Americas

US military brands Assange, WikiLeaks as “the enemy”

By Bill Van Auken, 28 September 2012

Secret US Air Force documents brand WikiLeaks and its editor Julian Assange as “the “enemy,” placing them on a legal par with Al Qaeda.

The terror of US drone warfare

By Ernst Wolff, 28 September 2012

A new study, “Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan,” describes the terrorizing of Pakistan’s civilian population by US drone assaults.

National Football League and referees reach tentative agreement

By Alan Gilman, 28 September 2012

NFL referee lockout caused mass anger over officiating mistakes.

Chicago school nurses speak on shortage: “Our kids deserve better”

By Lawrence Porter, 28 September 2012

Chicago Public Schools nurses describe how the cuts in public education have affected nurse-student ratios, putting the health of students at risk.

SEP presidential campaign comes to Virginia

By our correspondents, 28 September 2012

Supporters of the Socialist Equality Party and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality campaigned in northern Virginia for a meeting Thursday with presidential candidate Jerry White.

US elections conceal preparations for war with Iran

By Barry Grey, 27 September 2012

In the midst of a presidential election campaign, the fact that plans for war against Iran are far advanced is being concealed from the American people.

Early voting begins in US elections

By Patrick Martin, 27 September 2012

Well over 30 percent of ballots will be cast before the November 6 election.

Humala government outlaws strikes by Peruvian teachers and doctors

By Armando Cruz, 27 September 2012

A pair of wildcat strikes by teachers and doctors has become the latest episode of class struggle to undermine the government of Peru’s nationalist president, Ollanta Humala.

Poverty grows in Washington DC suburbs

By Nick Barrickman, 27 September 2012

The Washington DC area, including 7 of the 10 wealthiest counties in the United States, has witnessed a growth of poverty in the wake of the 2008 financial disaster.

Obama uses UN speech to threaten war against Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 26 September 2012

President Obama postured before the UN as the champion of peace and democracy, while threatening war against Iran and demanding a crackdown against the wave of anti-US demonstrations that have swept the Middle East.

UAW to hold revote at Chrysler Dundee, Michigan engine plant

By Shannon Jones, 26 September 2012

The UAW will hold a revote on the local contract agreement overwhelmingly voted down last month by workers at Chrysler’s Dundee Engine Plant.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians ratify concessions contract

By James Brewer, 26 September 2012

Chicago Symphony musicians have gone back to work after ratifying a new contract proposal.

In fourth date with death, Texas inmate executed by lethal injection

By Kate Randall, 26 September 2012

Texas death row inmate Cleve Foster was executed Thursday after the US Supreme Court refused to grant him a stay.

Mentally ill double amputee shot to death by Houston police

By Charles Abelard, 26 September 2012

Houston police fatally shot a mentally ill double amputee, a ward of the state of Texas, who was said to be waving a "silver object”—a pen—at a policeman while sitting in his wheelchair at his care facility.

Video: Chicago teachers speak on their strike and the defense of public education

26 September 2012

On September 10, Chicago teachers struck against changes to public education demanded by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and backed by the Obama administration. In these interview, Chicago teachers discuss their strike and the broader issues at stake.

Romney’s “47 percent” video and the bipartisan assault on social reform

By Barry Grey, 25 September 2012

In all of their criticisms, the Democrats have carefully avoided the basic issue: Romney’s flat-out assertion that people do not have the right to food, health care and a roof over their heads.

Attack in Libya disrupted major CIA operation

By Bill Van Auken, 25 September 2012

The September 11 attack that claimed the life of the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans disrupted a major CIA operation in the North African country.

California governor signs pension “reform” bill

By Julien Kiemle and Marc Wells, 25 September 2012

The legislation signed by Jerry Brown will create a two-tier system for pensions, setting back public sector workers in California by decades.

Study: Recession punishes West Virginia workers

By Clement Daly, 25 September 2012

A new study shows how the recession has exacerbated more than three decades of stagnation and decline faced by workers in the Appalachian state.

Ford Canada workers ratify concessions deal

By Carl Bronski, 25 September 2012

After Ford’s campaign of plant closing and mass layoff threats, in partnership with the Canadian government and the Canadian Auto Workers union, CAW members in Ontario voted to ratify a concessions-laden contract.

SEP presidential candidate speaks to Ford Canada workers

By Shannon Jones, 25 September 2012

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White travelled to Windsor, Ontario Sunday with a campaign team to speak to Ford Canada workers voting on the concessions-laden contract negotiated by the Canadian Auto Workers. The four-year agreement accepted all of the major take-away demands of the auto companies including an expanded two-tier wage structure, cuts to pension, the elimination of cost of living allowances and a freeze on wages.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

25 September 2012

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

Currency war warnings follow US Fed’s “quantitative easing”

By Nick Beams, 24 September 2012

One of the consequences of the Fed’s actions is to push down the value of the US dollar, thus worsening the competitive position of other major countries.

Chicago Symphony musicians walk out

By Kristina Betinis, 24 September 2012

Chicago Symphony Orchestra players have struck over management’s concessions demands.

Melting ice in the Arctic unleashes race for profits

By Ernst Wolff, 24 September 2012

Arctic sea ice reached its lowest recorded levels on September 16, leading to speculation by international oil conglomerates about a massive expansion of drilling in the region.

Phyllis Scherrer discusses SEP campaign, Chicago strike at California meetings

By our reporters, 24 September 2012

Socialist Equality Party vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer concluded her West Coast tour with a meeting in Huntington Park, in Los Angeles County.

A balance sheet of the Afghanistan war

By Patrick Martin, 24 September 2012

The Obama administration has withdrawn 33,000 troops, but more than twice as many still remain in Afghanistan.

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!

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

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!

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

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.