25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

February 5, 2024

February 8, 1999

After a two-week strike and a five-day march toward the capital Bucharest during which they fought pitched battles with the police and military, miners from the Jiu Valley in Romania scored a victory against government attempts to shut down some of the mines. Ten thousand miners laid down their tools Jan. 5, demanding a 35 percent wage increase and a halt to plans to close two mines in the region.

As the government refused to negotiate, some 8,000 miners began a more than 200-mile march on Bucharest Jan. 18. By Jan. 20, the column was estimated as large as 20,000. Farmers were providing food along the way.

The miners had marched on Bucharest three times in 1990 and again in 1991, when they helped bring down the first openly pro-capitalist government. In 1977 the miners led the first uprising against Stalinist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

February 8, 1974

ON ROUTE 224, Ohio — A highly organized protest has almost emptied the highways and turnpikes of trucks in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The protest is being conducted by the Independent Council of Truckers.

The protest, which began after a “coffee-break” vote on Jan. 24, has been harassed by the Highway Patrol. The protest was needed because of the cost of fuel, foodstuffs, repairs, and the many taxes truckers have to pay. “It boils down to survival,” said strike supporter Stan.

Teams of protesters are presently stationed on many busy highway intersections waving down trucks to persuade their drivers to join the stoppage. The trucks are escorted to stations where, over a cup of coffee, new members are recruited to the cause.

The Ohio division of ICT began its protest Jan. 17. Nationally the ICT has set a strike target date of Jan. 31.

February 7, 1949

Periods of peace are growing shorter as capitalism declines. The periods resemble lulls in war when the opposing sides hold their positions waiting for fresh supplies to mount a new offensive.

The Marshall Plan is patching up the worst ruins left by World War II and reviving the battered capitalist economies of Europe. The North Atlantic Pact picks up where the Marshall Plan leaves off. Its aim is rearmament of the Western Powers and mobilization of new armies from the thinned ranks of Europe’s youth.

The Atlantic Pact is designed to by-pass the old legal hurdle that America cannot be committed to war without Congressional approval.

Every worker who wants enduring peace must help organize to achieve it. That means joining the Socialist Workers Party and participating in the struggle against imperialist war and for a socialist world.