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Aug. 1, 2002 Vol. 44, No. 30 CUBA 50 Fidel se dirige a la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, segunda parte 12 BLACK LABOR & REPARATIONS The profits of slavery live on in the fortunes of today's biggest
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Aug. 1, 2002 Vol. 44, No. 30 CUBA 50 Fidel se dirige a la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, segunda parte 12 BLACK LABOR & REPARATIONS The profits of slavery live on in the fortunes of today's biggest capitalists. Now the demand for reparations a small measure of justice too long delayed is growing stronger. 3 ESTROGEN REPLACEMENT Revelations about the dangers of estrogen replacement therapy for menopausal women is re-raising the life-and-death need to root out sexism and the profit motive from medical science. 4 GAZA CITY OUTRAGE Why did the Israelis blast a densely populated civilian neighborhood with a 2,000-lb. bomb just hours after a cease-fire with Hamas appeared to have been hammered out? 8 RAGE IN KOREA South Koreans are protesting the killing of two girls by U.S. soldiers in an armored vehicle. This anger and the demand for unification of Korea can be heard in the U.S., too also in this issue Why should youth pledge allegiance? 2 Nigerian women takeover Chevron Texaco 9 South African municipal workers win wage battle 9 England, Wales, n. Ireland: 1 million workers strike 11 SUBSCRIBE to Workers World WEEKLY NEWSPAPER Special trial subscription: $2 for 8 weeks $25 for one year TURMOIL Stocks yo-yo as markets reveal $7 trillion loss By Deirdre Griswold The connection of the banking system to the meltdown on Wall Street has at last been dragged into the open with the revelation that Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase made secret deals with Enron to help cook its books. These deals, in which the giant banks helped cover up Enron s losses, were not undertaken out of compassion or even a buddy-buddy mentality among the CEOs. They are evidence that the biggest banks resorted to criminal conduct in order to keep investors and the public at large from knowing how shaky the entire structure of monopoly capitalism was becoming. Will the disaster now unfolding on Wall Street end in a grimly familiar scene: the twin towers of U.S. capitalism, the stock markets and the banks, swiftly crumbling right before the eyes of a horrified public? $7 trillion up in smoke In just 10 trading days in mid-july, beginning with the day President George W. Bush went to Wall Street to calm investors fears, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost nearly 1,500 points, or 16 percent. The carnage in New York is now dragging down global markets as well. More than two years of decline in the U.S. stock markets have already evaporated $7 TRILLION worth of paper wealth. This is nearly a year s worth of goods and services produced by the workers of this country. How could this unimaginable volume of wealth just disappear? In this chaotic economic system, the stock markets anticipate future production. It is true that they can move upward because of pure speculation, producing what is called a bubble. The easy credit of the last decade helped inflate stock prices. Eventually, prices rise far above the earnings of the companies, and the bubble can burst. This happens periodically. But this is not the decisive factor in the current selloff, which has vaporized so much wealth, including the retirement funds of tens of millions of workers. It is a crisis of overproduction. In a general way, it is the expansion of production that drives up the price of stocks. Had the capitalist economy continued to grow, the future wealth represented by high stock prices would have been realized. However, the prices have dropped like a stone, especially over the last three months. Some $7 trillion in WORLDCOM BANKRUPT Biggest failure in U.S. history 5 anticipated value has disappeared not only because trend-setting big investors now expect production to decline, but also because they know that a depression will actually destroy a great deal of what value has already been produced. The dreaded D-word Depression! Is that an appropriate word to describe the current crash and its effects? Investor s Business Daily seems to think so. On July 3 the New York financial newspaper published a graph on its front page showing an uncanny resemblance between the movements of the Nasdaq high-tech market over the period and the Dow Jones Industrial Average for , the years of boom and bust that ushered in the Great Depression. CBS MarketWatch on July 23 also referred to a depression. It reported that Analysts at research and money management firm Bridgewater Associates point out that this is the first time since 1930 that the stock market has fallen in the face of aggressive Fed easing [the lowering of interest rates by the Federal Reserve Salute to Cuban Revolution, editorial 10 THEN AND NOW Stock markets go up and down, but over the long-term they reflect the underlying health of the capitalist economy. Here, an uncanny resemblance can be seen between the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the boom-bust years of and the Nasdaq high-tech market of Continued on page 6 NAME ADDRESS CITY/STATE/ZIP PHONE NUMBER WORKERS WORLD NEWSPAPER 55 W. 17 St. NY, NY (212) read it online Page 2 Aug. 1, What youths think of the pledge By Matthew L. Schwartz There has been a right-wing uproar over a California judge s ruling on June 26 that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional because of the phrase under god. Yet few are asking how the ruling affects youth those who the pledge of allegiance was, and still is, aimed at. First printed in the Sept. 8, 1892, issue of The Youth s Companion, the pledge was aimed at youth for many reasons, in what was and is a two-fold manifestation of the bourgeois ideals of controlling the people. The pledge aimed to indoctrinate or more adequately brainwash youth. It was also a tool for ostracizing those who politically dissented from the prevailing views. Putting in the section under god pushed it even further to the right. Someone analyzing the section of the pledge that reads and to the Republic for which it stands will find that it means I pledge my loyalty to the government. Youth do not always feel loyalty toward the government, and certainly not toward the current administration. Forcing school children to repeat Hold the date! Workers World Party JOIN US. Workers World Party (WWP) fights on all issues that face the working class and oppressed peoples Black and white, Latino, Asian, Arab and Native peoples, women and men, young and old, lesbian, gay, bi, straight, trans, disabled, working, unemployed and students. If you would like to know more about WWP, or to join us in these struggles, contact the branch nearest you. National Office 55 W. 17 St., New York, N.Y (212) ; Fax (212) Atlanta P.O. Box 424, Atlanta, Ga (404) Baltimore 426 E. 31 St., Baltimore, Md (410) Boston 31 Germania St., Boston, Mass (Enter at 284 Amory St.) (617) ; Fax (617) Buffalo, N.Y. P.O. Box 1204 Buffalo NY (716) Chicago P.O. Box 06178, Wacker Drive Station, Chicago, Ill (773) ; Fax (773) ; this on a daily basis can and does have a damaging effect on their ability to say no and to protest for changes that they deem necessary. In whole, the pledge has gone through four revisions in 1892, 1923, 1924 and With each revision came a more right-wing slant to the original pledge, which read I pledge allegiance to my Flag, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. The phrase one Nation indivisible was originally meant to underscore the defeat of the slavocracy South in its attempt to secede before the Civil War. Today, however, it conceals the fact that institutionalized racism in the U.S. leaves African Americans and other nationally oppressed peoples held like domestic colonies by the oppressor nation. It should be noted that the words under god were not added until Flag Day was established on June 14, According to then- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, this was to reaffirm the transcendence of religious faith in America s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country s Workfare Workers Organize Workfairness & the struggle for jobs, justice & equality This informative book describes the efforts of people on Public Assistance who were suddenly forced to take workfare assignments in order to receive any benefits. Workfare workers are being used all over the U.S. and in other countries to bust unions and to give corporations mega-profits from forced labor. List price is $11.95 at Leftbooks.com it's 15% off, only $10 ANNUAL CONFERENCE Sept , 2002 NEW YORK CITY Workers World Party, 55 W. 17th St., 5th floor, New York, NY 10011; (212) ; Cleveland P.O. Box 5963 Cleveland, OH phone (216) Detroit 5920 Second Ave., Detroit, Mich (313) ; Houston P.O. Box , Houston, Texas (713) Los Angeles 422 S. Western Ave., Room 114, Los Angeles, Calif (213) fax (213) most powerful resource in peace and war. What often happens with religion is that it eventually is used as a way to oppress people. Eisenhower put it right when he called it spiritual weapons. Whether used against the lesbian, gay, bi and transgender communities or immigrants who believe in different or multiple deities, religion in the United States has been a consistent way of oppressing the people, threatening them with eternal damnation and worse. To find out how youth feel about the ruling, Workers World asked Ben Mayer, a Long Island student, how he felt about the pledge ruling. He said, I m actually glad that the ruling was made. As an atheist, I ve always felt that the under god part did go against the First Amendment, as it does encourage people to believe in the same religion as the people who wrote the pledge. A big problem, continued Mayer, is the fact that while the U.S. Bill of Rights does say that the government cannot establish an official religion, many of the laws and ideals on which this nation was founded come almost directly from organized religion. Even though an official religion is not being established, it does make a more blurry line between religion and government than most people will admit. It is becoming apparent that youth, many previously nonpolitical, will be coming out to support the pledge ruling and, with that, bring a new life to the movement of young and vital people who can think for themselves which is a danger to the ruling class. Spend a weekend learning, exchanging views and information, and networking with others who are fighting for socialism and liberation. If you re looking for analysis and a guide to action on how to turn back the militarist, racist tide coming from Washington and Wall Street, this is the place to be. There will be plenary sessions, workshops, and many opportunities to share experiences with Marxist thinkers and fighters of all ages. Catch the spirit of a party that has been on the cutting edge of the struggle against capitalism since For more information and how to register, call, or write us. Milwaukee P.O. Box 12839, Milwaukee, Wis Philadelphia P.O. Box 9202, Philadelphia, Pa (610) ; Richmond, Va. P.O. Box 14602, Richmond, Va Rochester, N.Y Buffalo Rd., PMB. 303, Rochester, N.Y (716) ; San Diego, Calif Oregon St., Suite 230 San Diego, Calif (619) San Francisco 2489 Mission St. Rm. 28, San Francisco, Calif (415) ; fax (415) ; Seattle 1218 E. Cherry #201, Seattle, Wash (206) State College, Pa. 100 Grandview Rd., State College, Pa (814) ; Washington, D.C. P.O. Box 57300, Washington, DC 20037, (202) National Bank crimes surface as meltdown continues What youth think of the pledge Black labor and the fight for reparations Why are people dying in heat wave? Profits are hazardous to women s health WorldCom bankruptcy LA forum calls for Pentagon bases out of Korea International Killings of young girls by U.S. troops in South Korea. 7 Israel bombs Gaza City Eyewitness Palestine Nigerian women take over Chevron Texaco South African workers win living wage battle Lesbian, gay, bi, trans movement scores wins England, Wales, northern Ireland strikes International news in brief Editorials Casualties of U.S. war Cuba s July 26 movement Noticias En Español Fidel se dirige a la Asamblea Nacional AUBURN-ALBANY, NY. WW CALENDAR Thu., July 18-Fri., July 26 March from Auburn to Albany to demand release of New Afrikan prisoner Jalil Muntaqim (Anthony Bottom) of the New York 3. In Albany July 25. For info phone Albany Jericho Committee (518) or For Mid-Hudson carpool July 26 (845) BALTIMORE. Sat., July 27 Labor for Reparations. Why all workers should demand reparations for the victims of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Hear Fred Mason, president, Maryland State & D.C. AFL-CIO, and others. 3 p.m. At Unity United Methodist Church, 1433 Edmondson Ave. For info (410) or SAN FRANCISCO. Sun., Aug. 4 Workers World Party honors Jackie Kiernan, Hilda Roberts, and Ricardo Leon, long-time activists in the struggle. The celebration will be held in the spirit of the Cuban Revolution to commemorate July 26 and raise funds for the campaign to free the five Cubans imprisoned in the United States. 2 p.m. At the Women s Building, th St. For info (415) WINDSOR, CANADA. Fri.-Sun., July Cuba Labor Conference. With leaders of the Cuban Workers Federation (CTC), featuring Pedro Ross Leal, CTC General Secretary. Includes update on the situation in Cuba, role of Cuba s unions in Cuba s recovery. Sponsored jointly by U.S.- Canada labor unions. To register contact: U.S.-Cuba Labor Exchange at phone/fax: (313) or Workers World 55 West 17 Street New York, N.Y Phone: (212) Fax: (212) Web: Vol. 44, No. 30 Aug. 1, 2002 Closing date: July 24, 2002 Editor: Deirdre Griswold; Technical Editor: Lal Roohk; Managing Editors: Greg Butterfield, John Catalinotto, Shelley Ettinger, Leslie Feinberg, Monica Moorehead, Gary Wilson; West Coast Editors: Richard Becker, Gloria La Riva; Contributing Editors: Joyce Chediac, Naomi Cohen, Teresa Gutierrez, R.M. Sharpe; Technical Staff: Gery Armsby, Lyn Neeley, Hank Sambach, Leslie Senior; Mundo Obrero: Carl Glenn, Carlos Vargas; Internet: Janet Mayes Workers World/WW (ISSN X) is published weekly except the first week of January by WW Publishers, 55 W. 17 St., N.Y., N.Y Phone: (212) Subscriptions: One year: $25; foreign and institutions: $35. Letters to the editor may be condensed and edited. Articles can be freely reprinted, with credit to Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., New York, NY Back issues and individual articles are available on microfilm and/or photocopy from University Microfilms International, 300 Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Mich Selected articles are available via subscription. Send an message to for details. Periodicals postage paid at New York, N.Y. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Workers World/WW, 55 W. 17 St., 5th Floor, New York, N.Y Aug. 1, 2002 Page 3 The profits of slavery continue Black labor and the fight for reparations By Bill Cecil Probably every slave imported represented, on the average, five corpses in Africa or on the high seas. The American slave trade meant, therefore, the elimination of 60 million Africans. Armet Francis, The Black Triangle As valuable a family as was ever offered for sale, consisting of a cook about 35 years of age, and her daughter about 14, and son about 8. The whole will be sold together or a part of them, as may suit a purchaser. Ad in The Charleston (South Carolina) Courier April 12, 1828 The bones of enslaved Africans lie in unmarked graves on both sides of the Atlantic and beneath its gray waters. But the wealth slave labor created is not gone with the wind. It lives on as capital in the huge fortunes of great capitalist families Rockefellers, Morgans, Mellons, DuPonts and others who have invested it again and again. It is in the skyscrapers of Manhattan and New England s Ivy League universities. It is in railroads, airlines, steel mills, auto plants, oilfields, hotels, dotcoms and telecoms. It lies in bank vaults beneath Wall Street and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Those who own this wealth have power over those whose ancestors created it and over working people in every country. When bankers red line a Black community, they exercise that power. So does a corporation when it shuts a plant in South Carolina or the South Bronx to seek still cheaper labor in Haiti or Mexico. It is on display when plant shutdowns devastate Black and other working-class communities. It is in action when the World Bank forces an African country to open its public sector to Western investors in order to eventually privatize it. Profits from the slave trade provided one of the main streams of capital accumulation in England that financed the Industrial Revolution, wrote Eric Williams, the first prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago. Malachi Postlethwayt, an 18th-century slavery apologist, called the British Empire a magnificent superstructure of American commerce and naval power built on an African foundation. Britain s North American colonies that rose on that foundation became the United States. Ports like Boston, New York City, Baltimore and Charleston were built on the triangular trade that brought enslaved Africans to Caribbean sugar plantations. The New York Stock Exchange now stands on what was once an auction block for slaves. For much of the 19th century, cotton grown by slaves made up 60 to 80 percent of U.S. exports. Slave-grown tobacco and rice comprised much of the rest. Slave-grown cotton also fed New England s textile mills, which gave birth to U.S. industrial production. The wealth of many top U.S. corporations can be traced directly to slavery. FleetBoston Bank, once Providence Bank, was founded by Rhode Island slave merchant James Brown, who also endowed Brown University. Yale and the University of Virginia are also among the universities endowed by slave merchants and slave owners. Yet in the United States today there are more Black men in prison than in college. Slave owners who got rich in the cotton trade started Lehman Brothers investment bank. Alex Brown and Sons, which merged with the German giant Deutsche Bank in 1999, financed the cotton trade. Brown Brothers Harriman made a fortune loaning plantation owners money to buy slaves. When the planters could not meet their debt, Brown seized and worked their assets, including the slaves. A one-time partner was Prescott Walker Bush, whose grandson lives in the slave-built White House, thanks to an electoral-college system created to give slave owners political power. Prescott Bush continued the firm s tradition by doing business with the Nazis. The second-largest banking group in the United States is J.P. Morgan Chase. In 2001 it made $15 billion in profits on assets of $600 billion. Among the banks now merged into it are two that insured slave ships in the 1850s. J.P. Morgan Chase is now deep in financial scandal. It poured money into Enron, WorldCom and other fraudulent schemes. Have any of these banks been as generous putting money into Black communities? The slave trade could not survive without insurance due to slave rebellions and escapes. Lloyds of London, the giant shipping broker, made a fortune insuring slave ships. U.S. insurance giants Aetna, New York Life and AIG acquired companies that insured slaves as property. Today these same insurance firms are pushing doctors and employers to cut health costs while millions of African Americans are without health insurance. Before the Civil War, the backbone of the South s railway labor force of track repairmen, station helpers, brakemen, firemen and sometimes even engineers was slaves, wrote University of Pennsylvania historian Walter Licht in Working on the Railroad. After emancipation, the rail bosses forced Black workers out of most of these jobs. It wasn t until the 1960s that Black railroad employment rose again. Slaves, usually rented from their owners, built 94 rail lines in the Old South. Today Norfolk Southern, CSX, Union Pacific and Canadian National A VOICE from HARPER S FERRY1859 By Osborne P. Anderson, a Black revolutionary who was there. With an essay on The Unfinished Revolution by Vince Copeland & ne
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