Saturday, June 19, 2010

A bitter anniversary

Fifty-seven years ago today. June 19, 1953.

The crimes of class society are innumerable. The body count ranges from numbers that are nearly incomprehensible -- like the 20 million or more Africans lost to the Middle Passage and the tens of millions of Indigenous inhabitants of the Americas killed within the first hundred years after Columbus landed on Hispaniola or the 70 million dead of World War II -- to casualties we can count in single digits like the four unemployed workers mowed down by Henry Ford's police in the Detroit-to-River-Rouge hunger march of 1932. All these crimes must be remembered, recounted, and eventually avenged.

But the U.S. government's execution of Ethel Rosenberg and Julius Rosenberg, even though they were only two individuals, is an offense against our class that must be noted. They are martyrs of the worldwide working-class struggle. All honor to their memory -- if I had religion I'd say to their sainted memory -- and deepest gratitude for their work and their sacrifice.

Ethel Rosenberg presente! Julius Rosenberg presente!