The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 67/No. 19           June 9, 2003  
In ‘God we trust’?
These are the words that make me sit down when I am to say the pledge of allegiance. Well in Minnesota they are making it mandatory that public schools say it at least once a week. This is another example of the Republicans’ hypocrisy in order to hold down the progressives.

Now I will sit! My peers will discriminate against me and call me unpatriotic. That is just not true. This is not only a step down from atheist; it is a shot at the heart of socialism. In a post 9/11 United States we need to stick together with one thing in mind, the progressive parties will not tolerate the setbacks of our oppositions.

I will sit. For our constitution’s sake, who will sit with me?

Teddy Saxton
International Falls, Minnesota
Obligation to defend Cuba
The massacre of the Iraqi people and the occupation of Iraq by U.S. forces, heading a coalition with England, Spain, and other countries, without UN approval, and despite the marches by people around the world saying: No to War—this is nothing less than the beginning of the imposition upon the world, by force, of a new world order that the U.S. extreme right-wing and its lackeys have determined. Is this accidental? No. The failure of neoliberalism, the big economic crisis that this has provoked in the world, has brought the extreme right to the conclusion that the capitalist system can only be maintained by force.

On the other hand, the cowardice of many governments, the opportunism of others, the inactivity of the parties on the left, and the low level of combativity of working-class leaders around the world, added to the limited effectiveness of the UN, have allowed for what we are seeing today, which is nothing more than the return of fascism as a threat to the world.

Cuba, a small country, blockaded and threatened for more than 40 years by the mightiest power in the world, has held the banner of socialism high, and has raised its voice to say No! to the new world order that they attempt to impose, demonstrating to both the left, and to the working class around the world the path to follow. This is the reason why they have fabricated an international campaign against it, led by the United States with the support of its lackeys in Latin America and the rotten OAS (Organization of American States), also counting on the bootlickers of the European Union, which has added itself to the blockade of the island to asphyxiate it economically, and through hunger and disease make it surrender.

This reality shows us that this is the moment for the beginning of the struggle by the world working class against the new order and the first step is to save Cuba with the moral and economic support it requires.

The working class worldwide faces the danger of being enslaved. Cuba is its main bastion, let’s not allow it to be crushed and destroyed. Let’s defend ourselves by fighting for Cuba.

Proletarians of the world, Unite!

José F. Martínez
Miami, Florida  
Farouk Abdel-Muhti
Several friends and supporters of New York-based Palestinian activist Farouk Abdel-Muhti visited him at the York County Jail in York, Pennsylvania, on May 2-3.

Visitors are allowed into a special area where they can see him through a glass partition and talk to him through a telephone.

Farouk was dressed in an orange prison uniform with handcuffs on his wrists and shackles on his ankles. He was in remarkably good condition and spirit considering the treatment he has been getting. He is locked down for 23 hours, 15 minutes per day in what is called “the hole.” He hasn’t seen the sun for more than 60 days since his transfer to York. There is no recreation or exercise. The 45-minutes relief from the “hole” includes a quick shower, telephone time, shopping at the commissary, etc. As compared with the jail at Passaic [New Jersey], the York prison is cleaner, but the attitude of the guards is much worse. They treat him as a sort of scapegoat for the supposed evil suffered by Americans from “evil” Arabs and Muslims. His patience is being tried.

Bernie McFall
New York, N.Y.

Farouk was in good spirits, but slightly shaken up. As usual he had a lot of things to discuss, things he wanted us to do and people he wanted us to contact. However his slightly shaken-up state was due to a visit by two government agents the day before. He also was in handcuffs, and leg shackles, which I found to be slightly excessive, since he is behind a glass wall that separated him from us. The other detainees, I noticed, were not in handcuffs.

Farouk has been in York County Prison for approximately 68 days, and he mentioned that he would like for us to try to further publicize his case. I don’t think he can stay in there much longer without there being adverse effects on his health and on his physical and emotional well-being.

Sharin Chiorazzo
Absecon, New Jersey

Farouk Abdel-Muhti, an outspoken advocate of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, was jailed without charges in April 2002.

Abdel-Muhti has been imprisoned indefinitely, first in several prisons in New Jersey, and more recently in a jail in York, Pennsylvania. He is facing deportation from the United States, where he has lived since the 1970’s, and is appealing for public support to press the government for his release and drop deportation proceedings against him. Anyone interested can send a letter of protest to David J. Venturella, Assistant Deputy Executive Associate Commissioner, Office of Detention and Removal, tel. (212) 305-2734, fax (202) 353-9435, e-mail Please also call York County Jail warden Thomas Hogan at (717) 840-7580.

To write to Abdel-Muhti address correspondence as follows: Farouk Abdel-Muhti #75122, York County Jail, 3400 Concord Road, York, PA 17402-9580. Please send copies of your letters to the Committee for the Release of Farouk Abdel-Muhti at —Editor

The letters column is an open forum for all viewpoints on subjects of interest to working people. Please keep your letters brief. Where necessary they will be abridged. Please indicate if you prefer that your initials be used rather than your full name.  
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