25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

May 28, 2018

May 31, 1993

The Clinton administration is pushing ahead on its plans to organize a military intervention in Haiti. The 500-member police force that Washington hopes to assemble under the banner of the United Nations is not intended to end repression and restore democratic rights in Haiti. Its real aim will be to ensure stability in that Caribbean country under a government favorable to the interests of U.S. big business. Working people should oppose these moves.

The hypocrisy of Washington’s claims of concern for the Haitian people is demonstrated by its callous treatment of refugees fleeing the reign of terror of Haiti’s military dictators. The U.S. military has been carrying out piracy on the open sea for a year now — intercepting refugees in their boats, forcibly returning them to the island where many face reprisals or death.

May 31, 1968

May 24 — Before [French President Charles] de Gaulle spoke today, the general deliberately deferred his appearance as long as possible despite the enormous pressure on him to do something about what is already being described in the press as a “social revolution.”

De Gaulle’s strategy was to “play it cool” in the expectation that the enormous strike wave would lose its momentum as people grew fearful of what might come next. Thus choosing the psychological moment, he could appear on the television screens once more as the “savior of France” and thus retrieve the situation.

The general left several items out of his calculations. Instead of subsiding, the strike wave deepened and spread. Some 10,000,000 workers out of a labor force of just under 15,000,000 are now on strike, more than 2,000 factories being occupied.

May 29, 1943

AKRON, OHIO — Outraged by the recent decision of the War Labor Board, 40,000 rubber workers in the Goodrich, Firestone and Goodyear companies continued their protest strike into the third day.

After almost a year’s delay the WLB handed down a decision on May 21, granting only a three cent an hour wage increase to the rubber workers, and flatly rejected their demands for night shift bonuses. A similar angry reaction to the WLB ruling occurred at the Firestone plant, where almost all the workers quit work shortly after the news of the decision was out.

The walkouts were spontaneous. As the news of the WLB decision spread like wildfire through various plant buildings of both Firestone and Goodrich, department meetings were held. Rank and file workers denounced the unjust ruling and threw down their tools.