Protests continue around the country

From Anchorage to North Carolina, thousands demonstrated this week to halt the Bush war drive with Iraq.

In an online poll, the NAACP found that 54.1 percent of respondents said that Bush did not make his case for war with Iraq, while only 39.8 percent said they were convinced by the president.

In February, the civil rights organization conducted a similar poll asking if Bush should expand the war on terrorism to Iraq. At that time, 49.4 percent agreed.

Librarians: ‘No war with Iraq’

Librarians, 978 of them in public libraries, medical and special archives and universities, signed an online petition to President Bush demanding “Weapons of mass instruction. Books not bombs. No war with Iraq.” Their thoughtful letter urged mediation and UN action to resolve issues between the U.S. and Iraq. Mark Rosenzweig, librarian/archivist of the Reference Center for Marxist Studies and an elected Councilor-at-large of the American Library Association, initiated the petition.

Lucent workers take a hit

Lucent, the largest telephone equipment company in the country, is laying off 10,000 workers in the U.S. and around the world.

Like Enron, Lucent workers were barred from selling their stock that represented their pensions. Since Lucent’s stock has dropped through the floor, workers’ pensions are now worthless.

Meanwhile, Henry B. Schacht, Lucent’s Chairman of the Board and former CEO, took home over $21 million in December 2001, and the three top executives received severance packages totalling $11 million.

Victory for WorldCom workers

With the help of the AFL-CIO and the “Put Workers First” campaign, 9,000 WorldCom workers, victims of the corporation’s bankruptcy, won a major victory in the Southern District Bankruptcy Court, October 1. The Court ruled that WorldCom had to pay workers their full severance, commission, health care and vacation. Before the Federation’s intervention and subsequent court proceedings, the corporation would only pay $4,650 to each worker.

More seniors lose Medicare HMO plans

Claiming that they are not being adequately reimbursed by the government for the services they provide, more health maintenance organizations (HMOs) are withdrawing from the Medicare+Choice program. According to the American Association of Health Plans, the latest wave of withdrawals will affect about 200,000 beneficiaries. Since 1998, Medicare HMOs have dropped 2.4 million beneficiaries.

Peace Prize criticizes Bush administration

Former president Jimmy Carter was awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, Oct. 12. Since 1982, Carter has directed the Carter Center.

In their announcement, the Nobel Committee issued a sharp rebuke of Bush administration policy. The award “should be interpreted as a criticism of the line that the current administration has taken. It’s a kick in the leg to all that follow the same line as the United States,” said Gunnar Berge, chairman of the Nobel Committee.