Ci. OCTOBER 26 l940 LABOR WITH WHITE SKIN I CANNOT EMANCIPATE ITSE 6 WHERE LABOR WITH 1: BLA SKIN IS BRAND KARL Negro Struggle 22 Recently, Roscoe Dunjee. editor of The Black.
Dispalrh, made the keynote address before the National Colored Democratic Association, in the course of which he said the following. want to insist here and now that as American zens we demand the right to be integrated into every branch of the American Army.
Recently appeared before the resolutions committee of the Oklahoma Democratic State ConBy ALBERT PARKER vention. When did get an opportunity to talk told that committee about the obvious discrimination in the American Army. told them how Pat Hurely, from my state. when Secretary of War under Herber Hoover, had practically demobil»
ized all of the Negro combat troops of the Army. told them that at Fort Sill, in my state, and at Fort Riley in Kansas. Negroes were nothing more than manure handlers. told them that if Hitler was going to come over here, Negroes wanted to be armed with something else other than a mop and a broom. The Republican Party under Herbert Hoover struck at the Negro right to fight for this country and we want to ask our party convention this year to put a gun in the black man hands. We want the right to tight in the Army, Navy, the air, and the National Guard.
Dunjee correctly puts part of the blame for the Jim Crow conditions in the armed forces on the Republicans. who today are promising the Negroes everything they can think of. that may possibly win them a vote.
But how he prostitutes himself when he pretends that the Democrats are any better in this respect! Assume for a minute that the Republicans were solely responsible for these conditions.
The Democrats have had eight years now to correct them, haven they?
Talking about that reminds us about the committee of Frank Crosswaith, William Pickens and Alfred Baker Lewis, who signed that rotten article, Colored Americans Have a Stake In The War, issued as war propaganda by the Committee to Defend America By Aiding the Allies.
We ll discuss that article again in future weeks.
Here we 11 limit ourselves to George Schuyler comment on it in the Pittsburgh Courier of Oct.
12: They speak of the Hitler menace to freedom of speech, press and assemblage, forgetting all about Georgia, Louisiana and Alabama. They say the NAACP would be illegal under Hitler, forgetting how dangerous is membership therein in the Deep South outside of a few cities, one member having recently been lynched outside of Brownsville, Tenn. Ironically enough, in proof of the fact that British imperialism is softening. they boast that In Jamaica, Bustamente, a prominent Negro trade unionist and radical, has had freedom d ea organize.
and agitate even under British innermost. In Germany or Italy, Bustamente would have been put in a concentration camp or perhaps executed. Here the laugh on that. Last week several Negro newspapers announced that: Eustament HAS been thrown into a concentration camp. Natalia Sedoff Trotsky, widow of Leon Trotsksy, has sent the following letter to Johnson. who wrote an article about Trotsky constituting the bulk of the September issue of the New International. a magazine published by the petty bourgeois revisionists led by Max Schachtman. ares: My Dear Comrade Johnson: Pennit me to give you some sue of the New International where you proceed to analyze with such impermissible haste and such utter irresponsibility the causes underlying the tragedy that befell us at 5:30 on August 20. 1940; and where you also presume in this connection to elucidate, without first ascertaining the facts. certain traits in the character of the man who fell Victim to the assassin. This lightminded carelessness and disrespect on your part toward the Vice tim force me to make the following declaration: Our first meeting with Sylvia Ageloff husband, Jacson, took place on May 28, o clock in the morning, and not in March as you so freely assert. Of these 83 days of our acquaintance, Sylvia Ageloff husband spent some 27 to 30 days outside of Mexico: In the course of the remaining 50 to 53 days he paid us alltold to visits. He was received by us first and foremost as the hitslicmd of Sylvia Agelofl. who in our eyes was completely trustworthy.
011 every one of his visits, he was received (I) by both of us and myself. 2) on each oc»
casion it was in the patio. 3)
each time it was when the animals were fed, that is. 4) during rest period; and (5) each visit took place in passing and was very brief, from to IO minutes, not more, except for the last two visits.
TRIVI AL PRETEXTS The topic brought up for discussion during these visits by Jacson was his patron, the latter business genius and how it baffled the imagination of his employee, his fantastic successes in speculation and so forth and so on, all of like nature.
listened, forcing himself from time to time to make some casual to wonder why he talked to us so insistently each time about his boss and the latter shady machinations inasmuch as the s were precisely worried by the fact that with them Jacson was persistently uncommunicative, defacts peitaining to that part or your article in the September issoctntisr Natalia Trotsky Answers Foul Slander APPEAL A11 unposed photograph of, Natalia Sedov Trotsky, taken before the assassination of Trotsky.
affairs of his boss. Later understood the reason for this. Ask Sylvia Ageloff; perhaps she too now realizes what was involved.
Sylvia Ageloff was not her, husband conscious accomplice, but unconsciously she undoubtedly aided him.
He used to visit us on the most insignificant pretexts: To tell us that his boss was liquidating his affairs and that they were leaving. or that, since he was going away, he shenld like to leave his automobile with 11s for two weeks until his return. or that he came to bring me a box of candy from Sylvia Ageloff which he had forgotten to bring before.
or that his wife, Sylvia had. arrived. and finally with request that we set the time and the day when his wife could visit us.
ASSASSIN STRATEGY All this you do not unders téhd, remark; out. ofvrpgolitenessya used rcomrade dohnflbmfls you isms: Dine it, the political assassin had to engage his victim in preliminary and lengthy political discus sion for a period of six months.
You are mistaken had he done so, he could have hardly achieved his aim. No. Tacson was much spite his garrulousness, about the more clever than you; he under»
stood that political discussions could only disrupt his plan of murder. He had to familiarize him»
self with our general habits, incorporate them in the very marrow of his bones, adapt himself to them, take into account each minute detail, check and recheck over and over again that was his task. That is why he began in the last period to visit us more and more often, always at the same hour during rest period and always made his visits brief. In this was his strategy, and not in factional political discussion. was not at all inclined to sacrifice his rest period for Jacson. It was very well known that for a serious discussion the (lay and the hour had to be arranged witb in advance. Jae son never asked for this. He always arrived without prior noohe and only political discussion Word take filam oocurre we: for your information o. week before the crime. He had arranged with me for a. visit of his wife, Sylvia Ageloff. set the very same hour, namely o clock. as the most convenient. But Sylvia.
came not alone but with her husband; we met them in the patio, tice, always at the same hour. The.
and invited them into the dining room for ten.
ABOUT TO LEAVE MEXICO This ums the rst and the last occasion (m which a political cm! versation took place. Sylvia Ageloff defended the position of the Minority heatedly and excitedly. answered her calmly and in a friendly way. Her husband interjected a few not very astute and jocular comments. All this did not take more than 15 min»
utes. excused himself; he had to do his chores, feed the animals. All of us got up, The Jacsons bade us farewell, and hurried away. stating, as usual, that they had some urgent busi ness. We did not detain them.
not even out of politeness. We knew that these visits were about to be terminated, since Jacson was leaving Mexico. if not today, then tomorrow, and mentally We Said to ourselves. Let him go, the sooner, the better. Not because we had begun to suspect him as an agent of the GPUiunfortunately notibuf because 111 the long run we did not know what to do with this husband of Sylvia Ageloff.
THE PROJECTED ARTICLE This visit before the last one differed from the others in this.
that Jacson suddenly proposed that look over his draft of a projected article. And this time for the first time he was ad»
mitted into study. referred negatively to the draft. Very muddled. only a few phrases. and without wishing to dwell on it, he added, offered a few suggestions, we shall understood that this see.
time had seen another side of Jacson. He was somewhat surprised by Jacson conduct while in the study, but shall Speak of this at greater length elsewhere, During this same visit he talked to about French statistics which he claimed to know. The conversation lasted 10 minutes at the most. In connection with French statistics, mentioned to Joe Hansen that our New York organization could perhaps make use of his knowledge in this field. For six months, you say, comrade Johnson, he discussed politics with the greatest living mas»
ier of politics and Trotsky never detected a false note. because Trotsky was blinded factiona lly. This is a lie. Why didn you ascertain the facts. if only by asking his wife. Sylvia Agelofr?
It is an insufferable shame to place a lie at the very threshold of what happened It is insufferable to read this shameless lie.
You have been so carried away by your factionalism that you have lost your moral equilibrium and this is a dangerous symptom both for a revolutionist and the party to which he belongs.
NATALIA SEDOV TROTSKY October 17, 1940 Coyoacan, Mexico Leader of May 24 confirmed their earlier testimony The most important testimony was that of Alvarez Lopez and Sanchez Hernandez Lopez, one of the chauffeurs for the machinegun band, states that Siqueirus own car, a large La Salle, was used in the attack, that thc machine guns, revolvers and bombs were transported to the scene in this car.
Hernandez confirms Lopez de clarations, and that Siqueiros himself entered the house. AnaroLopez. 9hayezfifates. that she was engaged and paid by Siqueiros to spy on the movements of members of the Trotsky house.
She was paid five and later ten pesos a day for this work. At first she made her reports to Signs! ros, later to Antonio Pujol, at present a fugitive from justice, Attack On Trotsky Admits Close Connections MEXICO CITY David Alfaro Siqueiros, the Stalinist who led the machine gun band which assaulted Trotsky house and murdered Trotsky secretary. Robert Sheldon Harte, was indicted Oct.
12, after having been brought face to face with his accomplices, who which first incriminated him.
and to an individual named Pedro. She says that Pedro told her that the money is provided by the Communist Party.
Admits Ties Siqueiros states that he was a member of the Communist Party from 1922 to 1929 and a. member of its National Committee for the last six years; in 1929 he was expelled for disciplinary reasons and for differences of procedure. Mmfls, mn. SWLthwt Limbs.
Communist Party has me as a sympathizer of confidence; as a man incapable of following a fundamentally contrary political line.
For this reason have been admitted and taken part with a voice in many of its private or 7311 blic meetings!
Negro Labor Head Jailed. By Britain News has finally reached this cauntry of the arrest of the well known labor leader, Alexander Bustamente, in Jamaica, British West Indies on Sept. The English governor of the island ordered him seized and placed in a concentration camp for the duration of the war on the charge of breach of defense regulations through his speeches and writings in wartime.
When war broke out, Bustamente declared his loyalty to British imperialism. This was all right.
with the British. But Bustamente also continued his efforts to keep the workers organized and his fight for better conditions. The British overlords of the island didn like this. And so he has been sent to a concentration camp.
Bustamente won international prominence as, the leader of the strike struggles of 1938 in which many workers were massacred when they protested against low wages, averaging 252 a day, and horrible working conditions.
Since Bustamsnte arrest, a number of other people have been seized on the same charge. for daring to organize a protest demonstration.
against his arrest.
Protests should be sent to the British em.
bassy in Washington, demanding the immediate, release of all those arrested.
Some More Southern Chivalry recent WPA ruling, according to the Y, Amsterdam News, states that Negro women must work out of doors with shovels and wheel barrows or quit.
The ruling, reassigning colored women to hard outside labor at 511. 10 a week and telling them they can quit if they don like it, was brought to light following a protest of the Charlotte (N. Labor League, affiliate of Labor Non Partisan League. Common labor for Negro Women, light work for white women, has no place in 1940. Such conditions are like slavery days. Organized labor must fight such violations of Negro rights. Women.
should not be forced to do the work of strong men. We demand decent conditions on WPA; for all workers regardless of color, creed or political belief.
And it is Southern chivalry that so often, does its lynching in the name of protecting our fair womanhood. UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE WEEK It IS announced that those who enlist will have the first choice of the new opportunities for spe.
cialization that will arise. But, the article warns. remember that the services are not organized to suit your convenience.
Our Military Policy James Cannon Summary This shameful condition is a disgrace to (Continued from page 2)
dination of the workers to the bourgeoisie. We have seen the results of this treacherous policy. Well, we answered in a general way, the workers will first overthrow the bourgeoisie at home and then they will take care of invaders. That was a good program, but the workers did not make the revolution in time.
Now the two tasks must be telescoped and carried out simultaneously. The main thing is that we must operate not under the old conditions of peace, but under the new conditions of luniversal militarism and war. We cannot avoid the new circumstances; we must adapt our tactics to them. In times of strike, we urge the workers to stay out of a plant. But when the majority decides to go back, we have to go back with them and accept with them. for the time being, the exploitation of the bosses. Sometimes the defeat of a strike goes so far as not only to smash a legitimate union but to drive the workers into the bosses com pany union. We are against company unions; but if the workers are driven into them we go along and try to work there in the interests of the proletariat. Analogous tactics must be applied also in questions of war and militarism.
We had a great Marxist for a teacher, and a part of his genius was his never failing application of Marxist tactics. He. always took the existing situation, in its totality, as the point of departure. The Bolsheviks set, out in 1917 to overthrow the whole capitalist world. They did overthrow the Russian bourgeoisie, but the other countries remained under the domination of the international capitalist class. So. at a certain point, the Bolsheviks drew the balance and said: Here is the situation as it exists in reality. We cannot overthrow the other imperialist bandits at present. The workers are not yet ready. Therefore, let us open trade relations with the imperialist countries, gain a little breathing space and overthrow them tomorrow. Comrade Trotsky was prompted to elaborate and extend our tactics by the new situation in the world. party which fails to adapt itself to this situation, to existing war, can play no role whatsoever.
WE ARE PROLETARIAN MILITARISTS One comrade here tried to justify a policy of anti militarism.
His remarks were, to my opinion, a reminiscence of departed days. Anti militarism was all right when we were fighting against war in times of peace. But here you have a new situation of universal militarism. It is obvious that all over the world, everything is going to be settled not by mass meetings, not by petitions, not by strikes, not even by mass demonstrations in the streets. Everything is going to be settled by military means, with arms in hand. So, can we now be anti militarists By no means! Just the contrary. We must say: All right, the situation, not of our making, is that military force decides. There is only one thing left for the workers to do. That is to learn how to be good fighters with modern weapons. So we antimilitarists of yesterday become positive militarists today. The comrade who tries to represent our position today as still antimilitarisi. is, in my opinion, decidedly wrong. raised this question in our conversations with comrade Trotsky. After be bad elaborated his ideas. put the question to him and asked him to make his answer as sharp and categoric as possible. asked: Can we call ourselves militarists? And he said, Yes. It might not be tactically advisable to begin with such a proclamation, but if the pacifists accuse you of it, if you are accused of being a militarist, you take the platform and say. Yes, am a proletarian revolutionary militarist This doesn contradict the somewhat different attitude we took in somewhat different timesiwhen the possibility of preventing war by revolution could not be excluded.
Was the fight of the socielpacifist elements against conscription right in this last period? No, it was not right. It overlooked realities and sowed illusions. The workers were for conscription.
The conscription bill was carried without any seriOUs opposition whatsoever. The fight as we conducted it, for workers control, was 100 correct. We are positively for conscription, but we do not want conscription of the workers by the bosses. We want conscription of the workers by a workers organization. If some horrified muddle head of a pacifist asks: Do you really mean it? Do you want to compel every worker to take up arms and learn how to use arms? We answer, Yes, that is exactly what we mean. How do we justify such compulsion? By the necessities of the class struggle which justify everything. There is nothing new in such an attitUde. certain amount of compulsion has always been invoked by the labor movement against the backwaid, the slackers.
F01 example, trade unions always strive to make membership compulsory. The intelligent, loyuland serious workers join the union voluntarily. Then they say to the backward, to the ignorant and to the scab hearted: Join if you will, peacefully, but join this union or else stay out of that factory. That compulsion for you, my boy. We cannot allow your ignorance or mistaken conception of individual interest to interfere with the class interests as a whole. What is a picket line? Well, some that have seen at least, had aspects of extraordinary persuasion. have seen picket lines of such a nature that if anyone wanted to argue about it, he didn even get a chance to argue. He either stayed out or got knocked out. Compulsion in the class war is a class necessity. We didn invent it. It must be applied also to military training.
THE DYNAMICS OF THIS STRUGGLE An interesting uestion, asked by some workers, was reported here: How can you tell the workers to put themselves under the control of the unions for military training when the unions are controlled by people like Lewis and Green and Hillman?
Well, if we wait until the unions are led by the Fourth International, we lose all sense of the dynamics of their development.
Green and Lewis and their similars the whole upper bureaucracy of the labor movement at presentiare agents of the capitalists in the labor movement, but they are not the same thing as the bosses. Their sole base of existence is the labor movement; and in spite of all the bureaucratism of the unions, they are subject to certain pressures, certain controls from below. When the worsening of conditions, supplemented by our agitation, raises a wave of radicalization in the masses, the workers will solve the problem of leadership in the workers regiments as well as in the unions.
We always take the workers o1ganizations as they are. We join them as they are, support them as they are, My to remodel them from within. Of course, the very idea of a Lewis or a Green heading the military instruction of workers is fan fetched. Cor rectly understood, our fight for military training under trade union control is a mortal struggle against the reformist, nonfighting bureaucracy. The adoption of our. policy. or even a strong movement in favor of it, would spell the doom of tbe present leaders. Nobody would believe these scoundrels are fit for such a serious enterprise as the instruction of workers for military action.
In 1917, following February, the Soviets of Petrograd and Moscow were in control of the Social Democrats and the Social Revolutionaries, that is, men of the stripe of Lewis and Green, Hillman and Dubinsky; no better and no worse. In spite of that, because the Soviets embraced the workers, Lenin raised the slogan: All power to the Soviets. In the course of that fight for all power to the Soviets, the Bolsheviks won to their side the majority of the workers. And almost coincidentally with the uprising, the workers threw out the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries and. placed the Bolsheviks at their head. That the way things have to be conceived in this question also.
The question of the referendum on war in connection with compulsory military training was raised by one of the comrades.
This question was propounded to the Old Man in a letter from Goldman, and answered by him. The Old Man said: don see why we should drop the demand for a referendum on war. Before they actually enter the war, an agitation for a people referendum is an excellent means of showing up their fake democracy. It is a means of agitation against them. It is not so simple and automatic; one does not exclude the other.
Comrade Trotsky also answered the question whether our slogan of Workers Defense Guards is superseded by our military policy. He said he did not see why. He thought they were interrelated. Of course, at the present time, the emphasis is entirely on the question of penetrating the military organizations.
But, as the crisis develops, all kinds of reactionary attacks will be made on the unions. Gangs will be organized to break them up. The union members will be under the constant necessity to protect themselves. The workers must be on guard to protect their unions. The slogan of Workers Defense Guards can be raised at an appropriate time, not in contradiction to our military policy, but in correlation with it.
THE ROLE OF WOMEN COMRADES On the question of the role of women in the party after conscription. We must not get the idea that all our people will be in the army. Roughly speaking, the same percentage of our party will he in the army as the percentage of their class of the same generation. We have a young party. You will learn from Comrade Dobbs comprehensive organization report that the average age of our party is 29 years. This means that perhaps a majority of our men comrades are going to be in the army sooner or later.
Some of our leading people will be taken out and in their places women comrades will come forward.
tions that we are not without resources in this field. And don forget we have a few old codgers who are beyond the draft age. Maybe the party can make use of them. Lenin once said, and always sympathized with him, that when a revolutionist reaches the age of 50 he should be shot. When men get older they usually get tired and conservative. But there are exceptions to all laws, and we come in under the execptions. If we have the correct policy, and if we have the conception that. every member of our party is potentially a leader, potentially a general in the army of the revolution, we will not lack leadership.
Comrade Birchman mentioned the question of the Negro workers in the militarization. Our attitude toward the, Negroes in war, like our attitude toward all other questions, is the same as in times of peace. Our line is the class line. We stand for absolutely unconditional equality for every race and nationality.
That a cardinal principle of Communism. We have to fight; for and defend this principle under all conditions, including the conditions of militarism.
METHODS OF WORK IN THE ARMY How do we work in a Conscript army? someone asked.
work the same way as in a shop.
industry now is supplying the army. Where would you draw the line? There is hardly an industry that won be mobilized either for the manufacture or transportation of materials for the army. The masses are in the army, or working to supply the army. The workers are subjected to military exploitation. We go in and defend the interests of the slaves ofmilitary exploitation, just as we go into the factory and fight against capitalist exploitation there. Our basic line everywhere is the class line.
The second point is to be careful, cautious. Make no punches, make no premature moves that expose us and separate us from the masses. Go with the masses. Be with the masses, just as the Bolsheviks were in Kerensky army.
Why can we do that here? And how otherwise can we do it? How otherwise, in a world dominated by militarism, can we see our way to world salvation except through military means. And how can we get these military means except by penetrating the army as it exists?
We have one great assurance. repeat what said at the mass meeting. We have our opportunity before us in this country. Even if war is declared and a military dictatorship is instituted, even if all kinds of repressive measures are decreed we. must always remember that dictatorship of the police and military forces, instituted by fiat, cannot be the same thing as a.
fascist dictatorship based on a mass movement mobilized over years of time after the workers have muffed their chance to take power. Before fascism can come in this country on a mass basis, according to the historical law elucidated by Comrade Trotsky, the great mass radicalization of the workers will take place. The workers here, as everywhere, will have the first chance to take power. That is all we need. We will have our chance, and we will not miss it.
We already have indica. We. Indeed, the main purpose of. am ii im silivafxx. 11 41. 11353 :11: