Max Shachtman

W.P. Sends Letter of Solidarity
to Militant

(November 1942)

From Labor Action, Vol. 6 No. 48, 30 November 1942, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

The following letter, sent by Max Shachtman, national secretary of the Workers Party, to the editor of The Militant was released to Labor Action for publication:

George Breitman,
Editor, The Militant,
116 University Place,
New York City.

Dear Comrade:

We have learned with indignation of the refusal of the post office authorities to permit the November 7 and 14 issues of The Militant to go through the mails. The failure of the authorities to notify you of their decision, or to offer any explanation for it only makes their conduct more outrageous.

To allow this action to go unchallenged would mean to condone the usurpation of bureaucratic powers which the post office authorities have been arrogating to themselves to an increasing extent, especially since the outbreak of the war. It is worth noting that ultra-reactionary capitalist papers which carry on an unbridled campaign of denunciation of the government and of the conduct of the war in such a manner that they have been openly accused, by responsible public figures, of aiding and abetting fascism, continue to publish without let or hindrance. Obviously the post office respects their democratic rights only because big capitalist interests stand behind them, and because their criticisms are made from the standpoint of extreme reaction. It is just as obvious that the authorities presume to take their arbitrary action against The Militant only because they know it is a working class newspaper and because they think that it does not have powerful enough support to resist successfully this clear-cut attempt at suppression and persecution.

Organized Protest Needed!

In is in the interest of every workingman and every labor organization in the country, to teach these insolent bureaucrats a resounding lesson. If they can get away with the hounding and suppressing of The Militant, in the dark of the night, and without a thunderous and organized protest of the whole labor movement, then no labor paper in the country is safe, whatever its political or economic views may be. If these bureaucrats, and the Roosevelt Administration, which presumably stands behind them, are not immediately compelled to reverse themselves, the whole labor movement is in for a repetition of that infamous period of the suppression of the labor press during the last World War, under the Postmaster Generalship of the odious Burleson. The time to stop Burlesonism is the minute it shows its ugly head, and before it gets well under way. The Workers Party salutes The Militant for its firm and courageous stand and assures it of its complete solidarity and unreserved support in any counter-action that may be planned.

November 20, 1942

With best fraternal greetings,
            Max Shachtman,
                  National Secretary.

Shachtman button
Max Shachtman
Marx button
Marxist Writers’

Last updated on 3 October 2014