25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

February 11, 2019

February 14, 1994

The earthquake that shook Los Angeles in January was an act of nature. But its consequences are measured more accurately on an economic/social scale than on the Richter scale.

While tens of thousands of working people continue to suffer the effects of the quake, the government is using the disaster as an excuse to attack workers’ rights, especially those of immigrants. The decision by the House Appropriations Committee of the U.S. Congress to deny all but emergency aid to undocumented workers is outrageous.

The capitalist rulers and their representatives at all levels of government are to blame for the level of human suffering in the aftermath of the earthquake. They are the ones who won’t rebuild housing or a mass transit system or provide emergency relief on the scale needed, if it’s not profitable.

February 14, 1969

RICHMOND, Calif. — On Jan. 30 the Contra Costa Central Labor Council unanimously authorized a general strike to protest the conduct of the Richmond police department against the striking members of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union.

In Richmond, the strike has produced particularly bitter confrontations between pickets at the Standard Oil refinery and scab truck drivers and local cops. One picket has been run over by a truck. Wives and children of the striking workers joining the picket line have been beaten and maced by the cops.

The Iranian Students’ Association came to the line to support the strike and hand out a leaflet defending 14 political prisoners being held by the Shah. One man read the leaflet and commented, “You’ve got problems. Standard Oil practically runs your country too.”

February 12, 1944

One of the most threatening aspects of the anti-labor campaign whipped up by Roosevelt is the leading role played by the brass hats in the drive against the unions. The basis for the campaign was laid by General Marshall whose violent attack upon labor was directly inspired by Roosevelt. With the ground thus prepared in advance, the authoritative Army and Navy Journal “predicted” that the president would recommend a labor-draft law in his message to congress. That “prediction” was fulfilled to the letter when Roosevelt, in his message, proposed “a national service law” to outlaw strikes for the duration.

Big Business, which controls the press and radio, has turned its facilities over to the brass hats who are using their military rank to push the program of Wall Street.