25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

February 18, 2019

February 21, 1994

LOS ANGELES — Congress dealt a blow to democratic and human rights when it voted to curb disaster aid for undocumented immigrant victims of the earthquake here. The measure, an amendment to an earthquake relief bill, was approved by the House by a vote of 337 to 54.

The bill excludes undocumented immigrants left homeless by the quake from receiving federal rent subsidies granted for an 18-month period. Undocumented homeowners are denied access to low-cost federal home repair loans. Similar loans to small businesspeople will be barred.

The measure is intended to intimidate immigrant quake victims from seeking even the minimal emergency aid to which they are entitled. Federal officials also instituted policies to make it more difficult for people to get food stamps.

February 21, 1969

The smoldering anger of the nation’s soft-coal miners against both the corporations and their own top union leadership was amply demonstrated when 3,000 coal diggers met at Charleston, W. Va., Jan. 26 to form their own Black Lung Association.

Black lung is a disabling disease which leads to emphysema, heart failure, tuberculosis, or pneumonia. Dr. I.E. Buff, a cardiologist, says that 100,000 of the nation’s 135,000 soft coal miners are afflicted.

The Bureau of Mines is interested in coal dust as a hazard only if there is enough present to cause explosions and fires. It has no interest in dust as a medical hazard. Neither, apparently, is any other governmental agency, state or federal. And so far the United Mine Workers top officials have displayed the same lack of concern.

February 19, 1944

Allied military authorities in Italy gave a further demonstration of their “democratic” aims by handing over governmental control of south Italy to the dictatorship of Mussolini’s former comrades-in-arms, General Badoglio and King Victor Emmanuel.

This is in line with the entire policy pursued from the beginning by the Allied powers in Italy. Step by step, the Allied Military Government has proceeded to crush the political and democratic rights of the Italian workers and peasants, which they had reached out to regain in the revolutionary upsurge that toppled Mussolini’s regime. 

The AMG has banned all forms of political activity except the monarchist, prohibited political gatherings of the working class and liberal parties, censored and suppressed opinion antagonistic to Badoglio and the King.