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    Vol.63/No.11           March 22, 1999 
25 And 50 Years Ago  

March 22, 1974
Street demonstrations and student strikes in Spain protested the government's savage execution of Salvador Puig Antich on March 2.

Puig, a 26-year-old Catalonian anarchist, was a member of the Iberian Liberation Movement.

Puig had been convicted by a military tribunal on charges of killing a policeman. Appeals to save him from execution came from a wide spectrum of religious, professional, and political groups throughout Spain and from all over the world. The Archbishop of Barcelona approached Franco for clemency. Lawyers held an all-night vigil at the Barcelona bar association on Puig's behalf. And students and workers in Spain and in other European countries held demonstrations demanding his release.

According to the [New York] Times, 2,000 people gathered March 10 in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, for a memorial service for the young anarchist.

[New York Times reporter Henry] Giniger wrote in a March 6 dispatch, "The main universities in Barcelona and Madrid are virtually paralyzed and heavily patrolled by riot policemen," after students organized demonstrations and a strike to protest the murder of Puig.

March 21, 1949
TRENTON, N.J. - An unmatched tale of police brutality, stony justice and race hatred surrounds six men who sit today awaiting death in a dreary Trenton cell.

They have no hope, these men. Because they are Negroes. They are charged with a murder they could not, from the evidence, have committed. They were indicted by a Trenton press, which rendered its verdict the day the men were arrested. They were convicted by an all-white jury on the basis of confessions some never remember having seen before....

The story seemed complete. Witnesses had agreed that two men killed William Horner, and the police had arrested six. Witnesses had agreed that the two men were either white or light-skinned Negroes, and these men were dark-skinned. Police had charged that robbery was the motive - yet more than $1,500 was found in Horner's pockets, and no money was taken from his cash register. A logical suspect was at large, and blood had been found on his cot. And, to top it off, every one of the six men had a perfect alibi. But police wanted a conviction, and at the trial came up with trump cards - confessions! Somehow, police had obtained admissions of guilt from every one of the men, except [Horace] Wilson, who steadfastly refused to sign.

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