James P. Cannon

Call for a National Conference of the Opposition

(March 1929)

Written: 13 March 1929.
First Published: The Militant, Vol. II No. 6, 15 March 1929, p. 7.
Transcription/HTML Markup: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
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New York, March 13, 1929

To All Groups of the Communist Opposition

Dear Comrades:

The National Action Committee, at its meeting on March 10th, decided to issue a call for a National Conference of the Opposition to be held in Chicago on Friday, May 17th, 1929. It is estimated that the Conference will be able to finish its work in three days. All groups standing on the Platform of the Opposition will be entitled to send delegates. Each group will be entitled to elect from, two to five delegates with voting rights. Additional delegates with consultative votes may also be elected. The voting strength of the various delegations will be determined by the Conference. Each group must finance its own delegation. The Chicago Group will provide lodging for the delegates.

All groups are recommended to make provisions for the transportation of their delegates by automobile, hiking or similar means involving a minimum of expense.

A complete Agenda for the Conference will be worked out in advance in consultation with local groups. Proposals for the Agenda should be forwarded to the National Office immediately. The following is suggested tentatively:

  1. The Situation in Russia

  2. The Crisis in the Communist International

  3. The American Situation and the Tasks of the Opposition

  4. The Trade Union Question

  5. The Organisation of the Communist Opposition

  6. Youth Questions

Discussions of the Agenda should begin in the groups at once and should center primarily on the Draft of our Platform printed in the Militant. All suggestions and proposals of the local groups in regard to the Conference should be sent in at once.

It is proposed to discuss the specific problems of the Canadian movement and of the Communist Youth at the General Conference; but provision will be made also for separate meetings of these delegations.

This historic Conference will turn a new page in the History of American Communism. It will signify the firm consolidation of the vanguard of the movement on a national scale and its ideological and organisational preparation for the struggles ahead. Delegates should be carefully selected from the standpoint of their qualifications, their records in the movement and their firm adherence to the Opposition cause.

Further material on the Conference will appear in The Militant and in subsequent bulletins.


Yours fraternally,
The National Action Committee

Last updated on: 12.8.2012