Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

James Johnson Acquitted

James Johnson, the black auto worker who shot two foremen at Chrysler’s Eldon Ave. Gear and Axle Plant last July, was righteously acquitted of murder by a Detroit jury of eight blacks and four whites Johnson’s courageous act clearly revealed the class contradictions in America. The Gear and Axle plant employs 4500 workers toiling under the most oppressive working conditions. An inch and half of oil covered the floor. The drill presses, cutters, and grinders had no safety guards. Overhead conveyers had no screens to catch falling parts.

On that night in July, brother James was taken off his job as a conveyer loader and replaced by someone with two weeks seniority. He was switched to a brake oven job, where he worked in 120 degree heat.

Tired of harassment and inhuman conditions, Johnson marched into the labor relations’ office, accompanied by a foreman and a “union” steward. The brother was suspended on the spot for insubordination. The bootlicking steward went along with the decision.

Security guards tossed Johnson out of the plant. He returned with an M-l carbine. When a job setter tried to disarm him, Johnson fired his carbine. He then threw it down, commenting “I’m satisfied.” Two foremen and the job setter lay dead.

At the trial, the defense concentrated on the plant conditions which had provoked Johnson to his revolutionary act. A white worker, who was a friend of the three dead men said, addressing the judge, “You ought to go to that plant and watch those men and see what its like.”

The jury, judge, lawyers and defendant then toured the plant. As Johnson walked through handcuffed, the workers cried out, “Right on, Brother Johnson.”

The plant was freshly painted, in an attempt to cover up, but everybody saw what things were really like.

The jury vote for acquittal was unanimous. To make it legal, they called it “by reason of temporary insanity.”

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