25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

August 12, 2019

August 22, 1994

YORK, Pennsylvania — After 42 days on the picket line, members of the United Auto Workers on strike against Caterpillar pushed back a company-organized back-to-work campaign. Caterpillar is acting as the point man in the employers’ assault on working people.

As dawn broke over the Caterpillar plant in York, more than 500 members of UAW Local 786 on strike here and dozens of their supporters massed at the plant gates, successfully turning away scabs. Early pickets reported from 5:00 a.m. on, unionists successfully clogged the gates preventing any more cars from entering.

“If Cat can violate our rights it’s only a matter of time before other companies take on other unions,” said UAW Local 786 member Rose Lentz, who was illegally terminated for union activity. “This strike is not just important for our union, but all unions.”

August 15, 1969

“The base is not on the island; the island is on the base,” a resident of Okinawa observed in a conversation reported in the New York Times.

Okinawa has been under U.S. control ever since the end of World War II — a clear violation of what the U.S. calls Japan’s “residual sovereignty” over the island. There, within striking range of all countries of the Far East, the U.S. has build up its massive strategic military arsenal, the keystone for its imperialist military intervention in that part of the world.

Okinawan courts and police have no control over American soldiers or civilians. The U.S. even has direct control over the electric power and water corporations as well as the banks. And neither Okinawans nor the government of Japan have any voice in the military operations undertaken by the U.S. forces stationed in Okinawa.

August 12, 1944

Another graduation class has passed on its way from the portals of America’s universities, to the accompaniment of the trite speeches of university presidents, urging their erstwhile students to “go into the world” and “become good citizens.” By “good citizens” the professors mean loyal supporters of the capitalist class which has made it possible for the professors to lead their comfortable lives far removed from the privations and misery of the working class.

These speeches cannot be passed off as merely the mouthings of a few hypocrites who have found a soft berth for themselves as “leaders of education.” They express the philosophy and the point of departure of our whole educational system which is controlled from top to bottom by America’s Sixty families, and is designed to maintain their ruling position over every phase of American life.