25, 50, and 75 years ago

October 17, 2022

October 20, 1997

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Tens of thousands of workers and youth marched here Oct. 1 as part of a 24-hour general strike to protest the proposed sale of the Puerto Rico Telephone Co. One of the most popular slogans was “Puerto Rico is not for sale!” Estimates of the number of people at the march ranged from 150,000 by the union organizers to 60,000 by police.

The strike stopped ferry service to the island of Vieques, where several hundred marched. Of the 6,000 union members at the telephone company, only 28 crossed the picket line. Participation was high among other utility workers. There were no classes at any of the 11 campuses of the University of Puerto Rico.

The general strike marks the second time in seven years that the trade union movement has organized mass protests against selling the telephone company.

October 20, 1972

The following statement was released by Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate Linda Jenness Oct. 10.

The Nixon administration has announced it is “screening” all Arabs living in this country or traveling through the U.S. Representatives of various Arab organizations have reported that FBI or other government agents have been following them around, holding them for interrogation, fingerprinting them, and issuing threats of unspecified reprisals against them.

These moves pose dangers for democratic rights. Such measures as surveillance, detention, interrogation, and travel restrictions are infringements on civil rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

I urge all supporters of democratic rights to unite in defense of any persons victimized by these measures and to speak out immediately against restrictions on our rights.

October 20, 1947

[President] Truman’s campaign to reduce the food consumption of the American people — The “Eat Less-Waste Less” program — has quickly been revealed as a fraud. The workers are eating less, all right, but that’s because prices have taken another spurt.

Truman’s “Meatless Tuesdays” and “Poultryless and Eggless Thursdays” are pure ballyhoo. The net effect has been a “run’’ on scarce food items, as people with money stocked up. The real purpose of the program is to shift the responsibility for high prices from the profiteers to the working people. When the program fails, the blame will be placed on the low-income consumers who “refuse to sacrifice.”

Workers can protect their living standards most immediately and effectively by winning higher wages supplemented by adjustable cost of living bonuses automatically rising with rising prices.