25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

November 13, 2023

November 16, 1998

A series of demonstrations Nov.7-21 will demand the release of Puerto Rican fighters locked up in U.S. prisons and call for Puerto Rican independence.

The actions are part of an upturn in the campaign to free the prisoners, reinforced by a resurgence of nationalist sentiment in Puerto Rico. In July, more than half a million workers took part in a general strike opposing the sell-off of the state-owned Puerto Rican Telephone Co. to a U.S.-based consortium. On July 25, tens of thousands demonstrated in Guánica, Puerto Rico, as well as in New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., demanding Puerto Rico’s independence and the release of the prisoners.

The 16 Puerto Rican fighters incarcerated in U.S. prisons today, serving sentences ranging from 15 to 105 years, are a symbol of the unbroken battle for Puerto Rican independence.

November 16, 1973

NEW YORK, Nov. 7 — “Fun City” became “Strike City” this week. Firemen staged an unprecedented job action for higher pay; the Newspaper Guild shut down the Daily News; 5,000 stewards and stewardesses grounded Trans World Airlines; and employees of the Museum of Modern Art and the New York Philharmonic are on picket lines.

The largest action came when 30,000 hospital workers walked off the job in an effort to win a wage increase already promised in their union contract. The target of the strike is [President] Nixon’s Cost of Living Council, which has refused to allow the raise.

This week’s strikes underline the problems of inflation and unemployment confronting workers, as well as the anti-labor role of government wage controls and court injunctions. But they also showed the militancy growing among many rank-and-file unionists.

November 15, 1948

The case of James Kutcher, the legless Purple Heart veteran who was fired from the Veterans Administration at Newark, N.J. because of membership in the Socialist Workers Party, continues to attract nationwide attention and support.

At its meeting the State Executive Board of the Ohio CIO passed a resolution supporting the defense and calling on all affiliated bodies to back the case. Among the veteran, labor and liberal organizations that have endorsed the work of the Kutcher Civil Rights Committee are the American Veterans Committee, the National CIO Committee to Abolish Discrimination, the Baptist Ministers Conference of Newark and vicinity, the New Jersey CIO Council and the Newark AFL Teachers Union.

A broadcast sponsored by the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen over the ABC network strongly protested Kutcher’s firing.