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Vol. 75/No. 4      January 31, 2011

25, 50 and 75 years ago

January 31, 1986
AUSTIN, Minn., Jan. 22—United Food and Commercial Workers Local P-9 President Jim Guyette today called on unions across the country to protest the presence of the National Guard here.

He also urged union members, peace organizations, and others concerned with social justice to come to Austin to find out for themselves about Hormel Co.’s union-busting.

Guyette’s appeal followed a stepped-up attack by Hormel against Local P-9 strikers. This included Hormel’s success in getting Democratic Farmer-Labor Party Gov. Rudy Perpich to mobilize the National Guard on January 21, helping to herd scabs into the plant.

In response to Hormel’s escalation of its strike-busting effort, Local P-9 sent roving pickets to Hormel distribution centers and to the Hormel plant in Ottumwa, Iowa. More than 95 percent of the Ottumwa workers honored the picket line.  
January 30, 1961
Supporters of imprisoned Congolese Premier Patrice Lumumba received a strong boost when the United Arab Republic, Morocco and Indonesia announced that they were withdrawing their troops from the UN’s Congo military force. The action of the three countries struck a heavy blow at the use of the UN by the Western powers to salvage imperialist rule in the Congo.

The decision to withdraw was made in protest against using the “neutral” UN force to aid pro-Western Congolese politicians who dissolved the legally constituted parliament and jailed Lumumba.

The growing difficulties of the Belgian colonialists were further indicated by press reports that pro-Lumumba forces now control nearly half the country.

Meanwhile, the UN is becoming more and more discredited in the Congo. The three countries that have already decided to pull out contributed some 5,000 troops of the 20,000-man UN army.  
February 1, 1936
The fourth Scottsboro trial ended with the conviction of Haywood Patterson. Judge and prosecutor worked hand in glove. No Negroes were on the jury; the state went through the farce of putting Negroes on the panel, but none served on the jury. They were either challenged by the prosecution or evaded service through fear of reprisals.

Patterson was given a 75-year prison sentence. The attitude of Attorney S. S. Leibowitz, enemy of the mass defense movement, is that he has won a victory.

Patterson himself is not deceived. He announced on hearing the verdict that he would rather die than spend another day in jail for something he did not do.

All other trials have been indefinitely postponed because of material witness’ sickness. The boys were returned to Birmingham jail. Patterson [will] appeal his case on the grounds that he was denied a change of venue and thus did not get a fair trial.  
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