Wednesday, June 19, 2013

One more anniversary

Today also marks the 60th anniversary of the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg:

At the height of the Cold War witch-hunts, two Communist Party members were framed for “passing atomic secrets” to the Soviet Union. Despite a massive international outpouring of protest, these parents of two young children were executed at Sing Sing Prison in upstate New York on June 19, 1953.

In the midst of the Chinese Revolution, the Korean War, the purge of the U.S. labor movement and the McCarthy hearings, the relentless anti-communist and anti-Semitic propaganda demanding the Rosenbergs’ legal lynching was meant to silence dissent in the belly of U.S. imperialism.

Despite the threats to themselves, their children and their supporters, the Rosenbergs stood strong and upheld their principles to the very end.

The executioners’ state attempted to tear sons Michael and Robert away from their parents’ supporters. Luckily communists Abe and Anne Meeropol won the ensuing custody battle and adopted the boys, who disappeared from public view for nearly two decades. Eventually they resurfaced and founded the Rosenberg Fund for Children to support the kids of political prisoners and other persecuted activists — which Robert has called “our constructive revenge.”

Comrades Ethel and Julius, presente! Hasta la victioria siempre!

Juneteenth

Read more about it here. A few years ago, my friend over at ¡Para Justicia y Libertad! had a very good post on Juneteenth. It is still worth a read all this time later. Juneteenth is a reminder of many things, including how slowly news used to travel.

Now, here's a few events that caught my attention courtesy of Wikipedia:
As the above list shows, certainly the Nazis did not invent the perverted concept of forcing individuals who were considered "undersirables" to wear badges to identify themselves. This sorry practice dates back to the late Medieval period at least, and sadly continues to be advocated by right-wing hate groups in the US.

Being a long-time baseball fan, I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the first game played under relatively modern rules. I forget the day in which the Designated Hitter rule was introduced, but it is one that shall live in infamy.

The 8-hour work day was a welcome development, and the result of the heroic effort of many workers who were willing to organize and stand up to the one-percenters of their day. Regrettably, the 8-hour work day (along with related developments, such as overtime pay) are increasingly vulnerable - especially so given the continued decline in the membership and power of organized labor in the US.

The Tasmanian Devil is arguably my favorite Loony Tunes character - I honestly did not know until a few years ago that this was the anniversary of his debut. And I used to love the Garfield comic strip when I was much younger. I wouldn't first see it until it was picked up by my local paper around 1981.