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SEP election meeting in Cincinnati discusses attacks on voting rights

By Kate Randall, 30 October 2004

With only days remaining until Election Day, the Socialist Equality Party 2004 campaign held a meeting at the University of Cincinnati (Ohio) on Wednesday, October 27. Speaking at the meeting were SEP vice presidential candidate Jim Lawrence and David Lawrence, the party’s candidate for Ohio’s 1st Congressional District, who are both running as write-in candidates in the state. They were joined by Jerry White, SEP candidate for US Representative in Michigan’s 15th Congressional District.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 30 October 2004

Store workers protest against pay cut

Arafat health drama: a symbol of Israel’s imprisonment of the Palestinian people

By Jean Shaoul, 30 October 2004

The serious deterioration in the health of Yasser Arafat, President of the Palestinian National Authority, has brought to the attention of the world something consciously concealed by the western media and its political leaders, namely the deplorable and unconscionable conditions to which the 75-year-old has been subjected by the Israeli government and its occupation forces.

Study estimates 100,000 additional Iraqi deaths since the invasion

By James Cogan, 30 October 2004

With the US military offensive to seize the city of Fallujah approaching a bloody climax, a study just published in the Lancet medical journal has provided a damning assessment of the consequences so far of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. The increase in Iraq’s mortality rate over the past 18 months suggests that there have been at least 100,000 additional deaths since the US-led war began on March 20, 2003.

Expanding Halliburton probe confirms Bush administration is most corrupt in US history

By Patrick Martin, 30 October 2004

On the eve of the 2004 presidential election, allegations about the corrupt relationship between the Bush administration and Halliburton Corp., the company formerly run by Vice President Richard Cheney, have taken center stage once again. Press reports Friday said that the FBI has expanded an ongoing investigation into contracts obtained by Halliburton’s subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), in Iraq and Kuwait.

US introduces sanctions against Belarus

By Niall Green, 30 October 2004

On October 20, US President George W. Bush signed into law a bill that establishes sanctions against the former Soviet republic of Belarus and authorises the provision of assistance to groups opposed to the country’s president, Alexander Lukashenko.

“I wanted to voice my concerns over the Australian government’s illegal foreign policy”

By James Cogan, 29 October 2004

Brian Deegan, an outspoken opponent of the Australian government’s intervention into East Timor and its participation in the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, stood as an independent in the South Australian seat of Mayo to challenge the foreign affairs minister, Alexander Downer.

Britain: second inquest held into police shooting of Harry Stanley

By Keith Lee, 29 October 2004

A second inquest started last week into the shooting death of Harry Stanley by London police on September 22, 1999.

A correction to “British MI6 agents named in Balkans”

By , 29 October 2004

The World Socialist Web Site article “British MI6 agents named in Balkans,” posted October 27, writes of a “list of 116 alleged MI6 agents revealed by former MI6 agent Richard Tomlinson in 1999.”

Bid-rigging scandal envelops top insurance broker in US

By Jamie Chapman, 29 October 2004

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer filed a civil suit on October 14 against the world’s largest insurance broker, Marsh & McLennan, charging the US firm with bid-rigging and other practices that enhanced its income at the expense of its clients. Marsh’s insurance brokerage unit has recorded annual revenues of $6.9 billion.

US SEP presidential candidate addresses Sri Lanka meetings

By Bill Van Auken, 29 October 2004

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka held two successful meetings in Colombo and Kandy over the last week addressed by Bill Van Auken, the presidential candidate for the SEP’s sister party in the US, on the Iraq war and the US election. Van Auken’s speech is published in full below.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 29 October 2004

Europe

SEP congressional candidate John Christopher Burton speaks at LA-area debate

By Andrea Peters, 29 October 2004

John Christopher Burton, the Socialist Equality Party write-in candidate for California’s 29th Congressional District (Pasadena) debated the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and Green Party candidates for the 27th and 29th Congressional Districts at an election forum on Wednesday evening.

Lithuania: election sees low turnout, large gains for Labour Party

By Niall Green, 28 October 2004

The Labour Party—a recent political formation led by multi-millionaire businessman Viktor Uspaskich—became the single largest party of the 141-seat Lithuanian parliament following the October 24 second-round elections. Gaining 39 seats, Labour beat the governing coalition of the Social Democrats and the Social Liberals, who saw their combined representation in the seimas (parliament) plummet to 31 seats from the 80 that they won in the 2000 election.

Britain: government extends attack on defendants’ rights

By Julie Hyland, 28 October 2004

The Blair government has outlined a fresh attack on civil liberties under the guise of “putting victims first.”

US elections: Republicans marshal “poll watchers” to suppress working class vote

By Joseph Kay, 28 October 2004

The Republican Party has announced plans to place thousands of recruits in polling places in many closely contested states on Election Day. These so-called “poll watchers” will be tasked with challenging the credentials of would-be voters in predominantly Democratic urban centers.

SEP presidential candidate Bill Van Auken to speak Saturday in New York

By , 28 October 2004

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Bill Van Auken will address a public meeting this Saturday, October 30, at the Vanderbilt YMCA, 224 East 47th Street, Fifth Floor Conference Room, from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.

Missing explosives at Al Qaqaa: Bush caught in another Iraq war lie

By Patrick Martin, 28 October 2004

The Bush administration’s political fortunes have been dealt a serious blow, only a week before the presidential election, with the revelation October 25 that 400 tons of extremely powerful explosives—some potentially usable in detonators for nuclear weapons—have gone missing in Iraq.

Sri Lankans speak about the Iraq war, the US election and internationalism

By our reporters, 28 October 2004

The two meetings addressed by US Socialist Equality Party (SEP) candidate Bill Van Auken in Sri Lanka were followed by animated discussion among those who took part. Members of the audience congregated around Van Auken, gathered at the literature table to speak to SEP members and spoke among themselves. The discussions—in Tamil, Sinhala and English—only finally ended when the halls were locked.

US SEP presidential candidate Bill Van Auken addresses two meetings in Sri Lanka

By a correspondent, 28 October 2004

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka held two successful meetings in Colombo and Kandy over the last week addressed by Bill Van Auken, the presidential candidate for the SEP’s sister party in the US, on the Iraq war and the US election.

Australian foreign minister smears journalist kidnapped in Iraq

By Richard Phillips, 27 October 2004

When Iraqi resistance fighters recently kidnapped John Martinkus, an Australian SBS television journalist and filmmaker, the Howard government responded with a vicious smear campaign against the 35-year-old reporter.

Spain’s draft budget presages escalating social conflict

By Paul Bond, 27 October 2004

When Economy Minister Pedro Solbes presented his draft budget proposals for next year to the Spanish Congress, he described them as “squaring the circle” through “creating more employment by being more productive.” The resort to such rhetoric sums up the problem faced by the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

British MI6 agents named in Balkans

By Paul Mitchell, 27 October 2004

Over the last few weeks newspapers in Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina have exposed the identities of several British MI6 intelligence agents operating in the Balkans.

SEP congressional candidate addresses workers, youth in Michigan

By Rick Kelly, 27 October 2004

Jerome White, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for Congress from Michigan’s 15th Congressional District, has campaigned against the Iraq war and for a socialist alternative to the two-party system in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Inkster, Monroe and several other cities in Detroit’s western and southern suburbs.

Letters from WSWS readers

By , 27 October 2004

On: “Iraq WMD report proves Bush, Democrats lied to justify Iraq war”

Guerilla attacks increase as US forces continue air raids against Fallujah

By James Cogan, 27 October 2004

American-led occupation forces are confronting a surge in Iraqi guerilla activity in the predominantly Sunni Muslim regions of the country. Attacks on the occupation have increased by as much as 30 percent in the last two weeks, with between 80 and 100 taking place each day.

The US flu vaccine crisis: a debacle for profit-based medicine

By Patrick Martin, 26 October 2004

The shortage of flu vaccine has become a major social issue in the United States, with thousands of elderly people—those most at risk of life-threatening complications from influenza—lining up to receive vaccinations at the limited number of clinics and hospitals that have a supply.

London: lessons of the European Social Forum

By Chris Marsden, 26 October 2004

The Third Annual European Social Forum (ESF) meeting in London, October 15-17, concluded with a demonstration in opposition to the occupation of Iraq. It was an event that underscored the impotence of a movement that had been hailed as the wave of the future and a new model for progressive politics.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 26 October 2004

Latin America

Historic resonances in German foreign minister’s statements

By Ann Talbot, 26 October 2004

On his recent visit to Britain, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer described the proposed entry of Turkey into the European Union as an event that would be as important as D-Day—when Allied troops landed on the Normandy beaches of Nazi-occupied Europe in 1944.

Thousands of US elderly line up for flu shots

By a reporting team, 26 October 2004

In cities across the US, thousands of people, mostly elderly and many using canes, walkers, or wheelchairs, are standing in line for hours to receive a flu shot. The announcement that a clinic, a hospital or even a supermarket has a quantity of vaccine and will make it available invariably produces a rush of people anxious to get their shot before the supply is exhausted.

No answers yet to new problems

By David Walsh, 26 October 2004

This is the third and final in a series of articles about the recent Vancouver film festival. Part 2 was posted October 21.

The New York Times and the Bush “disaster”

By Joseph Kay and Barry Grey, 25 October 2004

On October 17, the New York Times published its endorsement of Democrat John Kerry for president. The editorial’s main argument was that Bush had implemented a radical right agenda that undermined long-standing democratic processes at home and produced a foreign policy debacle in Iraq.

Illinois SEP campaign reaches wide audience

By Joe Parks and John Jaccobs, 25 October 2004

Over the past two weeks, Tom Mackaman, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for state representative from Illinois’ 103rd District (Champaign-Urbana), has participated in a series of debates, media appearances and other campaign forums with incumbent Democrat Naomi Jakobsson and the Republican contender, Deborah Frank-Feinen.

Behind the military leadership changeover in China

By John Chan, 25 October 2004

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Germany: union, works committee stifle Opel strike in Bochum

By Andreas Kunstmann, 25 October 2004

For six days, workers at General Motors’ Opel plant in Bochum, Germany, withstood a concerted campaign by political leaders, the media and their own unions and struck in protest against planned mass redundancies. Finally, on October 20, they gave way and decided to return to work. Of 6,400 votes cast by the Bochum workers, 4,600 were in favour of a return to work and 1,700 were for continuing the work action.

Why is IG Metall sabotaging the struggle at Opel?

By Ulrich Rippert, 25 October 2004

Workers have seldom experienced such hostility from the unions and works committees as they did last Tuesday at demonstrations held as part of a European-wide day of action against mass redundancies announced by General Motors’ European subsidiaries.

Australian elections: voting trends reveal deepening disaffection

By Mike Head, 25 October 2004

Two weeks after the October 9 federal elections in Australia, the results are nearly finalised, following the counting of postal votes and the complex allocation of preferences. They confirm a defeat of historic magnitude for the opposition Labor Party.

Letters from WSWS readers

By , 23 October 2004

On: “WSWS Chairman David North denounces Iraq war at Dublin debate”

Minnesota senator closes Washington office, citing terrorist threat

By Ron Jorgenson and Patrick Martin, 23 October 2004

Senator Mark Dayton, a Democrat from Minnesota, announced October 13 that he was closing his Washington DC office and sending his office staff to locations away from Capitol Hill or back to Minnesota until after the November 2 general election, as a precaution against the threat of a terrorist attack on the US capital.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 23 October 2004

Asia

Australia’s peak union body rules out opposition to Howard government’s agenda

By Terry Cook, 23 October 2004

In a display of abject grovelling, Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) president Sharan Burrow this week declared that the unions would do nothing to oppose the anti-working class agenda of the reelected Howard government. The Liberal-National Party Coalition was returned to office on October 9 and is poised to gain control of the Senate, clearing the way for a raft of regressive legislation. This will include further deregulation of the labour market and a renewed onslaught against workers’ rights.

Britain agrees to troop redeployment to back Fallujah offensive

By Julie Hyland and Chris Marsden, 23 October 2004

On October 21, the Labour government of Prime Minister Tony Blair confirmed that it would accede to a US request to redeploy approximately 850 troops and support staff from their base in southern Iraq to positions near to the capital Baghdad.

Socialist campaign reaches thousands of Maine voters

By our reporter, 23 October 2004

Socialist congressional candidate Carl Cooley addressed a public meeting in Bangor, Maine, on October 17. The event, the first ever held by the Socialist Equality Party in the state of Maine, was attended by supporters of the campaign and interested voters who came from a number of towns and cities in the mid-Maine area.

Four-day general strike in Nigeria

By Barbara Slaughter, 22 October 2004

Economic life in Nigeria was virtually brought to a standstill in a four-day general strike that began on October 11. The strike was called by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), which represents 29 of the country’s blue-collar unions. It was in protest against a recent 25 percent increase in the price of fuel. Fuel prices have more than doubled since some subsidies were removed in October 2003.

The political issues facing Opel workers

By WSWS Editorial Board, 22 October 2004

The following statement was distributed by the Socialist Equality Party of Germany at the “day of action” protests held October 19 in cities across Europe to protest General Motors’ plans to eliminate 12,000 jobs at its European subsidiaries. The statement is posted on the WSWS in PDF format.

Sri Lankan students and railway workers discuss US election campaign

By our correspondent, 22 October 2004

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka campaigned last weekend among rail workers and university students for two public meetings in Colombo and Kandy to be addressed by Bill Van Auken, the presidential candidate of the US SEP, on the Iraq war and the US elections.

GM workers hold European-wide day of action against job cuts

By our reporters, 22 October 2004

Some 50,000 auto workers took part Tuesday in protests against plans to cut 12,000 jobs at General Motors’ European subsidiaries. Those participating included workers from Opel, Vauxhall and Saab plants at a total of 13 different locations— from Trollhättan in Sweden to Azambuja in Portugal.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 22 October 2004

Europe

New Indian government demonstrates loyalty to Washington

By Vilani Peiris, 22 October 2004

The visit by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the US last month has made clear that the new Congress-led government will not only maintain, but strengthen the ties established with Washington by the previous Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP)-led administration.

Spain pressured to strengthen border with North Africa

By Keith Lee, 22 October 2004

The Spanish Socialist Party government has come under increasing pressure from the European Union (EU) to crack down on illegal immigrants and strengthen its border with North Africa.

Iraq: US assault underway on Fallujah

By James Cogan, 21 October 2004

In recent weeks there has been speculation in the press as to whether the American-led occupation forces in Iraq would attack Fallujah before or after the November 2 US presidential election. The question has become something of a moot point. The roads out of Fallujah have been cordoned off by US forces, all talks have broken down, the city is being bombarded every night by US air strikes and 1,000 marines are engaging Iraqi resistance fighters in the outer suburbs.

SEP presidential candidate Bill Van Auken speaks to South Asian press in Sri Lanka

By a reporter, 21 October 2004

Bill Van Auken, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president, addressed more than 20 journalists representing Sri Lankan, Indian and Pakistani newspapers at a press conference in Colombo on Tuesday. Sri Lanka’s Swarnavahini television channel videotaped the proceedings and ran a report lasting several minutes during its 8 p.m. news program. The report included an excerpt from Van Auken’s remarks, in which he called the US invasion of Iraq a war crime.

Deaths of schoolchildren expose Israeli brutality

By Brian Smith, 21 October 2004

The increasing viciousness and brutality of the Zionist regime has been laid bare during its ongoing incursion into Gaza, code-named Operation Days of Penitence. The wanton destruction of homes and property and the deliberate targeting of civilians are aimed at terrorising the Palestinian population and give no prospect of an end to the violence.

Vancouver International Film Festival 2004—Part 2

By David Walsh, 21 October 2004

This is the second in a series of articles about the recent Vancouver film festival. Part One was posted October 15.

France: murder of work inspectors reveals deepening social tensions

By Antoine Lerougetel, 21 October 2004

Sylvie Tremouille, 40, and Daniel Buffière, 45, work inspectors, were shot dead in the afternoon of September 2 with a hunting rifle. They were about to check the contracts and conditions of more than a dozen seasonal workers employed at a farm in Saussignac, in the Dordogne. Their killer, Claude Duviau, was the farmer and part-owner of the 20-hectare vineyard and plum orchard. Duviau, a former soldier and insurance worker, shot Buffière in the stomach and Tremouille in the back. He then turned the gun on himself, but he survived.

The New York Times and the reservists in Iraq who said “No”

By Rick Kelly and Jerry White, 21 October 2004

With its lead editorial Tuesday, “When Soldiers Say No,” the New York Times has signaled its approval, in advance, for the punishment of 18 US army reservists in Iraq who last week refused to carry out what one described as a “suicide mission.”

Campaign material suppressed in Australian election

By Richard Phillips, 21 October 2004

The corporate media have responded to the reelection of Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s conservative Liberal-National coalition by claiming that the vote signified mass support for the Iraq war and confidence in the Howard government’s “economic” record.

Israel moves to impede UN relief to Palestinians

By Jean Shaoul, 20 October 2004

Israel has mounted a political campaign based on lies against the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), alleging that it has aided Palestinian terrorists.

Iraqi social crisis continues unabated as US slashes funding

By Rick Kelly, 20 October 2004

The US State Department quarterly report on spending on Iraqi “relief and reconstruction”, sent to Congress on October 5, provides a revealing insight into the nature of US operations in Iraq. Almost nothing has been spent on improving healthcare and sanitation or the water and electricity network, and previous funding commitments in these areas have been slashed.

Group suicides in Japan: a symptom of social malaise

By Joe Lopez, 20 October 2004

Two cases of group suicide in Japan have again highlighted the tragic consequences of the country’s sharpening social and economic tensions. All of those who killed themselves were young and appeared to have contacted each other through Internet suicide web sites.

Spain: Socialist Party government moves to rehabilitate Francoite fascists

By Paul Stuart and Vicky Short, 20 October 2004

Former members of the Francoite fascist Blue Division were invited to this year’s National Day military parade by Spain’s recently elected Socialist Party (PSOE) government. This is an unprecedented political act since Spain became a parliamentary monarchy at the death of the dictator General Franco in 1975. The fascist veterans were given a place of pride as they solemnly followed King Juan Carlos to lay a wreath for all those who died “for Spain”.

As early balloting begins: tensions build over Bush vote-suppression drive

By Patrick Martin, 20 October 2004

Early voting began Monday in five US states, including the critical battleground state of Florida, with conflicts already erupting over the efforts by the Republican Party and the Bush campaign to depress voter turnout in working class and minority areas. These efforts are especially pronounced in those states where a close election will be decided.

Greyhound bus lines: stranding America’s poor in pursuit of profits

By Noah Page, 20 October 2004

Greyhound Lines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Laidlaw International, Inc. and the largest intercity transportation provider in North America, ended bus service this summer to some 260 stops in a 13-state region that stretches from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest.

SEP participates in third-party debate in Tennessee

By Kate Randall, 19 October 2004

The Multi-Party Presidential Debate 2004 was held Friday, October 15, in Johnson City, Tennessee. Third-party candidates have been systematically excluded from the debates featuring George W. Bush and John Kerry, and the event provided one of the few opportunities for candidates other than those of the Democrats and Republicans to argue their parties’ policies and platforms.

Iraq’s nuclear-related equipment goes missing under the US occupation

By Peter Symonds, 19 October 2004

The loss of equipment and material from Iraq’s nuclear-related facilities during the US occupation of the country has once again exposed the lies used by the Bush administration as the pretext for its invasion. Not only have US weapons inspectors failed to find any evidence that the Hussein regime had any weapons of mass destruction (WMD), but sophisticated equipment, previously closely monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has gone missing.

German Opel workers: ”We cannot compete with wages of 3-4 euros”

By our reporters, 19 October 2004

WSWS reporters spoke with Opel workers at the Bochum Langendreer plant.

Germany: Opel cuts over 10,000 auto jobs

By Dietmar Henning, 19 October 2004

Workers at Opel auto plants in Bochum walked out Thursday as soon as the parent company, General Motors, announced it was cutting 10,000 jobs in Germany. The company will also cut 2,000 jobs outside Germany from its 63,000-strong European workforce.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 19 October 2004

Latin America

Big business spells out economic agenda for new Indonesian president

By John Roberts, 19 October 2004

In the lead up to his inauguration as Indonesian president tomorrow, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has remained tight-lipped about the make-up of his cabinet, and, as throughout the election campaign, any policy details. However, representatives of big business, inside Indonesia and overseas, have made clear that they expect his administration to impose tough new economic measures.

SEP presidential candidate addresses London meeting

By our correspondent, 19 October 2004

On October 16, Bill Van Auken, the presidential candidate of the Socialist Equality Party in the US, addressed a meeting in London held by the SEP of Britain and the World Socialist Web Site.

SEP campaigns for Sri Lankan meetings of US presidential candidate

By Panini Wijesiriwardane, 18 October 2004

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka is conducting a vigorous campaign to build two important public meetings that are to be addressed by Bill Van Auken, the 2004 presidential candidate for the SEP’s sister party in the United States. The first meeting is to be held at the New Town Hall in Colombo on October 23. The second will be at Peradeniya University near Kandy on October 25.

More terror arrests in Spain, but still no evidence presented

By Vicky Short, 18 October 2004

On September 15 ten Pakistan nationals were arrested in Barcelona and are now being held in Madrid’s Soto del Real prison under the orders of Judge Ismael Moreno.

Haiti’s US-installed government cracks down on opponents

By Richard Dufour, 18 October 2004

A fresh eruption of political violence in Haiti has claimed at least 46 lives in the past two weeks as the US-installedinterim government of Prime Minister Gérard Latortue has sought to silence supporters of the ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in advance of the scheduled 2005 elections.

US soldiers mutiny over “suicide mission” in Iraq

By James Cogan, 18 October 2004

On October 13, 19 soldiers from a US supply unit in Iraq refused to drive seven unarmoured fuel tankers along roads to areas near Baghdad where resistance attacks on convoys are almost a daily occurrence. According to the wife of one of the soldiers, the troops viewed the orders as a “suicide mission”.

Canada’s social democrats helping sustain big business Liberals in power

By Keith Jones, 16 October 2004

Canada’s social-democrats, who are organized in the New Democratic Party or NDP, are working to sustain Prime Minister Paul Martin and his Liberal minority government in office. Martin, who as Jean Chrétien’s finance minister implemented the greatest cuts in public and social services in the country’s history, then rewarded big business and the well-to-do with a 5-year $100 billion program of corporate and personal income tax cuts, fell some twenty seats short of a parliamentary majority in last June’s election. But for the foreseeable future, he and his Liberal government can count on the support of the 19-member NDP delegation in the House of Commons.

Considerably more than a libertine

By Joanne Laurier, 16 October 2004

The Libertine, directed by Laurence Dunmore; screenplay by Stephen Jeffreys, based on his own play

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 16 October 2004

Chinese workers continue factory blockade

Right-wing Christian party may gain the balance of power in Australian Senate

By Richard Phillips, 16 October 2004

While last weekend’s elections saw Prime Minister John Howard secure a comfortable majority in Australia’s House of Representatives, counting is yet to be finalised for the upper house or Senate, with complete results not expected for another two weeks.

Discontent rife in US military ranks

By James Cogan, 16 October 2004

With the US election just weeks away, some reports in the US media have provided a glimpse into the discontent among American troops in Iraq. Young soldiers, many barely out of high school, are seething with anger over being used to police the indefinite occupation of the country, against the will of both the Iraqi and the American people.

SEP to hold public meetings in final weeks of 2004 US election campaign

By Kate Randall, 16 October 2004

The Socialist Equality Party is holding a series of public campaign meetings in the two weeks leading up to the November 2 US election.

Aid workers charge political motives in US claim of “genocide” in Darfur

By Barbara Slaughter, 16 October 2004

Citing international aid workers, an October 3 article in the British Observer newspaper challenges the US government’s characterization of the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan as “genocide.”

WSWS Chairman David North denounces Iraq war at Dublin debate

By David North, 15 October 2004

The Philosophical Society of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland held its annual debate on American foreign policy on the evening of October 14. The proposition debated before an audience of more than 200 people was: “This House Believes that America is Still the World’s Peacekeeper.”

German Green Party congress: a middle-class party of German imperialism

By Ulrich Rippert, 15 October 2004

The most remarkable thing about the Green Party congress, held October 2-3 in the northern German city of Kiel, was the absence of any serious discussion. The pressing social problems of the day—rising unemployment, growing social polarisation due to cuts in social programs and tax handouts to the wealthy, electoral gains of neo-fascist parties in recent state elections—were more or less ignored.

Asian films and Asian life

By David Walsh, 15 October 2004

The Vancouver film festival, taking place in a city perched on the Pacific Ocean, makes something of a specialty of screening East Asian films. That is all to the good. Every glimpse provided North American audiences into the lives, problems and thinking of peoples around the world, including their artistic circles, is a blow against provincialism and narrowness. It could probably be demonstrated by careful research that the exposure of young people in particular of a given city to international cinema has a generally civilizing and humanizing effect. How could it not?

Communal protests inflame tensions in eastern Sri Lanka

By Nanda Wickramasinghe, 15 October 2004

A series of protests in eastern Sri Lanka has heightened communal tensions in the province and throughout the island, further undermining the already shaky ceasefire between the Colombo government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) signed in February 2002.

Scottish National Party reelects Salmond as leader

By Steve James, 15 October 2004

Three months after repeatedly denying he had any intentions of standing for the leadership of the Scottish National Party (SNP), Alex Salmond has been reelected to the post he resigned from in 2000. Salmond immediately set out to revive the SNP’s flagging fortunes by simultaneously attacking Prime Minister Tony Blair over the British occupation of Iraq and presenting the SNP as Scotland’s business friendly party.

Australia continues to pressure East Timor on oil and gas

By John Roberts, 14 October 2004

Another round of talks between Australian and East Timorese officials over the disputed oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea concluded on September 30 without any agreement. The two sides left Darwin in northern Australia formally agreeing only to meet again some time after the October 9 Australian elections.

Britain: more lies over Iraq war

By Julie Hyland, 14 October 2004

The admission by the Iraqi Survey Group (ISG) that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction prior to the US-led invasion should have been a body blow to Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Union hobbles Canada-wide federal workers strike

By Lee Parsons, 14 October 2004

One-hundred-and-twenty-five thousand federal government employees went on strike Tuesday morning, launching one of the largest job actions in Canadian history. However, representatives of both the Liberal government and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) were quick to claim that the strike will be short-lived.

A painter of raw nerve: Leon Golub, 1922-2004

By Sandy English, 14 October 2004

Leon Golub, the most important political painter in the United States in the postwar era, died in August at the age of 82. An honest and innovative artist who was deeply concerned with the lives of beleaguered human beings, Golub’s art stands out from the confusion, self-absorption and sycophancy of the contemporary American art world.

An exchange with the Australian’s Iraq correspondent

By , 14 October 2004

The following is an exchange of correspondence on an article posted on the World Socialist Web Site on July 2 concerning media coverage at the time of the US handover of sovereignty in Iraq—“The Australian and the social catastrophe in Iraq” .

Letters from our readers

By , 14 October 2004

The following is a selection of recent letters received from our readers.

Final presidential debate confirms: no choice for working people in Bush-Kerry contest

By Patrick Martin, 14 October 2004

The third and final Bush-Kerry debate confirmed that neither candidate has any answer for the mounting social and economic crisis confronting working people in the United States.

SEP challenges ballot access laws in Ohio Supreme Court

By Jerry White, 14 October 2004

The Socialist Equality Party filed a legal action October 12 with the Ohio Supreme Court to overturn Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell’s decision to deny ballot access to its presidential and vice-presidential candidates, Bill Van Auken and Jim Lawrence. The SEP is seeking to overturn a series of anti-democratic provisions used by the Republican and Democratic parties in Ohio to deny the SEP candidates a place on the ballot in the November 2 election.

FBI shuts down 20 antiwar web sites: an unprecedented act of Internet censorship

By the Editorial Board, 13 October 2004

The US government move to shut down nearly two dozen antiwar, anti-globalization web sites on October 7 is an unprecedented exercise of police power against political dissent on the Internet. The World Socialist Web Site denounces the attack on the Indymedia sites and demands a halt to all such attempts at suppressing political criticism of the US government.

Democrats, unions capitulate to new attacks by Schwarzenegger on California workers

By Keaton Eisner, 13 October 2004

Last month, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage from $6.75 to $7.75 an hour over the next two years. The waffling response of the Democratic Party leadership provided further proof that this party is incapable of mounting any defense of the living standards of the working class.

Koizumi reshuffles Japanese cabinet to pursue right-wing agenda

By Joe Lopez, 13 October 2004

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi late last month carried out a major cabinet reshuffle aimed at pressing ahead with his agenda, in particular in the area of economic restructuring. Having cut public spending, imposed an unpopular new pension scheme and toughened banking guidelines, the new cabinet plans to proceed with the privatisation of Japan Post.

The New York Times and the road to war

By Joseph Kay, 13 October 2004

On October 3, the New York Times published an extensive article detailing the history of one of the fabrications employed by the American government to justify the war against Iraq: the charge that aluminum tubes imported by Saddam Hussein were intended for use in the development of a nuclear weapons program.

Blair visits Africa

By Ann Talbot, 13 October 2004

On the eve of the publication of the International Survey Group’s report on weapons of mass destruction, which confirmed that he had lied about the existence of a military threat in Iraq, Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair showed that his global ambitions have not been shaken by the proof that the targeting of Iraq was an unprovoked war of aggression.