Thanks from an autoworker

I want to thank John Rummel for his article about the letter sent to President Obama by 50 autoworkers, retirees and supporters calling for the rapid “green” conversion of shuttered auto plants in the wake of the disaster that’s hit the Midwest (“Unemployment in Detroit reaches 17%, autoworkers send Obama letter on high-speed rail and jobs,” online).

Rummel very correctly points out that it will take much more than the action of the president to revolutionize the entire network of Midwestern cities to leap from their 20th century history into the 21st, advancing earth-friendly manufacturing. It will take a movement that brings together workers and communities, workers and environmentalists, workers and engineers, elected officials, nonprofits, not to mention our unions.

Many of the signers of the letter took the first step last December when two dozen of us caravanned to Washington D.C. to respond to the vitriolic attacks against our union workforce. It was there that the “autoworkercaravan.org” put forward that we must tackle the crisis hitting the unionized U.S. auto industry and address the growing crisis of climate change — simultaneously. The Autoworker Caravan has been working to get out our message; thank you for bringing the subject of the “letter to Obama” to your readers. Readers can read the complete letter and add their name by clicking on www.autoworkercaravan.org.

Frank Hammer

Michigan

Frank Hammer is a retired UAW International representative.

Red-baiting in the media

Since the presidential election, the frightened Right has been rabidly attacking all things even remotely progressive (and as of today, at times physically attacking, too). In addition to doing all they can to destroy the Obama presidency, this same fascistic group is trying to kill off the proposal for health care reform, stop the Employee Free Choice Act in its path, turn back the clock on civil rights and raise the specter of Ronald Reagan as a means to call for a renewed ultra-conservative movement. And Reagan’s history shows that he was a Cold War opportunist who reported on the members of the Screen Actors Guild to HUAC — while he was a sitting president of that union. Reagan, working in concert with McCarthy and the rest of the witch-hunters, also helped to establish the use of red-baiting to silence political enemies.

Red-baiting is back, as a means to stop the even moderately progressive agenda of Obama. They red-baited Obama during the election and are doing so again — just as sure as they race-bait him and even attack him with xenophobia. Health care reform is “socialism” we heard in November, but nowadays they are even using the “c” word. It’s part of his “communist plan.” Consistently, we hear the lambasting of socialism, Marxism and as a result — anything liberal. It’s a combined attack from the monopoly capitalists, the religious Right, the America Firsters, the conservative lunatic fringe, racists and anti-communists, and the Republican Party itself.

This assault on all things progressive is serious business and we need to bring it to the media’s attention. Here is a link to a petition called “Stop the Hate Speech and Red-Baiting in the Media” petition at iPetitions.com website:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/commiesrpeople?e

I signed it and I encourage you to add your signature, too. It’s free and takes less than a minute. We cannot lie back while the neo-fascists break down our ideals and vision for the future.

John Pietaro

New York NY

Hiroshima

August 6, 1945-2009

It was not in vain

that victims of Hiroshima

got burned in the atomic dust

thrown from an airplane sent by

the United States of America.

Since that blow

and the anguish of the world

a conscience is born

with a reassurance of respect

for life on the planet

which is renewing

year after year

with wishes for peace

with justice and equality

for all the people.

Teresinka Pereira

Via e-mail

Print vs. online

In regions where the computer is likely just starting to make headway, the only available antiquated units are in some schools and public facilities. This does not lend to convenient availability. The computer and its machinations are still bourgeois tools. Access to working people and the underprivileged is still somewhat limited.

I started out in our progressive movement as an early teenager, more than six decades ago. Instead of Saturday high school and college sports pep rallies and Sunday morning church socials and the like, I went off with my father and “brother” to all sorts of deprived neighborhoods, first stopping off at the office of the PWW forerunner, the great Daily and Sunday Worker, then selling at the newsstands for three cents and a nickel. We went forth with strict instructions to sell anyone and everyone the papers for a penny. And if that proved to be too costly, we were to distribute the copies for free. Not a person or household was to be left without a paper. That was all that counted. We visited the migrant worker camps in both New York and New Jersey, where men from the South had trekked north to provide their families with a hot meal and enough warm water for a Saturday night bath. None were denied copies of The Worker. All were grateful.

I fear that so strongly going electronic, as modern and dramatic as it sounds, could be a step backwards. The PWW is a lifeline.

I am well aware of the financial hardships at PWW. But I hope you will think again. Hopefully there are other ways to preserve the printed page.

Don Sloan

Via e-mail

As Communists and non-Communists assess the changes taking place in the PWW, still in the throes of the George W. Bush economy that continues to plague and threaten the entire world, it might be helpful for us to remember that Lenin saw meaningful change — or if one prefers, revolutionary change — as being synchronous and synonymous with the building of a national press, or more specifically, a national press of local news and events.

The PWW and its predecessor newspapers, thanks to its staff and contributors, have been a #1 source for the organizing, building and inspiring of mass movements and vast coalitions that are at the heart of America’s struggles today and tomorrow. Also, the newspaper has set good groundwork for the ongoing need to build a massive and united Communist Party program taking on the enormous fight ahead at the level of class struggle.

Let’s continue to support the paper however we can and continue to learn from the paper whether it is in our hands physically or in PWW hyperspace, always remembering its essential purpose and need in the struggles ahead for a better, survivable world.

George Mores

Via e-mail

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By mail: People’s Weekly World 3339 S. Halsted St. • Chicago IL 60608 • e-mail:• Letters should be limited to 200 words. We reserve the right to edit stories and letters with the name and address of the sender will be considered for publication, but the name of the sender will be withheld on request.

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