25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

August 26, 2019

August 29, 1994

The U.S. government’s failure to defend a woman’s right to choose abortion is feeding a polarization on the issue. Rightist assaults on abortion rights are meeting resistance from youth and other defenders of women’s rights.

Clinic defenders dealt right-wing thugs in Jackson, Mississippi, a significant blow by successfully outmobilizing them August 6-13 during their “No Place to Hide” campaign sponsored by the American Coalition for Life.

Clinic defenders in Jackson consistently outnumbered anti-choice forces by 3-to-1. Abortion rights opponents made no serious attempts to block access to the clinic. By the end of the week both the national and local leaderships of the rightist groups had left town and the remaining right-wing cadres were demoralized, barely attempting to harass patients. More than 100 clinic defenders from seven states came to Jackson.

August 22, 1969

Over 5,000 youth turned out Aug. 9 to Toronto’s first antiwar rock festival, sponsored by the Vietnam Mobilization Committee. The featured speaker was Joe Cole, one of the Ft. Jackson Eight, who is now on tour for the GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee.

The Toronto Daily Star quoted extensively from Cole’s talk: “The GIs — especially Black GIs — know the war is not in their interest. The generals want to see the war go on because they get promotions out of it. The people who run my country, that is the big businessmen, want to see it go on because they’re making money out of it. But not the GIs. I never hear a GI saying he is going to Vietnam to defend freedom. He’s going because he was sent.”

Cole described the growing opposition to the war in the ranks of the U.S. armed forces and the organization of antiwar action on their bases.

August 26, 1944

AFL President William Green has announced a national campaign to get the approximately 7,000,000 AFL members to register and vote in the presidential election. Green stated in his letter of instructions to all AFL bodies that “if labor participates fully in the election, labor and the friends of labor can win.”

But 7,000,000 or 70,000,000 labor votes will not “win for labor,” if these votes are cast for the parties and candidates of Wall Street. All the workers will get is a continuation of Big Business domination, unemployment, wage-slashing and union-busting.

The workers will win a program really in their interests only by their own independent labor action through a fighting labor party free from any control by the owning-class. When the workers have such a party there will be no need for big ballyhoo campaigns to get out labor’s vote.