People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 08

February 25, 2007

On File


A NEW study has found widespread marginalisation and alienation among young African Americans in the United States, who say the government cares little about them and fear that racism will not be eliminated in their lifetime.


The study belies assertions by the administration of president George W Bush that affirmative action programs are no longer necessary, and shows that achievements such as senator Barack Obama’s bid to become the nation’s first black president are far from the norm, the study’s director said. 


“It is a problem that we keep suggesting that racism is eliminated because in fact it’s not, “said Cathy Cohen, a political science professor at the University of Chicago who conducted a national survey of, 590 black, white and Hispanic people aged 15 to 25. “They do feel quite alienated, almost like secondary citizens at times in this country. So the rhetoric of a colour-blind society where you’re only judged on merit is not their reality.”


Nearly half of the black youths surveyed believe the government treats immigrants better than black people, and 56 per cent believe that leaders in government care very little about people like them.


More than 60 per cent said they think discrimination makes it harder for blacks to get ahead, and 54 per cent said that blacks receive worse education than whites.


Only 11 per cent of black youth, 12 per cent of Hispanic youth and four per cent of white youth believe it is very likely that racism will be eliminated in their lifetime. 


--- The Statesman, February 2, 2007


TENS of thousands of people marched peacefully through the north-eastern Italian city of Vicenza under a heavy police presence to protest a planned US military base expansion that has strained relations within the governing centre-left coalition.


Despite fears that violent demonstrators would be drawn to Saturday’s (February 17), protest, the march took place without incident, finishing outside the main train station where it started as hundred of police officers stood guard and helicopters hovered overhead……..


The police estimated the crowd at 50,000 to 80,000, while organisers put the numbers at 120,000. “To build a military base is not the gesture of a peaceful government,” said 24-year-old city resident Simone Pasin, draped in a rainbow peace flag. “I think it’s time to dismantle military bases and put up structures of peace.”


Trains and buses brought in leftist activists and anti-globalisation protesters from across Italy to support resident concerned that the expansion would increase traffic and noise and air pollution, deplete local resources including water and gas, and raise the risk of terrorist attacks. 


--- The Asian Age, February 19