Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Eva McMillan, President of SCEF

Responses from SCEF: ’Without an organization there is no hope’


First Published: The Call, Vol. 10, No. 3, April 1981.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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More than ever today the South needs a strong organization for the people to turn to for leadership in their fight for survival. Today is no less important than in the ’60s, when all classes rose up against the system to demand equality for those who had been denied their rights throughout America’s history. Then, under the leadership of such organizations as SCLC, SNCC, CORE, SCEF and others, gains were made which positively affected the poor of this country.

At present we note with alarm that the clock is being turned back and the gains are being stripped away one by one. The new administration deems it proper for big business to gain even greater profits at the expense of the poor and elderly. We see the continual rise in the costs of living, the lowering of educational and living standards, the vast rise in unemployment and serious cuts in social programs. Under these conditions, hunger and crime will become even more prevalent.

Also we see the rise of neo-Nazis, the KKK and the equal danger of the “Moral Majority.” Prospects for war are more evident today.

How can we as the nation’s activists for the poor and helpless combat these evils? Who can the people turn to for leadership? Without an organizational form, there is no hope.

Personally I feel we must reorganize SCEF into the fighting organization it once was. We must unite with other groups, the old ones that have also been too silent and new ones that share our desires and ambitions to fight back against the oppression we must face.

SCEF has a long history which people are aware of and which can make it easier for them to get involved. They know its past and its people.

Now, as in the past, SCEF is willing to go further than other groups. Unlike many organizations in the South, it is multinational and takes up broad issues. For example, it was SCEF which initiated the work around Gary Tyler, a case which up till then had not been visible. It combines work against the Klan with fighting for jobs and social programs. It is also one of the few organizations that has a newspaper.

I do not feel that SCEF has any other alternatives but to continue. In the past we have made serious errors and as a result SCEF has reached a low point. But this does not mean that we must give up and see our future as hopeless.

The plight of the children of Atlanta is one vital area of work that we haven’t spoken to, except for the Southern Struggle. This is not enough. It’s not too late to begin to take steps in that direction in Atlanta and from SCEF chapters throughout the South.


My suggestion is for SCEF to go again to the masses, listen to their needs and respond to them in a positive way. Importantly, we must always remember to earnestly hear their suggestions for solutions and include them in decision-making at all times. Who could have better solutions than those who are most affected?

Let those of us who are SCEF members renew our fighting spirit and rise up again to help build a South where all peoples can survive in a manner which the Constitution supposedly guarantees.

The tasks before us will not be easy, but we have shown in the past that we can rise to the occasion. We can and we must do it again. Otherwise the greed and hate that surround us will conquer us.