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George Clarke

Illinois Miners on the Go for Tom Mooney

(December 1931)

From The Militant, Vol. IV No. 34 (Whole No. 93), 5 December 1931, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

STAUNTON, ILL. – The campaign for the release of Tom Mooney has broken ground in the coal fields of Illinois. On the initiative of the St. Lonis Brunch of the Communist League of America (Opposition) and thru the instrumentality of the St. Louis United Front Mooney Conference, the movement has got under way. Twenty-six delegates, – from eight U.W.M.A. locals representing approximately 5,000 miners, the Communist League of America (Opposition) and the Communist Party, responded to the call of the Staunton Pardon Mooney Club and met in the Staunton Labor Temple, Lodge Hall, on Sunday, November 20, at 2 p.m.

After disposing of preliminaries, the conference buckled down to business. The conference elected its officers and committees then proceeded to a discussion on methods for the beginning of systematic mass activity for the release of Mooney. The main speech in the discussion was made by comrade Stamm of the St. Louis Communist League of America (Opposition) who, basing himself on Tom Mooney’s appeal of August 20, stressed the importance of a genuine united front; the broadening of the conference to include other organizations in the vicinity of Staunton; mass meetings, demonstrations, etc. Elected on the resolutions committee were Tash of the Communist Party, Clarke of the Communist League of America (Opposition) and Hede (U.M.W.A.).

The committee presented two resolutions. Both were adopted unanimously. The resolution referring to the criminal syndicalist law was amended following a heated discussion but the spirit of the document remained unchanged. Telegrams were sent to Governor Rolph, demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Tom Mooney; to the Prosecuting Attorney of Franklin County, Ill., demanding the quashing of the indictment of the seven victims recently arrested, and their release; to Tom Mooney greeting him and pledging a struggle on his behalf.

A motion introduced by a U.M.W.A. delegate, placing the conference on record as denouncing a malicious slander which appeared in the Illinois Miner of November 28 to the effect that Tom Stamm in the name of the Communist League of America (Opposition) was to debate with Chas. Blome against the release of Mooney, and demanding that the Illinois Miner print a correction, was unanimously carried.

An executive committee representing each local union, the Communist Party, the Communist League of America (Opposition) was elected and will work out plans to broaden the conference and extend its activity. We would like to inquire of the Communist Party as to whether its participation in this conference is a change of policy, and why the I.L.D. and the N.M.U. were conspicuous by their absence?

The conference was a success from many points of view. The delegations were representative ones, and militancy was outstanding.

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