25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

June 4, 2018

June 7, 1993

“Mark Curtis will not get a fair trial,” said Jack Barnes, national secretary of the Socialist Workers Party at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa.

“No one in the world is obligated to prove Mark Curtis’s innocence,” he said. “The presumption of innocence has taken hundreds of years for working people to win. We shouldn’t take it for granted because the Des Moines police department, Polk County prosecutor, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the liberal newspapers, all are trying to take it away. Not only from Mark, but from everyone.

“It’s the presumption of guilt which dominates in the ‘democratic’ United States,” he explained. “Saturday night is open season on any young Black man in the United States. For every young Puerto Rican. It’s open season for women much of the time. The presumption is not the presumption of innocence, it’s the horror of guilt.”

June 7, 1968

General de Gaulle launched his counteroffensive in defense of capitalist rule by threatening civil war against the 10 million workers and students of France who have been on strike for two weeks and have occupied factories and universities throughout the country.

He postponed the national referendum. The relation of forces has been so unfavorable that the government has not been able to get ballots run off because of the printers on strike.

His henchmen count upon cooperation from the Communist, Socialist and Catholic union bureaucrats to break up the unity of the workers by settling the strike piecemeal.

The workers are ready, able and willing to stand firm until they win their economic, social and political demands. But their official leaders are looking for some sort of compromise and are disposed to capitulate under the pressures of capitalist reaction.

June 5, 1943

An interesting letter from a union man in the armed forces is prominently featured in Aero Mechanic, organ of aircraft workers organized in Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists in Seattle. In part the letter says:

“We are not all ‘Sons of Wall Street’ in the army, as most of the newspapers would like to have the public think. We are just as much against unconstitutional special privileges as we ever were. We are willing to die only for the common security of all people, regardless of race, creed or nationality.

“There are many of us who don’t like the way things are going at home. Every day we read of more sneak punches at the common working man and more clamoring by the dupes of Wall Street for more special privileges. These small men must be met on their own ground and defeated. We are depending upon our brothers in the unions.”