The Militant(logo) 
    Vol.60/No.9           March 4, 1996 
25 And 50 Years Ago  

March 5, 1971
TORONTO, FEB 22 - Over five hundred Blacks from across Canada met in Toronto Feb. 19-21 to form a National Black Action Committee (NBAC).

Opening speeches by Cortney Blair and Rocky Jones stressed that the struggle of Black Canadians was the same as the struggle for Black liberation in the U.S. and the West Indies.

George Archer, from Montreal's McGill University, spoke about Canada's role in Africa.

Dave Darbreau, a leader of Trinidad's National Joint Action Council, and Tim Hector, a peasant organizer from Antigua, pointed out that Canadian, U.S. and British domination continue in the West Indies, despite formal "independence." Darbreau pointed out that on "Independence Square" in Port of Spain, the major U.S., British and Canadian banks have the most prominent positions.

The final day of the conference was marked by a workshop on women and the organization of the NBAC.

The leaders of the women's workshop, including Sally Coots, president of the Black Students Association at McGill, stressed that Black women could no longer play a secondary role in the struggle. Despite opposition, she stressed the right of Black women to abortions and child care. Others stressed that these demands must be coupled with Black power over medical and child-care facilities.

March 2, 1946
Responding to the call of the Egyptian National Committee of Students and Workers for a general protest strike against the British, workers and students tied up Cairo on February 21 and poured into the streets. The demonstrators demanded that the British evacuate its forces from Egypt and get out of the Sudan.

Throughout the morning of February 21, from 100,000 to 150,000 workmen and students thronged the main streets and squares, noisily but peacefully shouting anti-British slogans. Schoolgirls joined the chanting demonstrators for the first time in years. Even boys as young as ten participated.

British troops began the violence. British Army trucks hurtled into a crowd of demonstrators in Ismailia Square at 60 miles an hour, killing and injuring many persons. The crowd closed in on some of the trucks and smashed and burned them.

Troops set up machineguns at main intersections leading to British buildings. British tanks and armored cars, flanked by military police armed with sub-machineguns and riding in jeeps, patrolled the streets.

The Egyptian National Committee of Students and Workers protested against the "barbaric aggression by British soldiers against the unarmed people."

These demonstrations express the deep-rooted discontent of the Egyptian masses which arises from the unbearable conditions prevalent in the country. Living costs have increased three to four times since the beginning of World War II.

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