25, 50, and 75 years ago

August 7, 2023

August 10, 1998

PORTADOWN, Northern Ireland — The nationalist population of the Garvaghy Road area of Portadown witnessed the humiliating defeat of forces mobilized by the sectarian Orange Order in the week beginning July 12.

By July 10 some 25,000 rightists were encamped on a hill at Drumcree Church overlooking the nationalist community. But the predicted mass siege and assault failed to materialize. By July 14 the rightist encampment had dwindled to 300.

The catalyst for the collapse was the murder of three Catholic boys in a loyalist firebomb attack. The boys’ mother is a Catholic. The father of the murdered Jason, Mark and Richard Quinn is Protestant and the boys attended a Protestant school.

Meanwhile, a new inquiry began into the 1972 British army Bloody Sunday killing of 14 civil rights protesters after a decades-long campaign by relatives. 

August 3, 1973

DELANO, Calif. — Hundreds of trade unionists traveled here July 21 in an impressive show of support for striking farm workers. Their support for the United Farm Workers Union came at an opportune time, as a wave of mass arrests here in the lower San Joaquin Valley has sent thousands of strikers to jail.

Recent court orders make mass picketing impossible and severely restrict the use of bullhorns. In addition to the grape strike in Arvin-Lamont, the union has its hands full with strikes in a dozen other areas of California, three counties in Arizona, and in the San Luis Valley of Colorado.

UFW Director Cesar Chavez said, “The bottom of the market is falling out.” He credited this mainly to the nationwide boycott of table grapes. He also said that “we now have more support than we have had at any stage of the movement since the beginning.”  

August 9, 1948

General Douglas MacArthur, American imperialism’s ruler of Japan, has imposed his own version of the Taft-HartIey Slave Act on the public service workers. His innovation was not only to prohibit strikes but to abolish collective bargaining.

His “suggestions” further abolish mediation and arbitration, ban slowdowns and other “subterfuges” and provide jail terms for one year plus 5,000 yen fines for violators. This applies to 3,500,000 men and women, more than half of Japan’s labor union movement.

The Japanese labor movement is not taking these vicious decrees lying down. The Communications Workers Union, 400,000 strong, is openly defying MacArthur’s slave edicts by calling a strike for August 7. American labor must demand the withdrawal of the American troops from Japan in order to permit the Japanese workers to resolve their own destiny.