Americas

We received this from Bob M. who gives this first-hand report from the anti-war demonstration in San Francisco. As he says, "Any attack on Iraq is going to be followed by massive demonstrations, and in more communities. The capitalist politicians have created anti-war momentum that's not about to go away, as long as the threats of war, if not actual war, persist."

As US imperialism prepares to go to war against Iraq, Jonathan Clyne looks back at the Vietnam War. He shows quite clearly the level of radicalisation that had developed among both the US soldiers fighting in Vietnam and the mass opposition that had developed back home among US workers and youth. As he says, "It was the American working class, those in uniform and those without, that more than anything else put an end to the war."

For the first time in many years the Taft-Hartley bill has been used against the West Coast dockers in the USA. This is a reactionary anti-union law that has been invoked to force the dockers back to work. But this is only a temporary “solution” for the bosses. The problems that forced the workers to take union action will not go away. Roland Sheppard in the US looks at the issues involved.

In a week's time the second round of the Brazilian elections are to be held. In the first round Lula, the candidate of the PT came first by a large margin and looks set to win the second round. In this article Dario Castro analyses the results of the first round and looks at the situation a PT government will be facing, with the mounting debt and the huge pressure it would face both from the bourgeois on the one side and the workers on the other.

The West Coast shipping bosses have declared a lock-out which affects all 29 ports along the US Pacific coast. The bosses are demanding that new technical jobs be non-union. This is a mortal attack on the union's future. Thus while Bush prepares to go to war against Iraq he has another war opening up on the home front - the class war - this time against US workers. David May in the USA reports on the latest developments in this key struggle of the American workers.

On September 16, there was a massive general strike of Colombian workers and peasants. Below is an interview with Javier Correa, president of the National Union of Food Industry Workers of Columbia (SINALTRAINAL), while he was on a speaking tour of Europe. He is appealing for the solidarity of workers and youth in other countries with his union’s struggle against the Colombian government’s brutal campaign of repression and to seek justice for the murders of trade unionists in the company in which he works: Coca Cola. (Interview by the Asturian supporters of El Militantein Spain, September 26, 2002). The original Spanish text is available

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As contract talks are underway between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, a Bush Administration task force has said that if the longshore workers strike, troops of the National Guard will be sent to occupy the ports, and members of the Navy will be used to load and unload ships. But this threat has only made the workers of the ILWU more determined to fight. In the name of the "War on Terror" Bush is attempting to destroy the most fundamental gain of the Labor Movement - the right to strike.

As preparations for war with Iraq continue, and prospects for the economy look bleak, John Peterson, editor of the US Marxist Magazine Socialist Appeal looks at the complete hypocrisy of the US government in relation to Iraq.

The events of last September were painful ones. But as the dust finally settles on the shattered ruins of the twin towers, a growing number of men and women are beginning to think and act for themselves. The terrible blows that shake the lives of the millions also help to knock out of their heads a hundred years of dust and cobwebs. Slowly, painfully, the fog is clearing from many minds and people are compelled to come face to face with reality. One year after September 11, Ted Grant and Alan Woods look at what has happened in the aftermath of the attacks.

The revolution in Venezuela has reached the point of no return. In two stormy days in April, the bourgeoisie attempted a coup d'etat against the reformist government of Hugo Chavez. Although it was backed by big business, right-wing trade union leaders and the US embassy, the coup failed. In just 36 hours the whole thing was over.

The Softwood lumber dispute stands to decimate one of Canada's largest industries. It will have a major impact on British Columbia in particular, where over 100,000 people are employed in the lumber industry. Softwood lumber makes up more than half of the provinces exports. Thousands of jobs nationwide will be lost. The Canadian economy is completely dependent on trade with the US; 85% of Canada's trade is directly with its larger neighbour to the south. As devastating as this is to Canadians, the softwood lumber dispute is just a small example of protectionist measures being put in place around the world. The threat of a global trade war is growing. This would destroy any possibility

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President Duhalde has announced that elections will be brought forward to March. This news comes after the damage caused to the government by the brutal repression of the piqueteros at the end of June, with civil war raging inside the Peronist party, and constant harassment from the IMF pressurising the government to apply austerity measures. Against a backdrop of sharpening economic and social tensions, Duhalde is in an untenable position. David Rey looks at the tasks of Marxists in the upcoming elections and the need for organisation and a clear socialist programme.

Produced by the Workers International League in the USA, this is an analysis of the economic and political situation in the United States. We hope this document can contribute to clarifying the many issues confronting working people and youth. In the coming years, literally millions of people in the US will be searching for an alternative to capitalism. Only the ideas of Marxism and the revolutionary transformation of society along socialist lines can provide a solution. Please visit the WIL website to find out how you can join the WIL in the struggle for a better world for working people and the

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On Monday July 15, the famous American writer Gore Vidal was interviewed on the BBC Four channel. Gore Vidal is a member of one of America's leading families - a patrician in background, upbringing and culture. His close personal acquaintance with America's ruling elite gives him a unique insight into the workings of the system, and he understands the hypocrisy that underlies this pretence, and the vicious, exploitative and aggressive character of US imperialism. He is one of those extremely rare animals - a bourgeois political commentator whose vision transcends the immediate and has a broad historical view of things.

It is now almost a year on from September 11, a turning point for the USA. Not only for its impact internationally, but its effect on the average American. World affairs, so distant from everyday experience in the US, will never be the same again. The belief that America was immune from outside events has been completely shattered. Now America is being swept with corporate corruption scandals - tarnishing the political elite, both Republicans and Democrats alike, who have long had their snouts in the trough of big business. America is in the grip of great economic and political volatility.