25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

April 29, 2019

May 2, 1994

DES MOINES, Iowa — More than 100 farmers and their supporters protested at the capital building here April 11 as the legislature discussed contract hog farming. This issue has come to the fore as an increasing number of contract and corporate farms have opened in Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, Kansas and other states.

Opposition to contract farms has become increasingly visible as public meetings have drawn hundreds of farmers to discuss the issue. Verle Lenz, a retired farmer, explained that more than 100 contract hog facilities exist in Iowa.

The packing bosses would like to bypass the small farmers who bring to market hogs. Large confinement operations use factory techniques to genetically engineer and systematically control the weight and leanness of the hog. This insures the packinghouse a more profitable product.

May 2, 1969

Pvt. Joe Miles, one of the initiators of GIs United Against the War in Vietnam, visited New York and addressed the Militant Labor Forum. “We decided to get together and do something about the war in Vietnam, about the racism in the Army and the racism out here in the outside world too. We decided that the best way we could get the maximum amount of people involved was to organize around ending the war in Vietnam.

“We recognized our role as a dual one, as Blacks and as GIs. As a GI, no matter what color you are, you catch hell in the Army. If you’re Black, you catch hell first and catch more of it.

“A majority of GIs don’t feel that it’s worth our lives going 10,000 miles away to fight for so-called freedom, so-called democracy, when we don’t have it back home. So we decided to organize and exercise our constitutional rights to voice our opposition to the war.”

April 29, 1944

“Liberal” Democratic and Republican Senators have folded up like wet rags before the Southern Democratic poll-tax bloc and are conspiring to stall the Anti-Poll Tax Bill debate scheduled to begin several weeks ago. Meanwhile, the political guardians of “white supremacy” are demonstrating through their savage resistance to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling against “white” primaries that they are prepared to wage a ruthless fight to preserve the poll tax system safeguarding their domination and exploitation of the Southern masses.

The Southern Bourbons of today leave no doubt that they are no less intent on maintaining their power and privileges than were the slave-holders of yesterday. Their words are not mere bluster; they carry the weight of an armed, organized and vicious minority, which has never balked at any means for enforcing its rule.