25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

October 1, 2018

October 4, 1993

MARSHALL, Minnesota — Pent-up anger over months of racist abuse of immigrant workers from Somalia by bosses at Heartland Foods sparked walkouts and protests at the turkey-processing plant here in southwestern Minnesota farm country,

The actions, which began September 10, virtually shut down production on the plant’s night shift, which is composed almost entirely of workers who are Somali. About 150 of Heartland’s 600 workers are from Somalia. The plant is organized by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The walkout was touched off when the son-in-law of an operations manager hurled a turkey drumstick at a Somali worker. Grievances ranged from insufficient break periods and refusal by supervisors to allow workers to warm their hands after working in ice, to line production speed.

October 4, 1968

On the eve of the Olympic Games in Mexico City, civil strife in the nation’s capital has flared into street fighting in a number of neighborhoods.

A Sept. 23 police attack on a demonstration near the National Polytechnic Institute led to an all-night battle between cops and students. The students, most of whom were of high-school age, defended themselves against police gunfire with firearms. The battle only ended after army detachments had been called to reinforce the police.

The cause of the flareup was a decision by the Diaz Ordaz government to use all the military force necessary to end the student movement that has been building up around the central slogan, “Free Mexico’s Political Prisoners!”

The police violence has served only to broaden the protest movement, to give it fresh dynamism, and thus to intensify the crisis.

October 2, 1943

With the impudent deceit of a New Deal liberal covering up for Wall Street, Governor Rexford Guy Tugwell pretends that the trouble with Puerto Rico is that Washington has no policy toward its Caribbean colonial possession.

Tugwell knows better than anyone what that policy is because he has been administering it for the past few years. Puerto Rico has been kept in an impoverished and economically backward state for the profit of the sugar-growing corporations, shipping companies and absentee landlords.

The Puerto Rican people know only too well the real nature of their ruler’s policies. Puerto Ricans are no better off today than they were when the island was wrested from Spain in 1898.

Against this policy of colonial starvation and repression, the Militant calls for the immediate and unconditional independence of Puerto Rico.