25, 50, and 75 Years Ago

May 8, 2023

May 11, 1998

MELBOURNE, Australia — Defying cops and court orders, mass picket lines continue to block access to and from Patrick Stevedores’ wharves across the country in support of sacked Maritime Union of Australia members. The company dismissed its unionized workforce of 1,400 permanent and 700 casual workers April 7 — with the backing of the Liberal-National government — and brought in nonunion labor.

On April 23, a Federal Court upheld an earlier court order to reinstate all the workers, known as wharfies. More than 200 sacked wharfies at East Swanson staged a symbolic march April 25 up to the locked main gates of the terminal.

“This dispute will be won on the picket lines,” Victorian Trades Hall Council secretary Leigh Hubbard told the crowd. “Court decisions do not solve industrial disputes.”

May 11, 1973

To its long list of methods used to evict Indians from Wounded Knee, the government has now added murder.

Frank Clearwater died of a bullet wound in the head on April 25. Clearwater, a 47-year-old Apache from Cherokee, N.C., was a noncombatant, and was shot while he was inside the church at Wounded Knee. A second occupier, Larry Lamont, was killed while he was unconscious from a government gas attack. Lamont was 31.

In response to the stepped-up government repression, the American Indian Movement has launched a nationally coordinated defense effort. Speaking at one rally in Boulder, Colo., Waubun New Winini explained “the government would have moved in on Wounded Knee a long time ago if it had not been for the support expressed at rallies and on campuses all around the country.”

May 10, 1948

NEW YORK — The first presidential campaign of the Socialist Workers Party will be formally launched at the party’s 13th National Convention, which will be held in this city on July 1 to 5. Delegates will gather here from all parts of the country to take action on an agenda that will determine the party’s policy in this year’s election campaign.

It is already clear that the SWP will wage an active campaign bringing its revolutionary socialist message to the attention of millions of workers.

The SWP’s main objective in this campaign will be to organize the working people for the struggle to establish a Workers and Farmers Government as the answer to imperialist war, militarism, inflation, Jim Crow, witch hunts and anti-labor legislation. All workers sympathetic to this great goal are urged to contact the nearest SWP branch.