25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

April 5, 2021

April 8, 1996

DAYTON, Ohio — “We said we would win and we did,” was how Rodney Davis put it March 22 as he left a meeting where members of United Auto Workers Local 696 voted overwhelmingly to return to work at two General Motors brake plants here.

Davis was one of 3,000 unionists who struck GM March 5 over the corporation’s plans to cut the number of unionized jobs in Dayton by sending work to a nonunion supplier. This outsourcing is part of the drive to restructure U.S. industry and make it more profitable.

Some commentators have described this strike as a critical battle leading up to the national negotiations between the UAW and the Big Three.  One thing auto workers can expect as they head into new rounds with the auto giants is what Local 696 members found: when you fight you get support.

April 9, 1971

Civil war has erupted in Pakistan, the result of the national oppression of the Bengali people that has been a central feature of Pakistani life since 1947, when Pakistan was established. The people of East Bengal (Pakistan) and those of West Pakistan are separated by more than the 1,100 miles of Indian territory. Economically and politically East Pakistan is oppressed by West Pakistan.

East Bengali workers and students played an important part in mass mobilizations in 1968 and 1969. Over 1,000,000 people in Dacca, the capital of East Bengal, attended meetings and demanded independence — a Bengali nation (Bengala Desh).

The United States, one of the chief sources of arms to the Pakistani military, will not sit idly by if the Karachi regime is threatened with the loss of East Bengal in a revolutionary development.

April 6, 1946

FREEPORT, N.Y. — Widespread public pressure has forced Nassau County officials to reverse the kangaroo court “disorderly conduct” conviction of Richard Ferguson, Negro veteran and brother of Charles and Alfonso Ferguson, who were murdered by a Freeport cop on February 5.

This sudden reversal follows the reversal of the Grand Jury’s whitewash of Joseph Romeika, the cop.

This brutal and deliberate murder is now officially exposed as one of the most outrageous Jim Crow crimes on record. The murder and subsequent whitewash of the killer stand out starkly as a frame-up and legal lynching in an attempt by public officials to terrorize the Negro population of Freeport. Now the policeman who murdered Charles and Alfonso Ferguson must be brought to trial for his crime.