The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 67/No. 45           December 22, 2003  
25 and 50 years ago
December 22, 1978
A little more than a year ago, President Carter received Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi at the White House and praised him for maintaining a “strong, stable, and progressive Iran.”

Even as late as this June, New York Times correspondent Nicholas Gage insisted in a major article that peasants and workers in Iran backed the shah, who “has taken great care to build both elements into pillars of support for this regime.”

But now the American ruling class has been forced to change its tune. One Wall Street analyst told the Christian Science Monitor’s financial correspondent, “The [stock] market is beginning to accept that the Shah cannot survive.”

Just how dim the shah’s prospects are was indicated by the enormous demonstrations of December 10 and 11. Opposition leaders asserted that 7 million protesters—one fifth of the country’s population—marched in opposition to the regime on December 10.

CBS News estimated that 1.5 million marched in Tehran alone. “The sheer weight of numbers of the procession took even seasoned observers by surprise,” Tony Allaway reported in the December 11 Monitor. “More than a quarter of Tehran’s population had turned out to register their protest.”  
December 21, 1953
SAN FRANCISCO—Six thousand longshoremen “hit the bricks” last week December 3, when Velde’s House Un-American Committee opened a red-baiting attack against their union. Local 10, of the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union (independent) had served notice to Velde when he arrived in town that it would not tolerate witch-hunt attacks on the union.

Velde, an ex-FBI cop, and now one of the wheel horses in McCarthy’s witch-hunt stable, started his hearings December 1. The hearing was preceded by the usual press build-up designed to create panic and fear. Velde announced his committee was “deeply concerned with the red menace” in the Bay area.

When Velde, after some preliminary sparring, cautiously opened the smear attack on the ILWU through the voice of a stoolpigeon witness, the union acted without hesitation. It paralyzed the waterfront in a 24-hour protest strike.

Velde ended the hearings on the fifth, instead of on the announced eleventh day. He talked of returning to Washington for “urgent Congressional duties.” The committee left with the vague threat to “return again sometime in the future.”  
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