25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

April 16, 2018

April 19, 1993

Abortion rights activists in Florida are responding to the March 10 murder of Dr. David Gunn in Pensacola and a months-long Operation Rescue training camp. The antiabortion “graduation class” is expected to mobilize to shut down area clinics April 10-11.

Defenders of a woman’s right to choose in Florida — by organizing their own training sessions, and by preparing to converge on Melbourne — are affirming that the only way to defend the right to abortion from right-wing attacks is with arms linked — in the streets, clinic by clinic.

The forces seeking to push back women’s rights, including the right to abortion, are mobilizing their numbers to intimidate both doctors and women. Only mass action by youth, workers, farmers, and others who support the right to abortion can take on this challenge.

April 15, 1968

April 10 — Some 65,000 national guardsmen and federal troops occupied Black communities across the nation this week as Black people took to the streets in a massive response to the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This nationwide outburst was the most widespread series of rebellions yet. Thirty-eight people were killed and thousands injured. The total number of arrests was well over 15,000.

The stated policy of federal and state officials has been to react with “a massive and visible presence of law enforcement” — in other words, the use of thousands of troops and cops.

No sooner had Lyndon Johnson called for Americans to reject the violence that struck down Martin Luther King, “who lived by nonviolence,” than he signed an executive order calling for the deployment of 12,500 federal troops to forcibly put down the Washington uprising.

April 17, 1943

President Roosevelt’s executive order of April 8 places wages under the most drastic and sweeping control in United States history. Freezing incomes of the great majority of the wage earners while repeating promises about controlling prices, the effect of the new order will be to speed up the reduction of the masses’ living standards to a level lower.