25, 50, and 75 years ago

May 30, 2022

June 2, 1997

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — Anzac Day celebrations here were seized on by capitalist politicians and media to glorify past military adventures of New Zealand imperialism, and to gain support for the government’s push to refurbish the country’s armed forces in preparation for future conflicts. Anzac Day commemorates the Gallipoli campaign, a bloody eight-month conflict in Turkey during World War I.

New Zealand’s armed forces are designed to operate in partnership with those of Australian imperialism and have been “involved internationally” in many imperialist interventions under the banner of the United Nations since the Gulf War, just as they were involved in the aggression against Korea and Vietnam in previous decades.

For the ruling class, joining with Washington in major conflicts remains the lodestar of its foreign and military policy. 

June 2, 1972

MONTREAL — The massive strike wave continues across Quebec in the wake of the jailing of the three presidents of major labor bodies. More than 100,000 workers in private and public sectors have walked off the job. Their demands are: free the jailed union leadership; repeal Bill 19, which broke the strike of the 210,000 public service workers; and amnesty for all unionists fined or jailed for ignoring injunctions that violated their right to strike.

The strike began May 9. By May 12, a dozen cities and towns were totally strikebound. Roving squads of strikers patrolled the streets.

The capitalist press expresses deep unease. Typical is the Toronto Globe and Mail, “We are witnessing a new surge of a third political force, one outside the normal political structure of government and opposition; one in fact dedicated to their destruction.”  

May 31, 1947

The Taft-Hartley slave labor legislation hangs over the American trade union movement like a razor-sharp sword. The trade union bureaucrats have sent appeals to [President] Truman to please reject this legislation. The AFL officials have ear-marked $1,500,000 for an advertising and radio campaign to inform the public.

But this is utterly inadequate. The great mass of workers want to exert real pressure on Truman and Congress. This can come only from demonstrations and mass actions involving millions of participants. Resolutions passed by union bodies throughout the country show that the union ranks want a 24-hour nationwide protest strike.

They want a definitive answer to the Taft-Hartley legislation. The way to do that is to organize an independent Labor Party! Mobilize on the political field and put labor’s own representatives in office!