April

Right wing schemes to block changes in Mexico

Conservative forces in Mexico, alarmed by the electoral successes of left-wing movements in South America, are showing signs of mobilizing to prevent similar developments in that country.

State of Black America 2005: Prescription for change

The National Urban League’s latest report, “State of Black America 2005: Prescription for Change,” is yet another warning that structural inequality and racism are leaving Africans Americans behind, marginalizing major segments of our society. Warning “our nation [to] wake up” to the stark realities of African American problems, the report presents data and analyses showing that inequality between Blacks and whites in urban America is not improving. The report recommends urgent changes in national policies and priorities, including an increase in the minimum wage and expansion of job training and career counseling efforts with a focus on young urban males.

Bolton called serial abuser, spreader of war lies

WASHINGTON — Carl W. Ford Jr., former chief of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, told senators April 12 that John Bolton, President Bush’s choice for UN ambassador, is a “serial abuser … an 800-pound gorilla” who “devours” anyone who disagrees with him.

Mass struggle on the upswing in Iraq

Tens of thousands of Iraqis demonstrated against the U.S. occupation, April 9, in Baghdad. Some estimated the numbers as high as 300,000. The rally reflected the virtually unanimous anger in Iraq over the U.S. military presence and the devastation it has caused. At the same time, it indicated the complexities facing Iraq’s democratic and progressive forces who are seeking to build a united, secular, democratic state.

Steelworkers come out swinging

LAS VEGAS — Perhaps more than any other union, the United Steelworkers of America has confronted head-on corporate liquidation, government betrayal, and outright attacks affecting hundreds of thousands of steelworkers. As the union’s 2,100 U.S. and Canadian delegates met here April 11-14 at its 32nd Constitutional Convention, it was obvious that having met this crisis, the union is changed. It’s larger and looking to expand and to sharpen rank and file mobilization.

Terminators pension scam takes hit

SAN FRANCISCO — In a surprise announcement April 7, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he is delaying until June 2006 a controversial ballot initiative to change state workers’ pensions from public, guaranteed-benefit programs to privatized 401(k)-like pensions.

GOP takes flak on Bolton, filibuster

WASHINGTON — Messages like Gail Keen’s e-mail to Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) are signs of grassroots fightback against a menacing extremist agenda pushed by President Bush and the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill. It includes the fight to block Bush’s nomination of John Bolton as UN ambassador and a looming battle against the Republicans’ drive — via the so-called nuclear option — to pack the judiciary with ultra-rightists by ending the Senate’s filibuster rule.

Jim West, 91, Communist leader

In an unpublished memoir, Jim West, a lifelong Communist Party organizer, wrote that he “was prepared to go wherever the Party or YCL thought I might be helpful … I had decided to dedicate my life to working for the ideal of socialism.”

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