25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

August 10, 2020

August 14, 1995

DETROIT — “This is a union town; if they break us here, they’ll go after us everywhere,” declared Bob Wiland, one of the 2,500 members of the six unions that struck this city’s two daily papers, the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News, July 13.

The companies have announced plans to cut mailers’ jobs, to reclassify newspaper carriers (now union members) as management, and institute a $100-per-month co-payment on medical coverage. The Detroit Free Press unilaterally enacted “merit” pay for reporters just before the strike.

Local cops moved quickly to side with the employers. Within an hour of the start of the strike, three pickets were arrested.

Three hundred strikers attended the July 18 Sterling Heights City Council meeting to protest the action of the cops and use of company goon squads.

August 7, 1970

Looking back from 25 years after the U.S. dropped the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the meaning of this barbaric act has become much clearer.

The destruction of two cities and murder of a half million people was not done to “save lives,” to end the war quickly, or to stop Japanese fascism. Historians have proven that the U.S. rulers ordered bombs dropped even though they knew that the Japanese were ready to surrender.

This hideous act of destruction was designed to assert U.S. dominance over Asia. The big question for U.S. rulers at the end of World War II was who was to control China. It never entered their minds that China should be left to the Chinese.

By dropping the bomb on Aug. 6 and 9, the U.S. showed the world it not only had this super weapon but had the ruthlessness to use it on live targets.

August 11, 1945

A strike of 350 miners in the small company-owned mining town of Force, Pa., was precipitated by the resignation of Dr. Elizabeth Hayes as company physician for Shawmut Mining Co. She resigned because of the failure of the company to clean up the town and provide proper sanitation.

“There is no good water supply, no sewage system, no passable streets, no streetlights, no presentable homes,” she declared.

Backed up by their wives, the miners stated: “We’ll hold out as long as we have to, until the company fixes sanitary conditions so we can get a doctor.” Forty-two years without the most elementary sanitation, the entire water supply in Force is polluted.

The description given of the houses in which the coal miners and their families live, is a revealing commentary on the brutal, anarchistic capitalist system.