Apr 1961, Riesel

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Apr 1961, Riesel - U. S. Communists Have Frisco Rally Saturday By...
U. S. Communists Have Frisco Rally Saturday By VICTOR RIESEL XTEW YORK-During a recent meeting here of the Communist Party (U.S.A.) leadership behind the tightly closed doors of 23 W. 26th St., it was decided that San Francisco was the happiest hunting ground for those in Red politics. The Party leader, Gus Hall, said they would attempt to run their biggest May Day celebration in that city. They knew they'd have difficulty renting a hall. Being realists, they did what any pragmatist would do. They went to the manager of the auditorium in the headquarters building of Harry Bridges' International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU). He checked his open dates closest to May Day. This opening fell on April 29. The hall was hired for an 8:30 p.m. rally — the ILWU national headquarters hall at 150 Golden Gate—starring Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, chairlady of the American Communist Party. Not inconsequential is the fact that the rental is quite nominal. The use of the longshoremen's hall by the American Communist Party leadership raises some fascinating questions. True the hall is for hire. But not, certainly, to all comers. Would Mr. Bridges lease the hall paid for by his members' dues to the Ku Klux Klan or the American Nazi Party? I doubt it. He would not want news stories to be tapped out on the world's news tickers stating that the KKK met In the ILWU hall. But news stories, especially those filed behind the Iron and Bamboo curtains, will say that American Communists met in the Longshoremen's auditorium. This will lend prestige to the Party. This will insinuate that American labor and American Communists are in some sort of united front, This may not embarrass Harry Bridges, After all this truly powerful Pacific waterfront leader once did write th,at: "The position of our union should be understood . . . (when —VR) on strike they will take help from any source, and if it is a question of Communist or others, in Australia, Great Britain, Russia, France, or anywhere else in the world, when we send out a call for help, we don't say, 'Just accept this call if you are not a Communist union,' we send it out and we hope for the best. That is true of my membership and that is the way we work, and that is all we are after." Harry Bridges may not be embarrassed by the Communist-led meeting in his headquarters hall, for did he not organize a Pacific and Asian dockworkers' conference of bitterly anti-U.S. unions? He did. They met in Tokyo, May 13, 1959, and their , continuation committee has been meeting ever since. Bridges himself issued a call for that parley. Back there in Tokyo they agreed that their affiliated unions would help each other across the world in the event any of them struck in their home ports. The conference also intrigued observers by urging a division of the United Nations to investigate labor conditions in Okinawa and Cambodia. This resolution said that working conditions in these areas were "inhuman and slavelike." It should be pointed out right here that the U.S. governs Okinawa, on which rests one of our mightiest defense bases. And Cambodia nestles right alongside besieged Laos. Fascinating, isn't it? The parley demanded that we get our atomic arms out of Asia and our bases out of Japan. Harry Bridges, addressing delegates from Russian, Indonesian and Austalian waterfront unions, denounced our peace treaty with Japan. And to bring this right up to the minute, let me report an interesting set of almost similar resolutions passed by the recent ILWU convention in Hawaii. These included a pledge of cooperation with all Pacific and Asian dockworkers. All this may not embarrass Harry Bridges. But what of Congressmen, including one U.S. Senator who called him "my friend Harry"? And what of the labor men who have pacts with his union? What have they to say now of the ones responsible for permitting a union hall to be used by those who serve as agitprops (agitation • propagandists) for Chairman Khrushchev? (Distributed 1961, by The Hall Syndicate, Inc.) (All Rights Reserved) ,

Clipped from
  1. The Daily Reporter,
  2. 28 Apr 1961, Fri,
  3. Page 35

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