Controversy is democracy

Our history is not good. We scalped the Indians when we conquered the land and we lied and said they scalped the whiteman first. We broke every treaty and agreement with them. Abraham Lincoln was killed by a hungry actor, Booth, but it was a conspiracy by plantation owners and industrialists to keep slavery going. Eight men and two women were hung in Chicago for this conspiracy.

France sent us the Statue of Liberty for freeing the slaves, but we are now saying they sent it for the immigrants who were getting away from suffering conditions and coming to the land of opportunity. The Blacks are not free yet in America and the Indians are still demanding their democratic rights.

Workers on the production and speed-up lines had to organize into unions and strike in order to get a living wage. The rich are getting richer today, and the poor are getting poorer.

NATO is a military alliance of the six(6) super-military powers of the world, plus others. We are brain-washed into war every day by the Super Powers and people are afraid to speak out. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Cheap labor is the name of the game, The religious leaders of the world should speak out, inside the church and outside, siding with working people and the suffering for peace and a better life.

Let’s have a peace century.

Tor BergstromEdgewater NJ

Memories

As memorial meetings are held in the U.S. for Helen Winter, who died Dec. 13, she is being mourned with honor elsewhere in the world as well. She won great respect among members of brother parties during the period when she served as head of the international department of the CPUSA.

Helen is remembered with particular affection by Filipino Communists in the Partido Komunista ng Philipinas (PKP) with which she maintained close ties. My wife, Celia, and I were involved in international relations of the PKP at that time and retain some of the comradely correspondence of Helen at that time.

An act of hers that was especially appreciated was her turning over to the PKP the personal papers, notebooks, photographs, and documents from the files of her father, Alfred Wagenknecht, concerning his visit to the Philippines in 1924. He was sent by the CPUSA (than known as the Workers Party of America) to help establish the international links of the Philippine trade unions with the trade union section of the Comintern.

Helen donated the Wagenknecht materials to assist the writing of the PKP history, the first volume of which, published in 1998, has a chapter on this historical episode of CPUSA internationalism.

In honoring Helen Winter, it is of particular significance to note this aspect of continuity in her background and lifetime of Communist activity.

William PomeroyLondon, England

Free Hereford

We are awaiting the decision on the conviction of Darron Hereford (age 20) for robbery. It was a bench trial and many strange things happened with the evidence in the local criminal justice system, which makes us hopeful that Darron will be released from prison when all the facts are known and all the probative evidence becomes part of the record at a new trial.

Darron is the son of Ronnie Hereford, a courageous union ironworker. He has been the director of the Detroit Area Minority Construction Workers Task Force for over a decade. The DAMCWTF has been fighting for jobs in the building and construction industry in the Detroit area. For more information about this case call Ronnie Hereford at (248) 356-1931.

Kenneth SmallwoodDetroit MI

Deserves attention

In the November 24th issue of PWW there is a picture of government workers in Venezuela protesting “overdue pensions, bonuses and salary raises.” This picture reminded me that PWW has not yet had an article about that situation in that country. I think that the efforts of Hugo Chavez and his Polo Patriotico to address the needs of the poor deserve attention by the PWW. I hope that you can find the resources to look into what is happening in Venezuela.

Greg LaMotta
via e-mail

Facing facts

Your “Maine City To Push For Universal Health Care” (11/24//01) article reported that “52 percent of Portland, Maine voters supported the concept of universal health care.”

What it didn’t report was that Anthem Blue Cross Shield outspent the grassroots coalition, in Maine, 20 to 1 in trying to defeat this referendum.

Let’s face facts: all over the world – except here in the United States – people believe that health care is a fundamental human right. The drug cartel’s incentive for high drug prices are for the benefit of their stockholders. Profits in the drug industry and in the overall health care industry in America always take precedence over the human rights of individuals.

John AntonichUFCW Local 88 St. Louis MO

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