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Vol. 76/No. 39      October 29, 2012

25, 50, and 75 Years Ago

October 30, 1987
The overthrow of the government of President Thomas Sankara in the West African country of Burkina Faso is a crime against the workers and peasants of that country. It deals a grave blow to the democratic anti-imperialist revolution that began on Aug. 4, 1983, headed by the 37-year-old leader.

It also undermines the fight against imperialist oppression throughout Africa. And it has increased the danger of imperialist intervention by Burkina Faso’s former colonial ruler, France.

According to a United Press International report from Ivory Coast, troops loyal to Captain Blaise Compaoré, minister of state and justice, carried out an armed assault on the presidential palace and residence on October 15. An Associated Press dispatch reported that an anonymous official said Sankara and 12 of his aides were executed.

October 29, 1962
The U.S. press is trying to deceive the American people into believing that the entire “free world” is supporting President Kennedy’s drive toward war against Cuba. But behind the formal support extracted by U.S. diplomats from governments militarily allied with the U.S., it is clear that the whole world is shaken by fear of the consequences of Kennedy’s criminal act. Even in those countries allied to the U.S. there is deep and growing opposition to Kennedy’s [blockade proclamation].

If Kennedy expected to panic the Cubans into retreat from their revolutionary position or into surrendering any of their sovereignty, he was dead wrong. The Cubans maintain that they have armed as best they could to repel an expected U.S. invasion—an invasion which the whole world knows is being prepared and which the U.S. government hardly bothers to deny.

October 30, 1937
The appeal of Haywood Patterson, leading defendant in the six and a half year old Scottsboro case, was rejected by a unanimous decision of the United States Supreme Court.

Patterson, one of the nine young Negroes framed-up by the Alabama reactionaries and Negro-haters on the charge of rape, has been convicted four times, has been condemned three times to die, and is now under sentence to serve seventy-five years .

His appeal against the decision of the lower courts, whipped up to a frenzy of Negro-baiting, was based on having been deprived of the constitutional guarantee of due process of law, because he was refused permission to be tried in a Federal instead of a State court and because the jury was instructed by the judge to find him guilty even if he had not committed rape but had only “conspired” to do so.

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