25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

December 2, 2019

December 5, 1994

HAVANA, Cuba — In a show of solidarity with the Cuban revolution unprecedented since the 1960s, nearly 3,000 delegates from 110 countries have gathered here for the World Meeting in Solidarity with Cuba.

“Your presence here makes us stronger to defend our independence, our national identity, and our Cuban socialism,” said Ricardo Alarcón, president of the National Assembly.

“We draw on the dignity and the common will of all Cuban patriots to defend the revolution,” Alarcón said. “But we also count on you. We count on your solidarity and the confidence it gives us that for millions of people across the face of this planet Cuba’s battle is their own. The Cuban revolution has had to adapt to a changing world but we will never surrender to imperialism, we will never betray our principles.”

December 5, 1969

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Nearly 5,000 demonstrators marched to the courthouse here and held a rally to protest the brutal treatment of 14 members of the Connecticut Black Panther Party, who have been imprisoned since May. The demonstration was joined by busloads from New York and Boston.

The “Connecticut 14” are charged with conspiracy and murder of Panther organizer Alex Rackley. The police claim the Panthers killed Rackley because he was a police agent. The Panthers deny the charge and have stated that “Alex Rackley was and will always be considered a member in good standing of the Black Panther Party.”

The demonstration centered around the treatment of the seven women Panthers. They are being held in jail without bail and have been denied their legal right to choice of counsel.

December 2, 1944

In one of the most militant and dramatic strike actions since Pearl Harbor, thousands of women switchboard operators and other employes of the gigantic anti-labor American Telegraph and Telephone trust threw picket lines around telephone exchange buildings throughout Ohio, in Detroit and the government war center, Washington, D.C.

Until it was suddenly halted on orders of union officials, the strike threatened to sweep like wildfire to key communications centers in all parts of the nation. Starting in Dayton, Nov. 17, when some 600 women operators struck in protest against intolerable wages and working conditions, the strike quickly spread.

Everywhere their picket lines were respected by union maintenance men. Union workers in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York were also threatening to join the strike when it was called off.