25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

December 23, 2019

December 26, 1994

Under orders of President Boris Yeltsin 40,000 Russian troops invaded Chechnya in the northern Caucasus region December 11. The military assault, launched under the guise of “protecting” civilians, is being met by resistance in the Chechen republic and neighboring areas. The military action, unpopular among many working people in Russia, has already provoked divisions among Moscow’s top military brass and the country’s rulers.

Washington and other imperialist powers registered their support for Yeltsin’s war moves, declaring the assault an “internal affair.”

Chechnya has not “always” been a part of Russia. Following the Russian revolution in 1917, under the leadership of V.I. Lenin, the revolutionary government moved to restore to the people of the northern Caucasus the lands that were stolen from them.

December 26, 1969

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — On Dec. 14, 4,000-5,000 antiwar demonstrators flooded this small seaside town near Los Angeles, dominated by the Camp Pendleton Marine base, for one of the largest actions to take place during the December Moratorium. The action was called by the Movement for a Democratic Military, a group of antiwar Marines and sailors based at Camp Pendleton and at naval bases in San Diego.

The 500 Marines and other military personnel at the rally provided evidence of the scope of opposition to the war and the willingness to listen to antiwar views which exists in the huge complex of military bases in the Los Angeles, Oceanside and San Diego area. The large number of third world enlisted men present was also striking.

A small group of hecklers tried to disrupt the rally but the demonstrators behaved in a disciplined fashion.

December 23, 1944

DETROIT — Backed officially by their own international union and the mighty ranks of the auto workers and all other CIO unions in this area, over 2,000 members of Local 332, CIO United Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Employes, today entered the second week of their militant strike at four Montgomery Ward stores here.

Brushing aside the no-strike pledge for the first time since Pearl Harbor, virtually all CIO locals here have gone on record pledging “moral, financial and physical support” to the Ward strikers.

Once more the Ward workers are throwing a national spotlight on [President Franklin] Roosevelt’s kid-glove policy toward the open-shop employers. For over two years, the Ward corporation has brazenly defied WLB [War Labor Board] orders to grant a union maintenance-of-membership contract.