Letters from our readers

On “The attack on press freedom in Hungary



Ironically, the nationalist-fascist alliance in Hungary which is now in the front ranks of the global drive to restrict media freedom, rests on the foundation of the 1848 revolution which nationalists especially honour. In my earliest years growing up in Hungary, I heard many times how Lajos Kossuth had published illegally the debates of the restricted parliament (Diet) of the Austro-Hungarian empire and fought for that press freedom which allowed his crusading newspaper, Pesti Hirlap, to raise a parliament and an army hailed in 1848 as a “red army” by a fellow editor of a similar minded newspaper called the New Rhenish Gazette, Karl Marx.


It comes to mind that I witnessed as a young boy in October of 1956 the march of students and intellectuals to the broadcasting center of Hungarian Radio to read their demands. The secret service’s firing upon this demonstration precipitated an uprising characterized by the proliferation of newspapers of every tendency. Even the walls were covered with proclamations, analysis, news and rumour. I followed what followed in refugee camps and read the newspapers of the Kadar regime which explained how Hungarian workers were fiercely demanding the return of the secret police and the teaching of Russian in schools. As you frequently note, the New York Times is heading in this direction with the media of Britain and Australia not far behind.


The wave of media restrictions which finds expression in the US-led campaign against Julian Assange just as much as in similar new restrictions in Slovakia and Russia is a sign of great nervousness in ruling circles who remember all too well how powerful become small political movements advancing behind such media tools as Lenin’s Pravda and your exceptional web site. I remain very impressed.


Toronto, Ontario
29 December

On “The media and Obama: Image and reality


If only articles such as this could be run in the ‘op-ed’ sections of major newspapers. Such as the New York Times or Washington Post, right next to the ever odious Krauthammer or Friedman or Brooks or perhaps in the classified sections, next to advertisements of manure spreader machinery recommended by Bill Clinton.


I try to avoid the cynic, but the article is so true and accurate, and knowing it wouldn’t be run in the mainstream press (an increasingly vapid term for a kept medium), that I suggest a little humor as comment.


Michael S
28 December 2010

On “Oil tycoon Khodorkovsky convicted in Moscow trial

I had just finished reading a few cables on the Wikileaks site about this very case, and it is great to read your article about this. Admittedly, I have not been following the Khodorkovsky case as diligently as I should have, and after reading your excellent piece, together with the leaked cables (released on December 26), I now fully understand the context and the implications.


Thank you Mr. Martin!


Edward E
California, USA
29 December 2010

On “Sri Lanka: Thousands of shanty dwellers to be evicted from central Colombo


The photo essay on the living conditions of shanty-dwellers in central Colombo, by photojournalist Shantan Kumarasamy is incredibly moving. I have viewed them three times this morning and I am more impressed with each viewing.


The harsh conditions are of the shanty-dwellers are treated with the sensitivity and care that is usually only reserved for the elite.


Kudos to Shantan, and kudos to the WSWS.


Larry P
28 December 2010

On “British women workers’ 1968 strike treated, more or less, in Made in Dagenham


I saw Made in Dagenham in October as part of the Mill Valley Film Festival. I agree with your assessment of the film. The one good thing in it was the accurate depiction of the union tops resisting the strike. It showed pretty clearly the working of the union leaders on behalf of the company, not in the interests of the workers. Hoskins’ role as a sympathetic union rep demonstrated the quarrel between union officials who work in the company’s interests and the few who really were concerned about the workers. It was a small part of the film, but an important one.


29 December 2010

On “The end of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ in the US military

While your comments on the apparent end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell reported “jubilation” on the part of gay groups, our organization—Gay Liberation Network— has since before the attack on Afghanistan after 9-11 been an opponent of US imperialism. But, yes, we can walk and chew gum at the same time. We have criticized Dan Choi and other flag wavers who refuse to acknowledge the criminal character of the US government.


DADT was not only a denial of the democratic right to secure military employment, it was a way to legitimize discrimination against gays all down the line. The same is true of the denial of marriage equality.


GLN has consistently demanded an end to the military gay ban and an end to US aggression and occupation.


Bob S
28 December 2010