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Grace Carlson

Campaigning in Michigan

(30 August 1948)

From The Militant, Vol. 12 No. 35, 30 August 1948, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The most interesting parts of any tour are the “firsts.” And we’ve had a lot of “firsts” on this campaign tour – starting out with the “first” Socialist Workers Party meetings in Salt Lake City, Denver and Boulder; going on to the “first” local SWP broadcast in Indiana over Hammond’s station WJOB, and continuing here in Michigan with a record number of “firsts.”

My appearance before the membership of the motor building unit of Ford Local 600, UAW-CIO in Detroit on Aug. 15 was my “first” union meeting on this tour. In fact, it was the “first” time that an SWP Candidate had ever appeared before the membership of the world’s largest union. The friendly reception and the generous applause were features of the meeting which will not quickly forgotten.

Pontiac, an auto center about 30 miles from Detroit, was the scene of a few other “firsts.” We had, the “first” SWP meeting in Pontiac and the "first” open-air meeting on this tour. The numbers of Pontiac workers who stayed for the whole meeting, their very obvious enthusiasm, the interest in The Militant and other party literature combined to make this Pontiac “first” a highly successful venture.

On the following night, the “first” Trotskyist meeting was held in Saginaw, a General Motors town north of Flint. The interest cards signed and the literature sold marked this Saginaw meeting as a successful “first” also. A Saginaw News reporter and a photographer had their “first” experience in covering an SWP meeting – and it was a pretty educational experience all around.

Early Saturday morning, Aug. 21, we had a very unusual “first” – a radio interview over Station WMRP at Flint’s Municipal Market. Genora Dollinger, Flint Organizer and SWP candidate for U.S. Senator had made the arrangements for the interview beforehand. The interviewer asked many questions about the party program and was very gratifying to be able to tell this radio audience of Michigan workers and farmers rha; we propose taking control away from Wall Street and building a Workers and Farmers Government in the United States.

Of course we had a fine, inspiring campaign meetings in established party centers here in Michigan. The “firsts” are especially interesting though, because they mean that the Socialist Workers Party is on the march in this 1948 campaign!

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