25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

May 17, 2021

May 20, 1996

The following statement was issued May 8 by Socialist Workers candidates James Harris for U.S. president and Laura Garza for vice-president.

The Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress are joining forces to deal a blow against workers rights with new anti-immigrant legislation. The proposals would codify a second-class status for a layer of the population, denying them access to basic social services, almost doubling the number of immigration cops, and introducing something close to a national identification system allowing “Big Brother” to code in information about any worker a boss might want to check up on. These measures are a threat to every worker.

The labor movement needs to lead a fight to raise the minimum wage, end mandatory overtime, and shorten the workweek with no cut in pay in order to create jobs for all.

May 21, 1971

The following article by a correspondent of The Southern Patriot appeared in the April 1971 issue of that publication.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Welfare mothers from across Tennessee are fighting a proposed law that would force women with one or more “illegitimate” children to submit to sterilization or lose all welfare benefits.

It was introduced by freshman Rep. Larry Bates, a Democrat. When the session started on Feb. 23, Bates was met by an irate group of welfare recipients. The women picketed again in early March and won a public hearing on the bill. At the hearing March 15, a wide range of people spoke out against the bill — doctors, Black legislators, representatives of social agencies and human rights groups.

The most angry and outspoken opposition was provided by some 200 welfare women — mostly Black, some white.

May 18, 1946

JERUSALEM, April 25 — The biggest strikes in the history of Palestine, far surpassing any which have taken place until now, broke out during the last fortnight. The strike encompassed about 32,000 workers, while about 50,000 stood behind them, greatly stirred by their action and ready to join them if called upon. The strikers made up 15 percent of the Palestinian working class.

The government attempted to break the strike by recruiting strikebreakers, but despite the promises of high payment no scab could be found. It tried also to divide the united ranks of Arab and Jewish workers, but again without any success whatsoever.

Large demonstrations were held, and it was encouraging to see immense processions of strikers making their way through the Arab and Jewish quarters carrying slogans in Arabic and Hebrew calling for support.