Americas

Los Angeles workers speak on social crisis

By an SEP campaign team, 24 September 2012

Prior to Saturday’s meeting in Los Angeles, Scherrer and SEP supporters campaigned among working class and youth in the area.

Toronto International Film Festival 2012—Part 1

The wide range of human passion, action and adventure

By David Walsh, 22 September 2012

The Toronto International Film Festival screened some 372 films this year from 72 countries. This year’s festival and the general state of the film world present a sharper contradiction than ever.

Life expectancy falling for the poorest Americans

By Patrick Martin, 22 September 2012

Life expectancy is falling for significant sections of the working class in the United States, and in some cases has reverted to levels not seen in half a century.

US blames Libya attack on Al Qaeda-linked forces it previously backed

By Alex Lantier, 22 September 2012

US officials believe the Benghazi attack is the work of Al Qaeda-linked forces backed by Washington during last year’s war in Libya.

Amid renewed signs of economic slump

Bank of America to lay off 16,000 workers

By Andre Damon, 22 September 2012

Bank of America, one of the largest retail banks, plans to lay off 16,000 workers by the end of the year.

Obama moves to overturn court ruling invalidating indefinite detention law

By John Andrews, 22 September 2012

President Obama has filed an appeal to overturn a lower court ruling that invalidated on constitutional grounds the recently enacted law authorizing the indefinite military detention of alleged terrorists.

Verizon workers should reject the concessions contract

By Samuel Davidson, 22 September 2012

The 44,000 communication workers should reject the tentative contract negotiated between Verizon, the Communication Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Oppose the Ford “pattern” of two-tier wages and concessions:

For a counteroffensive of Canadian and US auto workers!

By Socialist Equality Party (Canada), 22 September 2012

Workers at the Canadian operations of the Detroit Three should reject the sell-out contracts that the CAW has reached with Ford and GM, launch strike action and fight for the industrial and political mobilization of auto workers across North America.

Lessons of the Chicago teachers strike

By Jerry White and Joseph Kishore, 21 September 2012

Chicago teachers returned to work on Wednesday after the House of Delegates voted to end their strike. For nine days, the 26,000 teachers waged a courageous struggle in defense of public education. The fight pitted teachers not only against Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but the Obama administration, both big business parties and, most importantly, the Chicago Teachers Union itself.

Net worth of richest Americans soars by 13 percent in 2012

By Shannon Jones, 21 September 2012

According to a survey just published by Forbes magazine, the net wealth of the richest Americans rose by 13 percent in 2012 at the same time that median wealth for households is plummeting

Washington pressures Iraq over alleged arms shipments to Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 21 September 2012

Washington has stepped up threats to cut off aid to Iraq over its alleged complicity in Iranian arms shipments to Syria.

Obama denies health care to young immigrants granted temporary reprieve from deportation

By Bryan Dyne, 21 September 2012

The Obama administration has ruled that young undocumented immigrants approved for its Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will not be eligible for federal health care benefits.

Alpha Natural Resources closing eight mines, laying off 1,200

By Samuel Davidson, 21 September 2012

In making the announcement, the company stated that it plans to shift production from less profitable thermal coal to the more profitable metallurgical coal.

American Airlines sends layoff notices to 11,000 employees

By Andre Damon, 20 September 2012

American Airlines, the third-largest US airline, announced Tuesday that it plans to send layoff notices to over 11,000 mechanics, ground workers and other support personnel as part of its bankruptcy court-mediated restructuring.

End of Chicago strike paves way for redoubled attack on teachers, public education

By Joseph Kishore, 20 September 2012

Chicago teachers returned to work on Wednesday, one day after the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) succeeded in passing a motion to end the strike at a House of Delegates meeting.

Anti-US protests spark internal policy debate over American war drive in Syria

By Alex Lantier, 20 September 2012

In the wake of mass anti-US protests in the Muslim world, American cable and broadcast news programs have largely dropped coverage of the war in Syria.

Mexican gas plant explosion kills some 30 workers

By Bill Van Auken, 20 September 2012

An explosion that ripped through a Patrollers Mexicanos (PEMEX) gas facility in northeastern Mexico near the US border has left as many as 34 workers dead and dozens more injured.

Lockout of National Football League referees continues

By Alan Gilman, 20 September 2012

The National Football League lockout of its on-field officials continues into the third week of the NFL season.

Vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer speaks in San Diego

By our reporters, 20 September 2012

Phyllis Scherrer began her West Coast campaign by addressing a meeting of workers and students at San Diego State University.

Delegates meeting votes to end Chicago teachers strike

By Joseph Kishore, 19 September 2012

The Chicago Teachers Union succeeded in obtaining a vote by 800 delegates who met Tuesday evening to end the nine-day strike.

The two paths open to Chicago teachers

By Socialist Equality Party, 19 September 2012

This statement was distributed outside of the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates meeting on Tuesday, called to decide whether to continue the strike.

Attacks force US to halt joint operations with Afghan troops

By Bill Van Auken, 19 September 2012

A steady escalation of so-called insider attacks has forced the Pentagon to suspend joint patrols and combat training with Afghan security forces.

CAW leadership bows to Ford Canada’s concessions demands

By Carl Bronski, 19 September 2012

The tentative agreement the Canadian Auto Workers has reached with Ford locks in all the cuts agreed to in 2009 and contains major new concessions.

Romney's words

By Barry Grey, 19 September 2012

The video of a Mitt Romney fundraiser posted Monday has provided a revealing glimpse of what the financial magnates think and what they say to one another in the privacy of their board rooms and mansions.

SEP vice-presidential candidate campaigns in San Diego

By our reporters, 19 September 2012

The Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for vice-president, Phyllis Scherrer, campaigned in San Diego this week, the first of a series of cities she will visit on the West Coast.

Under threat of injunction, Chicago teacher delegates to vote on strike

By Joseph Kishore, 18 September 2012

The Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates is set to vote today on continuing or ending the strike, with city officials holding out the threat of a court injunction.

Seven Days in Chicago: What has been revealed by the Chicago teachers strike

By Jerry White, 18 September 2012

The Chicago teachers’ strike, which entered its second week on Monday, has laid bare the social and political dynamic of the United States.

New York police arrest hundreds on first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street protests

By Sandy English, 18 September 2012

The New York Police Department (NYPD) arrested nearly 200 protesters on Monday as they attempted to surround the New York Stock Exchange and block traffic in the city’s financial district.

Study shows rise in US youth population neither in workforce nor school

By Nick Barrickman, 18 September 2012

A new study finds one in seven young adults in the US are socially “disconnected,” being neither employed nor receiving an education.

SEP candidate Jerry White speaks to transit workers on Chicago teachers strike

By Bryan Dyne, 18 September 2012

Socialist Equality presidential candidate Jerry White campaigned among transit workers and firefighters Monday, discussing the significance of the Chicago teachers strike.

Metro Detroit area pipefitters on strike

By Shannon Jones, 18 September 2012

Members of Pipefitters Local 636 in the Metropolitan Detroit area, on strike since July 9, held an expanded picket of the Mechanical Contractors Association Monday.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

18 September 2012

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Chicago teachers vote to continue strike

Mayor threatens injunction

By Joseph Kishore, 17 September 2012

The vote by teachers Sunday is a blow to the Chicago Teachers Union leadership, which is seeking to push through a contract that accepts all of the major demands of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Latest moves by Fed and European Central Bank

Financial parasitism and looting are the “new normal”

By Nick Beams, 17 September 2012

The actions of the world’s major central banks signify that there is no prospect of a return to what were once considered “normal” conditions.

This deal is not what the strike was about!

By Socialist Equality Party, 17 September 2012

This statement was distributed to Chicago teachers attending a delegates meeting to decide on whether or not the strike of 26,000 teachers should be ended.

Seven weeks before US election

Polls show Obama edging ahead of Romney

By Patrick Martin, 17 September 2012

There appears to be a tilt towards Obama in key ruling class circles, expressed in the media, a series of favorable court decisions and hefty fundraising.

Right-wing groups prepare national campaign to disenfranchise US voters

By Eric London, 17 September 2012

With the US general election less than two months away, right-wing groups are waging a nationwide campaign to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of working class, minority voters.

SEP candidates discuss fight to defend education with Chicago teachers

By our reporters, 17 September 2012

Socialist Equality Party presidential and vice presidential candidates Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer campaigned among striking teachers in Chicago over the weekend.

Without final contract, Chicago Teachers Union pushes for end to strike

By Joseph Kishore, 15 September 2012

At a delegates meeting on Sunday, the Chicago Teachers Union will seek to push through an agreement that accepts all the essential demands of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

US designates Haqqani Network in Pakistan as terrorist group

By Sampath Perera, 15 September 2012

The US designation of the Haqqani Network as a terrorist group intensifies pressure on Pakistani and US forces to attack it inside Pakistan.

Right-wing terrorist organization worked within US Army

By Ed Hightower, 15 September 2012

Charged with gang activity and murder, active duty soldiers who were members of the militia group are said to have discussed seizing control of their fort and overthrowing the US government.

CLASSE and Quebec’s student federations welcome PQ’s election

By Eric Marquis, 15 September 2012

The election of a big business Parti Québecois government has been welcomed by Quebec’s student associations, including CLASSE, the student group that led the six-month student strike.

The US poverty report and the Obama “recovery”

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey, 15 September 2012

The poverty report released Wednesday by the US Census Bureau is another refutation of the Obama administration’s claims to be working to improve the lives of ordinary Americans.

Chicago teachers: Reject the contract betrayal! Broaden the fight to defend jobs and public schools!

Statement by Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White

By Statement by Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White, 15 September 2012

The following statement is being distributed at a rally Saturday of Chicago teachers called by the Chicago Teachers Union.

Union preparing to accept sellout contract and end Chicago teachers strike

By Joseph Kishore, 14 September 2012

Chicago Teachers Union officials indicated on Thursday that they are moving quickly to wrap up negotiations with the Chicago Public Schools and end a strike by 36,000 teachers.

Students, teachers oppose attack on public education

By a WSWS reporting team, 14 September 2012

Reporters for the World Socialist Web Site campaigned at picket lines and at the mass rally in downtown Chicago on the fourth day of the Chicago teachers strike. .

US Federal Reserve extends unlimited support to financial markets

By Nick Beams, 14 September 2012

Yesterday’s announcement is the most open-ended commitment given by the Fed to bolster financial markets since the crisis began four years ago.

CAW moves to meet Detroit Three’s demands for two tier-wages, other givebacks

By Carl Bronski, 14 September 2012

The Canadian Auto Workers union has agreed to a major expansion of two-tier wages and other concessions in ongoing contract negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers.

Survey of California’s community colleges reveals harmful impact of budget cuts

By Kevin Martinez and Juan Verala Luz, 14 September 2012

A survey released last week by the California Community Colleges system documents the desperate state of two-year colleges in the state.

“The Quiet American”: the death of J. Christopher Stevens

By Bill Van Auken, 14 September 2012

The death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya is a consequence of the bloody and murderous role of imperialism in that region and throughout the world.

Talk by socialist candidate evokes lively discussion

Jerry White reports on international tour in Detroit

By Shannon Jones, 14 September 2012

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White spoke on his recent tour of Europe and Sri Lanka at Wayne State University Wednesday, evoking a lively discussion.

Victory to the Chicago teachers!

By Patrick Martin, 13 September 2012

The Chicago teachers have courageously defied the gang-up of both corporate-controlled parties—the Democrats and Republicans—together with the media and the financial elite.

Mayor Emanuel plans to close one-fifth of Chicago public schools

By Joseph Kishore, 13 September 2012

A central issue in the struggle of Chicago teachers is the plan by the city, backed by the Obama administration, to privatize large sections of the school district.

US Census report: Record numbers in poverty and widening inequality

By Barry Grey, 13 September 2012

The Census Bureau’s annual survey of poverty in America presented a nightmarish picture of social conditions in the US.

“The conditions for students are horrible”

SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer speaks to Chicago teachers

By an SEP campaign team, 13 September 2012

During her second day of campaigning among striking Chicago teachers, SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer continued discussing the political issues of the strike.

Chicago teachers in forefront of fight against bipartisan assault on education

By Joseph Kishore, 12 September 2012

The strike by 26,000 Chicago teachers completed its second day on Tuesday. Tens of thousands of teachers and their supporters gathered at a mass rally in downtown Chicago, filling several city blocks.

Chicago teachers discuss political issues in their strike

By Bryan Dyne, 12 September 2012

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to Chicago teachers on the second day of their strike.

Chinese military conducts long-range missile tests

By Mark Church, 12 September 2012

The Chinese missile tests are a response to the US military build-up in Asia and fears that China’s nuclear arsenal is vulnerable to an American “first strike.”

9/11 anniversary: The terror pretext in tatters

By Bill Van Auken, 12 September 2012

The 11th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks passed with diminished official commemoration, as attempts to exploit the tragedy as a pretext for Washington’s wars have grown ever more hollow.

SEP vice presidential candidate discusses political issues with striking Chicago teachers

By an SEP campaign team, 12 September 2012

In discussions with striking Chicago teachers Tuesday, SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer addressed the political issues in their struggle.

UAW calls off Jeep contract vote

By Shannon Jones, 12 September 2012

In the wake of the vote by Chrysler Dundee Engine Plant workers to reject their local contract in Michigan the United Auto Workers called off a scheduled local contract vote at the Jeep complex in Toledo, Ohio.

Detroit Three demand massive concessions from Canadian auto workers

By Carl Bronski, 12 September 2012

Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler are standing firm in their demand for sweeping contract concessions—including permanent two-tier wages and the scrapping of a defined pension benefits plan—from their more 20,000 Canadian workers.

Democrats and Republicans line up against Chicago teachers

By Joseph Kishore, 11 September 2012

The strike pits the more than 25,000 teachers against Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Obama administration and the entire political establishment.

Obama evades jobs crisis on campaign trail

By Barry Grey, 11 September 2012

With the completion of the Democratic and Republican conventions, the presidential campaigns of the two corporate-controlled parties have shifted into high gear.

More companies charged with manipulating California energy market

By Oliver Richards, 11 September 2012

California’s utilities monitoring agency has accused more companies of swindling the state’s electricity market since charges were filed against JPMorgan in July.

Clinton stokes up tensions with China on tour of Asia

By Peter Symonds, 11 September 2012

Far from being a voice of moderation, Clinton used her trip to further undermine and isolate China, stoking disputes particularly over the South China Sea.

A letter from the mother of homeless Michigan man killed by police

11 September 2012

The World Socialist Web Site received this letter from the mother of Milton Hall, who was killed by Saginaw police July 1.

Cuts in US jobless pay, government layoffs throw 1.5 million more people into poverty

By Andre Damon, 10 September 2012

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities released a report last Friday showing that cuts in jobless pay and the layoff of public-sector workers threw over 1.5 million people into poverty last year.

Teachers strike in Chicago

By Kristina Betinis, 10 September 2012

Negotiations between the Chicago Public Schools, the third largest school district in the country, and the Chicago Teachers Union broke off Sunday evening, sending thousands of teachers to the picket lines.

US steps up military operations in Yemen

By Niall Green, 10 September 2012

The Obama administration is intensifying its bloody campaign in the impoverished Middle Eastern country of Yemen.

Texas: Austin police provocateurs infiltrated, entrapped Houston Occupy protesters

By Charles Abelard, 10 September 2012

Austin police detectives infiltrated a protest at the Port of Houston and advised the young protesters to use illegal equipment, resulting in felony charges after their arrest.

California raids special funds in attempt to fix budget

By Allison Smith and Rafael Azul, 10 September 2012

The administration of Governor Jerry Brown and the Democratic Party controlled legislature are intensifying the practice of raiding special funds, including some that provide vital services to Californians.

After the conventions: The political issues in the 2012 elections

By Joseph Kishore, 10 September 2012

With the conclusion of the Democratic and Republican national conventions, the US presidential elections are entering their final phase.

SEP (US) presidential candidate speaks at Berlin Humboldt University

By our correspondents, 10 September 2012

On Saturday, Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White addressed an audience of 170 at the historic Humboldt University in Berlin.

Syria’s “eerie parallel to Afghanistan” and the pro-imperialist pseudo-left

By Johannes Stern, 10 September 2012

David Ignatius of the Washington Post draws a revealing parallel between the CIA operation in Afghanistan in the 1980s and the current war in Syria.

Another dismal US jobs report

By Andre Damon, 8 September 2012

Less than 12 hours after US President Barack Obama gave his speech at the Democratic National Convention, a disastrous jobs report released Friday shattered the administration’s pretenses of an “economic recovery.”

Obama's acceptance speech: A compendium of half-truths and lies

By Barry Grey, 8 September 2012

Barack Obama's speech Thursday night accepting the Democratic Party's nomination provided a fittingly cynical and demagogic conclusion to two weeks of media-scripted conventions staged by the two official parties.

US escalates CIA intervention on Syrian-Turkish border

By Bill Van Auken, 8 September 2012

Washington is rushing a beefed-up contingent of CIA operatives to the border between Turkey and Syria in a bid to escalate the war for regime change.

Canada’s government continues to persecute “child soldier” Omar Khadr

By Ed Patrick, 8 September 2012

Canada’s Conservative government is continuing the decade-long vendetta Canadian and U.S. authorities have mounted against Omar Khadr, the “child soldier” who has been detained at Guantanamo Bay for the past decade.

United Steelworkers union agrees to concessions at US Steel

By Bryan Dyne, 8 September 2012

US Steel and the United Steelworkers union on Sunday announced a tentative concessions agreement affecting 16,000 USW members.

The reactionary essence of California’s Proposition 30

By David Brown, 8 September 2012

Proposition 30 will raise taxes on the working class in California without ending the cuts to education and social services.

US political conventions

Obama speech caps two weeks of demagogy and right-wing policies

By Patrick Martin, 7 September 2012

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans could honestly address the crisis of the profit system and its impact on working people.

Clinton at the Democratic convention: Rhetoric vs. reality

By Joseph Kishore, 7 September 2012

Former President Bill Clinton’s speech, in common with the entire narrative created by the Democrats to reelect Obama, was an exercise in fantasy and myth-making.

Federal court upholds key provision of Arizona law targeting immigrants

By Ed Hightower, 7 September 2012

A federal court has refused to block enforcement of the most draconian section of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law directing police to determine the status of people they stop while enforcing traffic regulations or other laws.

More than 50 million face hunger in the US

By Kate Randall, 7 September 2012

A USDA study shows that one in six people in the US lives in a household that is at risk for hunger.

Michigan governor signs bill attacking school employee pensions

By Shannon Jones, 7 September 2012

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation this week requiring public school employees to contribute more toward their pensions and eliminating paid retiree health care benefits for new-hires.

The Obama administration and the cover-up of CIA torture

By Bill Van Auken, 7 September 2012

The new revelations of CIA waterboarding of Libyan detainees underscore the criminality of US foreign policy and both major political parties.

SEP US presidential candidate addresses London meeting

By our reporter, 7 September 2012

Socialist Equality Party US presidential candidate Jerry White addressed an attentive audience of more than 60 workers, retirees, students and youth in London Thursday evening.

A lost generation and the struggle for socialism

By Andre Damon, 6 September 2012

As students start the new school year across North America and Europe, young people face mass unemployment, renewed attacks on education, and poverty.

The Democratic convention: A scripted and empty spectacle

By Patrick Martin, 6 September 2012

Paid scriptwriters have produced nearly every word spoken in the course of the three-day convention.

Parti Quebecois to form minority government, after narrow election win

By Keith Jones, 6 September 2012

The Parti Québécois has won enough seats to form a minority government, ending nine years’ of Liberal rule.

Clinton pressures Beijing over South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 6 September 2012

The blunt reactions of Chinese officials and the media point to deepening resentment at the Obama administration’s aggressive intervention into the region.

Gulf region remains devastated one week after Hurricane Isaac

By Ed Hightower, 6 September 2012

Thousands of residents in communities outside of New Orleans remain in shelters, unable to return to homes that remain submerged in up to ten feet of water.

Portland, Oregon increases transit fees

By Tony Colton and Hector Cordon, 6 September 2012

Beginning September 1, the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District (TriMet) implemented fare increases and cuts in services in order to overcome a $12 million budget shortfall.

California launches attack on public sector pensions

By Julien Kiemle, 6 September 2012

California’s Democratic-controlled legislature overwhelmingly passed a drastic pension reform bill and sent it to Governor Jerry Brown last Friday.

First night of Democratic convention

Phony populism from a party of corporate America

By Patrick Martin, 5 September 2012

Speaker after speaker praised the auto bailout, which resulted in the slashing of wages and benefits and the destruction of tens of thousands of jobs.

Frankfurt protest against Western intervention in Syria

By our correspondents, 5 September 2012

Around one thousand people took part in a demonstration through the center of Frankfurt September 1 under the slogan: “Stop the war! Hands off Syria.”

US letter carrier dies after delivering mail in heat wave

By Hector Cordon, 5 September 2012

A Missouri letter carrier’s death in July was due to extreme heat exposure, a medical examiner has determined.

Democrats slash California workers’ compensation

By Don Knowland, 5 September 2012

California’s Democratic governor and legislators, with the collusion of major unions, have gutted the compensation and medical benefits of injured workers.

Police shootings raise questions over CIA role in Mexico

By Rafael Azul, 5 September 2012

On August 24, Mexican police shot and wounded two American CIA agents.