This Week in History
19 October 2020
25 years ago: Mass protest in Okinawa against US military On Oct. 21, 1995, an estimated 85,000 residents of Okinawa demonstrated to demand reduction in the US military presence in Japan. The rally was sparked by outrage over the rape of a 12-year-old school girl by US soldiers, fanned by Japanese nationalist politicians, including the island’s Governor Masahide Ota.
12 October 2020
25 years ago: Million Man March in Washington, DCOn October 16, 1995, hundreds of thousands of people turned out on the National Mall in Washington, DC for the Million Man March, called by Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam.
5 October 2020
On October 10, 1995, workers in France went on a national general strike. The walkout brought nearly all the public sector to a standstill, exacerbating the political crisis of the government of President Jacques Chirac less than six months after taking office.
28 September 2020
25 years ago: O.J. Simpson acquitted in murder trial On October 3, 1995, retired American football star O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the murder of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman. A year earlier, the pair had been found brutally stabbed to death outside the Simpson home in Brentwood, Los Angeles.
21 September 2020
25 years ago: Former Italian Prime Minister Andreotti goes on trial On September 26, 1995, seven-time Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti went on trial in Palermo, facing charges of serving as a longtime front man for the Sicilian Mafia. More than 500 witnesses were expected to be called on in the nationally televised trial, the culmination of the series of scandal investigations which destroyed the postwar Italian party system.
14 September 2020
25 years ago: Clinton, Congress “end welfare as we know it”On September 19, 1995, the United States Senate voted 87-12 to terminate the federal assistance program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), and to slash $70 billion from Food Stamps and other welfare programs. For the first time, an entitlement program, one of the handful of key social programs that provided guaranteed benefits for all those eligible, was being abolished. AFDC was eventually replaced in 1997 by the much more restrictive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
7 September 2020
25 years ago: International Workers Bulletin available on internet for the first time On September 11, 1995, the International Workers Bulletin —the US predecessor of the World Socialist Web Site —was made available in its entirety on the internet for the first time.
24 August 2020
25 years ago: US and NATO bomb Bosnian Serbs On August 30, 1995, the United States and NATO launched Operation Deliberate Force against Serb-inhabited regions of Bosnia. They were the largest bombing raids in Europe since WWII.
17 August 2020
25 years ago: Mumia Abu-Jamal escapes death penalty Mumia Abu-Jamal, the former Black Panther and broadcast journalist who had been on Pennsylvania’s death row for over 13 years, narrowly escaped an execution scheduled for August 17, 1995 when his trial judge granted a stay.
10 August 2020
25 years ago: Indictments in Oklahoma City bombingOn August 10, 1995, a federal grand jury handed down indictments against the two main suspects in the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building in which 168 people died. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were charged with making the explosive device from a combination of diesel fuel and fertilizer, transporting it in a rented Ryder truck, and detonating the bomb outside the Murrah Federal Building on the morning of April 19, 1995.
3 August 2020
25 years ago: Croatia launches ethnic cleansing of Serbs On August 4, 1995, the Croatian Army launched Operation Storm, one of the last major campaigns of the Bosnian War. It was orchestrated by Croatian President Franjo Tudjman against the Serbian-inhabited Krajina region, which in 1991, during the initial breakup of Yugoslavia, had declared its independence from Croatia.
27 July 2020
25 years ago: Congress ends hearings on Waco siege On August 1, 1995, the United States Congress completed week-long hearings on the Waco siege of 1993, designed to both placate and legitimize extreme right-wing groups—from the Christian Coalition to paramilitary militias and neo-Nazi tendencies—which had made the Waco assault a cause célèbre .
20 July 2020
25 years ago: “Taiwan Strait Crisis” between US and China On July 21, 1995, the People’s Republic of China conducted the first in a series of missile tests in the Taiwan Strait, just 60 kilometers north of the Pengjia Islet, setting into motion what would later be known as the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis. The crisis reflected early fears within American ruling circles over the emergence of mainland China (People’s Republic of China, or PRC) as a rival to US domination of the Asia-Pacific.
13 July 2020
25 years ago: Detroit newspaper workers go on strike On July 13, 1995, 2,500 Detroit Free Press and Detroit News workers went on strike, facing the most concentrated union-busting attack in the city in decades. Gannett Corporation and Knight-Ridder, owners of the two papers and at the time the two largest publishing chains in the country, were determined to destroy hundreds of jobs, slash health care benefits, and impose brutal working conditions.
6 July 2020
25 years ago: Thousands killed at Srebrenica massacreOn July 11, 1995, the Bosnian Serb takeover of the besieged town of Srebrenica began, leading to a mass killing of Bosnian Muslims that lasted the entire week. The Bosnian Serb Army, under the command of Ratko Mladic, murdered over 8,000 Bosniaks, mostly men and boys. It was the largest mass murder in Europe since the Second World War.
29 June 2020
25 years ago: British Tory crisis deepens following John Major electoral victoryOn July 4, 1995, British Prime Minister John Major was reelected as leader of the Conservative Party against Secretary of State for Wales John Redwood. Major was saved from defeat at the hands of his Thatcherite opponents only through the intervention of his main pro-European opponent, Michael Heseltine. In the cabinet reshuffle that followed the election, Heseltine was named both deputy prime minister and first secretary of state, giving him virtually as much power within the government and the Tory Party as the prime minister himself.
22 June 2020
25 years ago: Germany sends troops into the Balkans On June 26, 1995, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl announced the decision to deploy German troops into the Balkans for the first time since Hitler’s Wehrmacht invaded the region in 1941. The intervention was directed not at resolving the Bosnian crisis, but at asserting Berlin’s own power and independence from Washington.
15 June 2020
25 years ago: Chechen rebels release hostagesOn June 20, 1995, Chechen rebel gunmen released the last of more than 1,000 people held hostage for five days in the Russian city of Budyonnovsk and returned to Chechnya under an agreement negotiated with Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. At least 120 people died during the government’s siege of the hospital, most of them killed when Russian troops tried to storm the building.
8 June 2020
25 years ago: France ends moratorium on nuclear weapons testing in the PacificOn June 13, 1995, the French government announced that it would resume nuclear weapons testing in the South Pacific. French President Jacques Chirac decided to end the three-year moratorium on nuclear testing, citing France’s “higher interests,” just shy of the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima in World War Two—earning himself the hostile label “Hirochirac.”
1 June 2020
25 years ago: US fighter jet shot down as Bosnian war escalatesOn June 2, 1995, a United States Air Force F-16 jet was shot down by Bosnian Serb forces over Bosnia and Herzegovina, where it was patrolling a NATO no-fly zone. The rescue effort for its pilot, Captain Scott O’Grady, was used by the Clinton administration to divert public attention from the crisis of US foreign policy and the drift toward an all-out war in the Balkans that had been escalating in prior weeks. O’Grady eluded capture for a week before his rescue on June 8.
25 May 2020
25 years ago: Sakhalin earthquake kills 2,000 On May 28, 1995, an earthquake struck the island of Sakhalin in Russia’s Far East. Neftegorsk, an oil and coal-producing town in the north, was devastated. Nearly half the population, 2,040 of its 3,977 citizens, were killed, and a further 750 were injured. Approximately 80 percent of the town’s buildings were destroyed in the 7.5 magnitude quake. Nearly 90 percent of all the deaths were the result of the collapse of 17 five-story residential buildings. Damage estimates range from $64 million up to $300 million. It was the most destructive earthquake in the country’s history.
18 May 2020
25 years ago: Clinton and Republicans move forward with historic budget cuts On May 18, 1995, the United States House of Representatives passed its version of the deficit reduction plan by a vote of 238 to 193, with eight Democrats joining the Republican majority. The Clinton administration had been moving forward with the plan for unprecedented cuts to federal spending, wiping out social programs and destroying jobs. The campaign to destroy social programs was conducted by both parties under the banner of “deficit reduction” and the need to balance the federal budget.
11 May 2020
25 years ago: Ebola outbreak deaths rise to 170On May 12, 1995, the Associated Press reported that the death toll from the Ebola virus outbreak in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) increased to 170. The outbreak was centered in the city of Kikwit, capital of Kivu Province, about 500 km east of the capital, Kinshasa.
4 May 2020
25 years ago: 104 killed in South African mine disasterOn May 10, 1994, 104 miners were killed in the Vaal Reefs gold mine in Orkney, one of South Africa’s largest gold mines. The elevator bringing the miners to the surface of the mile-deep mine was crushed by an underground train which had fallen down the shaft. The two-story elevator at Vaal Reefs was compressed into one by the force of the collision. The majority of the miners killed were immigrants from Mozambique, Lesotho and Botswana.
27 April 2020
25 years ago: 100,000 protest against austerity in Mexico On May 1, 1995, over 100,000 workers marched to the Zócalo, Mexico City’s central plaza, in protest over the economic austerity measures imposed by the government of President Ernesto Zedillo in the wake of the previous December’s peso collapse.
20 April 2020
25 years ago: Historically low turnout in French presidential electionOn April 23, 1995, the first round of the French presidential election concluded with the lowest-ever voter turnout, demonstrating the vast alienation of the country’s working class from its capitalist political system.
13 April 2020
25 years ago: Oklahoma City bombing kills 168 peopleOn April 19, 1995, two right-wing terrorists, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, killing 168 people and injuring a further 680. The attack destroyed over a third of the building, ruined hundreds of buildings on the surrounding blocks, and caused $652 million in damage. Until the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, it was the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil.
6 April 2020
25 years ago: One-day strike in RussiaOn April 12, 1995, more than 1 million Russian workers carried out a one-day strike protesting nonpayment of wages and calling for the resignation of the government of President Boris Yeltsin. It was the most widespread strike action in Russia since the 1989 coal miners’ walkouts.
30 March 2020
25 years ago: Thousands flee violence in Burundi On April 5, 1995, a massacre began in a refugee camp in Gasorwe in northeastern Burundi. It was the worst single incident of violence that week in the region’s ethnic Hutu-Tutsi violence. Limited and differing reports counted the death toll between 150 and over 400. Hutu villagers were shot, slashed, and clubbed to death by militants, based on their ethnicity. In nearby villages, Tutsis were murdered by armed Hutu groups. Many were Rwandan refugees fleeing genocide only to meet their deaths in refugee camps.
23 March 2020
25 years ago: Thousands mourn Singapore’s execution of Filipina maidOn March 26, 1995, more than 40,000 people lined the streets in the Philippine town of San Pablo for the funeral of Flor Contemplacion, a Filipina domestic servant framed up in Singapore for a murder she did not commit and executed after a sham trial orchestrated by the Singapore government. Millions followed the funeral ceremony, which was broadcast on radio and television throughout the Philippines.
16 March 2020
25 years ago: Sarin gas attack in Tokyo subwayOn March 20, 1995, a sarin gas attack by a terrorist group on the Tokyo subway system killed 13 people, injured over 50, and caused temporary vision loss for over 1,000 others. The gas, 500 times more toxic than cyanide, was released at five different points on three major subway lines in a coordinated action.
9 March 2020
25 years ago: US Republicans push forward tax cut bonanza for the wealthyOn March 14, 1995, the House Means and Ways Committee voted to approve a Republican plan to cut federal taxes by $189 billion over the following five years, and nearly $700 billion over the following 10 years, with the majority of the cut benefiting the wealthiest individuals and families.
2 March 2020
25 years ago: Nick Leeson arrested for Barings Bank collapseOn March 2, 1995, Nick Leeson was arrested at the Frankfurt airport for his role in the Barings Bank collapse. A 28-year-old school dropout who failed mathematics, he rocketed to the front of the line of Barings traders after he was sent to Singapore to assist in technical operations in the local derivatives market. He then became the principal floor trader for Barings at the Singapore International Monetary Exchange (SIMEX).
24 February 2020
25 years ago: Professor Vadim Rogovin launches US lecture tour, “Was there an alternative to Stalinism in the USSR?”On February 27, 1995, Professor Vadim Zakharovich Rogovin, a leading Marxist historian in the former Soviet Union, began a US tour with a lecture delivered at Michigan State University in East Lansing. The lecture, sponsored by the Center for European and Russian Studies, was titled “Was there an alternative to Stalinism in the USSR?” The historic event marked the first time a Soviet scholar presented to American audiences an analysis of the struggle waged by Leon Trotsky and the Left Opposition against the Stalinist bureaucracy.
17 February 2020
25 years ago: Algerian regime massacres prisoners after uprisingOn February 21, 1995, an uprising by Islamic political prisoners at the Serkadji prison in the Kasbah neighborhood of Algeria began, resulting in the death of four guards. This was followed by a brutal crackdown in which dozens of inmates were slaughtered. Official reports counted the prisoner death toll at 96, while other sources maintained that up to 110 prisoners were killed in the suppression of the rebellion.
10 February 2020
25 years ago: US House of Representatives moves to eliminate welfare On February 15, 1995, the human services subcommittee of the Republican-led House Ways and Means Committee approved provisions to a draft Personal Responsibility Act that would abolish the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs and transform them into block grants to the 50 states. The bill would cut as much as $40 billion from welfare spending over five years.
3 February 2020
25 years ago: Russian miners strikeOn February 8, 1995, more than 600,000 coal miners staged a one-day strike across Russia, shutting down mines from Sakhalin in the east to the Don River basin, demanding payment of back wages and increased subsidies from the government of President Boris Yeltsin for the coal industry. Many of the miners had not been paid since the previous October.
27 January 2020
25 years ago: US emergency loan to Mexico in peso crisisOn January 31, 1995, US President Bill Clinton invoked executive power to extend a $50 billion loan to Mexico amid the ongoing peso crisis. The bailout was motivated by the need to appease Wall Street investors and avert total international financial collapse. It was also an effort to deter a potential surge in immigration due to increased austerity measures and the instability of the Mexican economy.
20 January 2020
25 years ago: Nuclear war scare caused by Norwegian rocket On January 25, 1995, the Russian military mistook a Black Brant XII rocket—launched by a team of Norwegian and US scientists to research the northern lights over Svalbard—as an incoming Trident missile launched as a high-altitude nuclear attack by the US Navy. It was the first time a Russian leader used the nuclear briefcase in a real alert.
13 January 2020
25 years ago: Great Hanshin Earthquake strikes JapanOn January 17, 1995, the Great Hanshin Earthquake struck the Hyogo prefecture in southern Japan. It registered a 6.9 on the moment magnitude scale and reached a maximum intensity of 7 on the JMA Seismic Intensity Scale. It lasted about 20 seconds, and hit Kobe—a large port city nearest the epicenter, population 1.5 million—the hardest. It was the worst earthquake to strike Japan since the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake.
6 January 2020
This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.
30 December 2019
25 years ago: Execution of Jesse Dewayne Jacobs
23 December 2019
25 years ago: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resignsOn December 23, 1994, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned rather than see his government fall to a no-confidence resolution introduced by several opposition parties. Berlusconi’s three-party coalition of his personal political party Forza Italia, the right-wing separatist Northern League, and the neofascist National Alliance, lost its majority in the lower house when Northern League leader Umberto Bossi announced he would introduce his own no-confidence resolution.
16 December 2019
On December 20, 1994, the Mexican peso was devalued, sending shock waves throughout the structure of world capitalism. Mexico had been touted for a decade as proof that the profit system was capable of developing the oppressed semi-colonial countries and transforming them into modern industrialized societies. Its collapse led to a generalized loss of confidence in “emerging markets” from Brazil to Poland.
9 December 2019
25 years ago: Yeltsin launches First Chechen WarOn December 11, 1994, Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered troops into Chechnya, a province in the Caucuses that had been part of the Russian Federation but had declared independence in 1991 amidst the breakup of the Soviet Union. By the end of the evening, Russian forces had advanced against several thousand Chechen defenders to the outskirts of the capital, Grozny, population 400,000. Thousands of civilians were killed in the initial week-long artillery and bombing campaign.
2 December 2019
25 years ago: Over 300 killed in fire in ChinaOn December 8, 1994, a fire in a crowded theater in the northwest Chinese oil town of Karamay in Xinjiang province took the lives of 323 school children and their teachers. A further 100 people were injured. The blaze erupted as 800 teachers, children and parents were inside the theater for a celebration of a literacy campaign in the minority Uighur community.
25 November 2019
25 years ago: US House passes General Agreement on Tariffs and TradeOn November 30, 1994, the US House of Representatives passed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) by a 288 to 146 vote. The lame-duck meeting of the Democratic-controlled House sent President Bill Clinton’s legislation to implement an expanded GATT to the Senate for a final vote. Majorities of both Democrats and Republicans supported the trade pact.
18 November 2019
25 years ago: Hurricane Gordon dissipates after two weeks of destruction On November 21, 1994, Hurricane Gordon dissipated over South Carolina after nearly two weeks of destruction throughout the Atlantic and Caribbean. The hurricane hit parts of Central America, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, the Turks and Caicos islands, the Bahamas, and the southeastern US coast for nearly two weeks.
11 November 2019
25 years ago: Memoirs of Soviet Left Oppositionist Nadezhda Joffe published in English On November 15, 1994, the US Trotskyist publishing house Labor Publications released Back In Time: My Life, My Fate, My Epoch, the memoirs of Soviet Left Oppositionist Nadezhda Joffe. The daughter of Adolf Abramovich Joffe, a leading figure in the October Revolution and close friend of Leon Trotsky, Nadezhda herself was a partisan of the Left Opposition and an active participant in the struggle against the Stalinist bureaucracy.
4 November 2019
25 years ago: Republican Party wins control of US House for the first time in 40 yearsOn November 8, 1994, the Republican Party won majorities in both the US House of Representatives and the Senate in the midterm congressional election, picking up eight seats in the Senate and netting a gain of 54 seats in the House. It was the first time in 40 years that the Republicans had won control of the House, and only the second time Republicans controlled the Senate over that 40-year stretch of near-total Democratic Party domination of Congress.
28 October 2019
25 years ago: Susan Smith confesses to killing her childrenOn November 3, 1994, Susan Smith confessed to murdering her three-year-old and one-year-old sons, Michael and Alexander, in South Carolina. Smith, who was white, had previously told police that she was carjacked at a red light by an armed black man who drove away in the vehicle with her children. Her impassioned pleas were broadcast across national media outlets for nine days during an extensive search operation until she admitted to fabricating the story and driving her children into a lake, where their bodies were found drowned in her vehicle.
21 October 2019
25 years ago: Assassination of Gamini DissanayakeOn October 24, 1994, Gamini Dissanayake, United National Party (UNP) candidate for president of Sri Lanka, was assassinated at an election rally. An explosion detonated by a suicide bomber from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) killed 50 others and injured 200 more.
14 October 2019
25 years ago: Hamas terrorist attack kills 22 On October 19, 1994, 22 civilians were killed and 50 more were injured in a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv by the Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas. The attack came on the eve of the signing of the Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace and was coupled with two other terrorist acts the same week.
7 October 2019
30 September 2019
25 years ago: UAW sells out Flint Buick City strikeOn October 1, just three days after 11,500 General Motors workers walked off the job at Buick City in Flint, the United Auto Workers (UAW) betrayed the strike and reached an agreement with the company that neither addressed nor resolved either of the main demands of workers over declining full-time jobs and speed-up.
23 September 2019
25 years ago: MS Estonia wreck kills 852 in the Baltic Sea On September 28, 1994, the cruise ferry MS Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea as it carried passengers from Tallinn, Estonia, to Stockholm, Sweden. It was the worst cruise liner disaster since the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. The vessel was operated by Estline, a joint Swedish-Estonian firm.
16 September 2019
25 years ago: Clinton orders US invasion of HaitiOn September 19, 1994, the Clinton administration launched “Operation Uphold Democracy” in Haiti, sending troops to occupy the Caribbean island under the guise of fighting against dictatorship in an effort to restore ousted Jean-Bertrand Aristide to the presidency. The intervention marked the fifth time in less than a decade that US troops were ordered to invade another country in its bid to reassert global hegemony.
9 September 2019
25 years ago: Castro bows to imperialism on immigrationOn September 9, 1994, the Castro and Clinton governments signed an agreement to halt further uncontrolled immigration to the United States from Cuba. The deal marked a further step in the capitulation to imperialism by the bourgeois-nationalist Castro regime.
2 September 2019
This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.
19 August 2019
This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.
12 August 2019
5 August 2019
29 July 2019
This Week in History provides a brief synopsis of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.
22 July 2019
25 years ago: Strikes break out in South AfricaOn July 26, 1994, a strike wave of over 100,000 workers broke out in South Africa. Mining, steel, telecommunications and postal unions declared official disputes with employers, giving effective strike notice. The Council of Mining Unions, representing white workers, followed the lead of the National Union of Mineworkers, representing black workers, in declaring a dispute with the main diamond and gold mining companies. About 300,000 autoworkers in the region scheduled to take a strike ballot by the end of the month.
15 July 2019
8 July 2019
1 July 2019
24 June 2019
17 June 2019
10 June 2019
25 years ago: Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman murderedOn June 13, 1994, the wife of former professional football player and movie actor OJ Simpson, Nicole Brown Simpson, was found brutally murdered outside her Brentwood, Los Angeles, home, along with her friend Ron Goldman. The pair had been stabbed to death the night before.
3 June 2019
27 May 2019
20 May 2019
13 May 2019
6 May 2019
29 April 2019
22 April 2019
15 April 2019
8 April 2019
1 April 2019
25 March 2019
18 March 2019
Daniel Yock, aboriginal, workers inquiry, Socialist Labor League, Anguilla, St. Kitts, Britain, Hungary, World War II, Budapest, Hitler, Horthy, USSR, Bela Kun, Austro-Hungarian empire, Hungarian Soviet Republic
11 March 2019
G7, jobs summit, Detroit
4 March 2019
Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Whitewater, scientists, MIT, antiwar, Vietnam, UCS
25 February 2019
Hebron massacre, Baruch Goldstein, West Bank, Gaza, Israel, Palestine
11 February 2019
4 February 2019
<em>This Week in History</em> provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.
28 January 2019
21 January 2019
14 January 2019
7 January 2019
31 December 2018
This week in history
24 December 2018
25 years ago: Chinese Communist Party celebrates Mao centenaryOn December 27, 1993, the Chinese Communist Party marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Mao Zedong with a series of ceremonies which sought to present the pro-capitalist course of the leadership of the Stalinist party as the logical continuation of the Chinese Revolution of 1949, with which Mao’s name was still popularly associated.
17 December 2018
10 December 2018
25 years ago: US admits secret tests of radiation weapons The US government deliberately released massive amounts of radiation into the environment as part of a secret program aimed at developing a weapon using radioactive fallout, according to congressional report released on December 15, 1993. The General Accounting Office conducted a nearly two-year investigation into the radiation releases, which took place in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and its findings were confirmed by officials of the Department of Energy, which operates the US nuclear weapons production and testing system.
3 December 2018
25 years ago: Christian Democrats suffer political collapse in ItalyIn two rounds of municipal and regional elections concluding December 5, 1993, the Christian Democratic Party, which had ruled Italy as part of coalition governments throughout the period since World War II, suffered an historic rout, with millions of voters shifting their support both to the neo-fascist right and the Party of the Democratic Left (PDS), the successor organization to the Italian Communist Party.
26 November 2018
25 years ago: Belgium rocked by general strikeThe biggest general strike in Belgium since 1936 paralyzed the country on Friday, November 27, as a wave of workers’ struggles continues throughout western Europe. The strike was called by the social democratic and the Christian Union federations to protest the austerity measures adopted by a coalition government of Christian Democrats and social-democrats. The general strike was particularly effective in closing down all public transport. International trains had to be diverted. In most hospitals there was only emergency cover. The approach roads to Brussels airport were blocked and most flights severely disrupted. The port of Antwerp had already been blocked on Thursday.
12 November 2018
5 November 2018
25 years ago: Castro speech, “We are becoming bourgeois”In a speech to an audience of foreign businessmen on November 6, 1993, Cuban President Fidel Castro declared that his government was learning the ways of the capitalist world but still had extensive work to do in enforcing discipline on the Cuban working class. “We are becoming bourgeois,” he told his approving audience at an international trade fair in Havana, “not because we are getting rich as people, but because we are learning to do business. We are doing many new things with your experience.”
29 October 2018
25 years ago: Maastricht Treaty establishes European UnionOn November 1, 1993, the European Economic Community (EEC) was officially transformed into the European Union (EU) as the Treaty on European Union, informally known as the Maastricht Treaty, went into effect. The accord, initially of 12 nations, later expanded to 28, increased the power of Brussels over the national states and laid the basis for the creation of the single European currency, the euro.