Jim Dann and Hari Dillon

The Five Retreats: A History of the Failure of the Progressive Labor Party


PLP’s original concept of participation in the trade-union movement was exactly borrowed from the Communist Party (CP). This meant slow clandestine work in union committees and in alliance with supposedly progressive union leaders like Harry Bridges of the ILWU, Leon Davis of the 1199 and Dave Livingston of District 65 in New York. All of the PLM’s trade-union cadre were ex-CP’ers, white and mostly middle aged, in their forties and older. They were not inclined to any bold moves, were not in basic industry and were generally not together in a concentration. The one exception was a small group of New York City railroad workers, led by Wally Linder. However, when he was laid off in 1963 the base and membership of PL in railroads dried up and Linder became a full-time PL functionary, “the trade-union organizer.” Generally this not impressive trade union base (Considering he was N.Y. State trade union organizer for the CP, Rosen did not take much with him into PLM.) was either dying out (literally) or quitting by 1965. When Lydegraf and Coe quit in late 1966 they took better than one-third of the trade-union cadre with them.

At some point it became clear to Rosen and Linder that genuine communist work in the trade-unions was impossible with the base inherited from the CP. Thus the NSC began pushing the students and the younger full-timers to get a job and do trade-union work. (There had been 20 full-time organizers for a membership of less than 200 in 1965, but with little money for full-timers, PL made a virtue out of necessity.) Eddie Lemansky, organizational secretary for PL, and Steve Martinot, organizer of the Cuba trips, got jobs in New York City’s garment center; Steve Cherkoss, West-Coast student organizer, got a job in a Los Angeles Steel plant. Dozens of other young PL activists followed suit going to work in industry.

The approach to “T-U” work (trade-union work) was generally correct in the period 1966-1969. Linder waged many a sharp struggle against the laziness or adventurism of the ex-student cadre. The PL T-U cadre was first of all instructed to be a good worker and win the respect of his co-workers, secondly a friend on all levels to his co-workers, thirdly a good union person, active with a solid trade-union attitude. (Thus in order to become more like the working class PL members shaved their beards and moustaches in 1966 and cut their hair short. PL members also after 1965 foreswore pot under penalty of expulsion. It is doubtful that short hair, no pot or clean shaves helped PL get close to the younger workers, but these moves showed the attitude of ex-students determined to become serious workers.) Within this context it was possible step-by-step to build rank and file caucuses and participate in union committees in sharper and sharper struggles against the boss. And eventually the right-wing union leaders would be more and more exposed as labor lieutenants for the captains of industry.

Inasmuch as alliances with more progressive trade-unionists and existing caucuses were not emphasized (but not outlawed in the period before 1969) progress was slow and defeats suffered by inexperienced cadre were to be expected. Depending on how PL handled its defeats, whether the Party could dialectically separate the strengths from weaknesses, the work could grow or collapse. It collapsed after the defeat in the New York garment center.

The garment center became the number one PL trade-union concentration. PL used a two-prong strategy there: first slow base-building by cadre working within, and second, Challenge sales and rallies, addressed by mainly Epton and Linder, outside. The key strategy for the inside cadre was to get a whole shop to join the union en masse, under PL leadership. Outside, Challenge ran a monthly column on the union contract provisions, which were in general being grossly violated, plus a story or two each issue about various shop struggles. It was a difficult strategy but it was the only road to success given the objective problems of the garment center: racism, gangsterism, low wages, transient work force, runaway shops, corruption.

Throughout 1967 the work in the garment center proceeded slowly, but steadily; little by little PLP made a name for itself. Then on October 23, PL led its first strike; some 40 workers at City-Wide Trucking, where Lemansky worked, went out for 3 hours until the boss gave in and allowed them to join the union and get union scale.[77]

A similar action at Selman’s also involving 40 workers was led by Steve Martinot on Nov. 1. In the aftermath PL forces fought hard as collusion between union and boss took away most of the gains and in January Martinot was dropped as shop steward by the union. Meanwhile Challenge sales reached a garment center record of 400 in December. The February, 1968 issue of Challenge had 4 pages devoted to the garment center as did the issue preceding it. The on-the-job struggles continued at Selman’s and City-Wide with the union-boss – “impartial arbitrator” gang-up being too much for PL and the workers steadily lost the gains of the previous fall until Martinot was fired from Selman’s on April 18. But the PLP leadership sent more cadre into the garment shops. Felipe Dejesus, editor of the Spanish section of Challenge, got a job at one of the biggest, Figure Flattery. There on August 15, 1968 Dejesus led PLP’s biggest action yet, a 7 day successful strike that involved 800 workers. Throughout the long complicated struggle Dejesus, the steward, had to fight the union bosses as well as the cops who were brought in aggressively on the side of the boss. For the first time there were definite signs that other shops in the garment center were responding to PLP leadership and the 2-year old garment concentration was beginning to pay off.[78]

The powerful union-boss alliance was determined now to crush PLP in the garment center. First the gains of the Figure Flattery strike were eaten away slowly, four hundred were laid-off during the fall. But Dejesus and his Workers Alliance Committee were still strong. So the first overt move was made at City-Wide which fired Lemansky, PL’s head of the garment center work, immediately after the union removed him as steward in mid-October; a half-day wildcat strike failed. Then on December 20 Dejesus was fired from Figure Flattery and arrested to boot. An 8-day slow-down with mainly student “solidarity picket line” failed to achieve anything and in late January, 1969 the Figure Flattery management let it be known that a purge of PL’ers was imminent. In the second half of 1968 the PL national leadership was growing impatient and the slightly less emphasis on patient base-building combined with the extremely difficult objective conditions led to defeat. PL tried to organize a strike in January with no success and PL’s biggest base in the garment center was lost. PL still had a few forces left in the garment center but the spring of 1969 saw the work slowly peter out. Challenge sales and rallies at the garment center ceased, and after May 1969, nothing more was written in Challenge about the garment center. This was significant nationally because all PL’ers were looking to the garment concentration for direction, emphasis and tactics.[79]

The objective conditions at the garment center were so difficult that the commitment implied in Mao’s slogan “Try, fail, try again, fail again... until final victory” had to be mastered. Also PLP had to be able to learn from each loss carefully; this would have meant full democratic discussion by the membership and self-criticism by the leadership. But precisely this approach was beyond the capacity of the leadership who time and time again would launch a big concentration, like garment in 1967 (or auto in 1973), but never stick it out past the initial defeats. In order to avoid the self-critical analysis “try again” implies the leadership moved on to another campaign or to another concentration. Thus the national trade-union concentration changed constantly: garment (1967-1968), General Electric (1969), General Motors (1970), unemployment (1971), 30 hours work for 40 hours pay (1972), auto (1973-1974), “on-the-job struggle 52 weeks a year” (1975), build trade-union chapters of CAR (Committee Against Racism) (1976). These rapid fire changes came after only one or two setbacks and the new line was put forward without even a look backwards or explanation as to why last year’s line or concentration no longer applied.

With the collapse of the garment center concentration, real inside trade-union work began to be given slightly less emphasis within PL. Strike support by students was now given more importance than before and received much more emphasis in Challenge. This fit in well with PL’s WSA strategy which was reaching a climax in SDS. PL organized significant student-worker solidarity picket lines in the 1969 period at the Herald-Examiner strike in Los Angeles, the Kaiser Hospital strike in San Francisco, the UPS strike in Chicago, the DuPont strike in New Jersey and elsewhere. But the 3-month nationwide General Electric strike in the winter of 1969-70 provided PLP with its best opportunity for strike support, and PL took full advantage organizing a demonstration of 8,000 at the Labor Dept. in Washington (This was a break-away from an anti-war rally of 500,000.) putting out an 8-page special Challenge flyer and engaging in direct picket line support at Lynn, Mass; Newark, New Jersey; Cicero, III; Arkansas City, Kansas; Oakland and San Jose, California; Detroit and Edmore, Mich.; Utica, Rochester and Syracuse, N.Y. SDS on-campus support was organized at U. of Chicago, UCLA, Princeton and at a host of Boston area colleges. Also food and money were collected. Out of it grew PL influence in at least two GE plants, Chicago and Lynn.

Meanwhile the Party put some time and effort in the sixties into developing a theoretical guide for T-U work. The first two PL trade-union programs (1963 and 1966) did not differ essentially from the CP trade union program. Among the demands were such things as more trade with Russia, an independent “people’s political party.” The three main authors of the 1966 program were Coe, Van Lydegraf and Linder, and the program represented the type of work and outlook the ex CP-trade-unionists brought into PLP. Obviously with a new generation of activists going into trade-union work after mid-1966 to continue to have the old CP-style trade-union program was an anachronism. But lack of leadership in the T-U section delayed any revisions until well into 1968. Thus for two crucial years the new PL T-U activists were guided theoretically by a program written in the main by the right-wingers, Coe and Lydegraf. And the pace of putting forth advanced ideas was unnecessarily slow. More important since the old T-U program did not highlight a strategy to organize workers around ”U.S. Get Out of Vietnam” the PL trade-union work completely ignored the major issue in the country, the war. G.E. was castigated as a “warmaker and strikebreaker” by PL students, but in propaganda directed at GE workers the “warmaker” role of GE was omitted. PL trade-union work even in its best period was flawed by ignoring the issue of Vietnam. Additionally the line and practice of fighting racism in the T-U work was relatively weak.

As part of the preparation for the PL Convention of 1968 a new draft of the T-U program was done up. But it was rejected as still too close in content to the Coe-Lydegraf program. Not until mid-1969 was the trade-union program completed, largely written by Linder. The new program ignored the war even more than the old program and downgraded the struggle for Black Liberation. But these flaws, while very serious, did not essentially take away from the essence of the program, which was quite positive. The guts of the program was a strategy for united front work in the shops, how this would develop step-by-step. The program was a fairly good up-to-date theoretical guide on how to avoid economism and reformism. The central point of PL’s trade-union program was the caucus which would be a united front of forces opposed to the sell-out union leadership. Unity with class-oriented union leaders was not ruled out, where such existed. The Party would strive to build the left, expand the Center, isolate or neutralize the Right within the caucus. PL would do this by (1) raising the militancy of the shop struggles, (2) expanding the range of issues, (3) fighting racism and otherwise upholding the unity of the working class, (4) expanding the caucus’ influence to other locals geographically and to other unions in the same city with a view toward united action, (5) putting forward the need for socialism, the dictatorship of the proletariat and recruiting to PLP, (6) exposing the class role of the state and the labor lieutenants. It was basically a Marxist-Leninist program based on Lenin’s What is To Be Done and Left-Wing Communism.

But the NSC was more influenced by the defeat in the garment center than by the long labored-over program of Linder. Thus by the time the Party developed a good theoretical basis for T-U’s work the NSC was ready to sound the call for retreat.

PL was in a fairly good position by mid-1969 to do T-U work. The theoretical basis was laid out and as the students were leaving student work in a steady stream, encouraged by the retreat from student work already underway, a new generation of cadre for work in the factories was available. Finally in the East, Chicago and on the West Coast penetration was finally begun at some of the main basic industrial plants. General Electric at Lynn, Mass., Ford at Mahwah, N.J., the JFK Airport in New York, several big New York City Hospitals, Inland Steel at Gary, Ford and Hotpoint at Chicago and the Chicago Transit Authority, GM in Detroit, Ford and GM at San Jose, the Phone Co. in San Francisco, GM and Bethlehem Steel in Los Angeles all had been penetrated by small groups of serious PLP cadre by the winter of 1969-70. Most of these were students excessed off the campus by the retreats of that year, but they eagerly followed the detailed directions of PL’s energetic T-U “expert,” Wally Linder; his advice was generally sound, even if a trifle conservative. The T-U program gave a reasonably good basis for building caucuses and Linder filled in the gaps with practical advice. Caucuses and/or formations of one kind or another were slowly being rooted at most of these key industrial plants when the retreat sounded here just as it had thrice earlier when PL had seemed on the verge of breakthroughs in the anti-war movements, the BLM and the student movement.

The movement to retreat from the trade-union movement was given the name “rectification,” or “redeployment.” Unlike the earlier retreats neither specific attacks on potential allies nor a theoretical basis for the retreat was developed. However, racism played a role in that the white middle class students were being told they could “not relate” to minority workers.[80] The rectification called for the ex-students to leave the factories.

It was hedged with a lot of ifs, ands, or buts but the net result was only that ex-students were encouraged to leave the factories. Colonizing, of course, is not the best way to build a factory base. The best way is to work with the genuine leaders of the working class at the shop or higher level. However, since PLP, fearing the power of revisionism, never trusted leaders other than themselves, sending organizers into the factory was the next best thing and could have led to some success of the Party had persisted and not abandoned the project after the series of reversals in the garment center. Rectification began to deprive PL of most of its factory cadre and thus was essentially a turn away from the T-U movement.

Outside strike support or paper sales is a third – and the least desirable – method of factory penetration. This won’t work unless there are people inside, either genuine workers’ leaders in a united front with the Party and/or organizers sent in (ex-students are as good as any). Paper sales will have no relevance nor will a stable readership develop without a base inside. Strike support will accomplish little without a previously established presence in the smaller class battles that rage daily in the workplace. Rectification meant in essence relying solely on paper sales and strike support to penetrate and lead the T-U movement. This one-sided reliance resulted in PL’s total isolation from the T-U movement within the year.

Still the movement out of T-U work was slow and fitful; many PL cadre elected to remain in the factories on one excuse or another. Moreover, a number of students went to work anyway, some forced by necessity; others by attraction to the “front-lines” of PL’s work. And rectification was not uniformly enforced nationwide.[81] T-U work even expanded slightly in places like General Electric in Lynn and a relatively large number of PL’ers with working class origins were exempted, at least initially from being rectified out of T-U work. Therefore there was still some trade-union activity in this period. Trade-union work was, however, finally ended during “Challenge Summer” 1970.

The three previous summers had seen “work-ins” of students in the factories, in 1967 to win workers against the war, in 1968 and to build the WSA within SDS. At the end of these “work-ins” a number of students each year remained in the factories to do T-U work for PLP. Since PL rarely recruited a worker direct from the factories, this steady supply of students remaining in the factories became essential for the maintenance of T-U work. In 1970 there was to be no “work-in.” Since the war, as far as PL was concerned, was a non-issue, and the WSA was no longer needed as a weapon against the RYM forces of SDS, the “work-in” no longer served PL’s purposes. Moreover, it was contrary to rectification and the general line of retreat from the trade-union movement. Instead 1970 was declared “Challenge Summer”.

The goal was to make Challenge into a mass paper. The method was to use every available PL member (Milt Rosen, Wally Linder and Mort Scheer were exempted from selling Challenge in public, on the grounds that it might be dangerous to their particular safety.) and friend to spend hours a day hawking Challenges.[82] The outcome was to destroy all the PL trade-union work and what little remained of the student work by that time.

Challenge, a monthly in 1970 (It started as a weekly in 1964, fell to a bi-weekly in 1965, drifted to a monthly in late 1966.), had a circulation of little more than 2,000. The mass selling campaign of the summer achieved seemingly spectacular results: 65,000 of the May issue (sold in June), 90,000 of the June issue and up to 100,000 for the August issue. And by August 24 Challenge was converted into a tri-weekly and then a year later became a bi-weekly (August of 1971). However the achievement in essence was less than the figures blared in Challenge indicated. For one thing there was widespread fudging of the totals on every level because of the intense competitive pressure. The leadership introduced competition between areas and within the areas; lists were published of the totals of each seller. There were roses for the best sellers (and never a doubt expressed no matter how improbably inflated a figure might be) and intense, unpleasant struggle sessions for the laggards.

Enthusiasm can’t be denied. However, high-powered sales pressure and enthusiasm couldn’t maintain the workers’ interest in a poorly written paper not in their interests. (See Appendix.) In San Francisco, for example, more than 100 papers were sold by half a dozen enthusiastic sellers at United Air Lines Maintenance for the first time. The next month 15 sellers showed up but sales dropped off due to the workers’ indifference toward the paper. Moreover there were threats from various anti-communists. Demoralization set in; fewer showed up to sell the following month. Sales fell to only 2 or 3 papers within four months. This type of thing was exactly repeated nationally in almost every industrial sales point.[83]

By mid-1971 sales were down to 30,000 for the bi-weekly (a 40% drop). Despite periodic high pressure sales campaigns, sales levels continually declined and by 1976 the NC was claiming only 10,000 on a weekly issue, although the real, actual sales of Challenge, including subscriptions numbered no more than 5,000 (This is the most generous estimate, a less generous estimate would be 2,000 per week. Not too good when you consider the leadership considers Challenge selling the most important activity of a PL member.) a drop of 80% from the “Challenge Summer.” One of the goals of the Challenge Summer was the establishment of reading and discussion groups around the paper. This never happened because of the lack of political discussion in the Party at the time and the low level of politics in the paper itself. The NSC was not critical of this particular failure but lambasted most PL students for not selling 20 hours a week consistently.[84] Apparently a number of students still resisted the missionaryism and idealism about workers inherent in “Challenge Summer.”

What “Challenge Summer” succeeded in doing was nipping in the bud PL’s trade-union work. On a theoretical level the line was developed that workers could be won directly to communism without going through the stages and steps outlined in the T-U program:

“One of the big mistakes we made was to perpetuate the old CP. notion of sending students to work in industry. We thought it was only their revisionist politics that made a shambles of the “colonization” plan, and that since PL’s line was correct our students in industry were guaranteed success. But we had made only a superficial analysis of the problem.

“In the first place the transformation of students to factory workers under capitalism is an enormous job. And we underestimated changing objective conditions in the country. Workers in large numbers were responding to a communist line. Thus we were left, in this increasingly favorable situation, with only the efforts of students newly entered in the working class. In addition, typical student arrogance showed itself in the belief that workers wouldn’t move unless students joined them at the “point of production.” These obstacles limited integration with workers and limited winning workers to the party.

“But another phenomenon occurred: The circulation of Challenge-Desafio, PL’s national newspaper, rose in two years from 5,000 to 50,000 and is still rising. The increase in circulation is primarily at factories, usually trustified sections of big industry. So we believe an historic trend is taking place. The advanced class-conscious workers, of whom Lenin spoke, are becoming evident...

“When workers bring PL literature and organization to work the class struggle is at a new stage.” (PL, V.7, No. 5, June 5, 1970)

Thus a year after its publication the long-awaited for T-U program became a dead letter. No need to build caucuses or struggle within the unions; just get the workers to buy a Challenge, visit them, get them to sell Challenges themselves and presto, instant communists. No need to struggle against the boss or the reactionary union leaders, just sell Challenge.

Thus PL cadre in the factories were no longer given leadership on in-the-job struggles or work in the unions. All they had to do was sell Challenges. Building sellers collectives was supposed to replace building formations to lead the class struggle at the point of production. The leadership consciously ignored questions arising from the on-the-job class struggle and just struggled with members to sell, sell and sell.

In fact during “Challenge Summer” it didn’t even matter where they sold. A phone company worker would be found selling at the unemployment office, an electrical worker at the bus barns, etc. With the many hours required selling Challenge off-the-job time alone made it impossible for the factory cadre to pursue trade-union work. But the theory that workers en masse could be won directly to communism if only more Challenges were sold provided the theoretical justification for dropping T-U work. Trade union work dried up and died completely in the summer and fall of 1970. The retreat was completed in the spring of 1971 with PL’s new theory, new practice and new organizational measures.

The theory was developed that a communist could not participate in union leadership even as a shop steward without selling out his principles. It was inherently reactionary to be a union official or shop steward. Communists on the job had to attack and expose, not the boss primarily, but the union and this meant first and foremost the shop steward.[85]

The theory was apparently confirmed by PL’s experiences in the auto strike of late 1970. The United Auto Workers (UAW) has perhaps the most highly organized machine of any union. Though the UAW is outwardly more democratic than other unions, it is difficult in practice for serious opponents of the machine to be elected even committeemen (shop stewards). Thus practically all the shop stewards of the UAW are very loyal to the UAW hierarchy at least when faced with an outside threat to the UAW leadership. And PLP in late 1970 put itself forward very stridently as indeed such a threat to the UAW leadership. PL, having very little inside cadre in auto, organized strike support by collecting food and money, trying to join picket lines and organizing marches upon the dealerships in the cities. As early as May 22 an internal bulletin said that UAW strike support would “Be the single most important activity in the next six to nine months.”[86] A national commission was set up which sent out much preparatory material and organized in Chicago to prepare to aid the strike. The aid to the General Motors workers was accompanied with a heavy dose of brickbats for the UAW leadership. Because of this PL’s aid was received coolly in Los Angeles, Massachusetts, and San Jose, and often it was rejected outright by union officials at all levels. The committeemen did not rally to PL but, if not openly anti-PL themselves, stayed in the background when PL was attacked. The rank and file was appealed to, but the local leadership had such influence as to prevent PL from making any, but the most temporary inroads.

In fact it is not during a strike that communists gain leadership, but in the lulls preceding strikes. Here during the “quiet periods” rage a thousand class battles and it is in these thousand class struggles between strikes that leadership and alliances are forged that construct the scenario that obtains during the strike. If it were not for the fact that the need for long-term base building was written up in the T-U program the PL leadership could simply be accused of naiveté for thinking PLP could appear out of nowhere during the auto strike and win over the workers immediately by a dazzling display of aid. But there was no self-criticism from the NSC and many PL’ers were left feeling that shop stewards were as bad as international presidents.

The bad taste that unions left in the mouths of PL’ers in late 1970 stayed on through 1971. This led to the then current conventional wisdom in PL that unions were at best obstacles in PL’s mission to win the workers directly to communism. The economic crisis of that period and the layoffs gave PL the opportunity to ignore organized workers altogether and to concentrate on the unemployed.

In the practical work all efforts were geared to the unemployed in the winter of 1970-1971. PLP called for two big marches for jobs on March 27, 1971 in Washington D.C. and Sacramento, Calif. Given the unemployment crisis of that winter this call was entirely justified. However, PL’s unionized workers were now put in “jobs committees” that ostensibly sponsored the marches. These committees were actually run by the PL leadership directly and while some unemployed workers or welfare recipients were briefly brought around the party, the more permanent effect was to keep PLP worker cadre from organizing where they worked. Thus, on their days off PL industrial cadre could be found at the unemployment centers or housing projects rather than at the union halls or homes of their fellow workers. The marches were a relatively big success; 1,500 marched in Sacramento, 5,000 in Washington D.C. but since no united front was organized around the issue the succeeding marches grew progressively smaller until June when only 500 total in a dozen cities marched under PL leadership. Meanwhile T-U work had totally ceased.

What passed for on-the-job work in 1971 is illustrative of how extreme sectarianism often leads to anarchism. Anarchistic exemplary actions, which invariably led to the rapid firing of the PL cadre became the rule for “on-the-job organizing.” Usually after a few months on the job, the full-time PL area leader would ask the PL worker what had been done to “step up the level of struggle” or something on that order. An anarchist “exemplary” action followed and in close order another PL’er had plenty of time on his hands for work among the unemployed. Some 20 PL cadre at the phone company in San Francisco lost their jobs in this manner by mid 1971.[87]

A typical example occurred in early 1971 at Metropolitan Life-insurance Co., one of the biggest employers in San Francisco. After three or four months on the job a PL’er was told by her club to do something on the job. She passed out a leaflet during work hours proclaiming her communist beliefs. The next day she was told she was fired and to leave. She refused to leave and instead got up on a desk top and made a speech. The guards came: she fought them but was at length ejected. Naturally this brave but basically nutty action received no support from the other workers, who instead must have had their belief about the weirdness of communists reinforced.[88] This type of action was repeated in slightly different form all over the country dozens of times in late 1970, early 1971. Although common enough these actions were not official policy and generally were not reported in Challenge. Yet PL’s self-isolating line of retreat from the T-U movement had led directly to these. The NSC seemed to see how harmful these actions were but was powerless to stop them without re-entering T-U work. (In 1972 a serious attempt at organizing non-union Met Life began after the local PL leadership faced and corrected some of the most blatant sectarian errors. The workers were largely won by PL cadre to the union, but here too the organizing drive floundered in the end because of lack of a serious united front approach toward the union leadership.)

Organizational steps were taken in the Spring of 1971 to see that no T-U work could be done. All T-U concentration clubs, even the Teachers’ Clubs were broken up. The Union PL’ers were dispersed to community clubs, to unemployment clubs, to clubs that concentrated on selling at certain areas. In the teachers’ work the trade-unions were scorned as reactionary. It reached such a point that in the 1971 San Francisco teachers strike some PL teachers crossed the picket lines and scabbed because the strike was “only for economic demands, had no educational demands, and was therefore ’racist’.”

Thus by the June, 1971 NC meeting there were no PL’ers involved in the T-U movement at any level, nor were there even T-U concentration clubs. Moreover Challenge selling was off by 50% from the previous summer and the unemployment campaign was in the doldrums; the June PL marches had been a big flop and no serious jobs committees involving non-PL forces had been established. This was the situation in the Party when the Party’s general political line “Road to Revolution III” was issued.


Abbreviations Used in Endnotes

EA: Eyewitness Account: Some 30 former members of PLP contributed to these accounts, including seven former NC members, at least one of whom was present at all NC meetings between April, 1965 and March, 1977. Whenever this citation is used the account has been carefully crosschecked with other witnesses.

CD: Challenge-Desafio, PL’s national newspaper.

PL: PL magazine, PL’s national theoretical magazine.

IB: PL internal bulletin.

CW: Collected works.

• • •

[77] EA

[78] C-D, V. 6, No. 6, September, 1966, p. 2.

[79] EA

[80] IB, June, 1969.

[81] “National Committee Report,” April 21, 1970.

[82] Ibid.

[83] EA

[84] EA

[85] EA

[86] NSC Report, May 22, 1970.

[87] EA

[88] EA