25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

December 3, 2018

December 6, 1993

Some 480 soda ash miners fought off a union-busting probe by General Chemical Co. at its southwest Wyoming mine. During the course of their four-month strike, members of United Steelworkers of America Local 15320 stood up to cop harassment and arrests; company firings of 34 strikers for so-called strike misconduct; threats, including the use of firearms by company scabs; and provocations by federal authorities.

The company agreed to reinstate the 34 strikers after a one-month suspension in exchange for the union dropping outstanding grievances. Reinstated workers will not face probation or future discipline. “Either we all go back or none of us go back,” was the way Dave Welch, one of the strikers, summarized the miners’ view.

December 6, 1968

Ruling circles in Washington and Tokyo suffered a stunning setback when the people of Okinawa and the rest of the Ryukyu island chain voted in favor of ending U.S. control and again becoming part of Japan and in favor of getting the U.S. military base off their islands. The election was a concession won by the mass mobilization of the Okinawan people. It was the first election for chief executive since the U.S. administration began.

Although the political will of the Okinawan people has been made clear in the election, their new chief executive will be severely limited in the effective action he can carry out. His proposals must be approved by the real ruler of the one million people on the island, the United States high commissioner.

December 4, 1943

Shocking reports have come from India of millions suffering death from sheer starvation. In the streets of Calcutta, in the industrial province of Bengal, lie hundreds of thousands of homeless men, women, and children; bodies weakened and shrunken by starvation.

The estimated death toll in the single province of Bengal is 2,000 a week, according to the official British government figures. But the estimate of Indians travelling in the country is 50,000.

The responsibility for the terrible plight of this mass of Indian people rests with British imperialism. For 150 years the British rulers have been siphoning off the profits from the natural resources and labor of India. Their unquenchable thirst for greater wealth is one of the direct causes of the Indian famine.