Name 135th Street for Ben Davis

I read your article on the centennial of the birth of Benjamin J. Davis (PWW/NM, 9/6). It made me think of Davis’ achievements, including Black History Week; anti-lynching bills; the Herndon trial; more firehouses for Harlem.

Today his name is all but forgotten, often mistaken for a military hero of the same name. There are streets and parks in Harlem named for many historic Black figures, and yet, not one for Davis. Maybe it is time to rename Riverton Houses for Davis – they were built during his administration. Maybe 135th Street could be renamed – it was the home of the Communist Party during Davis’ career.

I find it unconscionable how forgotten Ben Davis’ legacy is. I hope that by 2004, the 40th anniversary of his passing, our city’s leaders can find a proper way to honor him.

Sergio KadinskyForest Hills NY

Iraqi Council a powerless body

One thing that Susan Webb’s News Analysis (PWW/NM, 7/19) addressing the U.S. formation of a Governing Council in Iraq sadly failed to mention was that the Iraq Communist Party’s decision to join the Council gives this powerless body legitimacy that it does not deserve.

The U.S. formed the Council as an attempt to give the impression to Iraqis and the world that Iraqis will be involved in governing the nation when we know that this will never be the case until the U.S. Army is forced to leave the country.

Tim PelzerVancouver, BC, Canada

Editor’s note:

We support the approach of most Communist Parties that communists have to be involved in the major arenas of struggle.

In pre-revolutionary czarist Russia, Lenin called for communists to participate in the Duma (Parliament) even though it was closely controlled by the far right. Our impression is that the Iraqi Governing Council in its present form is the result of struggle by varied Iraqi political forces coming together in a common effort to get some kind of decision-making role and begin to take back power from the U.S.

The ICP says it views the council as an important arena of struggle. Iraqi Communists, on the front lines of struggle in Iraq, are in a better position than we are to assess the circumstances there. What we do know for sure is that we have to focus on defeating the dangerous imperial policies of the Bush administration.

Lying and dying at Ground Zero

Various unions are asking for just compensation for the workers who were injured while cleaning up what was left of the World Trade Center. The White House apparently withheld information about how dangerous the air was. Now, the workers have the long-term risk of asbestos-related lung cancer as well as other debilitating respiratory ailments, according to the AFL-CIO.

Outside the labor movement publications, there has been very little said or written about this disgrace, and that is disgusting. Even more disgusting is this: the cleanup at Ground Zero was made a hot priority up to a certain point. That certain point occurred very quickly after the trucks pulled in to haul off the gold that was near the bottom of the rubble.

The rush in the rubble was not really to save lives or identify victims. It was the gold.

Jim LaneDallas TX

Cover-up at the White House

This morning’s (9/29) White House press conference has left this reader in a state of shock.

There is substantial evidence to believe the White House has deliberately misused classified intelligence and broken federal law in order to intimidate and silence a whistleblower, former Ambassador Joe Wilson.

Exposing an undercover CIA operative is a federal crime and the severest violation of national security one can think of. The White House’s claim to ignorance, “no information has been brought to our attention,” is wholly unsatisfactory and indicates to this reader that there is a cover-up going on at the very highest levels of the administration.

Patriotic Americans should demand an investigation be held outside the supervision of the Ashcroft-run Justice Department. Congress should either appointment a special prosecutor or hold its own congressional investigation to get to the bottom of this national security disaster.

The fate of our democracy hangs in the balance.

Michael H. WangNew York NY