25, 50, and 75 years ago

September 25, 2023

September 28, 1998

Working-class fighters should throw their support behind the Dec. 10 national day of protests to demand the release of 15 Puerto Rican political prisoners held in U.S. jails.

The Puerto Rican patriots were given maximum sentences — up to 105 years. Their imprisonment has been marked by physical abuse, denial of medical treatment, restricting physical contact with relatives, and frequent transfers — making visits by family members almost impossible. Many have served years in solitary confinement.

Oscar López Rivera spent the last 12 years in solitary confinement. His recent transfer to the general prison population was a victory in the campaign to free all 15 independentistas.

Working people in the United States can never be free as long as their brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico remain chained by Yankee domination.

September 28, 1973

On a cross-country trip today you might pass, or be passed by, one of more than 22,000 women truck drivers. The number of women truckers is growing so fast that a National Women’s Trucking Association has been formed, and truck stops have to expand their facilities to accommodate women drivers.

There would probably be a lot more women drivers, but executives of trucking firms are still reluctant to accept women. Their excuse is usually that the work is “too hard” for women, which the women drivers are proving a lie.

Why are women in increasing numbers taking to the road? Many couples, both married and unmarried, have teamed up on the road for companionship, to travel, and boost their income. Other women have become truck drivers because the pay is much better than what they’d earn as secretaries, teachers or waitresses.

September 27, 1948

RICHMOND, Calif., Sept. 15 — In a pitched battle against tear gas-hurling police and in defiance of a court injunction, some 3,000 massed pickets and sympathizers of the CIO Oil Workers Union yesterday called a halt to fink-herding and picket line-crashing in this oil workers’ town just across the bay from San Francisco.

They turned back a motor caravan of finks that tried to enter the Standard Oil Refinery here under escort of 150 steel-helmeted police. For more than an hour, the striking workers and their supporters, led by experienced war veterans and battling from behind barricades, fought off the tear-gas assaults of the heavily armed cops.

One hour and ten minutes after its erection, its purpose fulfilled, the pickets allowed the barrier to be torn down and held a victory meeting on the spot, right outside their union hall.