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Vol. 74/No. 14      April 12, 2010

25, 50 and 75 years ago
April 12, 1985
CHARLESTON, West Virginia—Hundreds of members of the United Mine Workers (UMW) rallied here at the West Virginia state capitol March 28 in support of their union and its six-month-long battle against the A.T. Massey Coal Co.

It was the 39th successive day of UMW mobilizations in support of union members on strike against A.T. Massey. More than 2,500 UMW miners were forced out on strike last Oct. 1, 1984, when dozens of Massey subsidiaries refused to sign the union’s national contract negotiated with the Bituminous Coal Operators Association.

The union has faced massive arrests, company harassment and videotaping of its activities, injuries to its members by procompany coal-truck drivers, battalions of cops in riot gear.  
April 11, 1960
Reporting on the bitterly fought integration struggle in Marshall, Texas, one wire service noted that the Negro demonstrations there were “the first since Reconstruction days.” This historic fact applies to the Southwide movement which is maintaining its unprecedented mass challenge to the Jim Crow system despite ten weeks of wholesale jailings and victimizations.

As the inspiring battle continues, the Northern supporting movement is also winning new forces. The solidarity demonstrations have stirred more people to action than any social issue since the 1930s. “Pickets marched yesterday in front of a majority of the 3,000 F. W. Woolworth stores throughout the nation in protest against the chain’s segregated lunch counters in the South,” reported the April 3 New York Times.  
April 13, 1935
No matter how highly developed the armed strength of a nation may be, the coming war, like the last one, will be fought by the masses who are compelled to employ the weapons of warfare.

But before the workers of all nations can be driven to the trenches, their minds must first be poisoned with chauvinist gases, the bayonet of lies and misrepresentation must first rip out the bowels of their class solidarity.

In the last war, the official Socialist parties turned recruiting sergeant in behalf of the imperialists. It required the immortal Karl Liebknecht to exclaim: “The enemy is in our own country!” In 1917, the Russian masses learned the meaning of these words. They turned on their real enemy, they took power, they brought the war to an end in their way.  
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