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Vol. 76/No. 33      September 10, 2012

25, 50 and 75 years ago

September 11, 1987

CHARLESTON, W.Va.—Nearly three years after the beginning of the United Mine Workers strike against A.T. Massey Coal Co. and Samoyed Energy, five union members are facing a frame-up in federal court.

In early August, a federal grand jury in eastern Kentucky charged United Mine Workers of America Local 2496 President Donnie Thornsbury, his cousin David Thornsbury, James and Irving Smith, and Arnold Heightland with “conspiracy to damage and disable motor vehicles used in interstate commerce.” The frame-up stems from the shooting death of Hayes West, a nonunion truck driver, on May 29, 1985.

These miners are targeted for being activists in the 1984-85 strikes against Massey and against Samoyed. Massey hired an army of gun thugs and scabs to try to break the strike at its mines in southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky.

September 10, 1962

Never, save, perhaps in Hitlerite Germany, has a public been subjected to such a press campaign of crude lies and distortions designed to create a war psychosis as have the American people in the past two weeks.

Headlines screamed, “Castro Gets Red Missiles” and “Russian troops Mass in Cuba,” while senators from both big-business parties clamored for immediate invasion of the revolutionary island.

The vast propaganda machine for mass producing lies was put into high gear because Cuba had obtained large-scale assistance in strengthening its anti-aircraft and shore defenses.

In view of the U.S.-launched invasion of April 1961, continued U.S. support of counter-revolutionaries, and talk in Washington that Cuba’s economic difficulties make it ripe for another invasion, the Castro government is perfectly justified in taking all the military aid it can get.

September 11, 1937

In contrast to the early days of the rise of progressive trade unionists to power locally, studded with spectacular strikes, the past half year has been more or less one of steady but relatively quiet growth. Many thousands of new workers, in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North and South Dakota have been enrolled in the movement for the first time.

The spearhead of the organization campaign has been the North Central District Drivers Council, organized one year ago on the initiative of the leaders of General Drivers Local 544 in Minneapolis.

At the present time there are over 20,000 members, working in five states, enrolled in this Drivers Council. Locals have been revived and strengthened, other locals have been set up in about 20 cities. In every community, working conditions have been bettered, union contracts have been won.  
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