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Vol. 73/No. 45      November 23, 2009

25, 50 and 75 years ago
November 23, 1984
Massive Black protests have rocked South Africa the last several months. This rebellion has been the largest and broadest revolt against the apartheid regime since 1976. Protests against a constitutional “reform” by the South African regime, outrage at the government’s crackdown on opponents of apartheid, anger over increased rents and utility rates, and other grievances have fueled the rebellion.

A successful two-day general strike by Black workers on November 5 and 6 highlighted the current upsurge. It was the largest political strike in South Africa in decades.

The general strike was the culmination of weeks of protest by Africans, Indians, and Coloureds (those of mixed ancestry). Twenty-four million Africans, 2.8 million Coloureds, and more than 800,000 Indians make up South Africa’s Black population.  
November 23, 1959
As a consequence of the unpunished lynching of Mack Charles Parker in Poplarville, a wave of racist killing and anti-Negro violence is sweeping through Mississippi. The world outcry for punishment of the guilty, which followed the Poplarville lynching last spring, at first gave pause to the white supremacists, making them wonder if perhaps the days were past when they could kill Negroes at will. But the subsequent emergence of the known lynchers—not only unscathed but as local heroes—has reassured them that the old days still remain.

In the past month alone Negroes have been killed in Clarksdale, Philadelphia, and Corinth, Mississippi. The first two of these killings are listed as lynchings by the November 21 Afro-American, a leading Negro newspaper, which further reports that state authorities have taken even less interest in these two cases than in the Parker lynching.  
November 24, 1934
Next week the Supreme Court of the U.S. will be asked to reverse the Alabama verdict which condemns two of the nine Scottsboro boys to die. The world at large is still mystified as to whether the court will consider the cases of both Heywood Patterson and Clarence Norris, or whether the former is “out of court” for technical reasons.

The I.L.D. [International Labor Defense] continues to maintain that its attorneys, O. Frankel and W. Pollak, will make the appeal.

The New York Nation reports that the State of Alabama is out to arrest Ruby Bates for perjury. Ruby Bates is the girl who was bribed and bulldogged by the sheriff of Scottsboro three years ago to swear she was raped by the nine young Scottsboro boys. She later reversed her testimony. Now Alabama wants to get her in a jail cell.  
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