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The New International, November 1943

The Minneapolis Case


From The New International, Vol. IX No. 10, November 1943, p. 290.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


We go to press just as a meager report arrives that the United States Supreme Court has curtly denied the petition of the leaders and militants of the Socialist Workers Party convicted under the Smith Act in the Minneapolis case. The court refused to hear the arguments of the defense, and thus side-stepped the embarrassing problem of expressing an opinion on the constitutionality of the Act under which the defendants were convicted. It now seems that further legal recourse is barred, and that only presidential action can intervene to save the comrades from serving their sentences of from twelve months and a day to eighteen months.

The facts in the case are well known to our readers. The militants of the SWP were brought to trial because the Teamsters’ Union in Minneapolis which was officered and influenced by them was a thorn in the side of the employers and the reactionary labor bureaucracy. The government very graciously accommodated both, by getting the SWP comrades out of the way. The fact that these comrades exercized their democratic rights, both before and after the United States entered the “War for Democracy,” to point out its imperialist character, has not served to convince the government that they should be permitted to continue at liberty.

Notorious fascists remain at large; adulators of Hitler and Mussolini are in the highest places in the government and on the floor of both Houses of Congress; if one of them is in prison, like Mosley in England, his health and comfort are the government’s great concern. But revolutionists, whose only crime, according to the court itself, is their opinions and their refusal to renounce them – they must go to prison.

The persecution and prosecution of the SWP, in the Minneapolis case, in the hounding of The Militant, as well as the persecution of the Workers Party in the harrassing of Labor Action, are of a piece with the growing reaction against labor. Into the same pattern fall the imprisonment of the SWP comrades, the freezing of wages, the imposition of exorbitant taxes upon workers, no-strike “pledges” extorted from labor and no-strike legislation threatened against labor, job-freezing ... and fabulous profits. Class rule goes hand in glove with class justice.

The New International reiterates its indignant protest against the persecution of the SWP comrades and denounces the blatant hypocrisy of the supporters of the “war for democracy” who deny the democratic right of opinion to their critics and political opponents. Our readers join with us in sending the warmest salute and expression of solidarity to the comrades who face imprisonment at the hands of people who stupidly think they can cow revolutionists and stupidly ignore the lessons of history.

All our friends are strongly urged to give utmost aid and rapport to the Civil Rights Defense Committee, 160 Fifth Avenue, New York City, which is in charge of the Minneapolis case.

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Last updated on 11 July 2015