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Bulletin for the Emancipation of Labor

Welcome to the webpage for the Bulletin for the Emancipation of Labor! The first issue of Emancipation was mailed to subscribers on June 29. The issue is available at the link below.

The first brochure to be published by Emancipation Press, Last Words of Shaka Sankofa: Revolutionary Courage in the Face of Death, has been typed and will be printed in a union shop. The valiant revolutionary Shaka Sankofa was executed in Texas on June 22. Abolish capital punishment!

The second issue of Emancipation contains the comment "No Platform for Fascists" and the article "German Green Party Welcomes Iranian Tyrant." To read this issue, click on the link below.

The third issue of Emancipation, carries the articles "The Saga of Pigeon River: Al Gore versus the Environment," and "From the Yiddish Press: How Colonel Petrov Saved Civilization." This issue is available at the link below.

The fourth issue of Emancipation, carries the articles, "Vote Socialist: Write In McReynolds/Hollis!" and "Gus Hall, 1910-2000: A Great Friend of the Democrats Has Died." This issue is available at the link below.

Excerpts from the fifth issue of Emancipation are available at the link below. The first article, "This Just In: Capitalism Cannot Be Reformed," relates an incident that took place during an anti-sweatshop demonstration on Newbury Street, Boston, during the Christmas shopping season. A second article, "A Tilt towards the GOP? SWP: "Dems Tried to Steal Fla. Election," relates the latest bizarre turn in the politics of the Socialist Workers Party. The lead article for the issue, dealing with the presidential election, is in preparation.

The first pamphlet by Emancipation Press is in preparation. It is an article by L.D. Trotsky, The Workers' Militia and Its Opponents, in which Trotsky details a plan for defeating fascist attacks. Trotsky's article deals with a question of the utmost urgency. The pamphlet will be available through street sales in Boston.

Subscriptions to Emancipation are free; please send a postal address to forsher@excite.com All brochures from Emancipation Press are mailed free to subscribers.

Readers are invited to submit letters and articles to Emancipation at the E-Mail address forsher@excite.com The program for which Emancipation stands is given in the "We Are For" box in each issue.

News

Divine Right of Senators?

Boston (September 16) A writer in The Boston Globe has called for Senator Ted Kennedy to be allowed to run without opposition in the November election, so that multi-millionaire Kennedy, who has sat in the Senate for thirty-seven years, would be spared "a time-consuming re-election campaign" and would not have to face "the test of running for office each time his term ends."

While elections under capitalist rule are a sham, since both Republicans and Democrats are in favor of continuing the system under which property owners exploit working people and laws in the United States are particularly effective in preventing socialist and labor candidates from competing against entrenched capitalist politicans, the suggestion that an incumbent should not have to face any opponent would soon mean that there would be no reason to hold elections at all.

However unfair elections in the U.S. are at present, workers and oppressed people have an interest in seeing that the forms of democracy continue, and that laws be changed to allow the opponents of capitalism a greater opportunity to participate in election campaigns as one way of building a revolutionary socialist movement to end capitalist dictatorship and institute a workers' republic, where the exploitation of working people will be ended permamently.

As regards Senator Kennedy, the best thing for democracy in Massachusetts would be for the Labor Party, which reputedly represents "one million workers," to nominate a worker from the shop floor, a trade unionist from Raytheon or General Electric in Lynn, to run against Kennedy on a class-struggle program of unionizing every worker in the Commonwealth, reducing the work week to four days, four hours a day, without any reduction in pay, and puttting the major corporations in Massachusetts under public ownership and social control.

Boston Rents Skyrocket

Boston (September 12) Renters in Boston are facing a nine percent increase in rents citywide from last year, with increases as much as fifteen percent in some neighborhoods. Median rent in Boston rose to $1,465 monthly in the first quarter of 2000. In Roslindale-West Roxbury median rent is now $1,150; in Back Bay-Beacon Hill the median rent is $1,650. A two-bedroom apartment, to accommodate a family, can cost $2,600 per month.. As rents are increased throughout Boston, apartments disappear: the city has a one-percent vacancy rate, with the volume of advertised apartments declining forty-six percent from 1999. It used to be said that home ownership is out of reach for many people. If present trends continue, renting an apartment will be an impossibility for lots of working people.

New England Jesuits Denounce U.S./UN Sanctions against Iraq as "Immoral"

Boston (August 5) For nearly four decades, Jesuit educators from New England taught Iraqi Muslim, Jewish and Christian youths at "Baghdad College," a Jesuit school on the shores of the Tigris River. The Baathist regime shut down the school after taking power in 1968. Retired Jesuits gathered with six hundred former students in a reunion in Massachusetts recently and denounced the "immorality" of the sanctions imposed on the Iraqi people after the U.S. war against Iraq. The Boston Globe reported that these sanctions are "estimated to be killing 5,000 children a month." One alumnus of the school described the effect of the U.S./UN sanctions: "Millions of people are in misery. They are losing their dignity, and the physical effect on them is horrifying." With a program of international working-class solidarity, a workers' republic in this country will put an end to punitive acts by the U.S. government against working people overseas.

Will Wonders Never Cease: Dick Cheney Has a Gay Daughter

Boston (August 5) If the Republicans retake the White House this November, Mary Cheney, daughter of the GOP vice-presidential candidate, who, according to The Boston Globe is gay, could face significant legal disabilities: George W. Bush is against (1) adoptions by gay people and (2) anti-discrimination laws in the workplace. In May, 2000, Governor Bush vetoed the Texas hate-crimes law because it covered crimes motivated by homophobia; Bush has also announced that he will abolish the position of White House liaison to gay people. As if all this were not enough, the Republican platform includes language opposing the "gay lifestyle" (thereby proving that tastefulness is somehow anathema to conservatives). The Democrats share in responsibility for legal homophobia. A Democratic administration fashioned the current "don't ask, don't tell" policy, under which gays in uniform continue to be prosecuted. The current Democratic candidate for the presidency does not support marriage equality.

Our best wishes to Mary Cheney and all gay people; in a workers' republic, sexual orientation would not be penalized, and equality would become a reality.

Emancipation Confronts and Denounces the Nader Campaign and ISO Opportunism

Boston (July 20) This evening, a supporter of the Bulletin for the Emancipation of Labor, speaking from the floor at an ISO meeting, confronted the ISO's treacherous accommodation to the bourgeois Green Party and its multi-millionaire, union-busting candidate Ralph Nader. Countering ISO rhetoric about building a movement of workers and the poor, the Emancipation supporter pointed out that Nader is worth $3.9 million and would hardly participate in such a movement. To the claim that Nader is "pro-union," it was described how a union-organizing drive at Multinational Monitor, a magazine Nader founded and subsidized, was smashed when union supporters were fired. The Emancipation supporter related that Nader had repudiated socialism in a talk at the University of Maryland on March 9 (see below) and emphasized that millions of people in the U.S. are simply invisible to Nader, who does not talk about racism or anti-gay discrimination in his speeches. During the question period, the Emancipation supporter pointed out that Nader had declined to support the defense of Mumia Abu Jamal and Shaka Sankofa and demanded to know when the Green candidate was going to endorse the effort to free Mumia.

ISO Backing Nader?

A well-known supporter of the International Socialist Organization sported a Nader for President button at a meeting on Thursday, July 13. The ISO has also sent out an E-mail invitation to a meeting to discuss the Nader candidacy. Every reader of Emancipation knows Nader's anti-labor record, which is public information. Union-busting has nothing to do with socialism, so an ISO decision to support Nader, who explicitly rejects socialism (see below), would be an appalling repudiation of revolutionary socialism.

Bush Presides Over His 137th Execution

On July 12, O.C. Joiner became the twenty-fifth condemned inmate to be put to death this year in Texas and the 224th overall since the state resumed capital punishment in December 1982. Joiner is the 137th condemned inmate to be put to death during Bush's tenure, which began in January 1995. Joiner went to his death proclaiming his innocence of the two murders of which he was convicted. His is the 652nd execution in the U.S. since January 1977. Abolish the death penalty by overturning bosses' rule!

Civil Unions for Gay Couples in Vermont: A Victory for Decency

A heartfelt mazl tov! to Carolyn Conrad and Kathleen Peterson, Lois Farnham and Holly Putterbaugh, to Chuck Turner and Bill Miller, and to all the couples who applied to have their relationships recognized through civil union status in Vermont, which became available on July 1. This victory for tolerance and equality, long overdue, comes about as the result of a lawsuit brought by Ms. Farnham and Ms. Putterbaugh in 1997; in December 1999, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that it was discriminatory to deny gay couples the benefits of marriage, and so a law permitting civil unions was passed by the Vermont Legislature in April of this year. Like any victory under bosses' rule, the fate of the civil unions law is uncertain, as opponents of gay equality prepare to bring suit to restore discrimination against gay people in Vermont. It is not clear whether civil-union status, once gained in Vermont, can be transferred to other states. Discrimination and violence against gays and lesbians are rooted in religion. Workers' rule will do what bosses' rule cannot: a workers' republic will guarantee marriage equality for everyone, gay and straight, by finally separating religion from the state.

An Injury to One Is an Injury to All!

IBEW 1505 strike fund needs our support!

IBEW 1505 is fighting the military giant Raytheon, which has cut off their health benefits. The local is getting no financial assistance from national IBEW, so their strike fund really needs help! http://www.local1505ibew.org 781-937-9991 (ext 14). Contributions to IBEW local 1505 Strike Fund, 2 Rainin Rd. Woburn MA 01801.

Nursing Home Worker Fired for Organizing

Paula, a strong union leader at a nursing home in Kingston, MA was recently fired for her union activities. She is fighting back with an appeal to the NLRB, but she needs your help so she can pay medical bills and meet her household expenses during this crisis. All contributions should be sent to Paula's Fund, c/o Service Employees International Union Local 285, 21 Fellows St., Roxbury, MA 02119. Checks should be made out to Local 285 Defense Fund. For more information, call SEIU Local 285 at 617-442-4100.

Talking Points

Which Gore Is Running for President?

After Gary Hart's presidential campaign self-destructed in May, 1987 because of the candidate's affair with Donna Rice, Gore, quoting Aristotle, wrote that "'Virtue is one thing.' It is not to be compartmentalized for public life and seen as entirely separate from the rest of one's life." In December 1998, after the House of Representatives voted to impeach the sitting President, whose defenders insisted that it was perfectly legitimate to compartmentalize virtue for public life and to regard a politician's private behavior as "entirely separate from the rest of one's life," Gore led a pep rally on the South Lawn of the White House, famously calling Bill Clinton, "a man [who] will be regarded in the history books as one of our greatest presidents" (Bill Turque, Inventing Al Gore, pp. 191-192, 356).

Gore Was the One Who . . .

Urged the President, who was "tentative" on the matter, to send missiles to attack Baghdad on June 24, 1994 (Turque, p. 275). More than a dozen Iraqi civilians died as a result of the U.S. attack.

Built an "alliance" with the loathsome pollster Dick Morris after the electorate repudiated the Democrats in the 1994 elections (Turque, pp. xiii, 293). With Gore's approval, Morris helped move the Democrats substantially to the right, so that even minor social reforms were no longer regarded as achievable by the "new" Democrats.

"Tipped the balance" in favor of the President's signing the Republican bill that ended welfare as a federal entitlement in mid-1996 (Turque, p. 308).

Insisted to the public that U.S. air attacks against the Serbs in December 1998 were not merely a diversion from scandals faced by the Administration.

Tales of Gore: The Ongoing Saga

In preparing for his initial run for the Senate, Al Gore, the erstwhile sponsor of legislation limiting a candidate's access to PAC money, grabbed every cent of PAC money he could legally get. "He caucused with business PAC representatives, highlighting the votes he had made in their favor, like his no to expanded picketing rights for striking workers" (Turque, p. 153).

As part of his 1984 Senate campaign in Tennessee, Gore emphasized his pro-tobacco-grower record. In 1988, running for the Democrat Presidential nomination, Gore told a group of tobacco farmers, "Throughout most of my life I rasied tobacco. I want you to know that with my own hands, all of my life, I put it in the plant beds and transferred it, I've hoed it, I've chopped it, I've shredded it, spiked it, put it in the barn and stripped it and sold it" (Turque, p. 161).

Nader repudiates socialism

(March 9, 2000 at University of Maryland, College Park; from The Washington Post)

Question: I notice that a lot of your arguments and your positions seem to fall in line with some of the socialist rhetoric, which leads to my question of four years of Ralph Nader administration, what would America look like at that point?

Nader's answer: First of all, I donít know where you got the impression. Socialism is government ownership of the means of production which usually ends up with the government-owned corporations controlling the government. Concentrated power in government or in corporate areas always leads to abuses . . .

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To read the first issue of Emancipation, click here.
To read the second issue of Emancipation, click here.
To read the third issue of Emancipation, click here.
To read the fourth issue of Emancipation, click here.
To read an excerpt from the fifth issue of Emancipation,click here.

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