25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

August 21, 2023

August 24, 1998

The U.S. government’s interference in the Teamsters union has just taken one further, egregious step with the expulsion of the elected president, Ronald Carey, from the union by a court-appointed “Independent Review Board.” This attack is a deadly threat to the Teamsters membership and the entire labor movement. Unionists should demand that all courts, “monitors,” and federal boards keep their hands off the Teamsters.

Washington’s intervention in the Teamsters has nothing to do with concern over corruption. The last thing the U.S. government wants is a democratic union controlled by the ranks.

The latest moves against the Teamsters began days after the strike victory by 185,000 workers at United Parcel Service in August 1997. Bosses everywhere viewed the Teamsters’ victory as a dangerous example for other working people.

August 31, 1973

A nationwide civil liberties defense campaign is now underway to build support for a lawsuit to stop government harassment. The plaintiffs are the Socialist Workers Party and the Young Socialist Alliance. President Nixon was served with a summons on July 24.

The suit charges the government with 25 years of “illegal acts of blacklisting, harassment, electronic surveillance, burglary, mail tampering and terrorism” against the SWP, its members, candidates, and supporters, and similar acts against the YSA.

The suit asks for a court injunction to stop all illegal intimidation and harassment of the SWP and YSA. In addition the plaintiffs ask for more than $27 million in damages.

The Political Rights Defense Fund is organizing the defense campaign. Supporters have held news conferences in eight cities to publicize the suit.

August 23, 1948

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 16 — The Hennepin County CIO Council here has adopted a resolution demanding that the Truman administration restore the civil rights of the 18 Socialist Workers Party and Minneapolis Drivers Local 544-CIO leaders imprisoned during the war under the infamous Smith “Gag” Act.

The Minneapolis CIO, in the past as now under the domination of the Stalinists, opposed the defense of the 18. Now 12 leaders of the Communist Party itself are under indictment on the same count of the Smith Act — “advocacy of the overthrow of the government by force and violence.”

The SWP and its presidential and vice-presidential candidates, Farrell Dobbs and Grace Carlson, are being commended in labor circles here for their principled stand in calling for working-class solidarity and a united front to defend the indicted CP leaders from a frame-up.