Reader to reader response

I read Gerald Horne’s critical letter of the review of Michael Moore’s book. I know from being around various left people over the years there is always this criticism of the communists and your tactics towards Democrats and those who don’t fall into the “nice neat package” of being revolutionary.

The review did focus a lot on Nader, who is now a has-been, yet the issues that campaign was about live on. To me the issue was the Greens did not have the same priority of defeating the radical right as others like the civil rights, labor and women’s groups. And the Greens seemed to think they alone would solve the problem of Republican and Democratic Party monopoly on politics, expecting everyone to follow.

Politics, especially elections, are often very pragmatic. And given the fact that this is an important election year where the balance in Congress is at stake, Congress can be an important brake on Bush’s war on democracy and working families.

In that sense why would the Greens run a pro-war, proudly anti-communist candidate in a tight Senate race in Minnesota? For the principal of being against the Democrats? Is that really going to help stop Bush?

Francis EdmunsonMinneapolis MN

Working with politicians

It is true that some politicians will play an active role to assist labor and constituents move working-class issues forward when the trade unions are able to do the leg work and form citywide and countywide coalitions strong enough to exert political pressure on behalf of working people.

In May the mayor of Tucson and the city council went out on a limb in an attempt to railroad a transportation program that, according to the mayor and supporters, would relieve traffic congestion on the city streets.

Essentially the proposed transportation project did nothing to help those who reside within the city limits. Instead it was a program designed to push the outlying development residents to move faster to their places of employment within the city. The result was that the mayor, his developer friends and businessmen suffered a thrashing defeat at the voting booth.

This is not the only pro-worker battle won, however. Earlier in the year, unions and their coalition allies pushed through a living wage ordinance.

We could not have accomplished thse things without a long period of struggle to develop certain friendships and disscussions with a number of elected officials. We now know which are reachable, who we can talk to with good expectations of success.

It’s been a worthwhile lesson for many of us. The most important lesson is being able to count – most of the success has been achieved by a majority of one vote!

That is the lesson laid out by an article in the June issue of America@Work, the AFL-CIO’s national publication. It is a process that needs much more development and should be fully applied in the selction of candidates for the Novenber 2002 elections.

Lorenzo TorrezTucson AZ

PWW needs readers groups

I read left and progressive publications and the PWW is one but sometimes it just is not enough to read about the struggles you cover. I noticed that The Nation has ads for Nation discussion groups all around the country. Does the PWW have such a network?

A readervia e-mail

Editor’s note: Good question! We would welcome the idea of having World readers discussion groups around the country. Recently we have been having forums on the crisis in the Mideast and it has been a great way for local activists to gather discuss their experiences and new ideas for action.

But perhaps readers would like to have a more regular get together. If you or other readers are interested in starting discussion group or forum in you area please contact our offices listed on page two. If you live in an area where there is not a local office then email or write to our national office and let us know.

Worldwide economic crisis

WorldCom announced 16,000 job cuts; Hewlett-Packard cuts 15,000; IBM lays off 5,000; Nortel another 3,500. In May, European companies alone laid-off 48,000. Can the World and Mundo do more coverage on this?

It seems like there is worldwide capitalist economic crisis, not only in Japan and Asia, Argentina and South America but an economic crisis that includes the United States and Europe, as well.

Corporate stocks go up when they announce layoffs. To me that shows the exact opposite interests of those who need those jobs and those who get to announce they are cutting them and profiting off the cuts.

Margaret LenoxBoulder CO