Celebrating 80 fighting years … and counting

When the Daily Worker first rolled off the press in Chicago on Jan. 13, 1924, it was hailed as the first English-language Communist daily in the U.S. That would begin another chapter for America’s working class. And so it did. The Daily Worker was widely-recognized as applying the phrase, “The pen is mightier than the sword” – by employing journalism to help break Jim Crow racism in the Major Leagues, build the Congress of Industrial Organizations and solidarity with striking workers, fight Nazi fascism, and support socialism and national liberation.

Observers in today’s independent press circles see the launching of the Daily Worker as part of our country’s history of the independent press. The Independent Press Association’s timeline, “A History of the Independent Press in the United States,” 1924 is marked with the following:

“The Daily Worker begins publication. The Daily Worker not only consistently and openly opposed all racism, it also attracted skilled writers, covered sports and culture and paved the way for the literary left in the 1930s.”

Eighty years later and standing on the shoulders of those revolutionary journalism giants, the People’s Weekly World carries on that fighting class struggle history under present day circumstances.

Today, five monopoly corporations control about 90 percent of what Americans see, hear and read. And many of them are embedded with the Bush administration, promoting its agenda like lap dogs.

This administration represents the most reactionary section of monopoly capital, which is hell-bent on using war, violence, racism and exploitation to fatten itself with profit while the overwhelming masses of people in this country and around the world suffer the consequences of poverty, environmental degredation and an over all race to the bottom.

People need an independent and fighting press now more than ever. The People’s Weekly World pledges to continue fighting for democracy, economic justice, equality, peace, liberation, and socialism.

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People’s power in Cuba

“Dreaming of impossible things is called utopia; struggling for goals that are not only attainable but essential if the species is to survive is called realism.” These words by Fidel Castro, marking the 45th anniversary of the Cuban revolution on Jan. 1, capture the essence of that revolution and the socialist system that it ushered into existence. They describe the Cuban people’s struggle today.

Despite seemingly overwhelming odds the Cuban people fought for freedom from dictatorship, colonization and U.S. domination. They not only have survived 45 years of U.S. sabotage and economic blockade, but also have nourished a society of people’s political power, economic security and social equality.

The Cuban people have chosen a path that inspires many the world over to believe that socialism – a system built by, for and of the people – is a realistic alternative to the multinational corporate trail of preemptive war, hunger and inequality. Cuba’s humanitarian example is recognized around the world: it has more doctors on international missions than the World Health Organization.

We North Americans confront our own realism: The Bush administration takes from the mouths, minds and spirits of our children, and our impoverished, ill and elderly, to give to the rich and the corporations.

This administration is now beginning to prosecute Americans for traveling to Cuba over the past decade. This week the White House cancelled a new round of negotiations with Cuba to reach an agreement on migration. Evidently the Bush crowd prefers that people wanting to come to the U.S. from Cuba use dangerous, provocative, illegal “photo op” methods. This is yet another cruel Bush campaign ploy.

We celebrate 45 years of people power in socialist Cuba. We defend the right of our people to travel to Cuba, and demand an end to the illegal blockade of that tiny island.

And we must do what is “essential for the survival of our species” – defeat Bush and the far right in the 2004 elections.