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uns bitte eure Nachrichten, Meldungen und Ideen.
MUND findet Ihr eine Rubrik, die eine Konsequenz aus der redaktionsinternen
Debatte um die Notwendigkeit, sexistische, antisemitische und rassistische
Beiträge nicht zu veröffentlichen, einerseits, die Problematik von
Zensur andererseits versucht: unter "B) Eingelangt, aber nicht aufgenommen"
wird - in anonymisierter Form - auf angehaltene Beiträge hingewiesen
und eine kurze Begründung der/des Tagesredaktuers für die Nichtaufnahme
geliefert. Die AbsenderInnen werden hiervon informiert.
Und für nächsten Donnerstag:
...und was mache ich eigentlich gegen rassisten?
01 PUNISHMENT PARK HEUTE - hingehen!
von: "ha" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
bin erfreut, zu lesen, dass den film scheinbar doch noch jemand kennt!
aufgrund des vielen inhalts, den der film hat (ich habe vor langer zeit
auch mal im mund zu diesem film geschrieben), kann ich nur hoffen, dass
viele hingehen und den film weiterempfehlen! (gibt eh so wenig
aussagekräftige filme - im "offiziellen" fernsehen und kino zumindest)
@ www.diedenker.sub.cc (in kürze unter www.diedenker.org einsehbar)
02 HOLIDAY CAMP_Film- und Diskussion_Do.10.10._Treibhaus
von: "grauzone info" <email@example.com>
> HOLIDAY CAMP
> How is your liberation bound up with mine?
Film und Diskussionsveranstaltung
zum detention center in Woomera, Australien
mit einem Mitglied des Filmkollektivs
Treibhaus - Innsbruck
Donnerstag 10. 10. 2002
ab 20.00 Uhr
Eintritt: freiwillige Spenden
Woomera, ein ehemaliger Militärstützpunkt in direkter Nähe zu einem
Atombombentestgebiet, mitten im australischen Outback, 200 km bis zur
nächsten Siedlung und 60° im Schatten. Genau hier liegt ein Lager (detention
center) für Asylsuchende, die teilweise schon seit Jahren auf einen Bescheid
Ostern 2002 - nach monatelangen Hungerstreiks und Aufständen gelingt 53
inhaftierten Flüchtlingen der Ausbruch aus dem Woomera detention center.
Der Film Holiday Camp spürt die Verbindungen zwichen dem Umgang mit
Flüchtlingen, dem Genozid an den Aborigines und den gewohnten weißen
Holiday Camp, AUS/BRD 2002, englisches Original mit deutschen Untertiteln
45 min. VHS
Diese Veranstaltung wird unterstützt von:
Clowns & Ballerinas: 105,9 fm mi.: 18.00 - 19.00 Uhr,
ÖH Referat für Frauen- und Genderfragen,
Initiative Minderheiten und
Woomera, ein ehemaliger Militärstützpunkt in direkter Nähe zum
Atombombentestgebiet, mitten im australischen Outback, 200 km bis zur
nächsten Siedlung, 60 °C im Schatten. Eingesperrt hinter Stacheldraht,
warten hier 500 Flüchtlinge teilweise seit Jahren auf ihre Anerkennung als
Asylsuchende. In Australien werden Flüchtlinge ohne Papiere sofort auf
unbegrenzte Zeit inhaftiert, während über ihren Asylantrag entschieden wird.
Ostern 2002 - nach monatelangen Kämpfen, Hungerstreiks und Aufständen
gelingt 53 inhaftierten Flüchtlingen der Ausbruch aus dem detention center,
nachdem hunderte aufgebrachter AustralierInnen Zäune niedergerissen hatten,
um zu den Inhaftierten zu gelangen. Über tausend Menschen hatten sich auf
den Weg nach Woomera gemacht, um vor Ort gegen die australische
Einwanderungspolitik zu protestieren. Die unglaublichen Bilder des Ausbruchs
stehen im Mittelpunkt dieser 45 minütigen Doku, die auf unüblichen Wegen
dieses Genres wandelt.
Holiday Camp bedient sich einer treibenden, sehr emotionalen, teils
humoresken Erzählweise und deckt Verbindungen zwischen dem Umgang mit
Flüchtlingen, dem Genozid an den Aborigines und den gewohnten weißen
Unter anderem treffen wir auf zwei afghanische Ex-Insassen des Woomera
detention center, die uns Einblicke in das Leben hinter dem Zaun geben; eine
Angehörige des indigenen Kokatha- Volkes berichtet von ihrem Kampf um
Menschenrechte und Selbstbestimmung, und wie dieser Kampf unweigerlich mit
dem der Flüchtlinge verbunden ist; nach dem Ausbruch treffen
wir einen der Geflohenen in seinem Versteck, eine spontane Fluchthelferin
erzählt uns von ihrem Entschluss zu handeln, und was danach geschah. Der
spektakuläre Ausbruch hat Menschen auf beiden Seiten des Zaunes verändert -
was wird mit ihnen geschehen?
Holiday Camp macht traurig, wütend und fordert heraus.
drive-by-shooting/ tallstoreez productionz sind ein australisch/ deutsches
Filmkollektiv, gegründet im Februar 2002 in Adelaide.
Mit dieser Film wollen wir den internationalen Umgang mit Migration und
Abschottung thematisieren und der in den westlichen Staaten kontinuierliche
wachsenden "border panic" kreativ und unterhaltsam entgegenfilmen.
Unser filmische Arbeit profitiert von unseren unterschiedlichen kulturellen
Hintergründen und Erfahrungen - dbs besteht aus einer Frau und zwei Männern.
Parallel zum Film bieten wir eine Diskussions- und Infoveranstaltung zur
aktuellen Situation in Australien an, um die Rolle und Bedeutung des
mandatory detention systems und der detention center für Europa zu
Holiday Camp, AUS/BRD 2002, englisches Original mit deutschen Untertiteln
45 min. VHS
Woomera 2002 Archiv auf Indymedia Melbourne:
ÖH Referat für Frauen- und Genderfragen:
03 Einladung zur Ausstellung 'Die Brücke von Varvarin'
von: arbeiterfotografie <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Liebe FreundInnen der Arbeiterfotografie,
wir möchten Euch herzlich einladen zur Eröffnung der Ausstellung 'Die
Brücke von Varvarin' in der Galerie Arbeiterfotografie am Dienstag, 8.
Oktober, 19.30 Uhr. Programm zur Ausstellungseröffnung
"Die Brücke von Varvarin"*
Portraits und Protokolle - von Gabriele Senft
Dienstag, 8. Oktober, 19.30 Uhr
Galerie Arbeiterfotografie in Köln, Merheimer Str. 107, Tel.
0221 - 727 999 Begrüssung und Vorstellung
der Fotografin und Journalistin Gabriele Senft
G a b r i e l e S e n f t
Kurzvorstellung des Projektes Die Brücke von Varvarin und
Information zum Stand der Klage im Schadensersatzverfahren der
Opfer von Varvarin gegen die Bundesrepublik Deutschland als
Beteiligte an den NATO-Angriffen auf die Zivilbevölkerung
H a n n a Jaskolski und C h r i s t i a n e Niesel
Georg Philipp Telemann
Con Affetto aus Partita 1
Bassblockflöte und Trommel
Dr. P e t e r B a t h k e
ehem. stellvertr. Botschafter in Syrien
und Vertreter des Kölner Friedensforums
Zur Kriegspolitik der USA gegenüber dem Irak
*Zur Ausstellung ist das Buch Die Brücke von Varvarin
erhältlich.Dauer der Ausstellung: bis 2. November 2002
Öffnungszeiten: Di-Fr 9-13 Uhr, Sa 10-14 Uhr und nach Vereinbarung
Mit besten Grüßen
Anneliese Fikentscher und Andreas Neumann
Galerie Arbeiterfotografie - Forum für Engagierte Fotografie
Merheimer Str. 107
Tel: 0221/727 999
Fax: 0221/732 55 88
MELDUNGEN UND KOMMENTARE
04 CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM?
Att:CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM
If the motion (below) coming out from CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM at
Sherbourne is correct then this must be a new form of racism and discrimination
we from the AHDA Condemn it,the end result of this meeting does not represent
the interest of People of African, Africa Organisation and African people in Europe
Information Director AHDA West Africa
Dr. Anna Obiaho Information Director AHDA East Africa
Ms Sewa Kafondi Information Director AHDA North Africa
Rev.Ihueghian Victor Director AHDA Europe
Nicholas Mackie" <email@example.com> (by way of I CARE <firstname.lastname@example.org>)
Datum: 2002/10/06 So PM 09:15:53 GMT+02:00
Betreff: [antiracism] CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM?
EXTRACTS FROM DAILY NATION NEWSPAPER Oct 3-5, 2002
Racism row - Thursday 03, October-2002
Top: Delegates discussing yesterday's resolution after non-Africans were
asked to leave the conference. Karen Dear a local journalist and one of
those asked to leave the conference, in a heated discussion with an
overseas delegates in favour of the motion. At centre is Member of
Parliament Trevor Prescod.
by Patience Ejimofor
CONTROVERSY hit the first working day of the historic five-day African and
African Descendants World Conference Against Racism at Sherbourne
Conference yesterday when non-Blacks were asked to leave.
It came in a motion from members of the 50-strong British delegation who
felt they were misled by organisers into thinking they were attending a
conference for Africans and African descendants only. unoq.ch
"We told them emphatically that we don't want to be sitting down with no
Europeans or Asians" said Kwaku Bonsu, a London disc jockey and black
activist, "and they assured us that this is an African and African only
event and that is why we came here."
Several people rose to speak on the motion and more than three-quarters
supported it. Emotions flared but chairman, Dr Jewel Crawford, managed to
bring them under control by calling for a vote. More than 95 per cent of
delegates summarily voted in favour.
All non-Blacks were then asked to "leave quietly".
A local, white interpreter tearfully walked out. She returned later, saying
organisers had apologised to her.
Bill Farrington, a freelance journalist from New York who was also asked to
leave, said: "It made me sad and frustrated that I had come all this way
for nothing . . . but when you attend such conferences, you learn just how
strongly people feel about issues of racism."
Chairman Crawford said: "The fact that white faces were less than ten -
that apparently didn't make a difference to a number of people - they still
felt they just wanted to have a meeting that was limited to African people,
to black people . . . . A meeting of our own that was just specially for us
and not inclusive of other people.
"But at the same time I asked them to leave, I did encourage them to go on
and form their own caucus, group."
Prior to the vote, Senegalese Doudou Diene, United Nations Special
Rapporteur on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related
Intolerance, hotly opposed the motion and threatened to walk out if it were
He warned that approving the motion could reverse the gains made at the
Durban conference last year.
"Durban has been one of the most successful conferences in the last 20
years. The conference in Durban has put the issue of racism and racial
discrimination in a more holistic and global basis. It has put the issue of
race in a historical perspective. Secondly, it has put the fundamental
principles that the victims of discrimination, based on race, social status
or gender face, also into perspective."
He said there was a powerful anti-black group working to crush Durban and
this would give them needed ammunition.
"There is a strong, organised and deliberate campaign to weaken the final
document of Durban. The campaign is really powerful, not only to wipe out
the memory of Durban, but also to stop any kind of follow-up, so that the
best thing for us to do in trying to give ammunition to the campaign to
weaken Durban is to approve this motion."
Head of the Pan African Commission David Comissiong said while he was not
at Sherbourne at the time of the vote to expel non-Blacks, he felt the vote
had been done democratically and there was nothing he could do.
"I think it's very unfortunate; I don't think it's an issue that should
have arisen at all. We were given an explanation that in England many of
these delegates have had bad experiences with events such as these, where
they have had people from other races being involved and they have had bad
experiences. So we're told that that is the background out of which their
Some speakers argued that the conference was for black people to address
"How can they heal when the perpetrators are there?" said Dr Kuba Assegai
of the United States.
After the vote and discussion that followed, the conference resumedCounter punch - Friday 04, October-2002
Miriam Morales is hoping that the motion to expel non-Africans be reversed
in a positive way. Next to her is intrepreter Margot Tuach.
A NUMBER of delegates attending the African and African Descendants World
Conference Against Racism at Sherbourne will today bring a
counter-resolution against the one barring non-African participants.
It is being spearheaded by the French-speaking delegates from Martinique,
Guadeloupe, Haiti, St Marteen and French Guiana, who threatened to leave
yesterday after a resolution was passed on Wednesday barring non-Africans
Wednesday's resolution was led by the British delegation who maintained
that non-Africans and non-African descendants should be excluded.
The Martiniquans refused to participate in any workshops yesterday, and
later threatened to walk out.
A motion against exclusion, drafted by Martiniquan, Malsa Garcin, the mayor
of St Anne, was distributed to the Press. It stated in part:
"We are committed in the fight against racism, exclusion, xenophobia and
committed to fight for reparations in the spirit of Durban. We regret that
the work conducted in the Barbados conference for reparation and against
injustice, was inaugurated with a motion in favour of exclusion.
"We reaffirm that we do not see a reflection of ourselves in this statement
and procedures which are contrary to the principles leading our fight
against all forms of exclusion, wherever they come from."
Chairman of the central committee of the conference, Dr Jewel Crawford,
told a Press conference she explained to the Martiniquans that the
resolution reflected the view of the majority.
She said interpreters were not included in the resolution, in which case
the non-English-speaking group could still participate effectively in every
The frustration of the French-speaking Caribbean delegates peaked on
Wednesday when their white interpreter was ejected from a workshop.
"No Europeans are allowed in this room. The conference is for people of
African descent. We're asking you to abide by our vote" a British delegate
After a heated exchange between the group, the chairman of the workshop, an
interpreter, British and American delegates, they walked out and took their
grievance to organisers.
Yesterday, Cuban delegate Miriam Morales, through a white interpreter,
Margot Tuach, said: "The reaction of Cuba is that we have requested at the
plenary that this motion that excludes human beings who are fighting
against racism and all manifestations of racism, be deeply analysed.
"We are hoping that it be reversed in a positive way so that all people can
now participate in the conference and it does not become one of exclusion,
because we know that neither the Government nor people of Barbados,
05 Flüchtlingsrat Schleswig-Holstein und PRO ASYL fordern
Legalisierung für Menschen ohne geregelten Aufenthalt
von: "AG3F Hanau" <email@example.com>
FLÜCHTLINGRAT SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN e.V.
Oldenburger Str. 25, 24143 Kiel
T. 0431-735 000, F. 0431-736 077
mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.frsh.de
(Sperrfrist 0°° Uhr)Zum Tag des Flüchtlings 2002:
"Hier geblieben!" - Bleiberechtsregelung vor dem neuen Zuwanderungsrecht
Flüchtlingsrat Schleswig-Holstein und PRO ASYL fordern Legalisierung für
Menschen ohne geregelten Aufenthalt
300.000 sogenannte "Illegale" in Spanien, 1.000.000 in Belgien; in
Deutschland leben geschätzt ca. 1,5 Mio. nichtdeutsche Menschen ohne
gültige Aufenthaltspapiere. Diese alarmierenden Zahlen erfuhren die
TeilnehmerInnen einer Informationsveranstaltung, zu der das "Netzwerk
für illegalisierte Menschen in Schleswig-Holstein" (NISCHE) am 1.
Oktober in die Kieler Pumpe eingeladen hatte. Anna Sebatian Cercos aus
Barcelona und Koen Dewulf aus Brüssel haben das schwierige Überleben der
"heimlichen Menschen" in Spanien und Belgien dargestellt und über
politische Legalisierungsstrategien berichtet.
Wie weit die Politik in Deutschland noch von Lösung des Problems der
Menschen ohne Papiere entfernt ist, wusste die aus Frankfurt angereiste
Andrea Kothen von der Bundesweiten Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Flüchtlinge
PRO ASYL zu berichten. Menschenrechtsorganisationen, Richerverbände und
selbst einige Landesregierungen konnten nicht verhindern, dass die
Chance, im Vorgriff auf das kommende neue Zuwanderungsgesetz mit einem
verwaltungsamtlichen Schlussstrich bleiberechtlich ungeregelte "Altfälle
" zu legalisieren, im Bundesrat vertan worden ist.
Dabei ist der Regelungsbedarf offensichtlich: z.B. wird 230.000
Menschen, z.T. seit vielen Jahren, ein gesichertes Aufenthaltsrecht
vorenthalten. Lediglich "geduldet" werden sie sozial ausgegrenzt, in
erzwungener Arbeitslosigkeit gehalten, medizinisch unterversorgt, in
ihrer Bewegungsfreiheit reglementiert und der dauernden Angst vor der
Abschiebung ausgesetzt. Die Hoffnung dieser Menschen, im Zuge des neuen
Zuwanderungsgesetzes ein endgültiges Bleiberecht zu erhalten, wurden im
Wahlkampfgetöse der vergangenen Monate zerschlagen.
"Hier geblieben!" verlangen der schleswig-holsteinische Flüchtlingsrat
und PRO ASYL zum Tag des Flüchtlings am 4. Oktober und fordern für alle
Menschen mit ungeklärtem Aufenthalt eine unbürokratische
"Wer lange hier lebt, muss mit Perspektive bleiben dürfen" fordert
Martin Link, Geschäftsführer beim Flüchtlingsrat, und konstatiert das
Recht auf Integration auch für die jahrelang als lediglich "Geduldete"
bisher administrativ weitgehend desintegrierten Menschen.
Flüchtlingsrat und PRO ASYL fordern mit dem Ziel der gleichberechtigten
gesellschaftliche Teilhabe eine Bleiberechtsregelung
· für Menschen ohne Aufenthaltsrecht, die seit 5 Jahren hier leben,
· für unbegleitete minderjährige Flüchtlinge, die seit 2 Jahren in
· für durch Kriegsgewalt und Fluchterlebnisse Traumatisierte und
· für Opfer von in Deutschland erlebten rassistischen Angriffen.
Eine großzügige Bleiberechtsregelung wäre aus Sicht der
Flüchtlingsorganisationen der ultimative Beweis dafür, dass es mit der
von Bundes- und Landespolitikern vielbeschworenen Integrationspolitik
tatsächlich ernst gemeint ist.
gez. Martin Link
Flüchtlingsrat Schleswig-Holstein e.V.
T. 0172 54 26 770
Das Hintergrundpapier "Hier geblieben! Recht auf Bleiberecht" zur
Bleiberechtskampagne kann bei PRO ASYL (T. 069-230688) oder beim
Flüchtlingsrat Schleswig-Holstein e.V. angefordert werden.-------------------------
Für Freies Fluten
06 Aufruf der DEHAP
"Demokratische Wahlen für eine demokratische Türkei"
von: FEYKOM - Verband von Kurdischen Vereinen in Österreich
Demokratische Wahlen für eine demokratische Türkei
Am 3. November 2002 finden in der Türkei vorgezogene Parlamentswahlen statt.
Kennzeichnend für die vergangenen Wahlen waren zunehmende Unregelmäßigkeiten.
Auf der einen Seite wurden Stimmzettel gestohlen, auf der anderen in Mülltonnen
aufgefunden. Eine freie Wahl wurde den WählerInnen nicht ermöglicht und auf die
zur Wahl zugelassenen Parteien und deren KandidatInnen enormer Druck
ausgeübt. Die Parteien HADEP (Demokratische Partei des Volkes), EMEP
(Partei der Arbeit) und SDP (Sozialistische Demokratische Partei) beteiligen
sich bei diesen Wahlen unter dem Dach der DEHAP (Demokratische Volkspartei)
als ein Wahlblock für "Arbeit, Frieden und Demokratie". Bereits heute wird Druck
auf diesen Block ausgeübt.
DEHAP lehnt die Irreführung der WählerInnen durch unrechtmäßige und
undemokratische Durchführung der Wahlen und jede Art von Druck auf die
KandidatInnen und die freie Meinungs- und Willensbildung der WählerInnen ab.
DEHAP will die Zurücknahme aller geschlossenen Abkommen mit dem IWF und
der Weltbank; die Einstellung der Zahlung von Staatsschulden; die Rücknahme
der Privatisierungen; das Abstellen der Angriffe auf Rechte der Arbeiter und die
Gewährleistung einer sozialen Sicherheit für alle.
DEHAP ist entschieden gegen den geplanten Krieg der USA gegen den Irak
und fordert den Abzug sämtlicher amerikanischer Militärtruppen und der anderen
imperialistischen Kräften aus dem Nahen Osten. DEHAP vertritt die Sehnsucht
nach einer freundschaftlichen und brüderlichen Beziehung der Türkei zu ihren
DEHAP steht für ein gleichberechtigtes, freundschaftliches und
gemeinschaftliches Leben zwischen Kurden, Türken und anderen ethnischen
Minderheiten, tritt bei der Kurdenfrage für eine demokratische Lösung ein und
versucht die Grundlage hierfür zu schaffen. Entgegen dem Rassismus und der
zwischen den Völkern geführten Spaltungspolitik engagiert sich das Bündnis
für die Freundschaft und Brüderlichkeit der Völker. Für Alewiten, Sunniten und
alle anderen Konfessionen wird das Recht auf Glaubensfreiheit unter
gesetzlichen Schutz gestellt.
Den Arbeitern wird die Freiheit auf gewerkschaftliche und politische Organisierung
zuteil und alle Gesetze, die die Meinungs- und Gedankenfreiheit verbieten
respektive einschränken, werden aufgehoben. Diejenigen, die Andersdenkende
in Gefängnissen gefoltert haben, werden zur Rechenschaft gezogen und verurteilt.
Wir sehen diesen Block, der aus dem Widerstand gegen Globalisierung,
Sozialabbau, Rassismus und Krieg entsprungen/entstanden ist, als einen Teil
unseres Widerstandes in Europa gegen diese Probleme an. Die Stärkung dieses
Blocks wird gleichzeitig auch die Stärkung aller für Frieden und Wohlstand
kämpfenden Menschen sein.
Der Einzug von DEHAP ins Parlament wird die Völkerverständigung und die
internationale Solidarität unter den Arbeitern deutlich fördern.
Wir unterstützen den in der DEHAP entwickelten Block und die daraus
resultierenden Programme und Forderungen. Wir verurteilen die staatlichen
Versuche einigen KandidatInnen der DEHAP aus den Wahlen auszuschließen,
aufs schärfste und bekunden mit unserer Unterschrift unsere Ablehnung einer
antidemokratischen Behandlungsmethode gegenüber der DEHAP.
Wir rufen alle freiheits-, demokratie- und friedensliebenden Menschen zur
Unterstützung der DEHAP auf. Jede Art von Unterstützung wird zugleich dazu
führen, dass die Parlamentswahlen demokratisch verlaufen, die Stimmen nicht
auf Müllhalden landen und die freie Meinung und der Wille der WählerInnen ins
Parlament getragen werden.
Name Adresse Unterschrift
Bitte zurück an: Fax: 0221-8017785 und 0221-9255495
07 Wahl in Krems: KPÖ-Steiermark gratuliert zum KLS-Erfolg!
von: KPÖ Steiermark <email@example.com>
PRESSEMITTEIULUNG DER KPÖ-STEIERMARK
6. 10. 2002Wahl in Krems: KPÖ-Steiertmark gratuliert zum KLS-Erfolg!
Der Kommunist Franz Kral hat mit 3,2 Prozent der Stimmen und 1 Mandat den
Einzug in den Gemeinderat der niederösterreichischen Statutarstadt Krems
Dieser Erfolg ist auch für die KPÖ-Steiermark ein Ansporn. Landesvorsitzender
Franz Stephan Parteder: "Es geht darum, durch gute Arbeit an der Basis die
Voraussetzungen dafür zu schaffen, dass die KPÖ von den arbeitenden Menschen
auch gewählt wird.
Der Zusammenbruch der FP führt zu einer politischen Neuorientierung vieler
Menschen, die von den Meinungsmachern in unserem Land als
Modernisierungsverlierer abgestempelt werden. Wir müssen jetzt ganz deutlich
zeigen, dass wir für die arbeitenden Menschen da sind."
Nach diesem Wahlausgang sieht die KPÖ-Steiermark auch der bevorstehenden
Nationalratswahl am 24. November mit größerer Zuversicht entgegen. Parteder:
"Es ist zwar noch nicht so, dass wir sagen könnten: Jetzt kommt die KPÖ! Mit der
Kandidatur des Arbeiters Peter Scherz als Spitzenkandidat in der Steiermark
machen wir aber ein Angebot an die WählerInnen, das nicht zu übersehen ist."KPÖ-Steiermark
Lagergasse 98 a
Tel.: 0316 71 24 36
Fax 0316 71 62 91
email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
08 RAWNEWS - on the U.S. - 6/10/02
von: "RAWNEWS" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
RAWNEWS - on the U.S. - 6/10/02
1) Michael Jordan wears armband to "support the worldwide resistance" -
RTMark Press Services
2) Europeans to Exempt U.S. From War Court
3) Number of People Living in Poverty Increases in U.S. - New York Times
4) Bush administration broke with internationalist premises - The Guardian
5) Rebellion: Who Rules the World? - James Petras
6) Down the Same Road: War in Korea, War in Iraq
7) URGENT: Senate filibuster being organized on Bush war resolution, 10-2
> Michael Jordan wears armband to "support the worldwide resistance" <
RTMark Press Services and Thermic Inc. contributed to this story.
By Sue Doughnem
Basketball superstar Michael Jordan, who recently announced that he will return
for a second season with the Washington Wizards, has decided to display
solidarity with a variety of causes by wearing a black armband during games.
After discussing his new season with the Wizards at a press conference, Jordan
was asked about the significance of the black armband he had been spotted wearing.
"It's in the tradition of silent but visible protest," Jordan said, "like the Tinker kids,
Tommie Smith, and John Carlos."
Jordan was referring to the famous Tinker v. Des Moines free-speech case in which
two high school students won the right to wear black armbands in school as a
protest against the Vietnam war, as well as the two black US athletes who gave
the Black Power salute during the 1968 Olympics.
When pressed by reporters to explain what the armband represented, Jordan
continued: "Well, a variety of things, actually. Number one, I'd like to express
some solidarity with the people protesting against the IMF and World Bank. I mean,
read the stories in the paper-they all talk about what the protesters are doing, and
not why they're protesting. So I thought I could draw some attention to that."
Jordan went on to say that he supported the Palestinian struggle and was firmly
against what he called "US imperialist antics" in the Middle East.
"What are we doing there? Come on, y'all. Oil. Oil, and old scores to settle. That's it!"
However, it was Jordan's scathing words for his employer, Nike, which were most
surprising. His voice rose and he counted his reasons on his fingers as he spoke.
"You know, most of all, I feel bad for dealing with Nike, for so many reasons. It
bothers me that they are still using child labor. It bothers me that they have
inundated the Third World with billboards advertising their high priced shoes
made for pennies by little kids. And I'm talking about the Third World in the US,
in the inner city, as well as in Asia and South America, you know?"
Jordan also said that he felt some responsibility for speaking out since he had
been employed as a Nike spokesperson for so long.
When asked what would happen with his current Nike contract as well as his
millions of dollars in assets from Nike endorsements, Jordan paused and
rubbed his head before replying.
"I'm not sure yet. I've been thinking about setting up a foundation or fund that
would grant this money to nonprofits and other grassroots groups fighting hard
on these issues. Something's gotta be done with all this money, that's for sure.
I want to support the worldwide resistance."
Nike spokesperson Maria Eitel said in a faxed press statement that the company was
"sorry to see Michael turn his back on our lucrative partnership." The company
denied using children in their factories or tolerating sweatshop conditions despite
recent reports by groups like Global Exchange citing Nike for low standards and
Myrna Shinbaum, public relations director for the Jewish Anti-Defamation League,
said that Jordan was "obviously anti-Semitic" and vowed that any celebrity who
came out in support of the Palestinian cause would be "utterly closed off from
public life forever."
Jordan later said that he was sorry for upsetting people, but that he felt obligated
to "finally follow my conscience instead of the almighty dollar." He strongly urged
all other Americans to do the same.
RTMark Press Services and Thermic Inc. contributed to this story.
> Europeans to Exempt U.S. From War Court
By PAUL MELLER
BRUSSELS, Sept 30 The 15 nations of the European Union agreed today to exempt
American soldiers and government officials from prosecution for war crimes at the
International Criminal Court, an issue that had troubled trans-Atlantic relations for
The compromise, reached at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers, came
close to the blanket immunity for American government employees sought by the
Bush administration, although European officials emphasized that in their view it did
not undermine the court, which the administration has opposed.
"There is no concession," said Per Stig Moller, foreign minister of Denmark, which
currently holds the presidency of the European Union. "There is no undermining of
the International Criminal Court."
At a briefing in Washington, the State Department spokesman, Richard A. Boucher,
said: "We'll study the details of the European Union's decision very closely, and
we'll look forward to discussing it in more detail with member states."
Diplomats said today's deal had been pushed hardest by Britain and by Italy and
Spain, whose conservative governments are ideologically closer to the Bush
administration than, say, the German government.
France, Germany, Belgium and Sweden offered the stiffest resistance to any form
of exemption for American citizens, diplomats said.
The deal that the 15 governments agreed to prevents them from extraditing American
government employees accused of war crimes to the court, on the condition that the
United States government guarantee that such a suspect would be tried in an
The Bush administration has been pressing governments around the world to sign
bilateral agreements not to send American citizens to the International Criminal
Court, which is an outgrowth of the ad hoc tribunals set up by the United Nations,
with American support, to try war crimes committed in the Balkans and in Rwanda
in the 1990's.
The administration fears that with the creation of a permanent court to try alleged
war crimes committed anywhere in the world, Americans in peacekeeping or
overseas military operations could become targets of politically motivated trials.
Several American nongovernmental organizations have banded together to support
formation of the new international court, and their representatives said they were
disappointed by today's agreement.
"We are disappointed the E.U. did not take a stronger position amid pressure from
the United States, but we agree the I.C.C. has not been de-legitimised by this
agreement," said Heather Hamilton, spokeswoman for the World Federalist
Association, one of the groups.
Today's agreement allows any European Union nation to sign a separate bilateral
agreement with the United States over the court. Germany has been a staunch
opponent of this, but Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer noted that today's accord
"is very important because the Milosevics and Pinochets of tomorrow will be
brought to justice," referring to the former authoritarian leaders of Yugoslavia
Britain and Italy are believed to be considering signing bilateral agreements with
the United Sates, but diplomats said today's agreement makes such a move less
likely. "The E.U. does now appear united on this question," said one diplomat,
although differences remain beneath the surface of the compromise.
"This unity could turn out to be no more than skin deep if individual E.U. members
go ahead and sign agreements with the United States," the diplomat said.
So far, 12 countries outside the European Union have promised not to extradite
American citizens to the court.
The European Union is among those who pushed hardest for an international
court, under the auspices of the United Nations, to deal with cases involving
genocide, atrocities, war crimes and systematic human rights abuses. More than
80 countries have ratified the court's founding treaty. Notable exceptions include
the United States, Israel and most Arab countries.
The court will be based in The Hague, where Slobodan Milosevic, the former
president of Yugoslavia, is on trial on charges that he committed war crimes
during the Balkan wars of the 1990's.
> Number of People Living in Poverty Increases in U.S.
New York Times - 09/25/02--By ROBERT PEAR
WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 - The proportion of Americans living in poverty rose
significantly last year, increasing for the first time in eight years, the Census
Bureau reported today. At the same time, the bureau said that the income of
middle-class households fell for the first time since the last recession ended,
The Census Bureau's annual report on income and poverty provided stark
evidence that the weakening economy had begun to affect large segments of the
population, regardless of race, region or class. Daniel H. Weinberg, chief of
income and poverty statistics at the Census Bureau, said the recession that
began in March 2001 had reduced the earnings of millions of Americans.
The report also suggested that the gap between rich and poor continued to grow.
All regions except the Northeast experienced a decline in household income, the
bureau reported. For blacks, it was the first significant decline in two decades;
non-Hispanic whites saw a slight decline. Even the incomes of Asians and Pacific
Islanders, a group that achieved high levels of prosperity in the 1990's, went down
significantly last year.
"The decline was widespread," Mr. Weinberg said.
The Census Bureau said the number of poor Americans rose last year to 32.9 million, an increase of 1.3 million, while the proportion living in poverty rose to 11.7 percent, from 11.3 percent in 2000.
Median household income fell to $42,228 in 2001, a decline of $934 or 2.2 percent from the prior year. The number of households with income above the median is the same as the number below it.
A family of four was classified as poor if it had cash income less than $18,104
last year. The official poverty levels, updated each year to reflect changes in the
Consumer Price Index, were $14,128 for a family of three, $11,569 for a married
couple and $9,039 for an individual.
The bureau's report is likely to provide fodder for the Congressional campaigns.
The White House said the increase in poverty resulted, in part, from an economic
slowdown that began under President Bill Clinton. But Democrats said the data
showed the failure of President Bush's economic policies and his tendency to
neglect the economy.
Mr. Bush said today that he remained optimistic. "When you combine the
productivity of the American people with low interest rates and low inflation, those
are the ingredients for growth," Mr. Bush said.
But Senator Paul S. Sarbanes, Democrat of Maryland, said the administration
should "start paying attention to the economic situation." Richard A. Gephardt of
Missouri, the House Democratic leader, expressed amazement that Mr. Bush, after
being in office for 20 months, was still blaming his predecessor.
Rudolph G. Penner, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, said: "The
increase in poverty is most certainly a result of the recession. The slow recovery, the
slow rate of growth, has been very disappointing. Whether that has a political impact
this fall depends on whether the election hinges on national conditions or focuses on
Although the poverty rate, the proportion of the population living in poverty, rose
four-tenths of a percentage point last year, it was still lower than in most of the last
two decades. The poverty rate exceeded 12 percent every year from 1980 to 1998.
As the economy grew from 1993 to 2000, the rate plunged, to 11.3 percent from
15.1 percent, and the poverty rolls were reduced by 7.7 million people, to 31.6 million.
The latest recession showed an unusual pattern, seeming to raise poverty rates
among whites more than among minority groups, Mr. Weinberg said.
Increases in poverty last year were concentrated in the suburbs, in the South and
among non-Hispanic whites, the Census Bureau said. Indeed, non-Hispanic
whites were the only racial group for whom the poverty rate showed a significant
increase, to 7.8 percent in 2001, from 7.4 percent in 2000.
Poverty rates for minority groups were once much higher. But last year, the
bureau said, they remained "at historic lows" for blacks (22.7 percent), Hispanics
(21.4 percent) and Asian Americans (10.2 percent).
With its usual caution, the Census Bureau said the data did not conclusively
show a year-to-year increase in income inequality. But the numbers showed a
clear trend in that direction over the last 15 years.
The most affluent fifth of the population received half of all household income last
year, up from 45 percent in 1985. The poorest fifth received 3.5 percent of total
household income, down from 4 percent in 1985. Average income for the top
5 percent of households rose by $1,000 last year, to $260,464, but the average
declined or stayed about the same for most other income brackets.
Robert Greenstein, executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,
a liberal research institute, said, "The census data show that income inequality
either set a record in 2001 or tied for the highest level on record."
Median earnings increased 3.5 percent for women last year, but did not change
for men, so women gained relative to men.
"The real median earnings of women age 15 and older who worked full time
year-round increased for the fifth consecutive year, rising to $29,215 - a 3.5 percent
increase between 2000 and 2001," Mr. Weinberg said. The comparable figure for
men was unchanged at $38,275. So the female-to-male earnings ratio reached a
high of 0.76. The previous high was 0.74, first recorded in 1996.
Democrats said the data supported their contention that Congress should increase
spending on social welfare programs, resisted by many Republicans. But Wade
F. Horn, the administration's welfare director, said the number of poor children
was much lower than in 1996, when Congress overhauled the welfare law to impose
strict work requirements.
Of the 32.9 million poor people in the United States last year, 11.7 million were
under 18, and 3.4 million were 65 or older. Poverty rates for children, 16.3 percent,
and the elderly, 10.1 percent, were virtually unchanged from 2000. But the poverty
rate for people 18 to 64 rose a half percentage point, to 10.1 percent.
Median household income for blacks fell last year by $1,025, or 3.4 percent,
to $29,470. Median income of Hispanics, at $33,565, was virtually unchanged.
But household income fell by 1.3 percent for non-Hispanic whites, to $46,305,
and by 6.4 percent for Asian Americans, to $53,635.
The Census Bureau report also included these findings:
¶There were 6.8 million poor families last year, up from 6.4 million in 2000. The
poverty rate for families rose to 9.2 percent, from a 26-year low of 8.7 percent
¶The rate in the South rose to 13.5 percent, from 12.8 percent in 2000. The South
is home to more than 40 percent of all the nation's poor, and it accounted for more
than half of the national increase in the number of poor last year.
¶The poverty rate for the suburbs rose to 8.2 percent last year, from 7.8 percent in
2000. The number of poor people in suburban areas rose by 700,000, to 12 million.
There was virtually no change in the rates in central cities (16.5 percent) and
outside metropolitan areas (14.2 percent).
The bureau said the number of "severely poor" rose to 13.4 million last year, from
12.6 million in 2000. People are considered to be severely poor if their family
incomes are less than half of the official poverty level.
> Bush administration broke with internationalist premises
The Guardian - Frances FitzGerald - Tuesday September 24, 2002
The Bush administration has broken with the internationalist premises that have
been accepted by every other administration since the second world war - with
the exception of Reagan's first. The lack of debate over foreign policy since
September 11 has obscured the rift, but to recall Bush senior's approach to
foreign policy is to see just how radical the change is - and to raise the question
of how it came about only eight years later.
A conservative and a "realist" who was much influenced by the approach of
Kissinger and Nixon, especially in their dealings with China and the Soviet Union,
George Bush senior was slow to grasp the revolutionary nature of Gorbachev's
reforms and the importance of conflicts within states, such as those in Afghanistan
and Yugoslavia. But he was a confirmed multilateralist, who believed in respecting
The contrast between the approaches of Bush senior and Bush junior is all the
more remarkable since many of those who served in national security posts in the
first Bush administration now serve in the second. But the differences between
father and son correspond to the differences between the Republican party of
Eisenhower and Nixon and the more ideologically coherent Republican party that
emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, its strength in the south and the south-west.
When I talked with him a few months ago, Brent Scowcroft (national security
adviser under Bush senior) pointed to a more specific reason for the difference
between the foreign policies of father and son. Asked about the ideological conflict
between Colin Powell and others in the administration, he said: "That's as much
an accident of personalities as anything else." He added: "We used to have strong
arguments and many differences of perspective, but they were all kept inside the
administration. The president decided, and that was it. So it's partly a question
of how conflict is handled. It's more public now."
Scowcroft, in his polite way, was saying that Bush junior, who came to the
presidency without any knowledge of foreign affairs, could not make decisions or
manage dissent as his more knowledgeable and experienced father had. He was
also talking about another accident of personalities. In A World Transformed, the
memoir that he and Bush senior published in 1998, Scowcroft makes it clear that
while Bush senior's top advisers had different perspectives, the fundamental
division lay between the defence secretary Dick Cheney and everyone else.
By his account, and by those of others in the administration, Cheney never trusted
Gorbachev. In 1989 Cheney maintained that Gorbachev's reforms were largely
cosmetic and that, rather than engage with the Soviet leader, the US should stand
firm and keep up cold war pressures. In September 1991 Cheney argued that the
administration should take measures to speed the breakup of the Soviet Union
- even at the risk of encouraging violence and incurring long-term Russian hostility.
He opposed the idea, which originated with the chairman of the joint chiefs, Colin
Powell, that the US should withdraw its tactical nuclear weapons from Europe and
South Korea. As a part of the preparations for the Gulf war he asked Powell for a
study on how small nuclear weapons might be used against Iraqi troops in the desert.
But Cheney always disagreed in a thoroughly agreeable fashion. In Congress,
where he had served for 10 years, he was thought of as a moderate even though
he had a hard-line conservative voting record. Bush senior's advisers respected
him for his intelligence, his ability to work quietly to build a consensus, and,
above all, his loyalty. In 1998 Cheney became one of Bush junior's foreign policy
advisers and, two years later, his running mate. The choice was unconventional,
but many, including his father's advisers, thought it useful to have Cheney, with
his knowledge of Washington and experience in international affairs, backing up
the insouciant Prince Hal of the family.
As Bush's senior adviser, Cheney exercised great influence over appointments.
Colin Powell had long been Bush's choice for secretary of state; Condoleezza Rice,
his tutor in such matters as the location of Kosovo, was his choice for national
security adviser. But after the election most of the other national security posts
remained to be filled. Eventually Bush chose Donald Rumsfeld, Cheney's
Washington mentor in the late 1970s and his friend for more than 30 years,
as defence secretary.
In the job for the second time, Rumsfeld took as his deputy Paul Wolfowitz, the
dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins, who had
last served in government as Cheney's undersecretary of defence for policy. In
February 1992 Wolfowitz and Zalmay Khalilzad of the NSC staff - currently a
member of Bush junior's NSC staff and his envoy to Afghanistan - completed a
project, initiated by Cheney two years before, to articulate America's political and
military mission in the post-cold war world. The document, a draft of what was
called a defence planning guidance, was leaked to the New York Times in early
March 1992. By the Times's account, the policy paper asserted that America's
mission was to ensure that no rival superpower emerged in any part of the world.
The United States could do this, it proposed, by convincing other advanced
industrialised countries that the US would defend their legitimate interests and
by maintaining sufficient military might. The United States, the document stated,
"must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even
aspiring to a larger regional or global role". It described Russia and China as
potential threats and warned that Germany, Japan and other industrial powers
might be tempted to rearm and acquire nuclear weapons if their security was
threatened, and this might start them on the way to competition with the
The authors of the document therefore recommended that the Pentagon take
measures, including the use of force, if necessary, to prevent the proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction in such countries as North Korea, Iraq and
some of the former Soviet republics.
The document made no mention of collective action through the UN, and while
acknowledging that military coalitions could be useful, it maintained, "we
should expect future coalitions to be ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting
beyond the crisis being confronted..." This was hardly Bush senior's view of
America's role in the world. The US was to dominate the globe and to deter
all competition, whatever it cost.
In his memoir My American Journey, published in 1995, Colin Powell recalls
that Cheney and Wolfowitz had made Bush senior's Pentagon policy staff "a
refuge for Reagan-era hardliners". In the Bush junior administration Rumsfeld
and Wolfowitz have done the same for the Pentagon's entire top civilian staff. To
Wolfowitz's former position they appointed Douglas Feith, who in the Reagan
administration had been a protégé of its leading hawk, Richard Perle. (Perle was
appointed chairman of the defence policy board, which advises the Pentagon.)
Out of office in the 1990s Feith had worked to stop the ratification of the chemical
weapons convention negotiated by Bush senior. In 1996 he and Perle wrote an
advisory paper for the new Likud prime minister of Israel, Benyamin Netanyahu,
calling upon him to "make a clean break" with the Oslo peace process and reassert
Israel's claim to the West Bank and Gaza. When Netanyahu did not oblige, Feith
published an article calling upon Israel to reoccupy the territories controlled by the
Palestinian Authority. "The price in blood would be high," he wrote, but it would be
a necessary form of "detoxification-the only way out of Oslo's web."
To Perle's old job as assistant secretary of defence for international security
Rumsfeld appointed JD Crouch, who had served in Bush senior's defence
department but who later opposed the chemical weapons convention and
criticised Bush senior's decision to withdraw tactical nuclear weapons from
South Korea. In 1995 Crouch, as a private citizen, had advocated a military
strike against North Korea's nuclear plants and missile facilities - apparently
accepting the risk of war on the Korean peninsula.
Colin Powell, for his part, brought into the state department some like-minded
internationalists, such as Richard Armitage and Richard Haas. But as
undersecretary for arms control and international affairs, the number three post
in the department, he had, at the insistence of Cheney, to appoint John R Bolton,
a protégé of Senator Jesse Helms and a self-proclaimed unilateralist. "There is no
such thing as the United Nations," Bolton said on one occasion. "There is an
international community that can be led by the only real power left in the world,
and that is the United States, when it suits our interests and when we can get
others to go along."
What had been a minority position in the first Bush administration had become a
majority position in the second. But then it had become a majority position in the
Republican party as well, and Bush junior had given voice to its basic elements
when he made his bid for the Republican nomination in 1999. In a major speech
on defence at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina - reportedly prepared with
the help of Wolfowitz - he said: "For America this is a time of unrivalled military
power, economic promise and cultural influence. It is in Franklin Roosevelt's words
'the peace of overwhelming victory'." Both in this speech and in a foreign policy
speech that same year Bush spoke of the virtues of democracy and free
enterprise but, unlike his father, made no mention of the rule of law.
What is most curious about these speeches is the combination of triumphalism
and almost unmitigated pessimism about the rest of the world. China was
becoming a "strategic competitor" and an "espionage threat to our country".
Russia, whose thousands of unsecured nuclear weapons presented the threat
of an accidental launch or nuclear theft, might revert to imperialism. That China
and Russia might get together was another dire possibility. "On the Eurasian
landmass," Bush junior said, "our vision is that no great power, or coalition of
powers, dominates or endangers our friends." In the Citadel speech his list of
threats included plutonium merchants, crime syndicates, car bombers,
cyberterrorists, drug cartels, biological, chemical, and nuclear terrorism, and
ICBMs in North Korea. In his inaugural address he said nothing about foreign
affairs but simply warned "the enemies of liberty" that the US would "meet
aggression and bad faith with resolve and strength."
On one occasion during the campaign Bush junior confessed that he really didn't
know who the enemy was. "When I was coming up, with what was a dangerous
world," he said, "we knew exactly who the 'they' were. It was us versus them,
and it was clear who the them were. Today we're not so sure who the they are,
but we know they're there." In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations this
February Cheney admitted that before September 11 he had been similarly
puzzled. "When America's great enemy suddenly disappeared," he said, "many
wondered what new direction our foreign policy would take. We spoke, as always,
of long-term problems and regional crises throughout the world, but there was no
single, immediate, global threat that any roomful of experts could agree upon."
He added, "All of that changed five months ago. The threat is known and our role
is clear now."
What Cheney was saying was that the main purpose of American foreign policy
was to confront an enemy -and that a worthy successor to the Soviet Union had
finally emerged, in the form of international terrorism.
A conservative thinktank report on US nuclear planning and arms control, issued
as the administration took office, argued that the United States faced an
unpredictable world, one potentially more dangerous than that of the cold war,
and that nuclear arms control treaties hindered America's flexibility to adapt its
nuclear forces to future threats. "Washington," they wrote, "cannot know today
whether Russia, or for that matter China, will be neutral, friend, foe, or part of a
hostile alliance in the future."
Implicit in the report is the assumption that the world is a Hobbesian place in
which national interests never coincide and where the security of the United
States can be assured only by unfettered autonomy and its ability to deploy
superior military force.
In January of this year the defence department completed its nuclear posture
review (NPR), a reappraisal of US nuclear policy, and when assistant defence
secretary JD Crouch briefed reporters on the still-classified document, it was
evident that the thinktank report had become the blueprint for the administration's
nuclear weapons policy. "We have a situation," Crouch said, "where the United
States may face multiple potential opponents, but we're not sure who they might
be." Leaked in part a couple of months later, the NPR made clear what the
Pentagon really meant by "strategic reductions": the warheads would be taken
off their launchers and some of both would be stored as a "responsive force"
that could be redeployed if necessary. "In the event that US relations with
Russia significantly worsen in the future, the US may need to revive its
nuclear force levels and posture," the NPR said.
In testimony to Congress on the strategic arms treaty this July Rumsfeld
spoke of the possibility of "the sudden emergence of a hostile peer competitor
on par with the old Soviet Union" and later said: "We are entering a period of
surprise and uncertainty, when the sudden emergence of unexpected threats
will be an increasingly common feature of our security environment." As if to
prove his point, he went on: "We were surprised on September 11 - and, let
there be no doubt, we will be surprised again."
Rumsfeld could hardly have made such an argument before September 11, for
if anything is certain in international affairs, it is that Russia, with an economy
smaller than that of the Netherlands, could not enter a Soviet-style strategic
arms race with the United States by 2012; nor could any other nuclear power or
combination of them. But now Rumsfeld deploys the argument to justify practically
everything he and his top officials want. In a recent article in foreign affairs he
called - among other things - for a defence for US space assets, an undersea
warfare capability, and missile defences. "Our challenge," he wrote, "is to defend
our nation against the unknown, the uncertain, the unseen, and the unexpected."
In mid-March the vice-president Dick Cheney travelled to the Middle East to elicit
support for a US campaign to end the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. US
forces were still engaged in Afghanistan and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had
become more violent than ever. The Arab leaders Cheney visited told him that,
under current circumstances, a US attack on Iraq would be seen as a war between
the West and Islam and, in view of Arab sympathies with the Palestinians, they
could endorse it only at the price of destabilising their own regimes. Two weeks
later, at an Arab League meeting in Beirut, Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
and other leaders declared that an attack on Iraq would be a threat to the national
security of all Arab states. At the same time they proposed a peace plan that - for
the first time - included a full normalisation of Arab relations with Israel. Abdullah
told Bush he would put pressure on Arafat if Bush put pressure on Sharon to
work toward an agreement.
Colin Powell considered the Saudi offer encouraging, and Bush endorsed it in a
speech on April 4. Other officials, however, disagreed, and when Powell went to
the Middle East at the president's request, Sharon ignored him. In the internal
debate that followed within the administration, Cheney and Rumsfeld argued,
as they had before, that the US had to be consistent in fighting terrorism. It
followed that the administration should support Sharon, just as it had been
doing since Bush took office.
The president and other officials have repeatedly said that Saddam Hussein
must go because he has links to terrorism and because he is developing
weapons of mass destruction. But they have not yet clearly explained why
they give the Iraqi regime priority over all the other threats to US national
security. On the one hand, they have not shown that al-Qaida depends in any
significant way on Saddam Hussein. On the other hand, a part of their rationale
for maintaining a large nuclear force is that it deters states like Iraq from using
their most lethal weapons. The result is that more than a few people in this
country have the fanciful notion that the whole thing has something to do with
Bush's relationship to his father.
RhetoricBush has made no connection between his planning for an attack on Iraq and his
withdrawal from the Middle East peace process - except to say that "moral clarity"
requires an attack on terror in all of its forms. In Bush's rhetoric Saddam Hussein
is a direct threat to the United States. However, for years before the Bush
administration took office Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were calling for his overthrow
on the grounds that he posed a danger to the region, and in particular to Israel.
In a panel discussion at the Washington Institute in June 1999 Wolfowitz made
his view about Iraq's connection to the peace process somewhat clearer. Bush
senior's invasion of Iraq, he said, had not only averted the real possibility of a
nuclear war between Iraq and Israel but "Yasser Arafat was forced to make peace
once radical alternatives [he could turn to] like Iraq had disappeared." Currently,
he continued, "the containment of Iraq is failing. The United States needs to
accelerate Saddam's demise if it truly wants to help the peace process."
The debate on Iraq has only begun. In congressional hearings experts from
outside the government have raised the possibility that a war would lead to a
Palestinian revolt in Jordan and uprisings elsewhere in the Middle East, as well
as oil shortages and terrorist attacks on Americans. Other experts have warned
that if the US manages to unseat Saddam Hussein, US forces will have to stay
in Iraq for years. At some point Bush will have to explain not just why Saddam
Hussein is evil but what he envisions for the future of Iraq and the rest of the Middle
East. If Bush really thinks that a war in Iraq at this point will help Israel and further
other US strategic objectives in the region, he must make a detailed case.
He should also tell us about the risks.
A longer version of this article appeared in the New York Review of Books. Copyright © 2002 NYRev
Frances FitzGerald is author of Way Out There in the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars and the End of the Cold War. Her most recent book is Vietnam: Spirits of the Earth.
> Rebellion: Who Rules the World?
James Petras - May 14, 2002
A lot of superficial books and articles have been written about "globalization",
"global corporations" and "empire" without the least notion of the real structure
of power. An analysis of a recent survey by the Financial Times (supplement
May 10, 2002) of the 500 largest companies in the world based on value,
country and sector puts an end to the debate about empire globalization or
imperialism. The nation-state in this case the imperial states are not
disappearing but are central to understanding the centers of economic and
Almost 48% the largest companies and banks in the world are US and 30% are
from the European Union, only 10% are Japanese. In other word, almost 90%
of the biggest corporations who dominate industry, banking, trade are US,
European of Japanese. Economic power is in these 3 geographic economic
units - not in some meaningless concepts like "empire" without imperialism or
"de-territorialized" multi-national corporations. Within this imperial system, US
imperial economic power is still dominant. If we examine key economic sectors
this becomes abundantly clear. Five of the top ten banks are US, six of the top
ten pharmaceutical/biotech companies, four of the top ten telecommunications
companies, seven of the top information technology companies, four of the top
gas and oil companies, nine out of the top ten software companies, four of the
top ten insurance companies and nine of the top ten general retail companies.
Only in the insurance sector does the European Union have greater proportion
of the top ten than the US (a 5 to 4 margin). US imperial power is diversified
across various economic sectors, but particularly the dominant force in finance,
pharmaceutical and biotech, information and software and retail trade. In other
words, giant US companies have a powerful network of control over the major
sectors of the "new economy" , finance and trade. The concentration of US
economic power is even more evident if we look at the top ten companies in the
world: 90% are US owned; of the top 25, 72% are US owned; of the top 50, 70%
are US and of the top 100, 57% are US owned. Within the inner circle of the
biggest companies, the US has an overwhelming presence and dominance.
Africa and Latin America are absent from the list. And the so-called Asian Tigers
have 3 companies among the top 500, less than 1%. The policy implications of this
concentration of power are important. No Third World country can afford to
"liberalize" its markets because the US-European bloc will immediately seize
control because of their superior resources. The liberal argument that free trade
will increase the "competitiveness" of third world economies is false, since there
is such a lopsided concentration of economic power in the US and European
companies. Secondly, the concentration of power is not merely a product of
efficiency,management and knowhow but a direct result of US and European
state policies. For example, the US Congress has just approved (May 2002) a
$182.28 bill subsidy for US agro-business over the next decade, making a joke
of Washington's "free trade" proposals. The implications for Third World
policymakers is clear: they must protect and subsidize their public or private
producers in order to gain a share of markets, at home or abroad - just as the
leading imperial powers practice.
The concentration of world economy power in the US and to a lesser degree
European Union companies and banks means that world markets are not
competitive but in large part shaped by the US and EU monopolies which
dominate them. Financial flows, pharmaceuticals, software and insurance are
shaped by the top ten US and EU companies. World markets are divided up
among the 238 leading US and 153 European companies and banks - this
concentration of power is what defines the imperial nature of the world economy,
together with the markets they control, the raw materials they pillage (80% of
the leading oil and gas companies are US and EU owned) and labor they exploit.
The anti-globalization movement's pursuit of "another world is possible" must
confront this monopolization or economic power and the imperial states which
defend it. The only way to democratize globalization is to socialize these giant
monopolies wherever they operate or face economic pressure and threats to
undermine local economies.
The imperial states, particularly the US, has a serious problem in sustaining its
empire for several reasons. The military cost , the US military budget has risen
almost 20% for 2002/3, and the tax cuts of the rich which stimulate overseas
investments, have led to a serious budget deficit and greater cuts in social
spending, threatening fiscal and political stability. More important the power and
economic concentration of US companies and banks has been based on
overseas investments, profits and re-exports to the US via subsidiaries. The
result is the growing overseas economic empire has savaged the US balance of
payments - the US has a trade deficit this year approaching the unsustainable
level of one-half trillion dollars ($400-500 billion).
The US economy depends essentially on a massive flow of funds from overseas
investors to sustain its external deficit. In other words, as empire grows, the
'republic' goes into deeper crises, stripped of its competitive enterprises and
unable to limit its consumer imports. This contradiction cannot be easily
resolved, because the political leadership is totally committed to empire
building and the only concession it can make to the domestic economy is
greater subsidies and greater protection - which in turn increases tension
and conflicts with its imperial competitors in Europe and its client export
regimes in the Third World.
The Bush Administration's resolution of this contradiction of imperial growth
and domestic decay is to conquer overseas countries with vital resources.
Washington's move into the Caspian Sea oil producing countries, its plans to
invade Iraq, are part of the plan to extract wealth which can be transferred back
to the US to finance its deficits. The Latin American Free Trade Agreement is
an integral part of this strategy: by monopolizing Latin American markets the
US can lower its trade deficits and capture lucrative financial and trade sectors.
Plan Washington-Puebla-Panama is the proto-type of new imperial strategy of
increasing US exports directly to Mexico, while US owned or sub-contracted
maquiladoras move cheaper labor markets to China, Vietnam and India. While
it is clear that US imperial control over the world economy is still a reality, it is
also clear that power is based on fragile foundations and a highly polarized global
order. The emergence of mass anti-capitalist movements and a run against the
dollar could lead to the fall of the empire
> Down the Same Road: War in Korea, War in Iraq
Reporter I.F. Stone had trouble in 1952 finding a publisher for his book,
»The Hidden History of the Korean War«. No wonder: it told the truth about the
origins and conduct of that war. And the book has a dreadful contemporary
Lies came first then and have reappeared now. Far from being a surprise attack
at Stalin s order, the North Korean invasion, according to Stone, had been
anticipated by U.S. and South Korean military leaders. They knew about North
Korean troops massed at the parallel, but kept the news quiet and took no
military precautions. The South Koreans had been attacking across the border,
behavior that in the context of a civil war must have been regarded by the North
Koreans as provocative.
The lie now is that the autocratic ruler of Iraq may have connections with the
terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and if not, will surely someday let loose
on his own. But who can discount the importance for Washington of oil? (See, for
example: Washington Post, September 15, 2002.) The habit of ushering in wars
with lies is hard to shake: for example, the Tonkin Gulf affair before the Vietnam
War, the alleged surprise of Pearl Harbor in 1941, and "Remember the Maine",
The timing of a war s beginning may provide a lead as to its purpose. Stone
reports that prior to June 25, 1950 the Truman administration was turning away
from defending Taiwan against Communist China. In response, John Foster
Dulles, a State Department advisor and a no- holds -barred anti communist,
joined forces with General MacArthur and the China Lobby, and the result was a
North Korean invasion. All at once the U.S. government took Taiwan under its wing,
Syngman Rhee, the autocratic South Korean ruler, gained respectability, and
the policy of containment became a reality. Korea had been the pawn.
As wars progress, military leaders may find openings through which they
assume some prerogatives of civilian leadership. MacArthur is seen blocking
peace efforts with staged offensive actions and exaggerated estimates of
opposing Chinese forces. He moved into the realm of preventive war by sending
U.S. forces to the Yalu, and bombing Chinese and Russian targets. MacArthur
is alleged to have made it easy for communist forces to drive U.N forces back to
the 38th parallel.
Whether or not military based decision making will gain ascendancy now - or
already has - is uncertain, but the drumbeat for pre-emptive strikes is an
ominous sign. Harking back to some reflections by diplomatic historian George
Kennan, Stone outlines a process by which the Korean War might have been
planned and prosecuted. Kennan was describing how a U.S. war in the Caribbean
had been extended to the Philippines in 1898. Such a scenario may well apply
now to war with Iraq,
"The action of the United States government had been determined primarily on
the basis of a very able and very quiet intrigue by a few strategically placed
persons in Washington, an intrigue which received absolution, forgiveness, and
a sort of public blessing by virtue of war hysteria".
The Korean War took command of domestic politics. The draft was reborn, and
support for social programs gave way to spending for rearmament (Dowd quotes
Winston Churchill: "I d never heard of the bloody place until I was seventy four.
Its importance lies in the fact that it has led to the re-arming of America."
Monthly Review, April 1997.) It became inter-twined with a rabid form of
The Truman administration found that to gain a hearing for its mildly populist
Fair Deal, it had first to fend off charges of "soft on communism". In fact, its
prosecution of the Korean War served as an antidote to red baiting. Stone
reports that its reaction to peace breaking out on November 28, 1951, the day
the shooting stopped, was one of fear and uncertainty.
Then and now, war means massive military spending, restrictions on individual
liberties, inhibitions on criticism, and a lowered priority for programs favoring
social justice. As long as the Soviet Union still existed, and long after the
Korean War was over, Washington flaunted the threat of a red menace to gain
acceptance for such sacrifices. From now on, the specter of terrorism, brought
close by means of another war on the horizon, will be filling that role.
I. F. Stone quotes General Van Fleet: "Korea has been a blessing. There had to
be a Korea here or someplace in the world".
A blessing, yes: almost 4 million people died ; the total population was 30 million.
They were referred to as "gooks". (One recalls W.E.B. Du Bois: "For the problem
of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.") 34,000 U.S. troops died. "The
U.S. Navy shelled the 'coastal city of Wonsan twenty four hours a day uninterruptedly
for 861 days'. Napalm 'was being dropped ceaselessly on villages throughout the
North for three years' leaving nothing of life behind" (Dowd) . U.N. troops murdered
tens of thousands of civilians. The Rhee regime tortured and executed vast numbers
of suspected communists.
It is called the "forgotten war". But we remember it through I.F. Stone. His
kindred spirits are already preparing a place in our historical memory for the
> URGENT: Senate filibuster being organized on Bush war resolution, 10-2
Sen. Robert Byrd is considering a filibuster against the war resolution of the
Administration. His office is taking a poll on whether he should do this. Please
call Sen. Byrd (1-800-839-5276) and ask him to filibuster the war resolution.
Please also call your U.S. Senator and ask them to support a filibuster. You
may use the same 800 number.
We need to swamp these offices to urge them on. A filibuster may be the only
impediment to the war plans and it may spark demonstrations of support in DC
and around the country. Finally please circulate this to others so that it can be
Sacramento-Yolo Peace Action
909 12th St., # 118
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 448-7157 phone (916) 448-7159 fax
STOP THE WAR Information www.puntosdevista.cafeprogressive.com/photo4.html
A project of the Peace & Justice Education Projectin Albuquerque and
Santa Fe, New Mexico
09 WORKERS POWER GLOBAL WEEK 6 October 2002
von: NEWSWIRE <email@example.com>
>>>WORKERS POWER GLOBAL WEEK
E-newswire of the LRCI
6 October 2002
>>>>WELCOME TO ISSUE #113
Workers Power Global Week is the English language e-newsletter of the LRCI.
To unsubscribe go to: http://www.workerspower.com/wpglobal/newsform.html
Please forward this to a comrade.
>>BRAZIL: VOTE FOR WORKERS PARTY CANDIDATES
>>FRANCE: WORKERS STRIKE AGAINST PRIVATISATIONS
>>ARGENTINA: SCABS ATTACK ZANON OCCUPATION BUT ARE REPULSED
>>SLOVAKIA: ELECTIONS PUSH COUNTRY NEARER TO EUROPEAN UNION
>>AUSTRIA: SPÖ GAINS GROUND IN THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN
>>AUSTRALIA: SYDNEY SOCIAL FORUM DEBATES ANTI-WAR WORK
>>BRAZIL: VOTE FOR WORKERS PARTY CANDIDATES
Workers Power Global, London
Luis Inacio da Silva;'s (Lula) last campaign rally before the vote on 6 October was
held before the industrial workers of Sao Paolo, where, as a metal worker and
union leader, he led a series of illegal strikes 25 years ago.
Walter Geronimo, a worker at the Ford assembly plant said: "If he wins, we'll have
one of us in Brazilia. We will recover many of the conquests we have lost in
Geraldo Bras, a welder at the Volkswagen plant, echoed the illusions in the
Workers Party leader. "Lula is the only hope for the poor because he was once
poor himself," he said.
At the same rally, according the Financial Times, while the mass ranks of workers
hung on Lula's every word, when he introduced his running mate and textile
millionaire Jose Alencar, the crowd greeted the vice-presidential candidate with
This scene perfectly expresses the illusions the mass of workers have in Lula
and the PT and the distrust and hostility towards his openly bourgeois minder.
Revolutionaries who want to break workers' attachment to the PT need a tactic
in this election grounded in this reality.
Despite its reformist degeneration the PT has retained the loyalty of the mass
of workers and landless labourers who desire socialist change in Brazil - the
vast majority of the Brazilian vanguard. After a series of setbacks in the 1990s
the party made an important surge forward in the municipal elections of 2001.
It controls six state capitals, has mayors in 187 cities and is in power in 17
major municipalities. It controls much of the huge industrial belt around Sao
Paulo and is estimated to have 600,000 members. It is supported by the CUT,
the major TU federation, and is closely associated with the MST, the powerful
landless labourers movement. Despite the expulsions of the 1990s it is still
possible for the left to organise openly within the party, and the PT has a
number of organised tendencies.
Tens of millions of organised and unorganised workers will vote for Lula and for
real change. The masses, faced with an accelerating crisis, will expect the PT
to deliver a better life. The unions will expect more jobs and an end to poverty
wages, the landless movement the MST is already demanding an immediate
radical redistribution of land, the masses of the favelas will expect improvements
in housing, health and education.
All will expect a PT government to stand up to the IMF and Washington and to
defend their interests. This is what the international banks and investors are really
worried about will the PT be their reliable agent or will it be driven by its mass
base to take actions against them?
Whether the millions of PT supporters impose their will on the government will
depend both on the depth of the crisis and the leadership they are given in the
struggle to combat it. Immediately militants in the PT should fight for the
leadership to break its alliance with Alencar and ally themselves instead with
the unions, the MST and other workers' organisations.
But in opposition the PT leadership can continue to pose as the champion of
the poor and the landless. As revolutionaries fight to put the PT to the test of
office so as to more easily break workers illusions in it. Wherever it is possible
in the congressional/state elections we argue that workers should vote for PT
candidates but not for candidates of the Liberal Party (PL) with which it is in
alliance, even if this invalidates the ballot.
In the Presidential election we advocate crossing off the name of Vice-Presidential
candidate Jose Alencar of the PL. Our aim is to indicate that militant workers
and revolutionaries should vote for Lula to put him to the test of office but on no
account should we vote for a bourgeois candidate or party.
We demand that Lula break with the bourgeoisie and carry out the demands of
the militant rank and file of the PT, MST and CUT: to repudiate the debt paid
already many times over to the imperialist banks through crippling interest rates;
to initiate a massive redistribution of land, legalise current land occupations,
and renationalise all privatised companies.
We do this in the context of fighting for a revolutionary action programme to
mobilise the workers in struggle with the PT/CUT/MST leaders when they
fight, without them when they retreat. Such a programme has to have answers
to mass unemployment, the appalling lack of housing, the poor education,
non-existent health and sanitary services in the shanty towns.
To provide these basic services demands an emergency plan of public works
financed by the government training and employing tens of thousands of
workers at a living wage set by the trade unions and under the democratic
control of the workers and communities.
To meet the basic needs of the working class a decent minimum wage,
unemployment benefit, a free health service etc - demands that the government
introduces steep progressive taxation and a large wealth tax on the super rich
of Brazil one of the most grossly unequal societies in the world.
To provide the resources for and control of such a programme all the basic
utilities electricity, water, gas/oil, transport etc needs to be brought back
under state ownership renationalised without compensation and placed
under to control of the workers and users.
The same should happen to any firm trying to reduce output or make its workers
redundant. The growing numbers of landless and impoverished small farmers
needs to be addressed by the expropriation of the large landowners and the
redistribution of land to the landless. Through the provision of cheap credit,
machinery and fertilisers to the small farmers and the organisation of
co-operatives backed by the government.
Such measures would only be the start of a real transformation of Brazil. Even
then they would provoke an immediate reaction from the international capitalists
and their agents in Brazil. The workers would face financial crises, investment
strikes, mass closures, international blockades and mobilisations by the
employers against a government that dared take such measures.
Only a revolutionary workers' government, one prepared to rely on, and arm the
masses, one determined to destroy the very system of capitalism that
condemns the mass of Brazilians to poverty could hope to defeat such an
FOR MORE ON BRAZIL AND THE IMF SEE:
FOR MORE ON TH EPT SEE:
>>FRANCE: WORKERS STRIKE AGAINST PRIVATISATIONS
Workers Power Global, Paris
Five months after the election victory of the Union pour la Majorité Présidentielle,
the new right wing party created by Jacques Chirac, 3 October was the first
test of the degree of combativity of the French working class.
Faced with a new wave of attacks against the public sector, including the project
of privatising EDF-GDF, the public energy service, Air France and maybe later
La Poste and the SNCF (railway), the union bureaucrats had for q long time
prepared a «day of action» of the energy workers.
With the participation of 60, 000 to 80, 000 workers on a Paris march mainly
from the highly unionized labour aristocracy of the EDF-GDF, but also with a
significant contingent from Air France the demo has shown without doubt
that the workers are far from being demoralized after the double electoral
defeat of the Gauche Plurielle (plural left).
They are ready to fight back against the government's attacks. The main slogan
was «No to the privatisation of EDF-GDF» and for the defence of the pension
scheme of these workers.
The percentage of EDF-GDF strikers has been high, 80 per cent on average,
well over 90 per cent in many plants. These have been prepared by the rank and
file with well attended assemblies in the work places; the response has been so
enthusiastic that the many buses and the tens of special trains were quickly filled.
This shows a radical change away from the neo-liberal credo. Jospin's «left wing»
government could privatize without any problem not only because the union
bureaucrats were on his side. For instance, in the case of France Telecom, many
workers really believed they could gain in the process and bought shares of their
Now, these shares are worth close to nothing. The California electricty black-out
affair and more recently the near bankruptcy of British Energy shows to the
masses that privatisation is not a magic solution.
Moreover, the private sector workers in France are confronted with a series of
mass redundancy plans which show to the public sector what would be their
fate once privatised. In short, with the looming recession, the attitude of the
rank and file worker has changed and they are determined to defend their gains.
The reaction of the government has been very low-keyed and hypocritical. The
government speaker claimed that «the government has received the message
by the workers» and that «it agreed entirely with them».
The fact is that the nights of President Jacques Chirac and of his Prime Minister
Jean-Pierre Raffarin are far from relaxed. Both are haunted by the spirit of the
radical December 1995 strike wave, which paralysed the whole country for
several weeks, weakened the Juppé government and in the end led Chirac to
the ill-fated early dissolution of the parliament.
The tactic of the government is to try and avoid an all-out attack by taking on
one sector at a time and waiting until next year before opening the explosive
issue of pensions. In the meantime it has been very active on the question of
security. Under the pretext of the security, the minister of the interior Nicolas
Sarkozy is actively criminalising youth, immigrants (he promised to close the
Sangatte center next year), prostitutes, Romas but also any kind of political
activists, like José Bové and other militant trade unionists. He clearly tries to
appeal to the typical Le Pen supporter.
So, will the government be able to carry out its plan or will the class struggle
erupt again as in 1995 leading to a new hot automn? This certainly depends
on the economic situation (will it have the time to delay the various attacks ?)
and on the possibility of spontaneous mass reactions against blatant
provocations by the government.
However, the government has a powerful ally. The trade union bureaucrats
have decided to stick to their usual tactics of separate «days of action».
October 17 for the teachers, November 26 for the railway and so on. After
each one day strike they can confortably sit again at the negotiation table
without any rank and file control.
In the meantime the socialist and communist party are still reeeling from their
defeat and are paralized by factional struggles. Neither Lutte Ouvrière nor the
Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire, the two main centrists groups, offer any
clue on how to organise the workers fightback.
The French workers need to organise themselves at the rank and file level to
mount a coordinate fight not only against privatisation but also to defend the
rights of the most oppressed sectors of the working class youth and
immigrants. While their record of courage and combativity is outstanding,
they need a revolutionary party to unite the different sectors under attack
and break from the ingrained reformism and passivity of their leaders.
FOR MORE ON FRANCE, THE FRENCH ELECTIONS SEE:
>>ARGENTINA: SCABS ATTACK ZANON OCCUPATION BUT ARE REPULSED
Workers Power Global, Vienna
The heroic struggle of the ceramic workers of Zanon in Argentina is at a
turning point. For one year they have occupied the factory after the owner
wanted to let the factory go bankrupt. For one year they have shown that
workers can run the production themselves. Consequently they are an
inspiration for many other workers faced with the bankruptcy of their factory.
But on Thursday, 3 October, the owner made a serious attempt to crush the
occupation and to expel the workers from their workplaces. He assigned
Oscar Montes former General secretary of the ceramic workers union,
which is part of the CGT Moyano to organise a group of several dozens
"barrabravas" (paid hooligans) of the football club Cipolletti and some
ex-ceramic worker, many of them drunk.
While at that time most of the ceramic worker were at a demonstration in
Neuquen they attacked the occupied factory with sticks and stones. Several
workers were injured and many factory materials damaged.
The remaining workers defended themselves as well as possible and later
the bulk of the strikers came back. A massive wave of solidarity action
erupted: hundreds of activists of the regional unemployment movement MTD
marched to the factory and blocked the provincial highway No. 7. Trade
unions, human right groups and popular assemblies declared their solidarity.
Given this massive solidarity the leadership of the biggest union federation
in the province, the CTA, was forced to call a solidarity strike for Monday
7 October. In addition it called its members to remain "on alert" because
of the possibility that an attempt to end the occupation is possible.
Even the provincial deputies of the Alliance, the Party Intransigente and ARI,
and the Socialist Party visited the factory on Thursday and expressed their
concerns about the policy of the owner.
Raul Godoy, general secretary of the ceramic worker union and a member
of the Trotskyist Workers Party for Socialism (PTS), denounced thae fact
that "the company paid these barrabravas so that they could generate a
conflict at the gates of the ceramic plant and to justify the expulsion of the
workers by this".
Admittedly the barrabravas of Oscar Montes did their best to discredit their
own cause. Not only did they attack the factory during a press conference
of the Zanon workers, they even managed to threaten a group of journalists
coming to them and attacked one of them, the journalist Wálter Perez.
As a consequence all journalists boycotted the press conference of
This wave of solidarity from many sectors of the working class has put the
scabs onto the defensive. Even the CGT Neuquen had to distance itself
from the actions of its members. Neuquen's regional governor Jorge Sobisch,
who is clearly on the side of the Zanon owner, claimed to be above the
conflicting parties and offered his services as an arbiter. As a result the
scab leader retreated claiming "we are not violent but we are nervous".
Today the scabs retreated from the gates of the factory and the Zanon
workers supported by the solidarity actions of the Neuquen working
class have repulsed this attack. Solidarity has won!
But the struggle continues; the capitalists and their friend in the government
will continue to try to kick them out. National and international solidarity is
decisive! The final solution can only be to finish off the system of capitalist
ownership which puts profit before human lives!
Long live the struggle of the Zanon workers!
FOR MORE ON THE EREVOLUTIONARY CRISIS IN ARGENTINA SEE:
For more information look at the PTS website:
For photos look at the Indymedia Argentina website:
>>SLOVAKIA: ELECTIONS PUSH COUNTRY NEARER TO EUROPEAN UNION
Workers Power Global, Prague
Recent parliamentary elections in Slovakia said a lot about the state of the
country and its labour movement. International observers have concentrated
on the battle between pro-western parties and nationalists led by ex-premier
NATO leaders have made it clear to the Slovak voters that if they choose
Meciar they will not be allowed to join this military pact.
However, Meciar and his party, HZDS (Movement for Democratic Slovakia),
themselves have swapped sides on the issue. They decided to respect
reality; that Slovak capitalism has no future other than within EU and NATO
or it will suffer isolation and further economic decline. So Meciar declared
himself a supporter of NATO and EU.
However he is not a reliable partner for Western imperialists with his mafia-like
past. Before the election HZDS suffered a split of some of the closest of
Meciar's collaborators. HZDS got 18 per cent but in fact lost as there was
no partner to form a coalition with.
Its potential far-right coalition partner SNS (fascist front Slovak National Party)
has split into two parties; both the "moderate" wing of Malikova and radical
wing of Slota scored 2-3 per cent.
The result (on a 70 per cent turnout) was marked by the unexpected success
of the current prime minister Dzurinda and his Christian Democratic SDKU
(15 per cent). This camp includes the SMK (Hungarian Coalition Party, 12 per cent),
KDH (Christian Democratic Movement, 9 per cent) and ANO (Alliance of New
Citizen, 8 per cent); the moralist-populist party of private media boss Rusko.
Particularly, the SDKU received many more votes than expected.
Among the new parties expected to do well was one formed around a new
caudillo was SMER (Direction Party) led by an ex-MP of the SDL (Party of
Democratic Left, transformed CP) Robert Fico.
But an expensive and professionally run campaign by this populist party only
brought bring them 13 per cent. Slovak voters seemed to be afraid of bringing
to power a little Meciar as he was branded by many in the media.
This result might not be such a surprise. It reflects the changes during
Dzurinda's first term which changed the relationship of forces between
domestic crony capital and foreign MNCs investment in favour of the latter.
Also workers and the poor saw entry into the EU as a better choice because
for many it appears as the only chance they have to get a job in a country
where 20 per cent are unemployed or to work abroad now mostly in the
Czech Republic and Austria. This reflects also the fact that the Left has
not offered any other alternative.
In fact this election was a disaster for the Left. The SDL has collapsed since
1998 from 15 per cent to some 2 per cent. No wonder, since the SDL finance
minister Brigita Schmogerova (nickmaned "Brutal Brigita") was the main
prosecutor of the neo-liberal agenda of Dzurinda's government.
Peter Weiss who lead the transformation of the CP in 1989-90 has split from
the SDL and created the SDA (Social Democratic Alternative) which combined
a Blairite Third Way campaign with an appeal to youth on issues such as
anti-militarism, tolerance of soft drugs and anti-fascism. Still, the SDA scored
less than 3 per cent.
Both parties lost or did not build their base in the working class and trade union
The only "left" party entering the newly elected parliament is KSS (Slovak
Communist Party). It is a hard-line Stalinist dinosaur party but with the appalling
social conditions and mass unemployment up to 30-50 per cent in many places
in the east of the country it was able to attract 6 per cent of the vote. The KSS
message was that "under our rule things were better for Slovakia".
Comrades of the Revolutionary Workers League (ZRSo), sympathising group of
the LRCI in Slovakia, has however noticed the KSS building its base among
workers of the most depressed Slovak east while the SDL is loosing its working
class base. ZRSo called for a critical vote for KSS to unite with their working
class base but at the same time to expose the inadequacy of the KSS
Stalinist/reformist programme and its tendency to ally with national sections
of sthe ruling class.
The working class in Slovakia is greatly weakened by extremely high
unemployment and divisions along national and regional lines. What Slovak
workers need is a multi-national workers party uniting Hungarian, Roma and
Slovak workers, employed and unemployed, workers of the capital and
provinces, of the Slovak west and east into single mighty social and political force.
This in fact cannot be achieved by various reformist attempts to build a Labour
party on a broad political basis. Actually reformism is inherently linked with
nationalism and sectionalism which is the chief obstacle for establishing
workers' unity in Slovakia.
Only a revolutionary workers' party can achieve this goal and that is what the
ZRSo is trying to achieve an organisation built on the solid basis of
revolutionary programme and capable of forging such workers' party
committed to revolution.
FOR MOREON SLOVAKIA SEE:
>>AUSTRIA: SPÖ GAINS GROUND IN THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN
Workers Power Global, Vienna
In the last issue we reported about the crisis of Haider's party, the FPÖ which
led to the collapse of the right-wing government and new elections called for 24
While this crisis of the FPÖ after nearly 16 years of an uninterrupted growth
and the implosion of the government obviously gives all workers and
anti-government activists cause for joy, we have also to see the difficulties
and problems of the workers' movement.
True, the background of the FPÖ's crisis is its massive loss of popular support
as a result of its neo-liberal record when it promised to carry out social-populist
promises before the last elections. It is no surprise if the new FPÖ leader
Reichhold announces as his electoral goal to achieve 15 per cent of the vote -
when the party got 27 per cent three years ago!
It is also true that in the summer there was an important strike of the public
sector postal bus service workers and there were also growing tensions
between the government and the public sector union GÖD and the teachers
And we should also not forget to mention that still after two-and-a-half years
hundreds of activists of the anti-government movement march every Thursday
through the city of Vienna.
Nevertheless, the collapse of the government was not the direct result of an
upswing of the class struggle against it but rather due to its inner division and
The social democratic party, SPÖ, did its best to save the government from an
early downfall. It reduced its opposition to purely parliamentary initiatives and
half-hearted support for Volksbegehren. (Volksbegehren: in Austria a
party/organisation/initiative can organise a mass petition where for one week
everyone who has the right to vote can sign a petition. When it receives more
than 100,000 signatures it has to be debated in the parliament. However it has
no binding power.)
There were two important Volksbegehren this year: in defence of the welfare
system and against the government plan to buy 24 new air force fighters. The
Austrian section of the LRCI critically supported these initiatives while pointing
out that only mass strike actions have the necessary strength to stop the
Similarly the trade union bureaucracy focused its "resistance " against the
austerity policy of the government to appeals to the high court and support
for Volksbegehren. The important strike of the postal bus service workers was
the initiative of this sector and the central bureaucracy hesitated before
The main danger in the present situation is that the bureaucracy will feel rather
confirmed in their orientation of peaceful co-existence with the reactionary
government and waiting for its implosion instead of supporting mass resistance
on the street and in the enterprises.
However, given the lack of any revolutionary mass workers' party or even
significant left-reformist force (the CP usually gets 0.5% at the national elections)
the SPÖ succeeded in winning back support in the working class after its historic
low at the last elections in 1999 where it received pathetic 33 per cent.
At the local Viennese elections last year it impressively gained 7.7 per cent and
got 46.8% of all votes enough to regain the absolute majority of the city deputies.
Many workers who demoralised and disillusioned from decades of SPÖ in the
government voted last time for Haider switched back to the SPÖ.
It is unclear how much the SPÖ is capable of winning back workers' support.
Nevertheless, there is no doubt that it is still the only mass party with historic and
organic links with the workers' movement. It still controls the unions in fact the
social democrats succeeded in increasing their majority in nearly all elections
inside the unions since the right-wing government took power.
The SPÖ is therefore a bourgeois workers' party a party controlled by a
bureaucracy which serves the capitalists and which is structurally linked to their
system but whose main social base is the working class and which is linked
with the workers' movement.
These links are also reflected in the fact that the party bureaucracy has to
undertake an election campaign were it presents itself as the voice of the workers,
youth and old people. They put in the forefront of their campaign:
* the defence of the health system where they promise to repeal some laws which
the government introduced.
* the defence of pensioners' interests
* the defence of education where they promise to abolish the university fees also
introduced by the government.
ArbeiterInnenstandpunkt the Austrian section of the LRCI therefore calls for a
critical vote for the SPÖ. We have no illusions in the party and we warn workers
that the bureaucracy will betray them as they did in the past.
However we see the necessity to have a dialogue with the mass of the class
consciousness workers who still have illusions in this party as their representative
or at least as the lesser evil. We call workers to put pressure on the SPÖ to
implement their electoral promises and to organise the fight for it in the enterprises
and on the streets. We combine this with call to break politically with the SPÖ
and to build a revolutionary workers' party.FOR MORE ON AUSTRIA SEE:
>>AUSTRALIA: SYDNEY SOCIAL FORUM DEBATES ANTI-WAR WORK
Workers Power Global, Melbourne
The Social Forum movement has spread as far as Australia. 400 people attended
the first Sydney Social Forum over the weekend of September 20-22.
The Forum happened in the midst of US preparations for a new war on Iraq and
also with the knowledge that the WTO organisation will be having a small
meeting in Sydney in November.
Discussions ranged across the spectrum of leftist politics, with the plenaries
focusing on war, racism and alternative visions to the WTO.
Though there were nearly forty different groups signed up as part of the Forum,
it was clearly dominated by those already organized in either far left groups or
existing campaigns around the war, refugees or the WTO.
The organizers decided to operate an "open space" model for the Forum.
Obviously to try and draw in more of the anarchist/autonomous influenced
activists in Sydney.
But "open space" models can lead to a high level of disorganization. With any
participant free to hold any workshop, at any time, there may be a high level of
seeming democracy but it certainly lessened participation in the plenaries and
also in the effectiveness of discussions for the way forward in areas like the
There has already been a similar Social Forum in Brisbane and participants
were keen to spread the idea wider in Australia and to hold a similar forum
next year in Sydney.
For the Sydney left, it was a positive opportunity to sit down and talk and
organize together. In Sydney there are three organising committees planning
protest against the war, three organising against the WTO and at least two
organising on refugee issues. Not to mention all the specific refugee groups
like Labor for Refugees, Rural Australians for Refugees and Chilout (Children
out of Detention).
The Social Forum meant a time for some of those organisationally disperate
forces to come together, but it seems unlikely to be able to solve the overall
problem of lack of coordination, at least in the short term.
In fact despite a lot of talking there were not many action proposals coming
out of the Social Forum. There was discussion about how to organize a joint
conference on refugee rights a positive national initiative. But not a lot else
beyond an agreement that people do want to change the world.
This is symptomatic of the Social Forum movement generally. It is the most
conservative wing of the anti-capitalist movement internationally because it is
the wing that has the greatest participation by NGOs and those who believe
there may be a solution available by reforming the system rather than
dumping it altogether.
Though theres certainly nothing wrong with people getting together, sharing
information and educating one another about the issues: its coordinated
action that we need.
Naomi Klein says it is a movement of one No and several Yes's thats all
very well, but it has also become an excuse for plurality in a time when
decisive action is whats needed.
Whatever the perceived value of the diversity within the Social Forum
movement, ultimately we have to be able to say clearly that there is a way
forward and its not through individual life changes, not through permaculture,
yoga the Tobin tax or being nice to other species.
Its forging real unity between the young activists of the anti-capitalist
movement and the militant working class.
At the Sydney Social Forum, it was the workshops on union issues that were
the least well-attended. Maybe this says something about the routinism of the
current union officials, who dont yet know how to relate to these new activists.
But it also says a lot about the fact that big parts of this movement dont
understand the fundamental role the working class has to play in social change.
Can the Social Forums act to help build that understanding. Yes, of course they
can, but only if revolutionary socialists participating in them are clear about what
the only way forward really is.
FOR MORE ON AUSTRALIA SEE:
>>>>BECOME A CORRESPONDENT FOR WPG
The LRCI has members across the globe - but there are many countries where
we have no correspondents. Send us your news and views:
10 Zweierlei Faschismus - zur Figl-Debatte
von: "Thomas Schmidinger" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ich stimme Florian Wagner zu, dass Josef Baums Figl-Huldigung angesichts
Figls Beteiligung am Austrofaschismus unerträglich ist und betrachte diese
als Teil des auch schon von Baums Parteichef Van der Bellen eingeschlagenen
Kuschelkurses mit der ÖVP. Hier sollen wohl (ehemalige) ÖVP-WählerInnen
für die Grünen, als die besseren Christlichsozialen, umworben werden.
Allerdings ist es genauso unterträglich wenn Florian Wagner die Tatsache, dass
Figl im "Konzentrationslager der Nationalsozialisten landete" als, "eine (gerechte?)
Laune der Geschichte" bezeichnet. Auch wenn Figl nicht in Auschwitz war und
seine Behandlung sicher nicht mit der von Jüdinnen und Juden, ja nicht einmal
mit der von KommunistInnen, Schwulen oder Zeugen Jehowas zu vergleichen ist,
so kann das Einsitzen in einem NS-Konzentrationslager nicht als "(gerechte?)
Laune der Geschichte" abgetan werden. Eine solche Feststellung enthält auch
eine implizite Gleichsetzung des Austrofaschismus mit dem Nationalsozialismus,
was einer Verharmlosung des letzteren gleichkommt.
Der Austrofaschismus hatte, wie der italienische oder spanische Faschismus,
eine Reihe von Parallelen und Ähnlichkeiten mit dem Nationalsozialismus, war
aber trotz aller Verbrechen der anderen Faschismen nicht das gleiche.
Insbesondere der Vernichtungsantisemitismus, der durch die NationalsozialistInnen
auch in die Tat umgesetzt wurde, unterscheidet den NS vom Austrofaschismus.
Das soll nicht heissen, daß die AustrofaschistInnen oder die italienischen
FaschistInnen keine AntisemitInnen gewesen wären, aber ihr Antisemitismus zielte
nicht auf Vernichtung ab. Deutsche Jüdinnen und Juden flüchteten in der
Anfangsphase der Vernichtung sogar in faschistisch regierte Nachbarländer,
was den qualitativen Unterschied zwischen "ganz normalem Faschismus" und
dem deutschen Faschismus, dem Nationalsozialismus zeigt.
Thomas Schmidinger !
11 Noch ein paar Worte über den Antifaschisten Dr. Leopold Figl
von: Karl Pfeifer
Noch ein paar Worte über den Antifaschisten Dr. Leopold Figl
Von Karl Pfeifer
Im "mund" vom 4.10. wird auf die Tätigkeit des Dr. Figl vor dem "Anschluß"
aufmerksam gemacht. Doch wie steht es mit seiner Haltung nach 1945? Auch
nach dem Holocaust ist der Antisemitismus ein Teil der österreichischen Politik
und daran sollte sich lange Zeit nichts ändern. Im Ministerrat kamen Antisemiten
aus der konservativen ÖVP und aus der Sozialistischen Partei Österreichs zu
Wort. Durch den Antisemitismus konnte man in anderer Form aber doch die
"Volksgemeinschaft" nach 1945 fortsetzen.
Wer sich die von Robert Knight unter dem Titel "Ich bin dafür, die Sache in die
Länge zu ziehen" herausgegebenen "Wortprotokolle der österreichischen
Bundesregierung von 1945-52 über die Entschädigung der Juden" anschaut,
der kann sich ein Bild machen über Dr. Figl, aber auch über andere österreichische
Politiker. Zum Beispiel im Protokoll der 52. Ministerratssitzung vom 14. Januar 1947
über "Antisemitismus in Österreich" berichtet Außenminister Dr.Gruber über einen
Polizeibericht, in dem "hetzerische Ausführungen gegen die Juden" zitiert werden
und bittet um eine offizielle Regierungserklärung zur Klarstellung der tatsächlichen
Verhältnisse. Innenminister Helmer wirft den Juden vor, dass sie Propaganda
machen, "daß in Östereich zu wenig gegen den Antisemitismus unternommen
werde. Wenn Vorkommnisse wie das erwähnte im Polizeibericht dauernd unterdrückt
würden, könnte unter Umständen der Vorwurf erhoben werden, man wolle die Nazi
decken. Es wäre an die Errichtung einer Abwehrstelle gegen derartige lügenhafte
Behauptungen zu denken, die die entsprechende Aufklärungsarbeit und
Gegenpropaganda einleiten müßte. BM Dr. Heinl und BM Dr. Gerö verweisen auf
Antisemitismus in anderen Ländern [bis heute eine beliebte Methode, den
Antisemitismus in der Politik und in den Medien zu relativieren K.P.]
Bundeskanzler Dr. Leopold Figl: "Die Juden möchten halt rasch reiche Leute
werden und hat [sic] in Bad Gastein ein Jude dem Bürgermeister erklärt, er habe
bereits 120.000 Schilling erwirtschaftet, 4 Anzüge und 6 Paar Schuhe." Das österr.
Volk sei nicht geschäftstüchtig. Richtig sei jedoch, daß nirgends so wenig
Antisemitismus festzustellen sei wie in Österreich und in keinem Land das Volk
von einer solchen Duldsamkeit ist wie bei uns.
Aus dem Protokoll der 132. Ministerratssitzung vom 9. November 1948 (unter
Verschluß gehalten): Fonds aus erblosem Vermögen.
(...) Punkt 12 der Tagesordnung, lit a): Fonds für Judenvermögen
BM Dr. Zimmermann berichtet über das Begehren amerikanischer Kreise nach
Schaffung eines Fonds für verarmte Rückwanderer.
BM Kraus: ..."Ich weiß aber nicht, wie gerade jetzt eine Rasse [die man in
Österreich nach dem Anschluß besonders gründlich ausgeraubt hat K.P.]
besondere Privilegien bekommen soll. Andere, die nicht weggingen [hier wird den
Juden zur Last gelegt, dass sie nicht hiergeblieben sind, um sich dann später
ermorden zu lassen, auch das eine beliebte Methode der politischen Klasse
Österreichs] bekommen keine Unterstützung, die Juden aber sollen eine solche
Einige Minister beschweren sich über Mangel an Budgetmittel für ihr Ressort.
BM Dr. Kolb argumentiert, dass "das Unrecht, das den Juden zugefügt wurde,
hat Österreich nicht zugefügt"
Innenminister Helmer: "Was den Juden weggenommen wurde, kann man nicht
auf die Plattform "Großdeutsches Reich" bringen. Ein Großteil fällt schon einen
Teil unserer lieben Mitbürger zurück. Das ist eine Feststellung, die den Tatsachen
entspricht. Aber auf der anderen Seite muß ich sagen, daß das, was im Antrag
steht, richtig ist. Ich sehe überall nur jüdische Ausbreitung, wie bei der Ärzteschaft,
beim Handel vor allem in Wien. [in Österreich lebten damals 9.000 Juden! K.P.]
Eine Separataktion kann man aber nicht durchführen. Die Sache ist aber auch
eine politische. Auch den Nazis ist im Jahre 1945 alles weggenommen worden
und wir sehen jetzt Verhältnisse, daß sogar der nat. soz. Akademiker auf dem
Oberbau arbeiten muß." Und später Helmer: "Ich wäre dafür, daß man die Sache
[der Entschädigung] in die Länge zieht."
Bundeskanzler Dr. Figl: "Dem Antrag wird die Zustimmung im Ministerrat nicht
gegeben... Außerdem würde hier ein Gegensatz, eine schwere Lage zu den
Nationalsozialisten geschaffen werden..."
Am gleichen Abend des 9. November 1948 sprach Figl bei einer "Trauer und
Gedenkfeier" der Kultusgemeinde zum Gedenken an das als "Kristallnacht"
bekanntgewordene Pogrom, das in Wien und Österreich mit besonderer
Energie durchgeführt wurde. Figl meinte - und auch das sollte eine bewährte
Methode der Vertreter Österreichs werden, um von der eigenen Schuld
abzulenken -, die "grauenvolle Tat" vom November 1938 sei "nicht zuletzt
infolge der Tatsache, daß die Welt kurz vorher der Vergewaltigung Österreichs
tatenlos zugesehen hatte", geschehen..
12 Diskussion zu "Come live in the USA"
von: E.Ernstbrunner <email@example.com"
Einige Leser/innen haben ihre Verwunderung über die Aufnahme dieses
Beitrags in den Sa-MUND ausgedrückt und ihn sogar als Werbung für
die USA betrachtet,
Das erstaunt wiederum mich als verantwortlichen Tagesredakteur. Man
bedenke doch: Würde etwa die Republik Österreich durch eine Lotterie
ermitteln wollen, wer eine Aufenthaltsgenehmigung bekommt, und a fortiori
die Teilnahme an dieser Lotterie für Leute mit Netzzugang besonders erleichtern,
so wäre wohl allen klar, daß ein Bericht darüber sehr wohl widerständisch
Kurz gesagt: Es ist eine Realsatire auf den real existierenden Kapitalismus
und seine besondere Ausprägung im Land der unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten.
13 LIF - Unterstützungserklärungen
Liebe Österreicherin! Lieber Österreicher!
Ich habe mich dazu entschlossen, für die Liberalen als Spitzenkandidat
anzutreten! Unserem Parlament fehlt zwischen den Blöcken von rotgrün
und schwarzblau eine glaubwürdige Alternative der Mitte.
Allerdings benötigen wir - im Gegensatz zu den etablierten Parteien -
österreichweit 2600 Unterschriften, um bei der Wahl kandidieren zu können.
Bitte unterstützen Sie uns daher mit Ihrer Unterschrift!
Ihr Reinhard Jesionek
Spitzenkandidat der Liberalen (LIF)Zum Runterladen und Ausdrucken:
Das Unterstützungsformular + Anleitung (rtf, 18kb)
Das Unterstützungsformular + Anleitung (pdf, 12kb)Fenster schließen
LINKS / VERWEISE / HINWEISE
14 bilder der worldwide peace demo aus wien
von: "blumentopf" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
6. oktober 2002
12 - 13 uhr
worldwide peace demo
bilder aus wien bei
6. Oktober 2002, 22.00 Uhr
Diese Ausgabe hat Edgar Ernstbrunner email@example.com
Fehler möge frau/man mir nachsehen!
6. Oktober 2002, 22.00 Uhr