May 1963, Riesel
VICTOR KIESEL i Commie Tactics Halted NEW YORK — As chairman of the Freedom of the Press Committee of the Over*** Prese club, 1 have been protesting to many governments against the imprisonment, the manhandling, the expulsion, the denial of journalise privileges of American and foreign newsmen. The latest protest is being forwarded to Moscow. Some American Communists, believed by our government to be agente of the Soviet Union, attempted to prevent some reporters from carrying out their assignment to cover the Communist May Day celebration here in urnon Square. This effort to impede the work of U. S. newsmen was made by a high Communist official who i* being charged by the justice department with being a member of an organization which is ''substantially directed, dominated and controlled by the Soviet Union" — the Communist Party, U. S. A, His name is Louis Weinstock, business manager of the Communist newspaper, The Worker, and a member of the party's National Committee, on which he is a labor specialist * * * THE CONFLICT, spiced by insults in Marxian jargon, began about 5 p. m. during the May 1 pro-Soviet, pro-Castro demonstration. Some of the newsmen and photographers started to make their way onto the public pavilion at the north end of Union Square. The big concrete structure was being used by the American Communists as a speakers and reviewing stand. For this, they had obtained a license from the city's Park Commissioner Newbold Morris. There has been free speech in the square since long before I began covering it years ago (hiring a riotous demonstration of some 60,000 people. Weinstock barred the newsmen though he had no legal right, and certainly no ethical right to keep off reporters and photographers. To some he said the news wire services and the press had not given the Communist May Day committee sufficient coverage. To others he complained the Communists simply did not Mke what they wrote. * * » AT THIS POINT a high city official telephoned Commissioner Morris, an old crusading friend of mine. In effect, Morris told the city official to pass word on that the Communist leaders were to permit freedom of the press and that space on the pavilion was granted to the Communists as a privilege and that they were not to turn it into a Len!a» Mausoleum type reviewing stand. Word went swiftly to Weinstock and national Communist leader Gus Hall. Both men. have been under scrutiny of the Subversive Activities Control Board. The ban on reporters' access to the reviewing stand was lifted. But during all this time the Moscow, Tass and Soviet Radio correspondents were permitted by the American Communists to move freely across the reviewing stand, One of them, Qleg Kajugin, Moscow radio correspondent, made certain that the praise of Castro's Cuba and the attacks on the U. S. were being taped for anti-tL S. broadcast across the world. * * * HIS TASK WAS to make it appear that thousands of American workers, and many union leaders, were demonstrating on May Day against our foreign policy and for Sovietized Cuba. Speakers were introduced iu such fashion that they seemed to represent major U. S. unions. Communist cadres were clustered around microphones to cheer such other speakers as Communist newsman Joe North. He was billed as having just returned from two years in Cuba. Similar techniques were used in the handling of some Communist college students. They were introduced in Aesopian language designed to have them appear to be leaders of a student movement. Actually they were recruited in the course of the Communist concentration on campuses during the past few years. In '62 Communist leaders such as Gus Hall spoke on at least 35 campuses. Their audiences totaled well over 75,000. * * * THIS COLLEGE CAMPAIGN is in the hands of the Communist Party, U. S. A., Lecture and Information Bureau. Last September this bureau dispatched a letter "To Editors of College Papers: To Student Councils:" offering Communist speakers. It said in part that no law banned the "public activities" of the American Communist party or its speakers. This is true, though the world Communist press and radio attempts to portray an .imprisoned Communist party in the U. S. It is time for this untruth to be refuted across the/globe — and while we're telling the story let's also report that when the Communists had a modicum of power they used it against our free press.