankan trade union leaders shut down an island-wide strike by 80,000 health workers without achieving any of the initial demands of the campaign. The strikers, mainly non-medical staff including paramedics, clerks, drivers, midwives and attendants, continued their action for 13 days despite concerted government attempts to intimidate them.

Los Angeles Times publishes letter from John Christopher Burton, SEP candidate in California recall election

By Andrea Peters, 22 October 2003

On October 17 the Los Angeles Times published a letter from John Christopher Burton under the headline “Socialist Candidate Drew Votes on Merits.” Burton, who was the Socialist Equality Party’s gubernatorial candidate in the California recall election, wrote to the newspaper criticizing an article that analyzed the voter returns of the so-called “non-major” candidates.

Germany: SEP publishing house at Frankfurt Book Fair

By Marianne Arens, 22 October 2003

The Arbeiterpresse Verlag, the publishing house that works closely with the German Socialist Equality Party (Partei für Soziale Gleichheit), was once again in attendance at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, held October 8-13. The printing house celebrated its 25th anniversary with a presentation of the first German translation and publication of essays written by the outstanding Russian Marxist Alexander K. Voronsky—Art as the Cognition of Life.

Two derailments on London Underground in 48 hours

By Vicky Short, 22 October 2003

Two London Underground (LU) train derailments took place last weekend within 48 hours of each other. The first occurred near Hammersmith, West London, on the evening of Friday, October 17, and the second in Camden Town during the early hours of Sunday, October 19. Seventy-six passengers escaped injury in the Piccadilly Line Hammersmith derailment, while seven people were injured in Camden Town. Five suffered cuts and bruises, and two were retained in hospital—one with a head injury and the other with a broken thighbone.

Human rights group condemns Indonesia’s “hidden war” in Aceh

By Carol Divjak and James Conachy, 21 October 2003

A Human Rights Watch (HRW) paper issued last month provides further details of the repressive campaign that the Indonesian government is waging in the oil-rich province of Aceh. The province was placed under martial law on May 19 and a massive operation involving 40,000 Indonesian troops and police is underway to crush the separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM), which has fought for independence from Jakarta for some 30 years.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 21 October 2003

Demonstrations in Honduras

California: Schwarzenegger transition team reveals right-wing agenda

By Don Knowland, 21 October 2003

On October 6, California governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a 65-person transition team to advise him on initial policy decisions and on filling administration positions. Schwarzenegger touted the team as reflecting a “wide range” of the political spectrum, from Bill Simon on the Republican right, who lost to Gray Davis in the 2002 election, to San Francisco mayor Willie Brown “on the left.” Despite such claims, dutifully parroted by the mass media, the essence of the team and Schwarzenegger’s polices are clear for all to see.

German government, opposition and employers propose drastic pension cuts

By Benjamin Harder, 21 October 2003

As in other European countries, pension provision in Germany is under attack. Barely a week goes by without new proposals being presented for savings at the expense of the elderly. The German SPD (German Social Democratic Party)-Green Party government has now announced drastic new cuts in pensions.

Bolivia: Mass upheavals topple US-backed president

By Tomas Rodriguez and Bill Vann, 21 October 2003

Following a mass revolt that paralyzed the country and the deaths of at least 86 people shot down by security forces, Bolivia’s US-backed president, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, was forced to resign last Friday and flee to exile in the United States.

Britain: Blair outlines punitive law-and-order campaign

By Julie Hyland, 21 October 2003

The Blair government has announced a new round of punitive measures against teenagers and others, directed in particular at the poorest neighbourhoods.

China rejects US demands for currency float

By Nick Beams, 21 October 2003

China’s President Hu Jintao has ruled out floating his country’s currency, the yuan, or any immediate revaluation. In a meeting with US President Bush on the eve of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) meeting in Bangkok, Hu insisted that any rapid deregulation of the yuan, also known as the renminbi, would destabilise both China and the international economy.

Indian deputy prime minister exonerated over destruction of Ayodhya mosque

By S. Ram and K. Ratnayake, 20 October 2003

Eleven years after the destruction of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya by a Hindu chauvinist mob triggered communal riots across the Indian subcontinent, an Indian court has dismissed the remaining charges against one of the chief perpetrators—Lal Krishna Advani, deputy prime minister and a key figure in the ruling Hindu supremacist Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP).

Germany: Brandenburg intelligence service slanders the World Socialist Web Site

By by WSWS Editorial Board, 20 October 2003

The intelligence service of the east German state of Brandenburg (Verfassungsschutz) has published an article on its web site accusing the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) of promoting violence. The article claims that the WSWS is part of a milieu of violent “left extremism.” The Editorial Board of the WSWS completely rejects this slanderous accusation and reserves the right to take legal action to force the intelligence service to retract its report and to publish a reply from the World Socialist Web Site.

Unions isolate California supermarket strikers

By Rafael Azul, 20 October 2003

The strike by grocery clerks in Southern California is now entering its second week. Seventy-one-thousand workers are either on strike against, or have been locked out by, three supermarket—Vons, Ralph’s and Albertson’s. Managers and strikebreakers are running the 859 markets that are being picketed. At issue is the right of these workers to enjoy decent wages and health and pension benefits.

Critical and intelligent voices, not squeezed lemons

By David Walsh, 20 October 2003

It surely must be taken as an encouraging sign that critical and intelligent voices are once again being heard in eastern Europe and the Balkans. And not from the “dissident” generation, for the most part as used up as squeezed lemons, which slavishly assisted in the imposition of “free market” conditions, with all their disastrous consequences. Already this year, we’ve seen The Cuckoo from Russia and My Town from Poland, neither a towering work, but which cast a generally empathetic look at human problems. Until recently, nearly all the films emerging from the region in the post-Stalinist era have been cynical, hopelessly demoralized or merely mercenary.

Letters from our readers

By , 20 October 2003

Below we post a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

Australia: Protesters face jail over Opera House antiwar slogan

By Richard Phillips, 20 October 2003

Two antiwar protesters who wrote “No War” in red paint across the highest point of the Sydney Opera House on March 18 this year, three days before the US-led invasion of Iraq, have been found guilty on charges of malicious damage. The two men—David Burgess, an environmentalist, and Dr Will Saunders, a British research scientist—face heavy fines and a five-year jail term.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 18 October 2003

Philippines workers protest garment industry job losses

As Bush lies, Iraq seethes against US occupation

By James Conachy, 18 October 2003

The Bush administration has embarked on a propaganda campaign to deceive the American people about the actual state of affairs in Iraq.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 18 October 2003

Council and postal workers strike over pay allowance in London

Strike wave envelops Greece

By Robert Stevens, 18 October 2003

Over the past month hundreds of thousands of workers in Greece have taken strike action to demand increased pay and benefits. The strikes have been called by a number of the main Greek trade unions and have been centred mainly on the capital city of Athens.

Bomb attack against US convoy in Gaza as US-Israeli aggression continues

By Brian Smith, 18 October 2003

An October 15 attack on US diplomats with a roadside bomb in the Gaza Strip killed three US security guards and severely wounded a diplomat. It was the first attack against foreigners in three years of the Intifada and came just hours after the US had vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution which sought to condemn Israel for constructing an illegal wall around the West Bank.

UN vote on Iraq: Paris, Berlin and Moscow bow before Bush

By Chris Marsden, 18 October 2003

The United Nations Security Council’s unanimous vote Thursday to support Resolution 1511 drafted by the United States represents a grotesque cave-in by the European powers, Russia and China in the face of sustained pressure from Washington. Syria’s backing for the resolution underscores the impotence of the Arab bourgeoisie in face of America’s military drive to secure its hegemony over the entire Middle East.

When baseball turns ugly—Chicago Cubs fan vilified following ballpark incident

By Kate Randall, 18 October 2003

For Major League Baseball fans in North America, the month of October holds special interest and excitement. Fans whose teams have made it to the postseason playoffs flock to the ballpark, or gather around their television sets, to watch what can be a thrilling competition—with various levels of nail-biting, exhilaration or despair (depending upon who wins or loses).

Bush administration backs massacres in Bolivia

By Bill Vann, 17 October 2003

With at least 86 workers, peasants and students confirmed killed by army and police bullets and hundreds more wounded during the last three weeks of mass protests, the Bush administration has solidarized itself fully with the repressive regime of President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada.

John Christopher Burton, socialist candidate in California recall election, declares solidarity with supermarket and transit strikers

By John Christopher Burton, 17 October 2003

The following statement on the strike/lockout of Southern California supermarket workers and the strike by Los Angeles transit workers was issued October 16, 2003, by John Christopher Burton, a civil rights lawyer in LA and supporter of the Socialist Equality Party who ran as an independent candidate for governor in the California recall election. Burton campaigned for a “no” vote on the recall of Governor Gray Davis in order to oppose the drive, financed and led by right-wing Republicans and their corporate backers, to circumvent democratic processes and overturn the results of last November’s gubernatorial election, which returned Davis for a second term.

The New York Times’s “liberal” argument for colonial occupation

By Bill Vann, 17 October 2003

In the run-up to the Bush administration’s war against Iraq, the New York Times staked out a position that only confirmed the putrefaction of American liberalism. It promoted the case for a US invasion, while sanctimoniously chiding the administration for failing to make sufficient efforts to secure a United Nations mandate for its aggression.

Opposition builds in Western Australia to state Labor government health cuts

By Joe Lopez, 17 October 2003

Elected to power in early 2001 promising to fix the state health system, the Western Australian (WA) Labor government revealed last month that it will be cutting $11.7 million from government-funded health programs.

Former weapons inspector exposes “Big Lie” of Iraqi WMD

By Joanne Laurier, 17 October 2003

Former United Nations chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter’s latest book, Frontier Justice: Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Bushwhacking of America, is a scathing critique of the Bush administration’s main pretext for the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

UN report details Israel’s Human Rights abuses in Occupied Territories

By Brian Smith, 17 October 2003

John Dugard of the United Nations Commission of Human Rights has published a report entitled “Question of the violation of human rights in the Occupied Arab Territories, including Palestine.” It reveals that Israeli provocations and oppression have intensified since Ariel Sharon’s visit to the al-Aqsa mosque.

¿Trama Estados Unidos el asesinato del presidente Venezolano?

By , 17 October 2003

WSWS : Español

26 years since the assassination of Tom Henehan (1951-1977)

By , 17 October 2003

Yesterday marked the twenty-sixth anniversary of the assassination of Tom Henehan, a member of the Political Committee of the Workers League—the predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party in the US.

The social cost of Slovakia’s “investors paradise”

By Robert Stevens, 17 October 2003

During 2003, workers in the Slovakian Republic have faced an onslaught against their wages, social and working conditions. This has prompted widespread strikes throughout the public sector and private industry in opposition to the economic policies of the government of Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda.