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Vol. 74/No. 4      February 1, 2010

25, 50 and 75 years ago
February 1, 1985
ST. PAUL, Minnesota—Thousands of family farmers rallied on the steps of the state capitol here January 21 to demand aid for farmers caught in the worst agricultural crisis since the depression of the 1930s.

Schools were closed for the day in 34 rural districts across the state so students could join their families in the protest. At the request of rally organizers, small businesses in many farming communities shut down for the day as well.

Estimates of the crowd ranged up to 10,000. In addition to farm families, trade unionists joined the demonstration in a show of support for the beleaguered small farmers.

The massive turnout for the protest highlighted the depth of the farm crisis across the Midwest. In Minnesota alone, the state agriculture department estimates that 13,000 of 100,000 family farmers will be forced off their land in the next two years.  
February 1, 1960
An armed uprising by the reactionary French “colons” or colonists in Algiers, which the French army officers are unwilling to put down, threatens to topple the “strong man” regime of De Gaulle in France just as a similar uprising 20 months ago toppled the Fourth French Republic.

Fascist-minded elements in France as well as Algeria were emboldened by the demonstration of armed force and defiance of the French government.

The chain of events immediately leading to the “mutiny” in Algiers began January 22 when De Gaulle removed Gen. Jacques Massu from the military and civil command of the Algiers area.

Massu, a candidate for the role of France’s General Franco, is the darling of the “colons” and the fascists in France. Under his command the paratroopers became storm troops specializing in torturing and slaughtering Algerian freedom fighters.  
February 2, 1935
FARGO, North Dakota—Three hundred deputized vigilantes swept down on the headquarters of General Drivers Local No. 173 on Sunday, tear gassed strikers, their wives and children, and arrested 94. They were charged with rioting and inciting to riot.

The strike of the coal, ice, and transfer drivers has been on since the middle of January. In spite of the sub zero weather the Fargo drivers, using the militant picketing technique developed by General Drivers Local 574 in Minneapolis, had the city of Fargo sewed up tight. The strike was called for union recognition and for the reinstatement of two men discharged for union activities.

Today the entire town of Fargo is in the hands of vigilante thugs, who have set as their goal the crushing of the local labor movement, for years a negligible force—until Miles Dunne, one of the leaders of Local 574, was loaned to the Fargo drivers as an organizer.  
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