25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

August 16, 2021

August 19, 1996

The following statement was issued July 31 by Socialist Workers Party candidates for U.S. president and vice president, James Harris and Laura Garza.

Capitalizing on the explosion of Trans World Airlines flight 800 with the loss of all 230 passengers and crew, the administration of William Clinton is spearheading a campaign to curtail democratic rights and push back the right to privacy. Each of these moves must be opposed by the labor movement and young people involved in social protest action.

The measures are being put in place for one reason: to protect the interests of the wealthy minority that rules the United States. The government and the wealthy families it serves recognize that a sharper class struggle is developing.

The labor movement can take this opportunity to step up demands for strict safety measures in the airline industry.

August 6, 1971

Negotiations for a new three-year union contract in basic steel are now going on. The present contract expires July 31, and the union will strike if a new agreement has not been reached by that date.

The demands almost universally talked about is a $1-an-hour raise right now and a cost-of-living clause to keep wages in line with rising prices. There is also a demand for the right to call local strikes when the companies violate safety rules, introduce arbitrary work standards, and unilaterally change piecework rates.

These are basic questions that working men and women in the steel mills are thinking and talking about. Their demand to vote on any settlement signed in their name and regulating their lives is one way of getting to these questions, of taking control of their own union in order to fight for the most meaningful demands.

August 17, 1946

The second week of the Paris “Peace” Conference ended with another diplomatic triumph of the U.S.-British imperialist bloc in fixing the fate of the defeated Axis satellites. The Stalinists enabled the U.S.-British delegations to appear “more democratic” and thereby to score considerable propaganda gains.

Not a single one of the “defenders” of the small nations took the floor to propose that the small nations have a real voice in deciding the nature of the treaties. Nor has a single delegate taken the floor to demand a peace without revenge, reparations, annexations, new national boundaries, forcible transfer of populations, trusteeships and mandates.

After World War I the Soviet Union, led by Lenin and Trotsky, carried on revolutionary propaganda against the Versailles Conference and decisions, exposing their reactionary imperialist character.