Hillary Is No Alternative to Giuliani -- Protest CCNY's Honoring Hillary Clinton!
City College has announced that its commencement speaker this June will be Hillary Rodham Clinton. Ms. Clinton is not a ceremonial First Lady but a political campaigner for her husband's policies and an unofficial candidate for the U.S. Senate. Her appearance will be popular with some because she is a potential roadblock to Mayor Giuliani's ambitions for higher office and a vehicle for reviving the moribund Democratic Party in New York State.
Thus CCNY will be honoring a politician who shares responsibility for the crimes and betrayals of the Clinton Administration: murderous wars in Iraq and Kosovo, the demolishing of the Federal welfare program and other measures that have badly hurt millions of working-class people, and CUNY students in particular. In fact, many of the policies Giuliani is hated for were initiated nationally by President Clinton.
- Despite her claim to be a champion of women and children, Hillary Clinton embraced the Clinton-Gingrich welfare bill that ended a 60-year Federal commitment to the poor, single mothers especially. The anti-welfare campaign whipped up reactionary attitudes toward women, Blacks and Latinos, and immigrants. Hundreds of CUNY students have been forced to drop out since Giuliani began implementing the new slave-labor workfare rules mandated by Clinton's bill.
- Bill Clinton's $20-billion "anti-crime" bill expanded the death penalty, funded more prisons and gave greater surveillance powers to federal agencies. His response to the police murder of Amadou Diallo was to propose funding for 50,000 more police -- along with college aid and "ethics training" for cops. Giuliani's program is indistinguishable.
- Hillary Clinton was the main architect of the disastrous Clinton health-care bill. That plan endorsed the principle of profit-first medical care, and while it failed in Congress, it set the stage for the skyrocketing costs and diminishing coverage that all working people face today.
- Ms. Clinton is also active in foreign policy. She has traveled to the Balkans to cheerlead for the U.S./NATO war over Kosovo. This is a criminal imperialist war against the Serbian and Kosovar people: the U.S. is dropping shrapnel bombs on cities and villages. The pretense to be defending the Albanian Kosovars is belied by the U.S.'s pathetic efforts to aid a bare handful of the hundreds of thousands of refugees, by its endorsement of ethnic cleansing by U.S. allies like Turkey against the Kurds, and by its rejection of Kosovo's right to national self-determination.
- In Iraq, according to United Nations figures, the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and U.N. are killing 4500 young children per month. The Clintons bear direct responsibility for a policy that amply deserves the name genocide.
- Overall, the Clinton Administration has made its number-one priority balancing the Federal budget at the expense of the working class. In addition to destroying welfare, it has cut food stamps and slashed funds for education and housing, adopted vicious anti-immigrant legislation and abandoned even the nominal jobs program the Clintons promised during the 1992 campaign. Now, it wants to turn Social Security funds over to Wall Street, and is already using them -- and the "surplus" from the food stamp program -- to pay for the Kosovo war.
A year ago, Hillary Clinton denounced "a vast right-wing conspiracy" that was out to get her husband. But nothing the reactionary Republicans have done compares with the Clinton Democrats' destruction of gains won in the past by the labor and civil rights movements. Bill Clinton's principal historical role has been to consolidate the "Reagan revolution," smoothing the rough edges of reaction with the aid of labor and Black leaders. The Democrats and Republicans have proved themselves to be two parties of war, racism and austerity for the masses.
Stand Up Against Budget-Cutting, Race-Baiting and War!
Turn Your Back on Hillary!
League for the Revolutionary Party, May 1999