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Vol. 76/No. 45      December 10, 2012

25, 50 and 75 years ago

December 11, 1987

BARNSLEY, England—Three hundred Yorkshire coal miners crowded into the West Gawber Miners Welfare social center here October 25 to protest the British Coal Board’s announcement that it is going to close the Woolley and Redbrook mines.

If the Coal Board goes ahead with the closings, it will cost 1,300 miners their jobs and have a devastating impact on the small communities nearby.

Some 80,000 mining jobs have been lost through government mine closures since the end of the 1984-85 British coal strike. Over this past year, under pressure from the Coal Board and faced with the threat of permanent job loss, 34,000 miners have taken buyout offers and left the industry.

But the unceasing attacks on the union have sparked resistance from the ranks of Britain’s National Union of Mineworkers. This was reflected in the mood of the meeting.

December 10, 1962

The Kennedy administration, having failed to get its foot into Cuba’s door through unilateral UN inspection of that island’s defenses, is now talking about a step-by-step “solution” of the “Cuban crisis.” Reports from Washington make clear that by this is meant a process of removing more weapons from Cuba—including those admitted by the U.S. to be “defensive”—until the revolutionary government is more vulnerable to attack.

Since the Cubans’ tit-for-tat statement of Nov. 25, demanding inspection of bases from which Washington is preparing aggression against them, Kennedy has not emphasized his inspection demand. That statement was so effective in exposing Kennedy’s position that it was suppressed in this country to an even greater degree than usual. It was omitted from the daily transcript of foreign broadcasts made available by the CIA to U.S. newspapers.

December 11, 1937

The ominous sweep of the lay-off campaign is matched by the equally disastrous sky-rocketing of the cost of living.

Laid-off workers met the onrush of the great crisis of 1929 with a wave of militancy and struggle that will long be an inspiration for American labor and for the working class throughout the world. It was precisely this vigorous determination of the disemployed wage slaves to stand up and fight that forced the concessions upon that system of inhumanity called capitalism, resulting in the setting up of the federal relief and W.P.A. agencies.

Once more, and even more acutely than before, the spectre of starvation hovers over working class households. No one will drive it off this time except the workers themselves, organized in fighting demonstrations, rallied to solidarity by militant organizations.  
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