Another raid

Residents report that at about 5 a.m. on May 31, ICE agents raided an apartment complex and a mobile home park in Shelton, Wash., and took at least 17 people. The detained people included both men and women, but it appears that the agents may have avoided residents who had children, or pregnant women. One resident reports that it was done quietly, and that unaffected residents didn’t know about the raid until two hours afterward.

There is an interesting connection between a visit that the Washington State Commission on Human Rights did to Shelton and the raid. At the meeting, a Hispanic man came forward to denounce repeated abuses by the management of an apartment complex towards Hispanic and immigrant tenants. The raid happened, coincidentally, at that apartment complex.

Also, large numbers of immigrants in Shelton live off of harvesting salal (better known as brush). The harvesting season came to an end a couple of weeks ago and this is when you can easily find people at home.

There is a lot of confusion and fear in the community. Some families have been separated and there were people in the street in tears. Many have left the community, including relatives of those detained. The local bilingual elementary school organized vans to pick up the kids of families who were afraid to leave their homes.

The state Human Rights Commission was notified and contact has been made with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project to find the detainees at the detention center in Tacoma. The community is working on providing support to families who will suffer financially because of the loss of the head of household. We need people to get the story out.

Fred Prockiw
Seattle WA

Green socialism is necessary

Joel Wendland raised important issues and valid concerns (Reader’s Corner, PWW 6/9-15). Fundamental is our agreement that capitalism is incapable of reversing environmental destruction.

If not the capitalists, who? The series argues only the working class can lead. The capitalists have a profound interest in denying workers’ achievements, so their media highlight environmental problems in states formed by socialist revolutions, like the USSR and China.

Nevertheless, Soviet planning and mass transit kept environmental (and time) costs of urban transport to a fraction of U.S. costs. China is reforesting, while deforestation accelerates under capitalism, including the ex-USSR. Simultaneously, global environmental poisoning threatens China’s reforestation; pollution knows no borders. Capitalist perpetuation of borders to divide and rule is a major block to environmental remediation. This struggle is truly global.

After taking power, the working class needs to learn to govern. A Soviet shortcoming was that environmental organizations lacked the necessary (relative) independence to be effective, while mechanisms to balance environmental with development, trade union, international, political and other tasks were not developed. Consequently, all tasks suffered, including environmental.

Wendland is correct that the struggle to protect the environment, like the struggle against hunger, cannot await socialism. In fact, the struggle to defend the environment converges with the struggle against unemployment, homelessness, national and all oppression. Communist parties, including those in power, have a historic responsibility to overcome our past weaknesses on environmental questions, to effectively lead the struggle for red and green.

Wadi’h Halabi
Cambridge MA

From Jerusalem

I have been a reader of the People’s Weekly World (and its predecessors) since the late ’50s. In all that time I have never once seen an utterance of anti-Semitism on its pages (PWW 6/9-15, Letters to the Editor). Anti-Zionism, yes, and there is a difference.

When one is critical of George Bush and his administration, is that person an anti-American? No, it makes him anti-Bush and his policies. Why, then, if a person is against the policies of the Israeli government that person is labeled an anti-Semite? Zionism is not the “philosophy” followed by the majority of the Jewish people.

You say that as a gay man you would prefer to live in Israel than an extremist Muslim country. Just a week ago the High Court in Israel banned all gay pride parades throughout the entire country. This decision was taken after considerable pressure was put on them by the ultra-orthodox parties in the Knesset. Is a Jewish extremist country a more comfortable place than a Muslim one?

Much of what goes on in Israel does not make news in the U.S. What Americans don’t know, they won’t protest against. Those of us in the Israeli left, active in the movements for Palestinian liberation and peace, appreciate the efforts of the PWW and the Communists throughout the world.

Steve Amsel

Steve Amsel blogs for .

Re: Six Day War

I am assuming last week’s letter writer is much too young to remember the Six Day War (PWW 6/9-15 Letters to the Editor). However, I remember it quite clearly. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our neighbor and my father’s best friend was a man name Leon Uris. Lee wrote for a long-gone newspaper, the San Francisco Call Bulletin.

As Lee was Jewish, he was the paper’s correspondent who would frequently go to Israel to report on the new state. He was the only outside reporter who was there during the 1967 war and became the “Voice of Israel” for the American news.

I was a teen at the time and clearly remember Lee and my father fighting. Lee stated that almost everything in the papers that he had written about the Palestinians was pure propaganda so that Israel could have the support of the Americans when they took the Gaza Strip by force.

I have never told that to anyone before, but since both my father and Lee have been dead for a few years, I don’t feel it will damage anyone. You can check it all out for yourself if you wish, as Lee Uris was well known for his novels, many of them on the Jewish state. I learned from this incident not to trust anything from the mainstream media, preferring to read the Daily Worker (predecessor of the PWW).

Sheila Malone
Waterville ME

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