Category: Editorials

Solidarity with Striking Auto Workers!

On September 15, the United Auto Workers union (UAW) began a coordinated strike against the three major U.S. automakers. The UAW targeted one plant each at General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis, involving almost 13,000 workers. The union is acting to defend its members from the debilitating effects of the automakers’ decades-long campaign to slash the unionized workforce, drive down wages, and weaken the union by instituting a permanent two-tier wage and benefit system. This strike deserves the support of the entire labor movement and all working people.

Rail Contract Shows Unions Need New Leadership; Workers Need Our Own Party

At the “urgent appeal” of President Biden, the U.S. Senate voted 80 – 15 on December 1 to impose a contract settlement previously rejected by four unions representing a majority of railroad workers and by thousands who voted “No” in eight other unions. The House of Representatives approved a similar measure, which Biden swiftly signed into law on December 2. A separate bill would have added seven days paid sick leave to the new national rail contract. It was no surprise that it failed. Biden firmly opposed any changes to the contract that his administration brokered in September on the eve of a national strike deadline. Rail workers are angry and frustrated by this outcome. Rank-and-file rail workers refused to accept Biden’s deal that top union leaders claimed was the best contract possible. The ranks of the unions spoke out, explained the intolerable conditions of work and life they face every day, and won support from millions of working people. Without rank-and-file resistance, no resolution on sick pay would have been considered. Without rank-and-file resistance, those brutal conditions would have remained unknown to other working people.

Organize, Mobilize to Defend Women’s Right to Choose Abortion!

The U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey is an enormous setback to women’s rights. It is the biggest step to restrict democratic rights in at least half a century. It marks a sharp shift to the right in bourgeois politics, one that has accelerated in recent years. There is no reason to believe the assault on a woman’s right to choose abortion will end with the 6-3 ruling in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. To the contrary, within hours of the decision abortion became virtually illegal in nine states. More will follow quickly. Where do we go from here? As World-Outlook wrote on May 10, “We should begin with an understanding that was more widespread when the fight for women’s liberation shook U.S. politics over 50 years ago. If women and those who support women’s rights do not fight in a consistent and uncompromising way, and independent of the capitalist parties, no one else will…. We must debate and answer the opponents of women’s rights. We need to take the fight into the trade unions and among the thousands of workers at Amazon, Starbucks, and elsewhere fighting to organize unions. Women’s equality on the job, as in all areas of social life, is impossible without the right to control one’s own body.”

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Abortion Is a WOMAN’s Right to Choose

The Supreme Court appears on the verge of overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that established the federal right of women to choose abortion. Many states are poised to join Texas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma in criminalizing virtually all abortions. Millions see that these dangerous attacks are aimed at a woman’s right to control her own body. Yet some leading organizations that defend the right to choose abortion now explicitly decline to defend women’s rights. “From Planned Parenthood to NARAL Pro-Choice America to the American Medical Association to city and state health departments and younger activists, the word ‘women’ has in a matter of a few years appeared far less in talk of abortion and pregnancy,” wrote Michael Powell in the New York Times. “Progressive groups and medical organizations have adopted inclusive language, which has led to terms like ‘pregnant people’ and ‘chestfeeding’.” This approach undermines and weakens the fight for the right to choose abortion and all women’s rights. It is a political choice that should be soundly rejected.

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A Turning Point in the Fight for Women’s Right to Choose Abortion

The leak of the draft Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade confirms what has been clear since September 2021 when the court refused to enjoin Texas law SB8. That measure largely made abortion illegal in the second largest state of the union. The court majority now plans to scrap the 1973 Roe decision and open the door to making most if not all abortions illegal in many other states. This is the most serious attack on women’s rights and all democratic rights in decades. The Republican Party has championed the assault. But the Democratic Party has been complicit in eroding women’s right to choose abortion virtually since the moment Roe became law.

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Russian Troops Out Now! For Ukraine’s Independence! U.S./NATO Out of E. Europe!

Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is an anathema to humanity. Russian troops, tanks, air force, and other military hardware should get out now. The Ukrainian people defending the country’s independence deserve international solidarity—already shown by protests condemning the invasion inside Russia, Georgia, and elsewhere. It is also necessary to clearly see Washington’s hypocritical claims that it tried to avert war through diplomacy. We should demand that U.S. and NATO military forces pull out of Eastern Europe and the broader region. The Pentagon has doubled the number of U.S. warships in the Mediterranean, redeployed an aircraft carrier there from the Pacific, and increased the number of U.S. troops in the region. It is opening up new NATO bases in Eastern Europe. The newest, a “highly sensitive U.S. military installation” according to the New York Times, located near the village of Redzikowo, in Poland, is only about 100 miles from Russian territory. These moves are aimed at expanding U.S. military domination in Europe and countering Russian economic interests. They pose a genuine threat to world peace while offering Putin a pretext for his brutal invasion.

Verdict in Daunte Wright Killing: A Rare Glimpse of Justice

On December 23, a jury in Minneapolis convicted Kimberly Potter, the cop who killed Daunte Wright last spring, on first- and second-degree manslaughter. Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence and other opponents of cop brutality in Minnesota welcomed the verdict—a still too rare glimpse of justice. We join Wright’s family and supporters in celebrating the verdict that delivered some accountability. As Katie Bryant, Daunte’s mother, told supporters outside the courtroom, cops are now more likely to think twice before pulling their gun instead of their taser. “And we made this happen, you made this happen, Daunte Wright made this happen.”

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Arbery Murder Verdict: A Measure of Justice

On November 24, a jury in Brunswick Georgia rendered a degree of justice in the brutal murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man. The three defendants, Gregory McMichael, 65; his son Travis McMichael, 35; and their neighbor William Bryan, 52 were found guilty of murder and other charges. All now face the prospect of life in prison. Future vigilantes may think twice before attempting such a lynching again. The outcome of this case is one more step forward in the long battle for genuine equality for African Americans and for the extension of democratic rights to all.

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Rittenhouse Verdict: A Travesty of Justice

The November 19, 2021, acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse by a Wisconsin jury on all charges, including first-degree reckless and intentional homicide, is a travesty of justice. It sends a message to other rightists that vigilantism is acceptable so long as it is clothed in claims of “self-defense.” It echoes the verdict in the 2012 trial of George Zimmerman who was exonerated for his murder of Trayvon Martin that same year.

Defend a Woman’s Right to Choose Abortion!

A national campaign of mass action to defend a woman’s right to choose abortion is now necessary. This has been true for some time. But the September 1 U.S. Supreme Court 5-4 decision that refused to block a Texas law prohibiting abortion after cardiac activity is detected—which can be as early as six weeks after the onset of pregnancy—underlined the urgency of the moment. Many women are not even aware they are pregnant at that time.

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Derek Chauvin Verdict: One Down, Thousands to Go

May 25, 2021—On the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s brutal death at the hands of Minneapolis police, all opponents of cop violence and racism can rejoice in seeing Floyd’s executioner locked-up behind bars. We can celebrate the prospect of a long sentence awaiting former police officer Derek Chauvin. His conviction by a Minneapolis jury on April 20 was a victory for the mass movement against police brutality and racism that Floyd’s homicide sparked across the United States and around the world.