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Vol. 74/No. 33      August 30, 2010

25, 50 and 75 years ago
August 30, 1985
Responding to an emergency appeal issued by more than 50 trade unions and community organizations to demonstrate against the racist South African apartheid regime, 30,000 people rallied in New York August 13.

The mainly Black and union protesters marched from Mandela corner, which is across the street from United Nations Plaza, through midtown Manhattan to the U.S. Mission to the UN and South African Consulate chanting “Death to apartheid; free Mandela.”

The participants came demanding an end to South Africa’s state of emergency, an end to U.S. economic and political support to Pretoria, for divestment by U.S. corporations and banks doing business in South Africa, and for freedom for African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela and all political prisoners.

The protesters were led by many of New York’s top labor officials.  
August 29, 1960
Farrell Dobbs, Socialist Workers party presidential candidate, strongly protested as unconstitutional and undemocratic the bipartisan move of the Democrats and Republicans to grant themselves a monopoly of free time over the airwaves.

In a letter to Rep. Oren Harris he inquired whether the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee intends to hold public hearings on the proposal to suspend the equal-time provisions of the Federal Communications Act.

“The Democratic and Republican candidates have such powerful financial backing that they can and will flood the country with publicity about their ‘differences.’ But in the great debate now going on throughout the world on the relative merits of capitalism and socialism, both the Democratic and Republican parties uphold capitalism. By denying the socialist side equal opportunity to present its case, they deliberately prevent a fair debate on this key issue.”  
August 31, 1935
Practically every shipping clerk in the ladies garment industry in New York is on strike. Responding to the call of Ladies Apparel Shipping Clerks Federal Union, between 12 to 15,000 walked out on Tuesday. It was an overwhelming response. The union was not prepared to handle such masses and some confusion resulted. With the support of other unions, efforts to perfect the strike machinery are being made.

Numerous clashes between pickets and company thugs have taken place. The young strikers, in all cases, gave a good account of themselves.

The shipping clerks, some of whom push racks of dresses through the streets, are the lowest paid and most overworked of all in the ladies garment industry. They are striking for union recognition, a $23 minimum weekly wage and the 35 hour week.

The strike shows a great need of a change in the structure of the I.L.G.W.U. in the direction of an industrial union.  
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