James P. Cannon

Message to New York Rally for
Released Minneapolis Prisoners

(2 February 1945)

Published: The Militant, Vol. IX No. 6, 10 February 1945, p. 3.
Source: PDF supplied by the Riazanov Library Project.
Transcription/Mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Public Domain: This work is in the under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Marxists’ Internet Archive/Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors, translators, proofreaders etc. above.

I deeply regret that I cannot be with you tonight. I caught cold on the train, and in view of the fact that I intend to go back to work shortly, the doctor thinks it best that I do not go out for a few days. It is only a small matter – nothing serious. In every other respect I am in good shape, and eager to return to my work, as are all the other men of Sandstone, Danbury and Alderson. Alderson is where our Senator put in her hard and bitter 13 months among the poor lost convict women who are cast out and abandoned and have no one to help them. Grace worried about them and tried to befriend them. Our hearts ached for our Senator there all alone with such a “hard way to go,” as the convicts say. But she stood up and played her part and set us an example. We are proud of our Senator. All the rest of us did the best we could and we hope you approve of the way we conducted ourselves.

If I were to be present at the meeting, the thing I would like most to say would be how deeply, how profoundly, I thank you for your solidarity, your kindness, your friendship. I would like to say that I want to put on record in public my heartfelt gratitude to Roger Baldwin. He is not of our political and philosophic faith, but he is a principled fighter for what he believes in. Roger Baldwin believes in the rights of man. If I were present, tonight and were permitted by time limitations to say only one sentence, to raise one slogan, I would say: “Long live the Rights of Man!” I always believed in this, but now I understand it better.

I would also thank the distinguished chairman of the Civil Rights Defense Committee and its efficient and hard-working secretaries and all the others who worked with them. But we really do not have to say how we appreciate them. There cannot possibly be any doubts of that.

Last updated on 8 November 2018