George Clarke Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

George Clarke

SWP Election News

Campaigning for Socialism

(11 October 1948)

From The Militant, Vol. 12 No. 41, 11 October 1948, pp. 1 & 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Two blessed events occurred in Connecticut last week.

The first was the launching of the state electoral organization of the SWP on Sun. Oct. 3 in Hartford attended by an impressive ceremony in keeping with the birth of a new Trotskyist institution. Delegates were present from New Haven, New Britain, Bristol, Hartford and other Connecticut cities and a fraternal delegation from Massachusetts and New York.

The nomination of our national ticket, of the state presidential electors and of Morris Chertov, candidate for Governor was ratified unanimously. A state platform was adopted and speeches of greetings were heard from Lawrence P. Trainor, Massachusetts SWP State Organizer and by yours truly for the National Campaign Committee. Alvin Berman, State Campaign Director was in the chair.

On the speakers rostrum was a battery of radio mikes representing the ABC and Yankee networks and independent stations which carried the speeches of Dobbs and Chertov to all parts of the state. As the program got under way, voices of radio announcers could be heard from all corners of the room saying: “We are speaking from the Bond Hotel here in Hartford where the Socialist Workers Party is nominating ...” And that night, as we drove home exhilarated from our afternoon experience, we heard the entire program rebroadcast over two other stations.

The next day newspapers all over the state reported the convention doings.

The second Blessed Event was the birth of a nine-pound baby girl to the wife of our candidate for Governor the day before the convention. The convention roared its approval. Two strapping babies had come into the world at the same time.

Campaigning at the Plant Gates

Farrell Dobbs went back to the huge Westinghouse plant in East Pittsburgh where Grace Carlson had been a month ago. It was another rip-roaring meeting. Eloise Gordon writes that more than a thousand were listening in the street, sitting on the steps leading up to the plant and leaning out of the window. “Farrell held them spellbound. A worker alighted from the street car and stopped right where he landed, rooted to the street as Farrell let ’em have it.”

They’re going back to the Westinghouse gates when Manny Terbovich, Chicago SWP organizer, gets into town at the end of the month to address meetings of Slovenian Workers on the Tito-Stalin conflict.

Spreading the Word

An additional 200,000 copies of the National Election Platform made their way into the homes of workers in the form of a reprint of the full text which appeared in the Denver Post, the biggest paper in the city which circulates throughout the entire Rocky Mountain region. That’s the soil of big class battles, ploughed up by the Western Federation of Miners, the I.W.W., by Bill Haywood and Gene Debs. It’s a good place for Trotskyist ideas.

A big and very effective part of this campaign, which has not received enough notice in this column is the campaign on the streets in New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Los Angeles and other cities. For New Yorkers, soapboxing is a tradition but in other parts of the country it is a new experience.

Detroit is particularly enthusiastic about their sound-truck street meetings. Jack Gaynor reports a meeting of 250 in a Negro neighborhood. A novel feature was the mike they had circulating through the audience for people to ask questions.

Among the questions asked were: When will the Third World War begin? What has happened to the promises made to the Negroes before and during the war? The audience was attentive and sympathetic.

The New York Campaigner estimates that in the 25 street meetings already held some 5,000 persons have heard our speakers, bought $60 worth of campaign literature, took 4,500 copies of the election platform and signed about 50 interest and Dobbs-Carlson Club cards. Several workers informed us at these meetings that they were changing from Wallace to Dobbs and some have already joined the party.

On the Air

This week our Detroit campaigners won a victory in a two-months long battle with station WWJ, biggest radio station in Michigan for equal time with Glen Taylor who had been interviewed over the station last July. They took the case through all FCC channels and, finally WWJ came across. On Mon. Oct. 11 at 11:30 p.m. Grace Carlson will be interviewed over the station.

Up in Duluth, there was a rebroadcast of Comrade Carlson’s speech on Oct. 4. We will have our first Iowa broadcast In Des Moines over KWDM in Des Moines, with Grace speaking.

We got a good press in Pittsburgh again. Lengthy interviews with photographs of comrade Dobbs were carried in all editions of the Pittsburgh Press, the Sun Telegraph and a good sized write-up in the Pittsburgh Courier, leading Negro newspaper. The Press quotes Farrell as saying that “America is one place where the fascists can be whipped by the left.”

The N.Y. Times gave its first substantial write-up to our campaign in reporting the Hartford convention. The story must have been too hot because it was jerked out of the second edition. There was plenty of publicity, as usual, in Minneapolis about the filing, and write-ups in the Youngstown Vindicator of Farrell’s trip.

The Campaign Tours

Farrell Dobbs will speak at a waterfront meeting in San Francisco on Oct. 7 and at an indoor meeting the next day. Then he will fly to Los Angeles where a big rally will be held on the 10th after which he returns to New York. Grace Carlson has just returned from a flying trip to Washington and is now in Milwaukee.

New York is working hard to build up its biggest Rally for a Socialist America on Oct. 27 at the Hotel Diplomat.

George Clarke Archive   |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 26 March 2023