25, 50, and 75 years ago

May 15, 2023

May 18, 1998

Labor resistance and other political struggles in the working class are accelerating. This resistance is occurring throughout the United States, and parallels the labor struggles that are breaking out in other industrialized countries, from Canada to Australia to Denmark.

This sea change in working-class politics creates new responsibilities and opportunities for socialist workers and other vanguard fighters. This means responding fast by joining with workers in struggle.

The heightened resistance underscores the political leverage of the revolutionary literature produced by Pathfinder Press. It gives greater importance to socialist election campaigns and Militant Labor Forums as ways to reach fellow working-class fighters. Above all, this is how some of the best fighters will be introduced to the communist movement and will decide to join it.

May 18, 1973

SYDNEY — Evelyn Reed, the prominent U.S. feminist and Marxist anthropologist, completed a two-week speaking tour of Australia April 23. The tour was an enormous success, with capacity and overflow crowds at many meetings. Almost 4,000 women and men attended her public meetings and university talks.

The news coverage became more intense as Reed’s tour progressed. Television, radio, and newspapers all wanted to interview the person one news editor had dubbed “The Granny of Women’s Liberation.” For years she had lectured on what was known as “The Woman Question.” In the last five or six years the topic has changed to “Women’s Liberation.” It is no longer a “question” but a struggle with a clear objective.

Before returning to the U.S., Reed will tour New Zealand and Japan, where the women’s liberation movement is beginning to have a big impact.

May 17, 1948

The Truman administration has rushed to the aid of Big Business to smash the impending strike of railroad workers. Seizing the railroads under a “state of war,” the government then got an injunction forbidding the strike.

The 1916 law, used as a pretext, permits seizure “in time of war” to move troops, but the Army is not taking over the railroads. Railroad officials have been commissioned into the army as colonels and brigadier generals. The same anti-labor officials will run the “seized” railroads, the same companies will make the profits and the workers will be chained to the same working conditions.

The fight for a wage increase and improved working conditions stems from the enormous pressure from an aroused rank and file. For years the Railway Labor Act enmeshed the unions in a stranglehold of endless negotiation, mediation, runaround and red tape.