25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

December 6, 2021

December 9, 1996

PITTSBURGH — Nearly 1,000 high school students marched and rallied here to protest the not guilty verdict acquitting John Vojtas, one of the policemen who had been on trial in the killing of Jonny Gammage in October 1995.

Members of the NAACP Youth Council and the “Mobilization of African Students for Justice” called the walkout. School officials decided they would not try to block students from attending. The march was marshaled and monitored by older members of the NAACP and other community organizations, although the students organized and ran the march and rally.

Mayor Tom Murphy has agreed to send a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno asking her to investigate the death of Gammage. Leaders of the NAACP want Reno to investigate whether Gammage’s civil rights were violated when he was killed by police after a traffic stop.

December 10, 1971

Indian Foreign Minister Jagjivan Ram, speaking to a Calcutta rally of 50,000 on Nov. 28, said Indian generals had been instructed to “advance as many miles into Pakistani territory as the range of the Pakistani guns.” The escalation of the war of words followed the most intense week of fighting to date along the India East Bengal border.

The offensive that began Nov. 21 seems to have been initiated by the Mukti Bahini, the national liberation forces of Bangla Desh.

The Nov. 28 New York Times carried an article which pointed to the main issue underlying all the saber rattling between India and Pakistan: the fight for self-determination of Bangla Desh. The article writes that “a real war between the Bangla Desh guerrilla force and an occupation army is being fought in East Pakistan, and how that conflict will develop none can predict.”

December 7, 1946

The ferocious assault of Big Business and its government against the striking coal miners is far more than a strikebreaking attempt against one union. This battle between the 400,000 soft coal miners and the capitalist government marks a new and more crucial stage in the social struggle between American capitalism and organized labor.

Behind the attempt to crush the United Mine Workers is the determination of Wall Street to launch a general offensive that will deal all organized labor a smashing and decisive blow.

This is a key point in a gigantic social struggle. That struggle must be settled in the interests of the entire working class. The whole titanic power of America’s 15,000,000 union men and women must be mobilized and hurled into action for the conquest of social demands that go far beyond the issue of limited hourly wage increases.