Friday, November 19, 2004


1) A Community Labor News E-Zine
Today 19 Nov 1915
Joe Hill, IWW Organizer, Poet, Song Writer
Was murdered by the State of Utah

Saturday, Nov. 20, 11:00 a.m.
Union Square, San Francisco

3) Not in Our Name Bay Area
We need your hands, not your tongue!
Mass Mailing Party
Pizza and drinks to fuel processing of
national Not in Our Name fundraising letter
Monday, November 22
5:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Not in Our Name Office
3945 Opal Street, Oakland (map)
At 40th Street, near Broadway ­
a short walk from Macarthur BART.

4) ** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
As U.S. Forces Raided a Mosque
Dahr Jamail

5) +++++++++We need your help!+++++++++++
There is a DIRECT ACTION being organized around the
hotel lockout in San Francisco -- a community response
to a lockout of 4000 workers at 14 city hotels.

6) Statement by the National Youth & Student Peace Coalition
On the morning of Thursday, October 28th, more than a dozen
armed federal agents(representing the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives)
raided the West Philadelphia home of three organizers
involved with the Student Environmental Action Coalition
(SEAC) and the National Youth & Student Peace Coalition (NYSPC).


1) A Community Labor News E-Zine
Today 19 Nov 1915
Joe Hill, IWW Organizer, Poet, Song Writer
Was murdered by the State of Utah

My will is easy to decide
for there is nothing to divide
My kin don't need to fuss and moan
Moss doesn't cling to a rolling stone
My body?
Ahh if I could choose
I would to ashes it reduce
and let the merry breezes blow
my dust to where some flowers grow
Perhaps some fading flower then will spring to life
and bloom again
This is my last and final will
Good luck to all of you
Joe Hill

Written in his prison cell the night before his

Don't Mourn ORGANIZE

Sent from UnionMail Service []

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"Freedom is always and exclusively
freedom for the one who thinks differently"
--Rosa Luxemburg


Saturday, Nov. 20, 11:00 a.m.
Union Square, San Francisco

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

Please join the Million Worker March Committee, the San Francisco
Labor Council, HERE-UNITE Local 2, and the Executive Board of ILWU
Local 10 in a solidarity mobilization with the locked-out hotel

The short solidarity rally will start at 11 a.m. sharp at Union
Square in San Francisco (Powell @ Geary). It will feature
presentations by the locked-out workers and rally sponsors. Following
the speakers, there will be a march to some of the main hotels that
have locked out their workers, with mass picketing and chants at each

The Local 2 workers need our visible solidarity -- urgently. They
need the largest possible show of support to send a clear signal to
the hotel owners' association that San Francisco is -- and will
remain -- a strong union town.

A PDF version of an attractive Nov. 20 mobilization leaflet is
available upon request at . Also, thanks to a
kind donation from Inkworks Press, we have one thousand two-sided
color postcards urging participation in the Nov. 20 rally and letting
people know how people can help the Local 2 workers.

We need volunteers to distribute the Nov. 20 leaflets and postcards
at the various rallies and events tomorrow (Friday the 19th) --
including the rallies throughout the Bay Area in support of the UFCW
grocery workers. If you want to help distribute the postcards, please
pick up a stack at Inkworks in Berkeley (510-845-7111, ask for
Charlie Hinton) or at ILWU Local 10 in San Francisco (415-776-8100).
Please call beforehand to make sure that postcards are still

Thanks, in advance, for your support in building this mobilization
for the locked-out hotel workers. Their fight is our fight. As the
motto of the International Longshore and Warehouse Workers proclaims:
"An Injury to One Is An Injury to All."

In solidarity,

Ed Rosario and Alan Benjamin
OWC Continuations Committee
San Francisco Labor Council
Open World Conference in
Defense of Trade Union Independence & Democratic Rights, c/o S.F. Labor
Council, 1188 Franklin St., #203, San Francisco, CA 94109

Action for World Liberation Everyday!
Tel: (213)403-0131

Please Donate to ActionLA!
Send check pay to:
1013 Mission St. #6
South Pasadena CA 91030
(All donations are tax deductible)

Please join our ActionLA Listserv
go to:
or send e-mail to:

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3) Not in Our Name Bay Area
We need your hands, not your tongue!
Mass Mailing Party
Pizza and drinks to fuel processing of
national Not in Our Name fundraising letter
Monday, November 22
5:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Not in Our Name Office
3945 Opal Street, Oakland (map)
At 40th Street, near Broadway ­
a short walk from Macarthur BART.

This is a huge project. Thousands of envelopes to stuff, seal and
stamp! You need your hands, but not your tongue-there is absolutely
no licking involved. This is a great way for anybody (yes, you!) to step
right up and make a contribution to the anti-war movement.

About the EID stamp

For the fouth year, the postal office is issuing this stamp to mark
Ramadan, the month-long observance of fasting and prayer observed
by Muslims all over the world. This year Ramadan began October 26
and ends November 25 marked by the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr, one
of the two major Muslim holidays. The second major holiday is Eid-ul-
Adha which is celebrated the day after Hajj (the big pilgrimage in Mecca).
Eid is an Arabic word and literally means a recurring event. In Islam it
denotes the festivals of ISLAM. Hence the message of "Eid Greetings"
on the stamp applies to both Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.

Not in our Name has learned that there have been reactionary calls
to boycott the stamp. As a gesture of solidarity with our Muslim
sisters and brothers under attack, we are using thousands of these
stamps for our mailing and encourage you to buy and use the stamp
on all your mail.

The Not in Our Name Project
needs your support!

Donate online

Or send your tax-deductible contribution today to:

Not in Our Name
3945 Opal Street, Oakland CA 94609

phone: 510-601-8000


4) ** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
As U.S. Forces Raided a Mosque
Dahr Jamail

BAGHDAD, Nov 19 (IPS) - An eyewitness commentary to IPS through a U.S.
raid on a Baghdad mosque Friday gives a vivid picture of what a
'successful raid' can be like.

U.S. soldiers raided the Abu Hanifa mosque in Baghdad during Friday
prayers, killing at least four and wounding up to 20 worshippers.

At 12:30 pm local time, just after Imam Shaikh Muayid al-Adhami
concluded his talk, about 50 U.S. soldiers with 20 Iraqi National
Guardsmen (ING) entered the mosque, a witness reported.

"Everyone was there for Friday prayers, when five Humvees and several
trucks carrying INGs entered," Abu Talat told IPS on phone from within
the mosque while the raid was in progress. "Everyone starting yelling
'Allahu Akbar' (God is the greatest) because they were frightened. Then
the soldiers started shooting the people praying!"

Talat said he was among a crowd of worshippers being held back at
gunpoint by U.S. soldiers. Loud chanting of 'Allahu Akbar' could be
heard in the background during his call. Women and children were
sobbing, he said.

"They have just shot and killed at least four of the people praying," he
said in a panicked voice. "At least 10 other people are wounded now. We
are on our bellies and in a very bad situation."

Talat gave his account over short phone calls. He said he was witnessing
a horrific scene.

"We were here praying and now there are 50 here with their guns on us,"
he said. "They are holding our heads to the ground, and everyone is in
chaos. This is the worst situation possible. They cannot see me talking
to you. They are roughing up a blind man now." He evidently could talk
no further then.

The soldiers later released women and children along with men who were
related to them. Abu Talat was released because a boy told him to
pretend to be his father.

Other witnesses gave similar accounts outside the mosque. "People were
praying and the Americans invaded the mosque," Abdulla Ra'ad Aziz from
the al-Adhamiya district of Baghdad told IPS. He had been released along
with his wife and children. "Why are they killing people for praying?"
He said that after the forces entered "they went to the back doors and
we heard so many bullets of the guns -- it was a gun bigger than a
Kalashnikov. There were wounded and dead, I saw them myself."

Some of the people who had been at prayer were ordered by soldiers to
carry the dead and wounded out of the mosque, he said.

"One Iraqi National Guardsmen held his gun on people and yelled, 'I will
kill you if you don't shut up'," said Rana Aziz, a mother who had been
trapped in the mosque.. "So they made everyone lie down, then people got
quiet, and they took the women and children out."

She said someone asked the soldiers if they would be made hostages. A
soldier used foul language and asked everyone to shut up, she said.
Suddenly, she laughed amid her tears. "The Americans have learnt how to
say shut up in Arabic, 'Inchev'."

Soldiers denied Iraqi Red Crescent ambulances and medical teams access
to the mosque. As doctors negotiated with U.S. soldiers outside, more
gunfire was heard from inside.

About 30 men were led out with hoods over their heads and their hands
tied behind them. Soldiers loaded them into a military vehicle and took
them away around 3.15 pm.

A doctor with the Iraqi Red Crescent confirmed four dead and nine
wounded worshippers. Pieces of brain were splattered on one of the walls
inside the mosque while large blood stains covered carpets at several

A U.S. military spokesperson in Baghdad did not respond to requests for
information on the raid.

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5) +++++++++We need your help!+++++++++++
There is a DIRECT ACTION being organized around the
hotel lockout in San Francisco -- a community response
to a lockout of 4000 workers at 14 city hotels.

The management group that represents these
hotels is trying to starve San Francisco hotel workers
into a brutal contract. This contract will increase workers'
health care premiums from 10 to 273 dollars per month.
This will effectively strip many workers of their healthcare
by making it completely unaffordable. To add insult to injury
management is offering a pathetic 5-20 cent per hour raise.
Also at stake is the length of the contract. Management
wants to lock workers into a 5 year contract that leaves
them weak and isolated; the union wants to renegotiate
in two years when contracts expire in other cities around
the country. If you don't already know the
details about this battle, you can, and should read more
about it at: and

This action is being initiated by several affinity groups
associated with Direct Action to Stop the War. Although
we cannot divulge specifics about the action target, time, or
date via email, we can tell you the following:

* This will be a simple, non-violent direct action. It involves
no damage to property. NUMBERS will make this action
what it needs to be.

* It will happen SOON so if you want to get involved
you need to move quickly.

* Ours is a community response to the lockout. It is meant
to demonstrate to hotel management that an attack on
their workers is an attack on our entire community. We are
opening our own front in the battle for healthcare benefits, and
employers everywhere should take notice that San Francisco is
a union town, and healthcare is a human right that our community
will defend. We are serving notice that these hotels picked the
wrong city to attack workers in.

* Our demands for this action:
1) an immediate end to the lockout
2) no increase in worker contributions to the health care plan
3) contract length of two years.

* The hotel workers are pursuing their own strategies in this
battle. We are not here to critique the union's strategies, set an
example or lead them. Likewise, we are going to produce one
of what will hopefully be many supportive and diverse community
responses. We do not want to be divisive or argue about what
some monolithic community response should be.

* Our response doesn't begin or end with this battle, and
our messaging is our own. Our messaging will be powerful in its
simplicity, and will not be divisive. We view healthcare as a right
and our sights are set on future actions, and significant
escalation of actions in support of workers wherever they are being

+++++++++++What we need from you++++++++++++++++

* Your participation: Hopefully, you, and many of your friends
will wish to be involved. And if so, WE NEED YOUR CONTACT
INFORMATION (cell phone, email, group affiliations) so we can
get in touch with you with info on where to meet. We need to know
if you will participate as an individual or group or groups. If
there are groups we need to know who the point or contact person is
for those groups. You should begin thinking about whether you
and your friends can risk arrest (red team), or whether you are
willing to be present and do support for the action (yellow team)
or even if you have some of both.

* Help organize: Do you know other people or groups who we can or
should contact directly or in person? If you have tactical experience
with direct action and would like to take a more involved role, let us know.

* Spread the word: Please pass this info on! [Please do NOT hit
your forward button -- copy the text into a new email window.]

* Come to an organizing meeting. There are meetings coming up
Wednesday and Thursday nights, and representation from
participating groups is important. Send us a phone number to call
you at if you want to come.

* RSVP!!! Direct your responses to and someone
will get in touch with you in short order. We really would like to
stress the need for phone numbers, as it is hard to organize a near
term action if we cannot get in touch with people in short order.


6) Statement by the National Youth & Student Peace Coalition
On the morning of Thursday, October 28th, more than a dozen
armed federal agents(representing the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives)
raided the West Philadelphia home of three organizers
involved with the Student Environmental Action Coalition
(SEAC) and the National Youth & Student Peace Coalition (NYSPC).

While the search warrant employed by the agents was
specifically directed towards the activities of Philadelphia-based animal
rights group “Hugs for Puppies” and any communications it has had with the
Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) campaign, all residents of the house were
questioned by the agents and private property belonging to several residents
was seized.

Two of the seized items included the personal laptop and day-planner of
Fults, a SEAC/NYSPC organizer who is in no way involved with the groups
mentioned in the warrant. FultsÂ’ computer contained copies of organizing
materials belonging to both NYSPC and SEAC.

We are deeply concerned about the ramifications of this unjust seizure, and
sending this communication out to our constituency for two reasons:

1) We believe that the individuals who have expressed an interest in working
with our coalition deserve to know that their right to privacy is being
endangered by the unjust (and potentially illegal) activities of the federal

2) We are concerned that this raid is but one skirmish in an ongoing war on
civil liberties being waged by the U.S. government in the name of fighting
“terrorism.” While neither NYSPC nor SEAC is involved with the SHAC
we join all activists in our strong opposition to the repression of dissent
the increasing efforts to coerce information and intimidate activists. In
of 2004, seven prominent SHAC activists were arrested and charged with
violations of the 1992 Title 18 “Animal Enterprise Protection Act,” which
contains subsection 43 on “animal enterprise terrorism.” The "SHAC 7" are
currently facing a combined 23 years in federal prison and over a million
dollars in fines for running a website which reports on direct action
the vivisection company Huntingdon Life Sciences and its business partners.
For more information about the SHAC 7 and this ongoing case, visit: Regardless of where one stands on the issue of animal rights
and the employment of direct action as an activist tactic, this instance
demonstrates clearly that an attack on the civil liberties of anyone is an
injury to everyone.

The victims of the October 28th raid are currently being represented by the
firm of Kairys, Rudovsky, Epstein & Messing, who are making every effort to
expedite the return of the confiscated property and to assure that any
of the contents of FultsÂ’ computer are destroyed. Due to the lack of
responsiveness by the FBI thus far, our legal representation will begin
pursuing litigation early next week.

We deeply appreciate the support we have received from our allies thus far,
will keep you informed as the situation develops. For more information or
learn how you can support the victims of this raid, contact Jason Fults at
215-222-4711 or

National Youth & Student Peace Coalition (NYSPC)
PO Box 31909
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Nyspc mailing list

Thursday, November 18, 2004



1) ** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
Media Repression in 'Liberated' Land
Dahr Jamail

2) The Streets of Baghdad
By Dahr Jamail
Nov. 18

3) Lessons Of The November 2004 Elections
& Perspectives For The Future
Sunday December 12, 2004, 7:00 PM
522 Valencia St./16th St., San Francisco
Donation Requested $3.00

Dear Friends,
Below is a proposed agenda for the Brazil Social Forum's
Anti-War Assembly. It is critical that we get nuclear
abolition on the agenda. Right now there are three items:
The Anti-War Assembly will be held in the WSF with the proposed
No US Bases/Militarization Strategy Session--Jan 27, 9-12am
Global Anti-War Movement Strategy Session--Jan 27, 2-6pm
Global Anti-War Assembly--Jan 27, 7-9pm

5) Marine Officers See Risks in Reducing U.S. Troops in Falluja
November 18, 2004

6) Subject: Venceremos Brigade Faces Prosecution
To: Nicaragua Network Hotline
The Nicaragua Network has received this important
information which we thought you would want to know.
Venceremos Brigade Faces Charges for Constitutionally
Protected Activities
Tue, 16 Nov 2004

7) Survey: World Fears for Future
By Robert Evans
GENEVA (Reuters)
Thu Nov 18, 2004 08:42 AM ET

8) Dollar melts but Snow stays firm
We will not intervene, insists US treasury chief
Ashley Seager
The Guardian
Thursday, November 18, 2004,,1353645,00.html

9) Massive new round of cuts in Detroit Public Schools
By Arnetta Eubanks
World Socialist Web Site
18 November 2004

10) Margaret Hassan's Suspected Execution Will Be Seen As
'Proof' of Evil
By Robert Fisk
Thursday, November 18, 2004

11) World on Alert as Over 15,000 Species Face Extinction
By Sonny Inbaraj
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 by InterPress Service

12) Statement in Response to the Intimidation of Columbia
University Professor Joseph Massad, Modern Arab Politics
and Intellectual History
614 Kent Hall
Joseph Massad

13) The American Friends Service Committee and the
Alternatives to War forum invite you to the following forum:
Noam Bahat & Shimri Zamaret
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2004, 7:00 PM
Quaker Meeting House
65 9th St., San Francisco, CA
(between Market and Mission Civic Center BART and MUNI stops)

14) Unions Resume Debate Over Merging and Power
November 18, 2004

15) Possible New Mad Cow Case Is Found in the U.S.
November 18, 2004


1) ** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
Media Repression in 'Liberated' Land
Dahr Jamail

BAGHDAD, Nov 18 (IPS) - Journalists are increasingly being detained and
threatened by the U.S.-installed interim government in Iraq. Media have
been stopped particularly from covering recent horrific events in Fallujah.

The "100 Orders" penned by former U.S. administrator in Iraq L. Paul
Bremer include Order 65 passed March 20 to establish an Iraqi
communications and media commission. This commission has powers to
control the media because it has complete control over licensing and
regulating telecommunications, broadcasting, information services and
all other media establishments.

On June 28 when the United States handed over power to a 'sovereign'
Iraqi interim government, Bremer simply passed on the authority to Ayad
Allawi, the U.S.-installed interim prime minister who has had
longstanding ties with the British intelligence service MI6 and the CIA.

A glaring instance is the curbs placed on the Qatar-based TV channel

Within days of the 'handover' of power to an interim Iraqi government
last summer, the Baghdad office of al-Jazeera was raided and closed by
security forces from the interim government. The network was accused of
inaccurate reporting and banned initially for one month from reporting
out of Iraq.

The ban was then extended "indefinitely." On Tuesday this week the
interim government announced that any al-Jazeera journalist found
reporting in Iraq would be detained.

The al-Jazeera office in Baghdad had been bombed by a U.S. warplane
during the invasion of March last year. The TV channel had given their
exact coordinates to the Pentagon to avoid such an occurrence. One of
their journalists was killed in the bombing.

Al-Jazeera now broadcasts a daily apology "because we cannot cover Iraq
news well since our offices have been closed for over three months by
orders from the interim government."

Other instances of political repression abound. The media commission
sent out an order recently asking news organisations to "stick to the
government line on the U.S.-led offensive in Fallujah or face legal
action." The warning was sent on the letterhead of Allawi.

The letter also asked media to "set aside space in your news coverage to
make the position of the Iraqi government, which expresses the
aspirations of most Iraqis, clear."

Last week a journalist for the al-Arabiya network was detained by U.S.
forces outside Fallujah when he attempted to enter the besieged city.

Citing another al-Arabiya correspondent as its source, the U.S.-based
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said the Arabic satellite station
had lost contact with Abdel Kader Saadi, a reporter and photographer
living and working in the Sunni Muslim city, on Nov. 11.

French freelance photographer Corentin Fleury was detained by the U.S.
military with his interpreter, 28 year-old Bahktiyar Abdulla Hadad when
they were leaving Fallujah just before the siege of the city began.

They had worked in the city for nine days leading up to the siege, and
were held for five days in a military detention facility outside the city.

"They were very nervous and they asked us what we saw, and looked over
all my photos, asking me questions about them," Fleury told IPS. "They
asked where the weapons were, what the neighborhoods were like, all of

Fleury said he had photographed homes destroyed by U.S. warplanes, and
life in the city leading up to the siege.

"They wanted information from me regarding the situation in Fallujah,
but they have yet to release my translator," he said. "I made a silly
photo of him holding a sniper rifle, and I think this is why they are
holding him. I've been trying to get information for the last five days
on him, and the French embassy has been trying to get him out, different
journalists he's worked with are sending letters, but there has been no
luck so far."

You can visit
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Or, you can unsubscribe by sending an email to
and write unsubscribe in the subject or the body of the email.

Iraq_Dispatches mailing list


2) The Streets of Baghdad
By Dahr Jamail

We had our daily car bomb today when a suicide bomber drove his car
into a US patrol as it passed near the Yarmouk police station. Several
Iraqis were killed, with no report yet on US casualties. I felt the rumble
even though I was on a street far away from the blast-at least 5 miles

Walking and driving on the streets Baghdad I find myself in a sea of
chaos. Traffic is mayhem for many reasons. The current fuel crisis
being the lead cause. Lines at petrol stations stretch for miles at some
of the stations. A common scene at these lines is that of people pushing
their cars because they are already out of gas or to save what precious
little may be left in their tank.

The fuel lines that stretch in the busier parts of the city cause huge
snarls of traffic as it is squeezed into one of the remaining lanes left

Another reason is military patrols and searches. Oftentimes when we are
caught in crawling traffic, we come upon several Humvees blocking one
of the lanes as they are searching a store or guarding troops who are
doing a small foot patrol.

Iraqi reaction to military vehicles in the city continues to be cold.
more than cold-it has become notably hostile.

I was walking with my interpreter along one of the main streets of Baghdad
when a couple of different times patrols rolled by of two Humvees with
guns pointing out the windows at people and the machine gunners atop
them swinging their guns back and forth at the rooftops of buildings. Each
time men nearby said to nobody in particular, "Get off our streets with your
guns," "You aren't here to protect us you bastards," or as one man laughed
to his friend, "Can't you see we have no weapons of mass destruction?
Now go home!"

A little later a group of two white SUV's full of (I presume) CIA and/or
mercenaries followed by a GMC with several large antennae rolled down
the road with their guns pointing out the tinted windows at pedestrians.
As the GMC passed, the back was open because inside was literally a
machine gun bunker-a black metal shield covered the opening, with a
small rectangle on the top portion which had the barrel of a large caliber
machine gun hanging out of it.

I noted several Iraqis around me shaking their heads who watched this
entourage pass.

Several blocks away several large explosions are heard in the general
area from which they'd come.

Highways around Baghdad are filled with places where the guardrails
have been mashed down by tanks . Other places find destroyed
overpasses . The point is there is no reconstruction of the damage.

Later this evening a friend stopped by my room to visit. He is
a Christian man who had hoped that the attack on Fallujah would
have quieted the resistance.

But he is sickened by the US-installed interim government, and
their utter futility to fix anything in his war-torn occupied country.

He said, "The government only cares about themselves. They are
obviously not here to help Iraq. It is such a simple thing to fix
a hole in the street, you can just bring asphalt and fill it with
a shovel...and they cannot even do this. You can see the city
is how can they fix the big problems like the fighting?
Fallujah is now a disaster and the resistance is everywhere around
Iraq. They can do nothing because they are powerless. There is no
army or police here worth anything. This is worse than the war in
Lebanon. There is no solution."

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at November 18, 2004 03:50 PM


3) Lessons Of The November 2004 Elections
& Perspectives For The Future
Sunday December 12, 2004, 7:00 PM
522 Valencia St./16th St., San Francisco
Donation Requested $3.00

What are the lessons of the election and how do we go forward today. These
are the issues that will be addressed at this discussion. The trade unions
which spent hundreds of millions of dollars to support Kerry are now left
with nothing to show for it and Bush is intent on pushing privatizaton,
more repression and expanding the wars in the Middle East.
What should working people do to challenge these policies and how can the
Million Worker March movement be used as a vehicle to build an independent
working class movement.

Join us in this important debate.

Sponsored by
Peace And Freedom Labor Committee
Steve Zeltzer For Supervisor Campaign Committee

Steve Zeltzer, Candidate For SF Board Of Supervisors District 9
Tom Lacey, North State Chair Peace & Freedom Party Central Committee

For further information contact (415)695-1369 (415)647-3868


Dear Friends,
Below is a proposed agenda for the Brazil Social Forum's
Anti-War Assembly. It is critical that we get nuclear
abolition on the agenda. Right now there are three items:
The Anti-War Assembly will be held in the WSF with the proposed
No US Bases/Militarization Strategy Session--Jan 27, 9-12am
Global Anti-War Movement Strategy Session--Jan 27, 2-6pm
Global Anti-War Assembly--Jan 27, 7-9pm

Please tell them about the Abolition Now Campaign during this 60th
anniversary year of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and how
we are working with the Mayors of those cities to enroll Mayors all
over the world in the Emergency Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons.
Tell them about the May 1st Disarmament march and rally in New York
prior to the start of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review, where it was
promised that the nuclear weapons states would get rid of their
weapons. Instead, the US used nuclear weapons as an excuse to go
to war in Iraq, and is now threatening Iran and North Korea. And we
now see Putin following the bad example of the US, testing new
nuclear missiles. Ask them to feature this issue on the agenda.
We may be able to have Mayor Akiba from Hiroshima at the meeting.
Please do what you can to make Abolition Now a world wide campaign
with the widest possible support. See And
please work on your own Mayors and Heads of States to come to New
York for this important Conference. Many thanks. Alice Slater

User-Agent: Microsoft-Entourage/
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 00:28:47 +0700
From: Mary Lou Malig
To: jakarta peace ,
beirut list
X-Virus-Scanned: by amavisd-new-20030616-p10 at
X-Sequence: 383
X-no-archive: yes


Subject: [global-peace-movement] WSF Anti-War Assembly * FSM Asamblea
X-Virus-Scanned: by amavisd-new-20030616-p10 at
*Apologies for cross-postings*
*Disculpen si reciben estos documentos varias veces*
(español mas abajo)
Dear Friends,
Greetings from Sao Paolo and Bangkok!
We are writing to invite you to send comments and proposals for the Anti-War
Assembly and related activities at the coming World Social Forum (WSF) in
Porto Alegre, Brasil this January 26-31, 2005.
Please find attached the proposal for the Anti-War Assembly and the letter
from the Alianza Social Continental/Hemispheric Social Alliance explaining
the new way that the WSF will be organized and how others can get involved.
Both documents are in English and Spanish.
We are requesting everyone to please send in their comments and proposals by
Monday, November 29.
We look forward to hearing from you.
In solidarity,
Gonzalo Berrón and Mary Lou Malig
Hemispheric Social Alliance
and Focus on the Global South
Mary Lou:
Amigos y Amigas
Saludos desde São Paulo y Bankok!
Les escribimos para invitarlos a enviar comentarios y propuestas para la
Asamblea Anti-Guerra y otras actividades vinculadas al tema a realizarse
durante el Foro Social Mundial en Porto Alegre, Brasil, los próximos 26 a
31 de enero de 2005.
Por favor, lean el archivo adjunto que contiene la propuesta para la
Asamblea Antiguerra y la carta que la Alianza Social Continental envió
explicando el nuevo formato organizativo del FSM y como involucrarse en él.
Ambos documentos están en inglés y español.
Les pedimos a todos y todas que por favor nos envien sus comentarios y
propuestas hasta el lunes 29 de noviembre
Nos despedimos a la espera de sus respuestas.
Saludos solidarios
Gonzalo Berrón y Mary Lou Malig
Alianza Social Continental
Focus on the Global South
Mary Lou:
Focus on the Global South (FOCUS)
c/o CUSRI, Chulalongkorn University
Bangkok 10330 THAILAND
Tel: 662 218 7363/7364/7365/7383
Fax: 662 255 9976

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Alice Slater
Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE)
215 Lexington Ave., Room 1001
New York, NY 10016
tel: (212) 726-9161
fax: (212) 726-9160
GRACE is a member of Abolition 2000, a global network for the elimination of
nuclear weapons.


5) Marine Officers See Risks in Reducing U.S. Troops in Falluja
November 18, 2004

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 - Senior Marine intelligence officers in Iraq
are warning that if American troop levels in the Falluja area are
significantly reduced during reconstruction there, as has been
planned, insurgents in the region will rebound from their defeat.
The rebels could thwart the retraining of Iraqi security forces,
intimidate the local population and derail elections set for
January, the officers say.

They have further advised that despite taking heavy casualties
in the weeklong battle, the insurgents will continue to grow in
number, wage guerrilla attacks and try to foment unrest among
Falluja's returning residents, emphasizing that expectations for
improved conditions have not been met.

The pessimistic analysis is contained in a seven-page classified
report prepared by intelligence officers in the First Marine
Expeditionary Force, or I MEF, last weekend as the offensive
in Falluja was winding down. The assessment was distributed
to senior Marine and Army officers in Iraq, where one officer
called it "brutally honest."

Marine commanders marshaled about 12,000 marines and
soldiers, and roughly 2,500 Iraqi forces for the Falluja campaign,
but they always expected to send thousands of American troops
back to other locations in Iraq eventually, after the major fighting
in Falluja. This intelligence assessment suggests that such
a move would be risky.

Some senior military officers in Iraq and Washington who have
read the report have cautioned that the assessment is a subjective
judgment by some Marine intelligence officers near the front
lines and does not reflect the views of all intelligence officials
and senior commanders in Iraq.

"The assessment of the enemy is a worst-case assessment," Brig.
Gen. John DeFreitas III of the Army, the senior military intelligence
officer in Iraq, said of the Marine report in a telephone interview
on Wednesday. "We have no intention of creating a vacuum and
walking away from Falluja."

The report offers a stark counterpoint to more upbeat assessments
voiced by military commanders in the wake of the Falluja operation,
which they say completed its goals well ahead of schedule and with
fewer American and Iraqi civilian casualties than expected.

Although the resistance crumbled in the face of the offensive, the
report warns that if American forces do not remain in sufficient
numbers for some time, "The enemy will be able to effectively
defeat I MEF's ability to accomplish its primary objectives of
developing an effective Iraqi security force and setting the
conditions for successful Iraqi elections.

The American military and Iraqi government are poised to pour
humanitarian aid and conduct reconstruction efforts in the battle-
scarred city, most of whose nearly 300,000 residents fled before
the fighting began last week.

"The view from the tactical level has been generally more
pessimistic," said one senior Marine officer in Washington,
referring to the view from the ground. "They may well be right,
but I would also say that tactical intel is almost always more dour
than that done at the strategic level."

Details of the report and some of its verbatim findings were
provided to The New York Times this week by four active-duty or
retired military officers in Iraq and Washington who have read the
report or heard descriptions of it.

The assessment draws on intelligence gathered in the Falluja
operation and 10 intelligence reports compiled in the last six
months in the Marines' area of responsibility in Iraq, principally
Al Anbar and Babil Provinces, officials said.

Senior officers said the intelligence report was meant to help top
Marine commanders in Iraq, including Lieut. Gen. John F. Sattler
and Maj. Gen. Richard F. Natonski, and their military superiors in
Baghdad, decide how many American forces to keep in the Falluja-
Ramadi area when the offensive is over and reconstruction efforts
are in full swing.

Senior officers have said that they would keep a sizable American
military presence in and around Falluja in the long reconstruction
phase that has just begun, until sufficiently trained and equipped
Iraqi forces could take the lead in providing security.

"It will take a security presence for a while until a well-trained Iraqi
security force can take over the presence in Falluja and maintain
security so that the insurgents don't come back, as they have tried
to do in every one of the cities that we have thrown them out of,"
Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top American commander in Iraq,
said on Nov. 8.

American commanders have expressed disappointment in some
of the Iraqis they have been training, especially members of the
Iraqi police force. Other troops have performed well, the officers
have said.

The commanders are looking at a range of options on how many
troops to keep in the area, depending on the security situation
and how quickly Iraqi forces can take control. But if many American
troops and the better-trained specialized Iraqi forces, like the
commando and special police units, are committed to Falluja for
a long time, they will not be available to go elsewhere in Iraq,
possibly creating critical shortfalls.

Already, hundreds of American troops in a battalion of an Army
Stryker Brigade in the Falluja area have been returned to Mosul
in the north to help quell insurgent attacks there.

The Marine report paints a generally gloomy picture of the
insurgents' expected reaction if American forces are reduced
too much during the critical reconstruction.

"At current projected force levels, the enemy will be able to
maintain a sufficient level of intimidation of the Al Anbar and
Babil Province populations and infiltrate or otherwise further
degrade the capabilities" of the Iraqi security forces in western
and south-central Iraq, where the Marines operate, the report says.

The insurgency has shown "outstanding resilience" and the
militants' willingness to fight is bolstered by four main factors,
the report says. One, the tribal and insurgent leaders understand
the limitations of the United Nations, American elections and
internal Iraqi government politics, and try to exploit them. Two,
they are skilled at turning battlefield defeats into symbolic victories,
just as Saddam Hussein did after the 1991 Persian Gulf war.
Insurgents will make the battle of Falluja into an excellent
recruiting tool, the report says.

Three, the insurgents are dedicated propagandists who use
the Internet and other means to feed exaggerated and contrived
reporting from the battlefield to jihadists in Saudi Arabia and
elsewhere in the Middle East. Al Jazeera and Arab media then
pick it up, the report says.

Finally, the report says, the insurgents believe they are more
willing to suffer casualties than the American military and public,
and "will continue to find refuge among sympathetic tribes and
former regime members."

The report predicts that insurgents will try to disrupt voter
registration, which the officers say is already two weeks behind
in Al Anbar Province, and that elections in the region will be
cast into doubt.

Officers who have read the report played down its dire warnings
and pointed out several successes noted in the document. The
report, for instance, says that the Falluja operation achieved
its basic goal, to deny the insurgents their largest sanctuary
in Iraq, and has forced the network of Jordanian militant Abu
Musab al-Zarqawi to move to a new base of operations in the
country, probably Mosul.

The report also says that the number of attacks in Ramadi, the
capital of Al Anbar Province, has declined by 40 percent in the
last few weeks, after security was heightened in the region,
according to Maj. Douglas M. Powell, a Marine spokesman in

Eric Schmitt reported from Washington for this article, and
Robert F. Worth from Falluja.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times


6) Subject: Venceremos Brigade Faces Prosecution
To: Nicaragua Network Hotline
The Nicaragua Network has received this important
information which we thought you would want to know.
Venceremos Brigade Faces Charges for Constitutionally
Protected Activities
Tue, 16 Nov 2004


November 13, 2004
Press Advisory
For Immediate Release

For more information:
Venceremos Brigade
PO Box 5202
Englewood, NJ

Local contact: K. Karlson

Tue, 16 Nov 2004

For more information:
Venceremos Brigade
PO Box 5202
Englewood, NJ

Local contact: K. Karlson

Venceremos Brigade Faces Charges for Constitutionally Protected Activities:

Treasury Department takes first step in prosecuting groups who travel to
Cuba in opposition to U.S. policy.

New York, NY...In October, the Venceremos Brigade (VB) received a
Requirement to Furnish Information (RFI) from the US Treasury Department's
Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The RFI is phase one in the
enforcement of laws that restrict the constitutionally protected right to
travel to Cuba.

The OFAC letter calls the VB a "travel service provider." The VB is not a
travel service provider. The VB is an anti-imperialist education project
that works to develop friendship with the Cuban people. VB activities
include education and consciousness-raising
around issues related to Cuba such as democracy, social justice and the
role of US foreign policy. The VB affirms the right of the Cuban people to
determine their own history without outside interference. The VB travels to
Cuba without requesting a license,
pointing out that the restrictions on travel imposed by the US government
are a violation of the US Constitution and of international law.

OFAC's letter to the VB is an act of intimidation that is in line with the
Bush administration's escalated attacks on Cuba, and travel to Cuba. While
heralding a "war on terror", the Bush administration is increasing its
attacks on Cuba, a nation that has posed no threat to the United States.

Brigadista Bonnie Massey points out that "between 1990 and 2003 OFAC
investigated only 93 cases of international terrorism, compared to 10,683
investigations into unlicensed travel to Cuba." Questioning the intent of
the unconstitutional restrictions, Massey continues: "What is wrong with
finding out the truth about Cuba? Why is OFAC trying to prevent us from
going to see Cuba with our own

While in Cuba, VB participants work side by side with Cuban people,
obtaining first hand knowledge about life on the island. When they return
home, VB participants share their experiences, educating people in the US
about the Cuban people, their way of life,
and their social, political and economic system.

Brigadista Ed Felton states: "To the Cuban people, bringing the truth about
Cuba back to the U.S. is one of the most important parts of our effort. The
distorted picture of Cuba that's presented in the U.S outrages the Cuban
people. Cubans want U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba and see it for

"The VB will continue to stand up for our constitutional right to do so,
until the restrictions are lifted. The overwhelming majority of
American people, including both Houses of Congress are opposed to the
travel restrictions."

In the face of prosecution, the VB stands firmly on the ground of their
civil rights convictions, citing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who said:
" has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws." As Brigadista
Tshaka Barrows says: "We are ready. No illegitimate letter or any other act
of intimidation by the government can undermine the strength of our unity."


7) Survey: World Fears for Future
By Robert Evans
GENEVA (Reuters)
Thu Nov 18, 2004 08:42 AM ET

GENEVA (Reuters) - People around the globe largely mistrust
their political leaders and nearly half fear the world will be
less safe for their children, according to a survey issued on

The survey, carried out in 60 countries by the Gallup
International polling organization for the Swiss-based World
Economic Forum, also found that business leaders have a better
image than the politicians -- but not by a huge margin.

Worldwide, 63 percent of the 50,000 people questioned
believe politicians are dishonest while 43 percent think the
same term applies to business leaders, according to the survey,
titled "The Voice of the People."

Some 52 percent feel politicians behave unethically, and 39
percent believe the same of business chiefs. But while 39
percent think politicians are not capable or competent, only 22
percent viewed their business counterparts in the same way.

Least trusted by their peoples, the survey indicated, are
the political leaders of Latin America, West Asia and Africa
with dishonesty ratings of 87 percent for the first, 84 percent
for the second and 82 percent for the third.

Although in Western Europe as a whole 46 percent of the
survey sample described their politicians as dishonest, in
Germany 76 percent held that view, while 70 percent of Germans
thought business leaders were dishonest too.

By contrast, across the border in France, where cynicism
about political life has been long viewed from outside as rife,
only 36 percent saw their politicians as dishonest and only 27
percent described them as unethical.


In Britain, 72 percent feel that "politicians respond to
people more powerful than themselves" -- possibly reflecting
disapproval of Prime Minister Tony Blair's support for
President Bush over Iraq, survey compilers said.

The figure for Western Europe as a whole was 58 percent.

In North America, covering the United States and Canada, 50
percent of the sample felt political leaders are dishonest, and
47 percent believe business leaders behave unethically. The
survey as issued by the Forum gave no other details or
breakdown for the two countries.

It said Ecuador returned the highest dishonesty rating, 96
percent, followed by Mexico with 93 percent, Nigeria with 92
percent, Peru, Bolivia and India with 91 percent -- and new
European Union member Poland with 90 percent.

At the other end of the scale, only three percent of those
surveyed in Singapore saw their political leaders as dishonest,
12 percent in the Netherlands and 13 percent in Malaysia.

The survey found 45 percent of the sample around the globe
-- and 46 percent in the United States -- predicting a less
safe world for future generations, of whom nearly one third
thought life would be "a lot less safe" in years to come.

In Western Europe, this view was expressed by 55 percent of
the sample -- up to 63 percent in Germany.

But in Africa, scene of some of the worst natural disasters
and civil conflicts of the last decades, optimism was stronger
with 50 percent saying the world would be safer and only 30
percent expecting less security.

(c) Copyright Reuters 2004.


8) Dollar melts but Snow stays firm
We will not intervene, insists US treasury chief
Ashley Seager
The Guardian
Thursday, November 18, 2004,,1353645,00.html

The dollar plunged to an all-time low against the euro yesterday
as the Bush administration signaled it was not prepared to take any
action to prevent the slide.

The greenback has resumed its fall since George Bush was re-elected
and is down 40% against the euro over the past two years, reflecting
growing concerns in currency markets over the giant US budget and
current account deficits.

But US treasury secretary John Snow told the Royal Institute of
International Affairs that his country's current account deficit was
a problem for other nations as well and signaled his opposition
to any kind of intervention to put a floor under the currency.

"The issue of the current account deficit is a shared responsibility
not just one for the US," he said.

He added that the US intended to do its bit to eradicate the current
account deficit by reducing its budget deficit over the next few years.
Other countries, particularly in Europe, had to make a contribution
by boosting their economies and attracting investment capital which
is now flowing into the US and exacerbating its current account
problem. "We would be interested in seeing Europe grow faster ...
There is unbalanced growth which is contributing to this problem
of current account deficits," he said.

As he spoke, the dollar bust through the $1.30 to the euro level
to set a record low of $1.3047. It also set a nine-year low against
a basket of major currencies and a seven-month low of 104.1
against the yen. The pound rose to $1.8628.

But Mr Snow dismissed speculation that the major economic
powers may intervene in currency markets and buy dollars: "The
history of efforts to impose non-market values on currencies is
at best unrewarding ... we believe in open, free, competitive
currency markets."

But in spite of questioning he reiterated that Washington's
long-stated policy of wanting a strong dollar remained intact:
"The policy is the policy."

However, currency markets believe that Washington is happy to
see the dollar fall back and help reduce the current account deficit
by making imports more expensive and exports cheaper, so they
took his comments as a signal to sell the dollar. "He gave no
impression that dollar policy will change and that gave a green
light to dollar sales," said Tim Fox, currency strategist at National
Australia Bank in London.

Mr Snow said he was optimistic that China would soon free up the
renminbi, which Beijing pegs at an artificially low rate to the dollar
to boost its own exports. It runs a huge current account surplus
with the US and freeing up its currency is seen as a way to reducing
the US deficit.

Mr Snow said he was "very optimistic" that China would float its
currency in the next few years, but did not specify a date. "They
have agreed to do it but say they need a little more time. We are
saying 'let's get on with it'."

Chinese officials are likely to come under more pressure to revalue
the renminbi at a meeting of the Group of 20 leading industrialised
and developing countries this weekend.

Mr Snow said that with China and India becoming so much more
significant, dialogue about economic issues needed to be widened
beyond traditional meetings of the G7 industrialised nations.


9) Massive new round of cuts in Detroit Public Schools
By Arnetta Eubanks
World Socialist Web Site
18 November 2004

Detroit Public Schools has announced a massive new round of cuts,
including the elimination of 4,000 jobs and the closing of 25 to 40
schools. In a press conference on Tuesday, Detroit Public Schools
CEO Kenneth Bunley said the cuts were being made to comply with
a state law to balance the budget by the end of the fiscal year in
June 2005.

The 4,000 job cuts are in addition to the 2,100 jobs eliminated
since April of last year. The new school closings will add to the
21 schools that have shut their doors over the past five years.
Ninety teaching positions will be immediately terminated, with
another 50 to be cut next semester.

The announcement elicited a predictable response from Detroit
Federation of Teachers (DFT) President Janna Garrison who, in an
attempt to reassure teachers increasingly angry and disgusted
over the state of affairs, claimed that the jobs losses would be
absorbed through attrition-buyouts of high seniority employees
and retirements.

In reality, the new round of cuts places in jeopardy the continued
existence of a public school system in the one-time capital of the
world's automotive industry. The school closures will result in both
student and teacher dislocations. Students will have to travel on
an increasingly decrepit public transportation system to arrive at
school on time. Teachers will be shunted about, bumping those
with less seniority to different schools. Some schools and
classrooms will become more crowded. These hardships, as
well as the decision of some families to enroll their children in
charter schools, will further impact the dropout rate. And all
this may occur in the middle of the school year!

At Tuesday's press conference, Burnley announced the cuts in
a dry, matter-of-fact manner, as though this was a business
decision (which, in fact, it was), giving no specifics concerning
which schools would be closed and which jobs would be
eliminated. Feigning ignorance, he stated that none of the
experts predicted either the continued drop in enrollment or
the payment of $11 million to the state for the teachers'
retirement fund, an absurd admission given the fact that
a vast number of Detroit's teachers are approaching or have
already reached retirement age.

He then cited statistics that indicate enrollment has fallen by
more than 20 percent, from 175,988 in the 1996-1997
academic year to 147,000 today. The budget deficit, he claims,
includes a whopping $197 million for the year ending June 30,
2005, and a $48.7 million deficit from the 2003-2004 fiscal year.

Other plans to balance the budget include nonunion employees,
such as principals, paying 20 percent of their benefit premiums;
increasing the cost of co-payments on prescriptions; and the
issuance of deficit-reduction bonds. Burnley is also requesting
that the $15 million supplemental funding received from the
state takeover of the school system in 1999 be maintained.
But the state representatives of both parties, as well as the
current governor, Democrat Jennifer Granholm, have already
opposed any bailout for Detroit's schools, especially since
voters in the city overwhelmingly decided in the November
election to have the right to elect their own school board. As
one lawmaker put it: "They want control again. They're going
to have to live with the system that everyone else in the state
has." The legislators are afraid that other school districts which
face the same crisis as Detroit will also want to issue deficit-
reduction bonds.

The announced cuts are the latest in a series of political and
budgetary attacks on public education in Detroit that have
greatly weakened the school system over that past two decades.
Even when money was available for capital improvements that
resulted in the building of eight new elementary schools and
two new middle schools in the mid-1990s, the system was
plagued by a combination of incompetence, corruption and an
increasingly right-wing agenda aimed at dismantling public
education, in favor of for-profit charter schools, faith-based
institutions and vouchers.

The appointment of Burnley in 2000 by former Republican
governor John Engler, following the departure of then-schools
CEO David Adamany, marked an acceleration of a process
already well under way. During the intervening four years,
enrollment has steadily declined and thousands of teachers
and support staff jobs have been eliminated. One could argue
that the dismantling of the Detroit Public School system has
been "job one" since the first day of Burnley's appointment.

In a press release, Burnley stated, "Many urban public school
systems in our country are in a similar situation." His conclusion?-
"The district needs to get smaller, faster in order to bring our
expenditures in line with revenues and to be able to provide the
type of high-quality education that our students deserve. We
know what we have to do, and it must be done with precision
and urgency. We have the right team with the right experience
and right judgment to make the district stronger, leaner and
more effective. Smaller will be better." These are words of
a corporate executive, not those of someone who has any
concern about the current and future education of young people.

It may appear ironic, given the fact that the Bush administration's
"No Child Left Behind" Act was ostensibly designed to create
conditions to close the "performance gap" between inner-city
children and those in more affluent school districts. But a careful
examination of the situation confronting Detroit teachers,
administrators and students is in reality the product of the
same pro-big business model being imposed on public school
districts throughout the country faced with deficits.

It should be noted parenthetically that the role of the American
Federation of Teachers and its Detroit affiliate the DFT, has
been to serve in an advisory capacity, assisting Burnley and
the school board in administering the cutbacks and in
streamlining the budget.

Copyright 1998-2004
World Socialist Web Site
All rights reserved


10) Margaret Hassan's Suspected Execution Will Be Seen As
'Proof' of Evil
By Robert Fisk
Thursday, November 18, 2004

After the grief, the astonishment, heartbreak, anger and fury
over the apparent murder of such a good and saintly woman,
that is the question her friends - and, quite possibly, the Iraqi
insurgents - will be asking.

This Anglo-Irish woman held an Iraqi passport. She had lived in
Iraq for 30 years, she had dedicated her life to the welfare of
Iraqis in need.

She hated the United Nations sanctions and opposed the Anglo-
American invasion.

So who killed Margaret Hassan?

Of course, those of us who knew her will reflect on the appalling
implications of the videotape (sent to Al Jazeera yesterday and
apparently showing her execution).

Her husband believes it is evidence of her death.

If Margaret Hassan can be kidnapped and murdered, how much
further can we fall into the Iraqi pit?

There are no barriers, no frontiers of immorality left. What price
is innocence now worth in the anarchy that we have brought to
Iraq? The answer is simple: nothing.

I remember Margaret arguing with doctors and truck drivers over
a lorry-load of medicines for Iraq's children's cancer wards in 1998.
She smiled, cajoled and pleaded to get these leukaemia drugs to
Basra and Mosul.

She would not have wished to be called an angel - Margaret didn't
like clichés. Even now I want to write "doesn't like clichés". Are we
really permitted to say that she is dead?

For the bureaucrats and the Western leaders who today will express
heir outrage and sorrow at her reported death, she had nothing but

Yes, she knew the risks. Margaret Hassan was well aware that many
Iraqi women had been kidnapped, raped, ransomed or murdered by
the Baghdad mafia.

Because she is a Western woman - the first to be abducted and
apparently murdered - we forget how many Iraqi women have
already suffered this terrible fate; largely unreported in a world
which counts dead American soldiers but ignores the fatalities
among those with darker skins and browner eyes and a different
religion, whom we claimed to have liberated.

And now let's remember the other, earlier videos. Margaret Hassan
crying. Margaret Hassan fainting, Margaret Hassan having water
thrown over her face to revive her, Margaret Hassan crying again,
pleading for the withdrawal of the Black Watch regiment from the
Euphrates River.

In the background of these appalling pictures, there were none of
the usual Islamic banners. There were none of the usual armed and
hooded men. There were no Qur'anic recitations.

And when it percolated through to Fallujah and Ramadi that the
mere act of kidnapping Hassan was close to heresy, the combined
resistance groups of Fallujah - and the message genuinely came
from them - demanded her release.

So, incredibly, did Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda man whom
the Americans falsely claimed was leading the Iraqi insurrection,
but who has definitely been involved in the kidnappings and

Other abducted women were freed when their captors recognised
their innocence.

But not Margaret Hassan, even though she spoke fluent Arabic and
could explain her work to her captors in their own language.

If anyone doubted the murderous nature of the insurgents, what
better way to prove their viciousness than to produce evidence of
Margaret Hassan's murder?

What more ruthless way could there be of demonstrating to the
world that the US and Interim Prime Minister Iyad Alawi's tinpot
army were fighting "evil" in Fallujah and the other Iraqi cities?

Even in the topsy-turvy world of Iraq, nobody is suggesting that
people associated with the government of Mr Allawi had a hand
in Margaret Hassan's death. Iraq, after all, is awash with up to 20
insurgent groups but also with rival gangs of criminals seeking to
extort money from hostage-taking.

But still the question has to be answered: who killed Margaret

'Our hearts are broken... her suffering has ended'

Statement released by Michael, Deirdre, Geraldine and Kathryn
Fitzsimons, brothers and sisters of Margaret Hassan, last night

"Our hearts are broken. We have kept hoping for as long as we
could, but we now have to accept that Margaret has probably
gone and at last her suffering has ended.

"Our prayers and thoughts are with our dear brother-in-law Tahseen.
Margaret was a friend of the Arab world, to people of all religions. Her
love of the Arab people started in the 1960s when she worked in Palestinian
camps, living with the poorest of the poor and supporting the refugees.

"For the past 30 years, Margaret worked tirelessly for the Iraqi people.

"Margaret had only goodwill towards everyone. She had no prejudice
against any creed. She dedicated her whole life to working for the poor
and vulnerable, helping those who had no one else.

"Those who are guilty of this atrocious act, and those who support
them, have no excuses.

"Nobody can justify this. Margaret was against sanctions and the war.

"To commit such a crime against anyone is unforgivable.

"But we cannot believe how anybody could do this to our kind,
compassionate sister.

"The gap she leaves will never be filled."

(c) 2004 The Star & Independent Online
(c) Copyrighted 1997-2004


11) World on Alert as Over 15,000 Species Face Extinction
By Sonny Inbaraj
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 by InterPress Service

BANGKOK - Over 15,000 animal and plant species face extinction, reveals
the World Conservation Union or IUCN in its ' 2004 Red List of
Threatened Species '.

One in three amphibians and almost half of all freshwater turtles are
threatened, on top of the one in eight birds and one in four mammals
known to be jeopardy, said the IUCN at its 3rd World Conservation
Congress being held in the Thai capital from Nov. 17-25.

The global conference brings together 81 states, 114 government
agencies, 800 plus non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and some
10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries and has been billed
as the one of biggest environmental meetings in history.

''This sends a very powerful message that conservation is not a marginal
issue in the year 2004,'' said Achim Steiner, director-general of the
Geneva-based IUCN. ''There has been a record level of interest.''

IUCN's 'Red List' is the most comprehensive scientific assessment of
species at risk of dying out, and includes concrete measures to slow
or reverse their extinction.

The 15,589 species threatened with extinction, although cover just over
one percent of the world's described species, includes 12 percent of all
bird species, 23 percent of all mammal species, 32 percent of all
amphibian species and 34 percent of all gymnosperms (mainly conifers
and cycads).

''This is a wake up call for the world,'' said Steiner.

''Environmentalists have a reputation for presenting doom and gloom
scenarios but it is pointless to try and deny what you will find in this
'Red List','' he added. ''The evidence presented should make people
worry about the future viability of the various ecosystems that we
depend on.''

There are nine categories in the 'Red List' system: extinct, extinct in
the wild, critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, near threatened,
least concern, data deficient and not evaluated. In addition to the 'Red
List', the IUCN has also published its Global Species Assessment, which
it does every four years.

According to the 2004 assessment, countries with the most threatened
and threatened endemic species lie mainly in the continental tropics,
while those with the highest proportion of threatened endemics are
mainly tropical island nations.

''Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia and Mexico have particularly large
numbers of threatened species,'' the report pointed out.

It also revealed that Colombia, India, Malaysia, Burma, New Caledonia,
Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, South Africa and the United States
have high number of threatened endemics for at least one taxonomic

People, either directly or indirectly, are the main reason for most species'
declines. Habitat destruction and degradation are the leading threats but
other significant pressures include over-exploitation for food, pets,
and medicine, introduced species, pollution and disease. Climate
change, also, is increasingly recognised as a serious threat.

Among the key findings of the 2004 Global Species Assessment is that
future conflicts between the needs of threatened species and rapidly
increasing human populations are predicted to occur in Cameroon,
Colombia, Ecuador, India, Madagascar, Malaysia, Peru, Philippines,
Tanzania and Peru.

The report also named Brazil, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Ecuador,
India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Peru and the Philippines as countries
with a large number of threatened species and unable to financially
invest in conservation.

''The world's conservation community has been ignored for far too long
by those who are making fundamental economic and political decisions,''
said IUCN's Steiner. ''We are reaching the limits of exploitation and we
need to reverse that.''

But while most threats to biodiversity are human-driven, human actions
alone can prevent many species from becoming extinct, said David
Brackett, chair of IUCN's Species Survival Commission.

''There are many examples of species being brought back from the brink,
including the southern white rhinoceros,'' Brackett pointed out.

The southern white rhinoceros that had been fairly widespread
throughout Namibia, Bostwana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South
Africa early in the 19th century, had by the turn of the 20th century
been reduced to two relict populations on the Zimbabwe- Mozambique
border and the Umfolozi Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

A conscientious decision had been made on their protection and
numbers soon increased over the years from 700 animals in 1960
to over 11,5000 free-ranging southern white rhinos in 2002.

The southern white rhinoceros is now listed as near threatened on
the IUCN 'Red List'.

But the IUCN's 'Red List' also demonstrates how little is known about
the world's biodiversity.

''Undoubtedly this is an underestimate as many species have not been
assessed. In fact only three percent of the world's species have been
assessed in this 'Red List','' said Brackett. ''Other habitats are also
threat but we do not know quite enough of them yet.''

''However, the fact that we have many gaps in our knowledge should not
be an excuse for inaction,'' added Brackett. ''The 15,589 threatened
species on the 'Red List' require urgent conservation attention if they
are not to slip further towards extinction.''

(c) 2004 IPS
(c) Copyrighted 1997-2004


12) Statement in Response to the Intimidation of Columbia
University Professor Joseph Massad, Modern Arab Politics
and Intellectual History
614 Kent Hall
Joseph Massad

The recent controversy elicited by the propaganda film "Columbia
Unbecoming," a film funded and produced by a Boston-based pro-
Israel organization, is the latest salvo in a campaign of intimidation
of Jewish and non-Jewish professors who criticize Israel. This witch-
hunt aims to stifle pluralism, academic freedom, and the freedom of
expression on university campuses in order to ensure that only one
opinion is permitted, that of uncritical support for the State of Israel.
Columbia University, the Department of Middle East and Asian
Languages and Cultures, and I personally, have been the target
of this intensified campaign for over three years. Pro-Israel groups
are pressuring the university to abandon proper academic procedure
in evaluating scholarship, and want to force the university to silence
all critical opinions. Such silencing, the university has refused to do
so far, despite mounting intimidation tactics by these anti-democratic
and anti-academic forces.
The major strategy that these pro-Israel groups use is one that
equates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. But the claim that
criticism of Israel is an expression of anti-Semitism presupposes
that Israeli actions are "Jewish" actions and that all Jews, whether
Israelis or non-Israelis (and the majority of world Jews are not Israelis),
are responsible for all Israeli actions and that they all have the same
opinion of Israel. But this is utter anti-Semitic nonsense. Jews,
whether in America, Europe, Israel, Russia, or Argentina, are, like
all other groups, not uniform in their political or social opinions.
There are many Israeli Jews who are critical of Israel just as there
are American Jews who criticize Israeli policy. I have always made
a distinction between Jews, Israelis, and Zionists in my writings
and my lectures. It is those who want to claim that Jews, Israelis,
and Zionists are one group (and that they think exactly alike) who
are the anti-Semites. Israel in fact has no legal, moral, or political
basis to represent world Jews (ten million strong) who never elected
it to that position and who refuse to move to that country. Unlike
the pro-Israel groups, I do not think that Israeli actions are "Jewish"
actions or that they reflect the will of the Jewish people worldwide!
All those pro-Israeli propagandists who want to reduce the Jewish
people to the State of Israel are the anti-Semites who want to
eliminate the existing pluralism among Jews. The majority of
Israel's supporters in the United States are, in fact, not Jews but
Christian fundamentalist anti-Semites who seek to convert Jews.
They constitute a quarter of the American electorate and are the
most powerful anti-Semitic group worldwide. The reason why the
pro-Israel groups do not fight them is because these anti-Semites
are pro-Israel. Therefore, it is not anti-Semitism that offends pro-
Israel groups; what offends them is anti-Israel criticism. In fact,
Israel and the US groups supporting it have long received financial
and political support from numerous anti-Semites.
This is not to say that some anti-Zionists may not also be
anti-Semitic. Some are, and I have denounced them in my writings
and lectures (see ). But the
test of their anti-Semitism is not whether
they like or hate Israel. The test of anti-Semitism is anti-Jewish hatred,
not anti-Israel criticism. In my forthcoming book, The Persistence of
the Palestinian Question, I link the Jewish Question to the Palestinian
Question and conclude that both questions persist because anti-
Semitism persists. To resolve the Palestinian and the Jewish Questions,
our task is to fight anti-Semitism in any guise, whether in its pro-Israel
or anti-Israel guise, and not to defend the reprehensible policies of the
racist Israeli government.
I am now being targeted because of my public writings and
statements through the charge that I am allegedly intolerant in the
classroom, a charge based on statements made by people who were
never my students, except in one case, which I will address momentarily.
Let me first state that I have intimidated no one. In fact, Tomy
Schoenfeld, the Israeli soldier who appears in the film and is cited
by the New York Sun, has never been my student and has never taken
a class with me, as he himself informed The Jewish Week ( ).
I have never met him. As for Noah Liben, who appears in the film
according to newspaper accounts (I have not seen the film), he was
indeed a student in my Palestinian and Israeli Politics and Societies
course in the spring of 2001. Noah seems to have forgotten the
incident he cites. During a lecture about Israeli state racism against
Asian and African Jews, Noah defended these practices on the basis
that Asian and African Jews were underdeveloped and lacked Jewish
culture, which the Ashkenazi State operatives were teaching them.
When I explained to him that, as the assigned readings clarified,
these were racist policies, he insisted that these Jews needed to
be modernized and the Ashkenazim were helping them by civilizing
them. Many students gasped. He asked me if I understood his point.
I informed him that I did not. Noah seems not to have done his
reading during the week on gender and Zionism. One of the
assigned readings by Israeli scholar and feminist Simona Sharoni
spoke of how in Hebrew the word "zayin" means both penis and
weapon in a discussion of Israeli militarized masculinity. Noah,
seemingly not having read the assigned material, mistook the
pronunciation of "zayin" as "Zion," pronounced in Hebrew "tziyon."
As for his spurious claim that I said that "Jews in Nazi Germany
were not physically abused or harassed until Kristallnacht in
November 1938," Noah must not have been listening carefully.
During the discussion of Nazi Germany, we addressed the racist
ideology of Nazism, the Nuremberg Laws enacted in 1934, and
the institutionalized racism and violence against all facets of Jewish
life, all of which preceded the extermination of European Jews. This
information was also available to Noah in his readings, had he
chosen to consult them. Moreover, the lie that the film propagates
claiming that I would equate Israel with Nazi Germany is abhorrent.
I have never made such a reprehensible equation.
I remember having a friendly rapport with Noah (as I do with all
my students). He would drop off newspaper articles in my mailbox,
come to my office hours, and greet me on the street often. He never
informed me or acted in a way that showed intimidation. Indeed, he
would write me E-mails, even after he stopped being my student, to
argue with me about Israel. I have kept our correspondence. On
March 10, 2002, a year after he took a class with me, Noah wrote
me an E-mail chastising me for having invited an Israeli speaker
to class the year before when he was in attendance. It turned out
that Noah's memory failed him again, as he mistook the speaker
I had invited for another Israeli scholar. After a long diatribe,
Noah excoriated me: "How can you bring such a phony to speak
to your class??" I am not sure if his misplaced reproach was
indicative of an intimidated student or one who felt comfortable
enough to rebuke his professor!
I am dedicated to all my students, many of whom are Jewish.
Neither Columbia University nor I have ever received a complaint
from any student claiming intimidation or any such nonsense.
Students at Columbia have many venues of lodging complaints,
whether with the student deans and assistant deans, school
deans and assistant deans, department chairmen, departmental
directors of undergraduate studies, the ombudsman's office, the
provost, the president, and the professors themselves. No such
complaint was ever filed. Many of my Jewish and non-Jewish
students (including my Arab students) differ with me in all sorts
of ways, whether on politics or on philosophy or theory. This is
exactly what teaching and learning are about, how to articulate
differences and understand other perspectives while acquiring
knowledge, how to analyze one's own perspective and those of
others, how to interrogate the basis of an opinion.
Columbia University is home to the most prestigious Center
for Israel and Jewish Studies in the country. Columbia has six
endowed chairs in Jewish Studies (ranging from religion to Yiddish
to Hebrew literature, among others). In addition, a seventh chair
in Israel Studies is now being established after pro-Israel groups
launched a vicious campaign against the only chair in modern
Arab Studies that Columbia established two years ago, demanding
"balance"! Columbia does not have a Center for Arab Studies, let
alone a Center for Palestine studies. The Department of Middle
East and Asian Languages and Cultures encompasses the study
of over one billion South Asians, over 300 million Arabs, tens of
millions of Turks, of Iranians, of Kurds, of Armenians, and of six
million Israelis, five million of whom are Jewish. To study these
varied populations and cultures, MEALAC has three full time
professors who cover Israel and Hebrew, four full time professors
to cover the Arab World, and two full-time professors who cover
South Asia. One need not do complicated mathematics to see
who is overrepresented and who is not, if the question is indeed
a demographic one.
Moreover, the class that this propaganda machine is targeting,
my Palestinian and Israeli Politics and Societies course, is one of
a number of courses offered at Columbia that cover the Palestinian
/Israeli conflict. All the others have an Israel-friendly perspective,
including Naomi Weinberger's "Conflict Resolution in the Middle
East," Michael Stanislawski's "History of the State of Israel, 1948-
Present" and a course offered in my own department by my colleague
Dan Miron, "Zionism: A Cultural Perspective." My course, which is
critical of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism, is in fact an elective
course which no student is forced to take.
Let us briefly review these claims of intimidation. Not only have
the students (all but Noah have not even taken my courses) not used
a single university venue to articulate their alleged grievances, they
are now sponsored by a private political organization with huge funds
that produced and funded a film about them, screened it to the major
US media and to the top brass of the Columbia administration. Last
Wednesday, the film was screened in Israel to a government minister
and to participants at a conference on anti-Semitism. The film has still
not been released to the public here and is used as a sort of secret
evidence in a military trial. The film has also been used to trump up
a national campaign with the aid of a New York Congressman to get
me fired. All this power of intimidation is being exercised not by
a professor against students, but by political organizations who use
students against a junior non-tenured faculty member. A senior
departmental colleague of mine, Dan Miron, who votes on my
promotion and tenure, has recently expressed open support for
this campaign of intimidation based on hearsay. Indeed with this
campaign against me going into its fourth year, I chose under the
duress of coercion and intimidation not to teach my course this
year. It is my academic freedom that has been circumscribed. But
not only mine. The Columbia courses that remain are all taught
from an Israel-friendly angle.
The aim of the David Project propaganda film is to undermine
our academic freedom, our freedom of speech, and Columbia's
tradition of openness and pluralism. It is in reaction to this witch-
hunt that 718 international scholars and students signed a letter
defending me against intimidation and sent it to President Bollinger,
with hundreds more sending separate letters, while over 1400 people
from all walks of life are signing an online petition supporting me
and academic freedom. Academics and students from around the
world recognize that the message of this propaganda film is to
suppress pluralism at Columbia and at all American universities so
that one and only one opinion be allowed on campuses, the opinion
of defending Israel uncritically. I need not remind anyone that this
is a slippery slope, for the same pressures could be applied to
faculty who have been critical of U.S. foreign policy, in Iraq for
example, on the grounds that such critiques are unpatriotic.
Surely we all agree that while the University can hardly defend
any one political position on any current question, it must
defend the need for debate and critical consideration of all
such questions, whether in public fora or in the classroom.
Anything less would be the beginning of the death of academic


Please take a minute to sign a petition in support of Dr. Joseph
Massad. Dr Massad, a Palestinian by birth, is a professor of
Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Colombia
University. He is being targeted by the Boston-based "David
Project" with the accusation that he displayed anti-semitism
in his classroom.

The David Project, founded by Dr. Charles Jacobs, is a Zionist
organization connected to the "Committee for Accuracy in
Middle East Reporting" (CAMERA) and the American Anti-
Slavery Group.

The accusations against Professor Massad have no merit and
are part of a wider campaign of pro-Israel attacks on professors
of Arabic studies at university campuses across the US.

The petition can be signed by going to:

Professor Massad's statement can be read at:

If you are in the Boston area, Professor Massad is speaking in at
Harvard University this Thursday, November 18. To attend, see
details below:

Thank you,

Richard Hugus
New England Committee to Defend Palestine



Lenore G. Martin, Sara Roy, and
Herbert C. Kelman, Co-Chairs



Assistant Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History,
Columbia University

The Jewish Question, the Palestinian Question: Resolution
or Displacement?


November 18, 2004

Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
1033 Massachusetts Avenue
Mezzanine Seminar Room (M-11)

The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs is located at 1033
Massachusetts Avenue, 2nd Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138.
For more information
concerning these events, please call 617-495-3816, or e-mail

Visit our web site:
This event is free and open to the public"

Announce mailing list


13) The American Friends Service Committee and the
Alternatives to War forum invite you to the following forum:
Noam Bahat & Shimri Zamaret
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2004, 7:00 PM
Quaker Meeting House
65 9th St., San Francisco, CA
(between Market and Mission Civic Center BART and MUNI stops)

In September, 2004, 5 Israeli Jewish high school refusniks --prisoners
of conscience-- were released from Israeli prison. Noam Bahat after
serving 645 days in prison and Shimri Zamaret after 643 days in prison.
Noam and Shimri will speak about the Israeli Occupation of Palestinian
lands, the reasons for their refusal to be conscripted into the Israel
Defense Forces, and their experience in prison.

"As a man of conscience I could not take part in the army of oppression.
Noam Bahat(from his testimony)

"I refuse to take part in this moral corruption. Serving the army will
be a treachery upon my future and a treachery upon my children's
future." Shimri Zamaret (from his testimony)

All contributions will support the work of the Refuser Solidarity
Network. This will be their last appearance before returning to Israel.

"When the elected government tramples over democratic values
and the chances for a just peace in the region, we have no choice
but to obey our conscience and refuse to take part in the attack on
the Palestinian people. As youth about to be called to serve in the
military, we pledge to do all that we see fit so as not to serve the

(From public letter sent to Prime Minister Sharon, signed by
300 draft-age students, Sept. 2002)

Sponsors: Refuser Solidarity Network; American Friends Service
Committee, Resource Center for Nonviolence.

For more information please call AFSC 415-565-0201 x 26 or 24


14) Unions Resume Debate Over Merging and Power
November 18, 2004

Linda Canny, a nurse with Group Health, a health maintenance
organization in Seattle, applauded her union when it dug in against
her employer's proposal to take away a much-coveted benefit: she
does not have to pay any health insurance premiums.

But Ms. Canny, a member of S.E.I.U. District 1199 Northwest, was
flabbergasted when another union representing Group Health
employees ignored her union's pleas and agreed to have many of
its workers pay $520 a year in premiums.

"We really felt the rug was pulled out from under us when that union
agreed to health care premiums,'' Ms. Canny said, referring to a local
of the United Food and Commercial Workers. "We felt that was
a major step backward. Unfortunately, Group Health has really
used that against us."

Angered by such cases, the president of Ms. Canny's union,
Andrew L. Stern, has ignited a debate throughout the labor
movement by arguing that labor needs a sweeping overhaul,
including the merger of many unions and a vast increase in
organizing, to reverse its long decline.

Last week, Mr. Stern, president of the Service Employees
International Union, called on the A.F.L.-C.I.O. to adopt
a 10-point plan, and the debate he began could lead to
the most far-reaching changes in the labor movement
in a half-century

Mr. Stern complained that unions were doing far too little
to help American workers because they were organizing too
few workers and were often undercutting one another in
negotiations. He also complained that many unions were too
small to contend with giant companies, noting that 40 of the
60 unions in the A.F.L.-C.I.O. had fewer than 100,000 members.

Mr. Stern, who heads the largest and fastest-growing union in the
A.F.L.-C.I.O., called for merging the 60 unions into fewer than 20,
so that each would be large enough to square off against big

Alarmed that labor's ranks are shrinking, he also proposed that
the A.F.L.-C.I.O., whose unions represent 13 million workers, be
authorized to set ambitious goals on how much money each union
should spend on organizing.

"I'm totally focused on winning the fight on how to build a labor
movement that works for workers," said Mr. Stern, who has
a reputation as a maverick and strategic thinker. "It's hard to
get the job done the way things are organized right now."

He made his call for change a week after President Bush won
re-election, notwithstanding labor's all-out efforts to defeat him.
Many union leaders agree that labor badly needs to take steps
to reverse its decline, but they favor far less sweeping and painful
change than Mr. Stern advocates.

He has warned that unless the A.F.L.-C.I.O. embraces bold
changes, his union, with more than 1.6 million members,
may leave the federation.

The director of the U.C.L.A. Labor Center, Kent Wong, said
labor's weakened state has had important repercussions.

"Unions put together a very impressive campaign to unseat
George Bush,'' Professor Wong said. "But the reality is when
they represent just 13 percent of the work force, even with
their huge effort, they were unable to prevail."

He suggested that if unions represented more of the work
force, like the 22 percent level it did three decades ago, the
Democrats might have won the election.

Mr. Stern's proposals have set off a fierce debate. Some labor
leaders have accused him of arrogantly seeking to dictate to
others. Many accuse him of favoring a top-down approach in
which the A.F.L.-C.I.O. would tell long-autonomous unions
what to do.

Mr. Stern's plan would, for example, force unions to recruit
members only in their core industries, barring them from raiding
those where other unions dominate.

Some labor leaders say Mr. Stern wants service unions to dominate
the A.F.L-C.I.O. at the expense of fast-shrinking manufacturing
unions. The president of the machinists' union, R. Thomas
Buffenbarger, has even threatened to quit the federation if
Mr. Stern gets his way.

Some labor leaders complain that Mr. Stern's proposals to merge
unions would allow the big fish to swallow the little fish. His
defenders say the heads of some small unions, despite their
puny bargaining power, oppose mergers because they desperately
want to cling to their positions, power and salaries.

"Stern is absolutely right that the status quo isn't acceptable, that
it's a recipe for oblivion," Paul F. Clark, a professor of labor relations
at Penn State University, said. "But I don't see how the consolidations
he's calling for will get done. You'll find resistance because a lot of
union leaders don't want to give any of their power to the A.F.L.-C.I.O."

John W. Wilhelm, the longtime president of the Hotel Employees
and Restaurant Employees International Union, which merged last
summer with Unite, the textile workers' union, urged leaders of
other small unions to follow his example.

"The fundamental problem is that too many unions don't have the
resources to meet the challenges," Mr. Wilhelm said. "We're dealing
with global corporations in virtually every industry. I was very proud
of our union. We had 265,000 members. We were doing great stuff.
But we didn't have the size, strength and resources that we needed."

How far Mr. Stern goes with his push for change will depend on his
one-time mentor, John J. Sweeney, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.

If Mr. Sweeney, Mr. Stern's predecessor as head of the service
employees, pushes hard to sell the proposals to other unions,
the federation's executive council might adopt many of the them
at its meeting in February.

Last week, Mr. Sweeney said a new committee he heads would
take a hard look at proposals by Mr. Stern and others and would
make far-reaching recommendations.

"It will be a very serious effort," he said. "The labor movement
has through the years tried to change with changing times."

He said there might be resistance.

"We have to recognize and acknowledge the fact that individual
unions are autonomous," Mr. Sweeney said. "There may be some
differences of opinion about the degree of change."

Larry Cohen, executive vice president of the Communications
Workers of America, who is widely expected to win its presidency
next year, has his own proposals, which focus on expanding the

right to bargain collectively. He complained that many companies
break the law in fighting unionizing and that public employees in
many states do not have the right to form unions. "What we should
focus on is strengthening bargaining power," he said.

In Mr. Stern's view, one factor undercutting bargaining power is
that in some industries 10 or more unions are active and often
trip over, and undercut, one another. He has proposed giving the
A.F.L.-C.I.O. the power to designate two or three unions in each
industry to take the lead in bargaining and organizing.

To show how well this strategy can work, S.E.I.U. officials point to
a contract approved recently by many workers at the Valley
Medical Center in Renton, Wash. Four unions represent workers
at the hospital, and they agreed that the service employees, which
represents the registered nurses and some other employees and
is the largest union at the hospital, should lead the talks.

The service employees obtained an agreement that its members
would not have to pay health insurance premiums, paving the way
for similar provisions in contracts for the other unions, many of
whose members had previously paid about $1,000 a year for
family coverage.

"This shows that if you have a dominant union that's willing to
fight and sets a standard, management usually has to bring
everybody up," said Diane Sosne, president of District 1199

Shannon Halme, an official with a union for Valley Medical
office and clerical workers, said: "I don't think we could have
gotten this by ourselves. We flew on the coattails of what the
nurses got."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times


15) Possible New Mad Cow Case Is Found in the U.S.
November 18, 2004

Another possible case of mad cow disease has been found in the
United States, the Agriculture Department said today.

The brain of a cow tested positive three times on a rapid test for
the presence of prions, the misfolded proteins that cause the
disease, a spokeswoman for the department said.

But the department officially refers to positive results on the rapid
tests as "inconclusives."

Confirmation of a positive case can only be made by a more complex
test performed by the department's National Veterinary Services
Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.

The animal's brain must be sent to the lab, where several sections
will be sliced thin, stained and inspected through a microscope,
a process that will take four to seven days, the department said.

The department declined to give the age, location or any other
information about the animal, but Andrea Morgan, associate deputy
administrator of the department's animal and plant health
inspection service, emphasized that it "did not enter the food
or feed chain."

Last Dec. 23, the department announced that an animal slaughtered
on Dec. 9 had tested positive on the slower test done at the Iowa lab.
But by the time the announcement was made, the cow had been
ground into hamburger and much of the meat was sold. A recall
was issued for that meat, but it is unclear how much of the meat,
which was mixed with uncontaminated meat, was consumed.

Since then, the department has adopted the rapid tests used in
Europe and Japan that give results in a few hours.

Since slaughterhouses normally cool animals for 24 hours after
killing them to firm up the meat for cutting, the rapid test makes
it possible to tag and remove the carcass.

However, the department did not say whether the animal was
tested at a slaughterhouse, at a farm or dairy, or at a rendering
plant where it was to be turned into pet food or animal byproducts.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times