25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

December 14, 2020

December 18, 1995

U.S. president Bill Clinton is moving at full steam to implement Washington’s decision to send 20,000 troops to Bosnia. The White House is deploying such a massive force in a workers state for the first time in decades. The State Department’s official goal is to enforce the partition of Bosnia.

The masters of the U.S. empire are trying to boost their military and economic domination of the region, get one up on their European competitors and take a stab at re-establishing capitalism in the former Yugoslavia.

Overall, 32,000 U.S. military personnel will be involved in the action, including the 20,000 GIs in Bosnia, 5,000 in Croatia, and 7,000 support troops in Hungary and Italy. The U.S. government is the dominant political and military force in western Europe.

Some 250,000 people have died in the military conflict that began in 1991.

December 18, 1970

DEC. 10 — Railroad workers shattered another tradition when they walked out in defiance of Congress and the courts. The rail workers’ resistance to government union-busting shows again the rising militancy of the working class, following the GE strike one year ago and the postal strike last winter.

These actions are signals to the ruling class and to the government that the workers — despite the weakness of their union leaders — are determined to use the organizational structure of their unions to defend their basic economic rights. They are resisting job attrition and an absolutely inadequate wage offer.

The resulting crisis is one more expression of the deepgoing economic and social crisis of a decaying capitalist order. The militant action contributes to the fight against the Vietnam war and the social system responsible for it.

December 15, 1945

SAN FRANCISCO — More than 1,000 anti-fascist workers picketed the first meeting here of Fascist Gerald L. K. Smith. Another 1,500 sympathetic on-lookers lined the streets in support of the demonstrators. Approximately 500 policemen, plain clothesmen and deputized “reserves” were on hand to protect America’s No. 1 Fascist.

Largely because of Stalinist influence, minimum steps were taken by the CIO to notify interested organizations of the picketing. In major local unions, no mention of the picket line was made at regular meetings.

The Socialist Workers Party distributed 10,000 leaflets at key points in the city, at trade union halls and on the waterfront, announcing the call to picket Smith’s meeting. The Trotskyists plan to popularize in every section of the Bay Area the slogan that “the fight against fascism is the fight of all labor.”