December

This week in labor

Class struggle heats up; Miners organize; New support for HR 676; CBTU gathers hurricane relief; Stanford strike; ‘Union protection’ takes on new meaning

Capitalist democracy Life in the former Soviet Union

Wages, pensions, public health, education are all devastated George Bush preached “democracy” to China last month, just as his father and Ronald Reagan preached “democracy” to the Soviet Union in the 1980s. By democracy, Bush and Reagan mean capitalist democracy, where everyone is formally equal, while the class of exploiters enforces its narrow interests. Workers’ democracy involves informed participation. It is open and honest about class interests and it represents the interests of the overwhelming majority.

N.Y. transit workers authorize strike

Some 7,000 New York City transit workers packed a cavernous hall at the Javits Convention Center Dec. 10 to hear a report from the leadership of Transit Workers Union Local 100 on the status of contract negotiations.

Iran leaders rhetoric masks hidden agenda

Recent comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, including his provocative rhetoric toward Israel and the U.S., can only be understood in the context of Iran’s troubled domestic politics.

World Notes

S. Africa: Call for trade justice; El Salvador: Protesters block roads; Ireland: Massive turnout for protest; S. Korea: Migrant workers occupy government office; World unionists demand freedom for Cuban 5

Make a pledge for 2006: Free the Cuban 5

The Cuban Five have been in prison for seven years. The U.S. government prevents wives from visiting husbands in prison. It’s time for action.

Military recruitment, bias challenged in high court

The Supreme Court heard arguments Dec. 6 in the FAIR v. Rumsfeld case, which will determine whether schools have the right to kick military recruiters and ROTC off campus without losing federal funding.

Gulf Coast update

Teachers fired; New Orleans’ march for action; Louisiana workers speak out on human rights

Thousands protest execution of Stanley Williams

Over 2,000 death penalty opponents and supporters of Stanley “Tookie” Williams rallied and kept vigil outside San Quentin prison Dec. 12 on the eve of Williams’ execution by lethal injection just after midnight. Many others joined vigils across California and around the U.S.

National Clips

WASHINGTON: Congress OKs Santa border crossing; ST. LOUIS: Hit lack of Black police recruits; PHILADELPHIA: Mumia Abu-Jamal wins another day in court; SAN FRANCISCO: 20 cops suspended for racist, sexist videos; SEATTLE: Health care is a right, voters say

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