25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

July 20, 2020

July 24, 1995

The unveiling of a black granite monument in Okinawa, June 23, marked the 50th anniversary of the battle that ended with Washington’s seizure of the island from Tokyo toward the end of World War II. The markers, engraved with the names of 234,183 people killed, include not only Japanese names but also those of U.S. soldiers who died in combat.

Under direct U.S. occupation from 1945 to 1972 the island was turned into Washington’s strongest military bastion in the western Pacific.

Far from serving the interests of workers and farmers in Japan or the United States, the war in the Pacific was a struggle for political and economic domination of the region between the ruling families in those countries.

“I want to see the removal of American bases,” Choji Kobashigawa, a survivor, told reporters on the anniversary of the battle.

July 24, 1970

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville’s famous “Black Six” won a verdict of acquittal here July 7. Circuit Judge S. Rush Nicholson said the prosecution had failed to prove the charge of conspiracy. The verdict came after a two-year battle that started in the wake of an uprising in Louisville’s West End ghetto in late May 1968.

When the case came to trial in June, the prosecution put 22 witnesses on the stand but was unable to produce evidence that the six were ever all together in one place. During the disorders that produced the case, two Black youths were fatally shot. No charges were ever brought in these shootings.

The six had wide support in Louisville’s Black community. In the midst of the original hysteria, groups of white citizens also organized to urge the white community to recognize racism and poverty as the real cause of the uprising.

July 21, 1945

NEW YORK — The powerful New York Publishers Association has teamed up with the War Labor Board to try its hand at union-busting. But so far the newspaper-government all-out drive to smash the striking deliverers’ union hasn’t passed first base. The thousands of newsstands in the area are still empty. The 8,000,000 circulation of 14 metropolitan dailies has been cut to a fraction of normal.

Using the slogan of the fighting coal miners, “No contract, no work,” the deliverymen, 1,700 strong, walked out June 30. The shutdown was effective.

The publishers made it absolutely clear that they were out for nothing less than the complete smashing of the union. It’s the duty of every class-conscious rank and file union member to say to the embattled Newspaper and Mail Deliverers Union, “We are on your side. Your fight is our fight!”