25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

July 6, 2020

July 3, 1995

NEWARK, New Jersey — Drawing the line on the inhuman conditions under which they were forced to live, hundreds of immigrant men and women, originating from more than 40 countries, seized and held for almost six hours the Esmor detention center in Elizabeth, New Jersey, June 18. The 300 immigrants held there are awaiting hearings on deportation or political asylum claims. More than 200 cops were sent in to smash the rebellion.

Detention at Esmor meant a diet of bread, corn chips, potato chips, and minced meat macaroni — orange juice and Jell-O if you were sick — according to former inmates. Dormitories crawled with bugs, detainees were barred from practicing their religion, and money was stolen from them by the prison guards.

“In the seven months I was there I was never outside, not once,” said Suzanne Kideni, a Sudanese refugee.

July 10, 1970

MONTREAL — The women’s liberation movement here is rallying to the support of Dr. Henry Morgentaler, an outspoken advocate of legalized abortion who was arrested recently.

Morgentaler has been charged with conspiring to commit, and the performance of, abortion. He has pleaded not guilty, although he has not denied he does abortions.

The response by the movement was immediate. In less than two days, supporters of legalized abortions organized a demonstration of 200-300 outside Morgentaler’s preliminary hearing.

Montreal doctors are circulating a petition in favor of abortion law repeal among doctors in the province. In two days they obtained the signatures of 187 doctors and published the petition as a full-page ad in the Montreal Star.

Montreal Women’s Liberation is planning a public protest meeting for July 3.

July 7, 1945

The no-strike policy, which since Pearl Harbor has placed American labor at the mercies of the war profiteers and union-busters, is being trampled into the dust on picket lines throughout the nation.

A wave of strikes, greatest since the days of the sit-down struggles of 1937, has been sweeping the country. Hundreds of thousands of workers, defying strike-breaking ultimatums of the government and in most instances their own top union leaders, have snatched up their most effective weapon, strike action.

During the past week this mounting tide reached a new peak. Over a hundred thousand workers in key industrial centers broke asunder the shackles of the no-strike pledge and gave the arrogant employers the only answer they understand — cutting off their profits by strike shutdowns. American labor is once more on the march.