Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Workers Party

Editorial: Smash Attempts to Redbait Communist Workers Party

Opportunists Run Interference for KKK, Nazis & Bourgeoisie


First Published: Workers Viewpoint, Vol. 4, No. 23, December 26, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain 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 Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

The Nov. 3 murders in Greensboro were the most vicious attack against communists in U.S. history. They represent not only a concerted assault on the Communist Workers Party, but an attack against all U.S. workers and oppressed people.

Now in the aftermath of the assassinations comes another wave of attacks–the firings and redbaiting campaigns against Communist Workers Party supporters in North Carolina and across the country. This in a sense is as vicious as the murders. It is another form of assassination, another way to remove leaders from among the working class.

The histories of the five murdered comrades read like an encyclopedia of the U.S. people’s struggles of the 60’s and 70’s.

Jim Waller, Communist Workers Party Central Committee member, was president of Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) Local 1113-t, national president of the Trade Union Educational League (TUEL), and a folk-hero among the masses in North Carolina. A medical doctor, he helped organize the Lincoln Collective of radical and progressive doctors in New York City in the 60’s, and headed the medical team in the Wounded Knee struggle.

Cesar Cauce helped lead the Duke Hospital Organizing Committee where he headed the union drive newsletter. In 1970 he organized a mass campaign to condemn the bombing of Cambodia at Duke University.

Since Mike Nathan’s murder, progressive doctors nationwide have been writing testimonies of their respect for him. He was the chief organizer for an airlift of medical supplies to Zimbabwe and helped collect over $100,000 for the national liberation movements of Zimbabwe. ZANU’s (Zimbabwe African National Union) chief representative in North America personally visited Mike Nathan’s widow to express their grief.

Bill Sampson led the White Oak Organizing Committee at Cone Mill’s largest plant. He was ten days away from being president of ACTWU Local 1391 when the sure election victory was stolen by International trusteeship.

Sandy Smith was a founding member of the Youth Organization for Black Unity (YOBU), an organization made up of the advanced elements from the Black Liberation Movement. She was chairperson of the Revolution Organizing Committee at Cone’s Revolution textile mill.

The Communist Workers Party supporters hit by the new attacks are also respected, recognized mass leaders–Jose Calderon, a leading Party member in Colorado, is a folk-hero in the region. Loved and respected by the Chicano people, he is known for leading the fight for bilingual education, for the rights of undocumented workers, and organizing the workers at the Montfort and Longmont meatpacking plants.

John Spearman, International Association of Machinists (IAM) Local 774 shop steward in Kansas, is the target of a redbaiting campaign.

Cathy Scolieri, president of International Union of Electrical Workers (IUE) Local 853 in Oakland, California is being charged with violating the Constitution and expulsion from the union for her support for the Communist Workers Party by a few backward workers with the aid of the International and the company.

Dori Blitz, Teamsters Local 22 shop steward, was redbaited to such a degree that the sheriff called a state of emergency and 150 state troopers were mobilized for the union meeting where she was to be ousted.

Clarence Dowdy, former member of Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (DRUM) and long-time United Auto Workers (UAW) activist at the Dodge Main plant was attacked by the general foreman for agitating about the CWP 5 in the plant. He (along with the foreman) was fired.

Rand Manzella, Bill Sampson’s coworker and fellow organizer at the White Oak mill in Greensboro was fired from his job and repeatedly harassed by the pigs.

These comrades, including the five Communist Workers Party martyrs are among the best the U.S. peoples’ struggles have produced in the last decade. They are the unchallenged leaders of the U.S. working class.

The redbaiting against them is more than an attack on their political beliefs. It is an attempt to get rid of the actual leaders of U.S. workers and all the oppressed. The attacks on the valiant Stearns, Kentucky, miners’ struggle were just the beginning. Here redbaiting of TUEL members and Communist Workers Party supporters paved the way for the defeat of the strike.

The redbaiting attacks directed by the highest circles of the U.S. bourgeoisie to split and misdirect the masses are not just from the KKK, Nazis, the company and the FBI alone. The chauvinists, anti-communist Social Democrats (like In These Times) and their like in the civil rights movement, assorted political speculators and so-called “socialists”/“communists” totally incompetent and isolated from the masses but fearful of the strength and spectacular growth of the Party run interference for them. They mouth the KKK/Nazi’s defense that the Communist Workers Party provoked assassinations through our “violent rhetoric” and anti-Klan activities. They become the better defenders of the bourgeoisie than the bourgeoisie themselves.

This new wave of redbaiting is becoming a witch hunt, echoing the days of Joe McCarthy. But the Communist Workers Party is fighting it tooth and nail, standing by our political principles and accomplishments, not buckling under like the Communist Party, U.S.A. did, losing their nerve in the battle with the bourgeoisie. We will not hand over leadership of the trade unions and the movements of workers and oppressed people to the labor aristocrats and the anti-communist sham socialists.

As imperialism dies worldwide, the bourgeoisie in every capitalist country are looking to each other for a way out. The U.S. bourgeoisie cannot get out of their economic recession and political crisis of confidence. They twist tighter in their own noose as the workers awaken to the need for their own class future.

Thus the plagued bourgeoisie is constantly testing out different forms of dual tactics–the new S-l Bill to streamline their control, the anti-Iran media hype to capture the masses with patriotism and split them along nationality and race lines, and the new wave of redbaiting attacks. Other new forms of attacks slide in under the banner of unity, but are riddled with two-faced, backroom deals. These secret Klan supporters like Anthony Lewis of the New York Times claim to unite with the progressive masses but blame “violent rhetoric” for America’s ills.

This period is like the replay of the Weimar Republic which ushered in fascism in Germany through the blocking action of these opportunists. By attempting to isolate and eliminate communist influence among the masses, they are attempting to destroy the most effective force against the Nazis, KKK and the bourgeoisie.

In 1932 it was Germany’s Social Democratic government that banned and dissolved the Red Front, while permitting the Storm Troops. The “socialist” parties and labor aristocrat parties in Western Europe placed the war on communism in the forefront. Only the fascists rivalled them in offering their services to the bourgeoisie for the slaying of revolutionary workers and communists.

That’s why the appeasement line is so dangerous. Those who block, undermine communist leadership objectively work hand in glove with the KKK/Nazis. They only pump blood into the murderous bourgeoisie, as the Communist Party, U.S.A. showed after World War II. In a prelude to the McCarthy era, the “C”PUSA actually proposed, signed and supported the clause now in most union constitutions forbidding communists from membership. In the name of trade union neutrality–no politics in the unions–communists hid in the unions, but the bourgeoisie’s Democratic Party was there. And capitulation to the union misleaders snowballed as a result of this attempt to appease the anti-communists.

These appeasers are spineless cowards who knuckle under to any pressure of the bourgeoisie to redbait. These opportunists are the most isolated creatures on earth, since they cannot draw strength from the masses. They have to live as speculators, as the most unscrupulous double-dealers. They’re the ones who turn under attacks. They are the turncoats of the people’s movement.

This new wave of firings, redbaiting and attacks has very profound implications for people in the U.S. today. In the wake of the Greensboro murders the Communist Workers Party has become like a lightning rod, drawing the fire of all the attacks from the right. People like Jose, John, Cathy, Dori, Clarence and Rand represent an entire stratum of today’s leaders and today struggles. An attack on them is an attack on all.

There are only two roads to go on this new wave of redbaiting and attacks–either to stand opposed to the attacks or to help the bourgeoisie usher in fascism.

This is a most crucial time in history to resist these attacks. Because this time if we can counter the concentrated attacks of the bourgeoisie, if we can stop them, then the cause of the working class and oppressed nationalities will certainly prevail.