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Vol. 74/No. 5      February 8, 2010

25, 50 and 75 years ago
February 8, 1985
DENVER—Only weeks after being cleared of the last of the decade-old bombing charges against him, Chicano activist Francisco “Kiko” Martínez has again become the victim of government persecution.

On January 23, Martínez’ two-room farmhouse in rural Alamosa, Colorado, was surrounded by a 30-man machinegun-toting SWAT team, and he was arrested on charges of lying to federal officers in 1980.

The charges stem from the fact that Martínez was forced to assume a false identity from 1973 to 1980 in order to protect his life. A federal grand jury had accused the radical attorney in the fall of 1973 of mailing three letter bombs to opponents of the Chicano movement. None of the “bombs” exploded. (They were all amazingly “discovered” by the police in the nick of time and destroyed.)  
February 8, 1960
Two days after the surrender of the fascist insurrectionists in Algiers, a subservient French parliament abdicated what little power it had by granting Gen. [Charles] de Gaulle the power to rule France by personal decree for at least the next year. This shifts the political situation in France even further to the right.

From a Bonapartist or “strong-man” regime operating in conjunction with a drastically weakened parliament, De Gaulle’s “Fifth Republic” has now divested itself of the fig leaf of representative government and become a personal dictatorship.

That the initial use of decree rule to punish the fascist elements who organized the Algiers uprising may be only the prelude to crippling decrees against the French workers, is indicated by De Gaulle’s refusal to permit any safeguards for civil liberties or labor rights to be written into the bill granting the new powers.  
February 9, 1935
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.—The immediate release of the 17 workers and union leaders on trial in Sacramento on charges of violating the criminal syndicalism laws is demanded in a resolution passed by General Drivers Union Local 574 of the American Federation of Labor.

Denouncing Californian employers for their attempt, under cover of a “red scare,” to crush the Cannery and Agricultural Workers’ Union, the resolution continues:

“In the same spirit of solidarity which other local unions demonstrated in supporting us, Local 574 hereby goes on record as supporting our 18 brother workers in Sacramento brought to trial through the machinations of the Industrial Association and the agricultural growers associations, bitter enemies of the labor movement in California and firm supporters of the open shop.”  
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