25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

May 10, 2021

May 13, 1996

HAVANA — More than one million workers, students, members of Cuba’s Revolutionary Armed Forces, and others marched here on May Day. Actions took place in every provincial capital and other cities. Pedro Ross, general secretary of the Central Organization of Cuban Workers (CTC), reported that 5.5 million demonstrated throughout the island.

The 1,900 delegates from the congress of the CTC, which had concluded its working sessions the night before, led the Havana march. “This day is ours. It belongs to the proletariat around the world,” said Grisela Feyové, a production worker. “We are here to show the Yankee imperialists we’ll defend our revolution to the last drop of blood.”

“We want to protest all the attacks against us,” said Elsa Tavares, a student. “We want the world to know that we are for the revolution and for socialism.”

May 14, 1971

One of the most barbaric decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court in recent months was its ruling that juries have the power to impose a sentence of death in the 38 states where the death penalty is still on the books. Since 1967, officials have been awaiting the Supreme Court ruling on these issues and no executions have taken place. There are now 648 men and women on death row.

Almost without exception, those given capital punishment are poor men and women from the working class. The apologists for capital punishment hope it will serve as a means of terrorizing and intimidating the most oppressed sectors of society to respect capitalist property rights and “law and order.”

The biggest criminals go free while the prisons and death chambers are reserved for the victims of capitalist society. The death penalty must be abolished!

May 11, 1946

On the first “peacetime” May Day after six years of war horrors, millions of workers throughout the world demonstrated their determination to fight for a decent life. Stricken by famine and disease, they marched through their ruined cities, or met in rallies to voice protests against the intolerable conditions of life under capitalist rule.

In Japan, under the menacing watch of Wall Street’s occupation army, two million workers jammed the streets. Across the world in Germany, hundreds of thousands of Berlin workers flooded Unter Den Linden for a march. French workers shut down virtually everything in Paris except the subways and basic utilities.

In Cuba, throughout the republic work stopped, while thousands of toilers presented their May Day demands. Sixty thousand workers thronged through Mexico City carrying banners attacking the high cost of living.