25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

October 14, 2019

October 17, 1994

DECATUR, Illinois — Striking and locked-out workers here have put out a call for solidarity with their struggles. October 15 is set for a march and rally backing the locked-out unionists at A.E. Staley Manufacturing Co., members of the United Auto Workers on strike against Caterpillar Inc., and United Rubber Workers members on strike against the Bridgestone/Firestone company.

The action follows a series of company and local government attacks on the right of workers to freely assemble and express their views. An attempt by the Decatur City Council to enact a law requiring a 15-day advance application for a permit to hold a gathering on public property was turned back by the unionists and their supporters two weeks ago

But the city fathers retaliated by convicting eight Staley workers on charges of “residential picketing” September 23.

October 17, 1969

NEW YORK — More than 125 women, medical personnel, attorneys, social workers, writers, clergy and others have joined as plaintiffs in a Federal Court action to declare the New York State abortion laws unconstitutional.

The complaint argues that the laws abridge the right of every woman to choose whether to bear children.

Patricia Grogan, Socialist Workers Party candidate for Manhattan Councilman-At-Large, and one of the plaintiffs in the suit, told the press conference, “New York’s medieval abortion laws are but one example of the kind of violence prevalent in American society and the kind of treatment accorded to women as second-class citizens. But just as women fought to obtain the right to vote, they are fighting to gain greater control over their lives. We are organizing to use our combined strength to gain our rights.”

October 14, 1944

Continuing the Roosevelt administration’s conspiracy in railroading 18 Socialist Workers Party and Minneapolis Truckdrivers Local 544-CIO leaders to prison under the infamous Smith ‘Gag’ Act, the President’s Pardon Attorney announced that the appeals for a presidential pardon have been denied.

Like the Supreme Court which three times refused to review the convictions, Roosevelt is hiding behind a technicality to avoid direct responsibility for a decision in the most important case involving violation of labor and civil rights during this war, a case growing out of a deliberate frame-up prosecution directly initiated by Roosevelt himself.

Appeals to free the 18 [were] sent to the White House by over 300 labor and progressive organizations. Roosevelt has brushed aside these demands of over 3,000,000 organized workers.