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Vol.63/No.37       October 25, 1999 
25 & 50 years ago  

October 25, 1974

HOUSTON — About 200 delegates and observers assembled in the ballroom of the Whitehall Hotel here on the weekend of Sept. 21-22 for the statewide convention of the Texas Raza Unida Party (RUP).

In addition to running Ramsey Muņiz for governor and Fred Garza for railroad commissioner, the Chicano party is fielding candidates for 35 local offices in 16 different counties. This includes 16 candidates for state representative and candidates for such county offices as commissioner, clerk, judge, and treasurer. In addition, the party is running three candidates for constable and 10 for justice of the peace.

A small group of CAP [Congress of African People] activists has been campaigning for Raza Unida in the Black community.

Any significant support by Blacks for Raza Unida is a new phenomenon, and the party leadership has been considering the ramifications of this development for Raza Unida.

In his speech to the gathering Muņiz said, "When we talk about the Blacks and ourselves, the proposal will not be for a Black and Brown coalition, because we must first have a Brown coalition of our own people. And the Blacks also have to have their own coalition. However, we can get together to talk about something we both have in common."

At one point in his speech, Muņiz commented on Raza Unida's relationship to the liberals. "We are the terror of the liberals who have used our people for their own ends," Muņiz said. "Raza Unida is showing liberals that we will never be used again and we are showing them that we can speak for ourselves. If the liberals are so concerned about us, then let them follow our leadership."  

October 24, 1949

Friday, Oct. 14, 1949, will go down as a black-letter day for civil rights in America. The conviction on that day of 11 Communist Party leaders in the political trial at Foley Square struck a hammer-blow against the democratic liberties of the whole working class.

We are irreconcilably hostile to Stalinism. But we recognize that the trial and conviction of the 11 gives a green light to the government witch-hunters, the book-burners, all the storm troops of reaction.

The war against the Bill of Rights, launched in 1941 when the government used the Smith Act to convict 18 Trotskyists in the Minneapolis Labor Case, has assumed blitzkrieg force with the conviction of the 11 Stalinists under the same Smith Act.

In his charge to the jury, Judge Medina cynically said: "Books are not on trial here.… It is not your function to pass upon the relative merits of communism or capitalism or any other 'ism,'" It was not even charged, he said, that the defendants "personally" have actually advocated forcible overthrow of the government or that the "Communist Party as such" has so advocated. The "crime" was that the defendants had "conspired" to advocate.

But the very wording of the charges made plain that what was on trial were precisely books and ideas — and specifically the books and ideas of Marx and Lenin. The defendants were accused of building a group "dedicated to the Marxist-Leninist principle of the overthrow and destruction of the Government of the United States by force and violence."  
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