Feb 1960, Riesel
VICTOR RIESEL New Tactics For U. S. Reds N E W Y O R K -- F o r over a month now, the American Communist party has been Khru- sehev-izing itself--by replacing its intellectual leadership with soft-voiced, outwardly good humored men who are, nonetheless, veterans of the riotous street fighting days of the Thirties. Their orders are to train to provoke violence, disruption and costly wildcat strikes by local unions--especially in the steel . and automoble industries. Within the past two weeks this strategy was discussed in the party's national headquarters here at 23 W. 26 st. The Communists' n e w and tough national leaders spent hours listening to their chief, Gus Hall. He, himself, is a" veteran of years of similar disruption in the Ohio-Illinois-Pennsylvania steel mill strata during the late Thirties. * * * SO HARD HAS HALL been working at the reyamping job that he virtually collapsed from a flu bug invasion. He spent most of the latter days of January hidden in the Manhattan apartment of Communist, party educational director Hyman Lumer. But even from his sickbed, Hall pushed through his program, especially the creation of a hard core leadership of the New York State party--one of the organization's last centers of small, but active membership. At the head of the New York section, Hall placed the veteran "Daily Worker" editor, Clarence Hathaway. I was knee-high to my Dad when Comrade Hathaway and a husky contingent of Communist gorillas bowled us both over the end of the stage in Madison Square Garden. But we didn't stay down for long. U was a hell of a fight. Hathaway and his muscle men of several thousand Communist unionists rushed a labor rally being held in the Garden in honor of men jailed, tortured and shot by Adolph Hitler's Austrian allies. * * * HATHAWAY AND HIS comrades were using direct action tactics. They wanted the platform. They stormed the Garden. rToday these same men are again in the Communist party's leadership. Typical of the returning Communist party veterans who once filled 'big city streets with tens of thousands of militant demonstrators is Louis Weinstock, formerly a Painters union leader. He now not only holds a high party post but is 'the new"sub- rosa manager of "The Worker," official voice of the international Communist movement in the U. The return of the old trade union Communist cadres means the party itself will specialize in labor action. For example, during their recent meetings, Gus Hall and the others ,pointed out that the party's objective must be the disruption of any labor- management united front. Â· * * * THEY SPOKE specifically of the type of summit meeting of union and industry chiefs'sug- gested by AFL-CIO President George Meany to President Eisenhower. The Communists discussed the proposals of such men Vice President Nixon, Labor Secretary Mitchell, labor counselor Art "Goldberg and steel union chief Dave McDonald as well as big steel executives for a series of cooperative meetings of:both sides right on the factory, level. The party chiefs said they convince the Steel Union rank- and-file that the recent strike ended in a bad deal. So party instructions, carefully spelled out. were to attempt te cause unrest at the bottom. This means finding disgruntled men or placing tiny cells in steel union locals to defy the local leaders. The party's objective is not so much to disrupt steel production as it is to discover where hold of the steel, union leaders is weakest -- and ~the'n" follow through with experienced organizing tactics. Thus they hope to build the party membership again. . . . That's their basic aim. Build the party strength.from the 10,000 disciplined members it now has to 50,000 so it can, become a loud, if not effective, echo of Khrushchev's policies. Namely to make it appear that America's workers want the nation to abandon its nuclear weapons. As the French say, the more things change, the more they the same.