25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

March 16, 2020

March 20, 1995

MINNEAPOLIS — “Socialism is directly connected to the survival of our country,” said Cuban youth leader Rogelio Polanco to 40 students at the University of Minnesota here March 7. Polanco, along with Kenia Serrano, had arrived to begin a six-week speaking tour to 13 regions in the United States.

Following their first campus meeting, the two youth leaders toured the Ford truck plant in St. Paul and met with workers there. Polanco and Serrano were introduced to dozens of workers entering or leaving at a shift change. They then toured the plant for more than an hour, giving them the opportunity to see the truck assembly line and to speak with some workers.

In welcoming them, one worker said that the U.S. rulers “wished that Cuba never existed. It’s the only country with a successful revolution.”

March 20, 1970

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Negotiations ordered by the government to settle the nationwide rail dispute were boycotted by the key union involved, the Sheet Metal Workers. Railroad shopmen walked off the job in at least two major cities when it was announced that Congress had acted to freeze wages and working conditions.

Here in St. Paul 200 shopcraft workers at Burlington Northern Railway’s Dale Street maintenance shop went out, called early morning meetings Friday, March 6, and again Saturday in their hall two blocks away from the shop to discuss the action of Congress.

There is a general feeling throughout the railroad industry that the workers have no choice but to strike. The problem is how. The lack of any support from the top union officials makes it difficult to coordinate the actions and strike together.

March 17, 1945

The Bonomi government tottered last week as thousands of Italian workers demonstrated in Rome. They marched to the government headquarters to present a written demand to Bonomi to resign. The cause of the demonstration and the resulting political crisis was the “escape” of the fascist General Mario Roatta from a military hospital. Roatta was one of Mussolini’s most trusted henchmen. Italian workers know him as one of their bitterest enemies.

He was apprehended by the antifascists in November 1944.

The entire ruling class of Italy is besmirched and compromised after twenty years of direct collaboration with Mussolini and his thugs. Very few Italian capitalists, least of all the royalty, could escape with their lives if a half-serious attempt were undertaken to weed out the criminal crew.