Raytheon workers

Raytheon, the fifth largest munitions factory in the world, has a firm grip on the city of Tucson. It is the employer of nearly 11,000 people and a major contributor to our many worthy causes. We have been bought. I would like to see the workers on every level at Raytheon walk out of that chamber of horrors and lead the city of Tucson to show the world how to choose integrity over money and life over death. The world is on fire and only the workers have the power to put it out.

Gretchen Nielsen
Tucson AZ

Robeson portrait

Would like your help to track down a portrait of Paul Robeson done on his visit to Panama by Panamanian Afro-Antillean artist Victor Bruce from Colon, Panama, on the Atlantic coast.

Bruce is 78 years old. He tells me he painted Robeson after seeing his picture in the Panama Tribune local newspaper announcing his visit. He read the paper in the Panama Canal Workers Local Union 700 Hall. After the Paul Robeson cultural event, Bruce and Robeson were pictured in the Panama Tribune exchanging the gift.

Would like to track that Robeson portrait. Bruce mentioned being 16 when he did the painting, so it must have been a Panama visit around 1934.

I would like to see if internationally, we can collectively track down that painting, if it exists, to show what international people’s collective research can do.

I suggest if the painting is found, it be exhibited in Cuba or Panama by the World Peace Council on Fidel’s next birthday.

Josef Ponce
Via e-mail

Lame ducks

The recapture of the Senate and the House of Representatives by the Democratic Party illustrates just how much President George W. Bush disappoints the American people. After contributing to the defeat of his own party at the polls he is now asking the same Senators and members of the House of Representatives to return to Washington, D.C., to complete his old agenda as lame ducks.

Lame duck sessions are not a reflection of a healthy democracy. It permits an old political agenda to be continued.

George W. Bush under the disguise of protecting us from terrorism is spying on all Americans who are against his policies in Iraq. After he has lost at the polls he has the nerve to continue full steam ahead, lying about cooperating in the future with the new Congress while seeking continued support for John Bolton to represent the U.S. in the UN.

Bolton should never have been there to begin with. The media is now trying to positively message us concerning Bush’s replacement for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. His father’s former CIA Director Robert M. Gates is all of a sudden rehabilitated and clean as a whistle on the Iran-Contra affair.

Once again the media is spinning a web of protection for the Bush administration. This is worse than Watergate ever was. How do you make a giant stinking mess look like a place even the Queen of England would like to take a room in?

We need to tell our representatives: no to Gates, no to Bolton and no to any laws passed by lame ducks that undermine our constitutional rights to privacy by permitting the indiscriminate use of wiretaps.

Tom Siblo
Shokan NY

Labor steps up in Pa.

The day after the Nov. 7 election, when our job was finished, Lindsay Patterson, president and civil rights chair of United Steel Workers Local 404-38, representing workers in Philadelphia and south Jersey, reflected on the experience. He told me that his local had put over 100 volunteers on the street over the course of the campaign and that the election results showed that people were ready for a change. He added, “Unions built this country and it’s time for unions to take it back. Labor stepped up and did a great job.”

Ben Sears
Philadelphia PA

Medicare in Canada

I just read your mail-out about worker journalists. My job is working as an organizer with the Ontario Health Coalition, Canada’s largest provincial health coalition. We are currently running the Ontario leg of a national tour to save Canada’s single-tier public Medicare system. The reason I am writing is to get “on message.”

Whenever I read U.S. material about the Canadian system it seems to be used as an inspirational example. On the other hand, our single-tier Medicare system is actually under major attack. Almost 100 doctors have opted out of Medicare in Quebec alone, open and illegal two-tiering is going on in Quebec and British Colombia, and the new head of the professional association for Canadian doctors is an ardent proponent of privatization, as well as the owner of one of Canada’s largest private hospitals. You get the picture — emergency! Not a super-inspiring model, other than inspiring to fight back.

Johan Boyden
Via e-mail

Ken Loach

Referring to Bill Meyer’s recent column (“Some personal favorites at Toronto film fest, PWW 11/11-17), Ken Loach’s new film may be good, but his film “Land and Freedom” was a trotskyite slander of the Popular Front.

Sean Mulligan
Via e-mail

Elvira Arellano

Your article (“Immigrant mother defends son’s future,” PWW 11/4-10) mentioned that Elvira Arellano has her computer. Is there any way to e-mail her my support? Thank you for your good work. Mil gracias.

Marianna Fay
Via e-mail

Editor’s note: If readers would like to send support messages to Arellano, or ask how to help her cause, you can e-mail Pueblo Sin Fronteras: psf@somosunpueblo.com. Send handwritten letters to Elvira Arellano, c/o 2716 W. Division St., Chicago IL 60622.

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