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Vol. 73/No. 49      December 21, 2009

‘Stewardship of nature’
printed in Greek
ATHENS, Greece—The book Capitalism, the Working Class and the Protection of Nature was released this autumn in Greek by the Athens-based publishing house Diethnes Vima.

This new book contains the resolution adopted by the Socialist Workers Party “The stewardship of nature also falls to the working class: In defense of land and labor,” drafted by SWP leaders Jack Barnes, Steve Clark, and Mary-Alice Waters. It first appeared in English in issue 14 of the Marxist magazine New International.

Capitalism, the Working Class and the Protection of Nature also contains the speech by Thomas Sankara titled “Imperialism is the arsonist of our forests and savannas.” Sankara was the leader of the 1983-87 revolution in the West African country of Burkina Faso.

In addition, the book features the article “The part played by labor in the transition from ape to man,” written by Frederick Engels, a founder of the modern workers movement.

A six-week campaign to place the new title in bookstores netted orders for 55 new books and 93 other titles in three cities. A visit to the northern industrial city of Thessaloniki netted orders from six bookstores for a total of 22 copies and 42 other titles. In Athens 29 were placed in nine bookstores along with 44 additional titles.

A visit to the southern port city of Patras in the Peloponnesus also netted orders from two book stores for four copies of the new book as well as seven other titles.

Fifteen people attended a presentation of the book November 22 sponsored by Diethnes Vima. It was held at the Immigrant’s Club in Athens and attended by immigrant workers from West Africa, the Middle East, and Afghanistan.

Bobbis Misailides, speaking on behalf of the publishers, said this new book should be read along with “Capitalism’s long hot winter has begun” and “Our politics start with the world,” talks by Barnes that have been translated to Greek by Diethnes Vima. Misailides said they help understand what the depression that capitalism has entered holds for working people and nature, the two sources of wealth.

Roberto Scilipoti, a high school teacher of ecology, also spoke. Scilipoti said, “This book provides a deep appreciation of how the environment is exploited for profit. I particularly appreciated the speech by Sankara because there we see that the mobilizations by working people can confront the crisis in the environment.”

During the discussion, Ahmed Hamado, president of the Burkina Faso Community in Athens, said, “We in the community are studying what happened during the Sankara years. In the four years of the Burkina Faso revolution more was accomplished than in the 22 years since. On the question of the environment too.”

So far this year 791 books have been sold by volunteers in Athens to bookstores or off literature tables in Greece, Cyprus, and Lebanon. This is 132 percent of the goal the volunteers set at the beginning of the year.  
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