25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

March 25, 2019

March 28, 1994

Another battle in the fight to defend a woman’s right to choose abortion is unfolding in Birmingham, Alabama. Hundreds of pro-choice activists are getting ready to confront Operation Rescue and prevent the group from closing the clinics.

As the capitalist economic crisis worsens, the employers and their government seek to increase the exploitation of the working class. Restricting or denying abortion rights is part of their effort to heighten the burden on working women and undermine their self-confidence. The aim is to keep the second-class status of women intact by taking away a woman’s most fundamental right — control over her own body.

March 28, 1969

The struggle to defend GIs’ rights to free expression of opposition to the war in Vietnam registered a major victory when Pvt. Tommie Woodfin, a Black GI stationed at Ft. Jackson, S.C., was acquitted by a summary court-martial. He had been charged with violating regulations by circulating a petition initiated by the recently formed group of antiwar soldiers at Ft. Jackson, GIs United Against the War in Vietnam. The petition requests use of post facilities by GIs United to hold an open meeting to discuss issues raised by the Vietnam war.

On March 3, the Ft. Jackson brass refused to accept the petition, falsely claiming that its initiators were attempting to engage in “collective bargaining.”

March 25, 1944

In a truly symbolic climax to the Minneapolis Labor Case, the federal judge who passed sentence upon the 18 imprisoned Trotskyist and Minneapolis Local 544-CIO leaders on March 13 ordered the destruction of the Marxist literature which the FBI had seized in June 1941 from the Twin Cities headquarters of the Socialist Workers Party and which constituted the Roosevelt prosecution’s major “evidence” in the Minneapolis Smith “Gag” Act frameup.

The administration’s prosecution of the most uncompromising working class opponents of fascism, which began with seizing of books and pamphlets containing their ideas, reaches a symbolic culmination with a book-burning in the traditions of Hitlerism.