25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

January 7, 2019

January 10, 1994

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Eight members of United Mine Workers of America Local 5958 will stand trial January 24 in Charleston, West Virginia. The miners were framed up in the July 22 shooting death of nonunion contract worker Eddie York.

The frame-up stems from the recently concluded strike by 18,000 coal miners against selected companies of the Bituminous Coal Operators Association.

The mine owners and their hired guards carried out numerous violent provocations against miners on the picket lines, including at the Arch Mineral Corp.’s Ruffner mine. Elite Security employees often threw rocks at strikers and fired guns in the air. York was shot in the back of the head as he drove out of a side entrance to the Ruffner mine. The pickets were in front of York’s car when the shooting occurred.

January 10, 1969

CHICAGO — Rudolph Bell, one of the Fort Hood 43, is now fighting an attempt by the army to punish him further by illegally extending his period of service and very possibly sending him back to Vietnam.

The 21-year-old Black combat veteran told his story at a press conference held here Dec. 27 by the GI-Civilian Antiwar Conference.

On Aug. 24, 1968, Sp/5 Bell joined some 300 other Black GIs at Ft. Hood, Texas, in a peaceful protest against their possible deployment to Chicago for “riot control” duty during the Democratic Party national convention. Along with 42 other participants in the demonstration, Bell was court-martialed for “refusing to obey a direct order” to disperse, an order which he did not hear and which, it was actually admitted at a later trial, had never been given.

January 8, 1944

On New Year’s Eve 18 leaders of the Socialist Workers Party and the Minneapolis Truckdrivers Local 544-CIO were put behind bars.

They were put behind prison bars by a government which represents the interests, not of the broad masses of the American people, but of a small clique of the rich and privileged.

These real masters of America, who are coining gold out of the agony and havoc of the 2nd world war, have determined to silence every voice of labor opposition to their government of criminal misrule. They have determined to hamstring and throttle the powerful labor movement of America. No wonder they chose as their first victims eighteen individuals, who above all others, represent the Socialist consciousness of the awakening American working class.