Its about control

Con·trol – power or authority to guide or manage.

When it comes down to it, so many issues in life orbit around this single word and subsequent questions like – who controls what?

This issue of the People’s Weekly World is being distributed to the thousands of concerned women and men demonstrating in Washington at the “March for Women’s Lives” and the “International Days of Action Against the IMF and the World Bank.” One could argue that these protests deal with issues of control.

Who controls a woman’s decisions about childbirth? Who controls whether all women can get access to health care? Prenatal care? Birth control? Sex education? Termination of a pregnancy?

Who controls how much a woman is paid? And why do gender and racist wage gaps still exist?

Who controls a country’s economy? Its natural resources? Its political and social structures?

A tremendous battle is taking place in our country against a corrupt, reactionary bunch of thugs, thieves and liars known collectively as the Bush administration. They make no bones about their allegiance. It’s not to John and Janine Q. Public. It’s not to democracy or hard-won democratic, labor and civil rights. It’s not to peace, or a “good neighbor” foreign policy. It’s not to workers, immigrants, women, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, American Indians, gays, lesbians, religious minorities, the elderly, the youth, students or the disabled – the diverse people who populate this country.

Their allegiance is to the private profit system – the plunder and exploitation that reaps huge profits for obscenely wealthy individuals.

Control of profits, control of Iraq, control of oil, of people, of women, of workers, of information, education, housing, food, water, the environment. Control freaks!

This administration is implementing corporate control in a multitude of ways. Their policies – from the illegal and unilateral war on Iraq, to taxes, jobs and the economy, to No Child Left Behind, to court appointments, overtime, Medicare and Social Security, affirmative action, the Patriot Act – are aimed at permanently changing democracy and the role of government as we know it.

For example, Bush’s tax policies have benefited the top 1 percent, ballooned deficits and put social programs on the chopping block, including TANF, Head Start and food stamps. No Child Left Behind is squeezing the public out of public schools and starving our children of needed funds and equitable education.

The extreme right-wing court appointments, like Bill Pryor or Charles Pickering, put civil rights and reproductive rights on the fast track to being history. Court decisions have long-lasting effects – far beyond the term of a president.

Unity is key for any people’s victory. The movement to defeat Bush has many faces, voices and concerns. It is not monolithic. But we are all determined that the first step to making the country – and the world – a better place is to get rid of Bush.

The People’s Weekly World salutes the courage, intelligence and leadership of the co-sponsoring organizations of the March for Women’s Lives. Your foresight to hold a mass demonstration this election year on such a key democratic issue as health care and reproductive rights is inspiring. The women’s vote is a key component to defeating Bush.

This march, and the demonstrations against the IMF, should motivate all of us to go back home, reach out, organize, do voter registration and education, build at the grassroots to dump Bush.

Control: power or authority to guide or manage. The people can do it.

Terrie Albano (talbano@pww.org) is editor of the People’s Weekly World.