25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

April 12, 2021

April 15, 1996

LOS ANGELES — The videotaped clubbing of several Mexican workers by police here April 1, shown on television throughout the United States and Mexico, has caused widespread indignation.

The next day, 100 protesters outside the Federal Building chanted, “We want justice.” Some 150 people rallied April 3 demanding prosecution of the cops.

The incident began when Border Patrol cops began to pursue a pickup truck carrying 19 immigrant workers near a police checkpoint on an interstate highway. The pickup stopped on the side of the freeway, where some of the workers tried to flee. The videotape shows three cops clubbing, kicking, and arresting three workers who offer no resistance.

In response to the public outcry, officials put two of the cops on paid administrative leave. The FBI opened a civil rights investigation of the assault.

April 16, 1971

On March 31, First Lt. William Calley was sentenced to a life term at hard labor for the premeditated murder of at least 22 South Vietnamese civilians in 1968.

Millions believe that Calley is a scapegoat for officers and government officials higher up the chain of command who bear even greater responsibility. Masses of Americans are beginning to believe their leaders may be guilty of wholesale slaughter.

The verdict has raised questions about the role of the U.S. in World War II and the Korean War. The deep questioning taking place is producing a new stage of opposition to the war. It presents an opportunity to explain that the biggest crime of all is the Vietnam war itself.

The best answer to the criminal policies of the Nixon administration is a massive turnout April 24 in San Francisco and Washington, demanding that all U.S. forces be withdrawn immediately.

April 13, 1946

ATHENS, Greece — Greece continues to be agitated by open civil war and revolutionary ferment. The defeat of the revolutionary movement of December 1944 provoked the counter-revolutionary terror. In spite of the military and financial support of British imperialism, the capitalists have not been able to improve the chaotic situation in the country, nor establish any political stability.

A new wave of strikes, political in character, are at present sweeping the country. The workers are everywhere demanding the postponement of the elections and an end to reactionary terror.

The Greek Trotskyists participated in the strike committees of numerous unions and factories. Party life within the labor movement is now more intense than ever. The effectiveness of Trotskyist work is evidenced by the fact that the Stalinists direct increasingly bitter tirades against the movement.