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George Clarke

SWP Election News

Campaigning for Socialism

(18 October 1948)

From The Militant, Vol. 12 No. 42, 18 October 1948, pp. 1 & 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

You see elsewhere on this page the pictures of the Socialist Workers Party standard bearers in this election from coast to coast. They occupy top place on the revolutionary scroll of honor in America. These candidates are not place-seekers or opportunists but working class fighters – every last one of them.

Their candidacy is a challenge – the only real challenge – in the midst of a hurricane of reaction to the profit-mad rulers of our country. Where others have retreated to the storm-cellars, the SWP candidates are out in front fighting for a new day for American labor. The best way to honor their fight and join their struggle is to vote SWP.

The SWP is on the presidential ballot in eleven states, and has local candidates on the ballot in two other states. Despite the seemingly small number, this is a great achievement for a first try. Its full significance is estimated in the editorial column.

Your campaign manager wants to doff his hat once again in tribute to the gallant comrades who put the party on the ballot – to the few who have done so much.

* * *

A roar of approval for our Presidential candidate from the stamping ground of Jack London and the Frisco General Strike reverberated across the country last weekend.

Farrell Dobbs covered the strike-bound waterfront in San Francisco for the Socialist Workers Party. From the, foot rtf the famous Embarcadero, he spoke over a loudspeaker system to hundreds of striking longshoremen and seamen telling them that the SWP supported their struggle against the shipowners “unequivocally and without reservations and qualifications.”

Bob Chester writes that the speeches were so clearly a call to working class struggle and the analysis so powerfully drawn that well-known Stalinists, old Wob-blies and young seamen stood around for well over an hour listening to every word. Bob says that the playing of old working class songs and the Internationale brought a light into many a worker’s eye.

From the Embarcadero, the candidates truck went to Fort Mason where the army has been trying to recruit scabs. Comrade Dobbs’ exposure of the army as a strikebreaking agency was in with the spirit of the pickets’ placards which read: “If you want to work for the army why don’t you join it?” and “No union man will pass this line.”

After the meeting one of the picket captains took the mike to announce that although the meeting was not sponsored by the ILWU, the union supported our rights and welcomed our speeches.

Comrade Dobbs also returns with glowing reports of magnificent meetings in Los Angeles. Next week we’ll have the full report.

Carlson Stumps the Northwest

Last week Comrade Carlson made a flying trip to Seattle, Highlights of the trip were a good-sized meeting of students on the University of Washington campus and a lively public meeting organized by the party. The party’s hall was crowded to the doors, consisting of many victimized Boeing workers, Negroes – a young and enthusiastic audience, Dan Roberts our Washing, ton gubernatorial candidate writes.

We Take Over Grand Central

With Minneapolis giving the inspiration, the New York comrades and campaign workers marched in and took over the Grand Central station in a welcome reception for The Only Woman Candidate for Vice-President on her arrival from speaking engagements in Milwaukee and a radio broadcast in Detroit. The station was full of comrades wearing sashes saying Welcome Dobbs and Carlson and distributing election platforms and leaflets announcing Grace’s arrival.

A great cheer went up as Grace came through the gate. Here she was greeted by Farrell Dobbs, who had arrived early that morning by plane. Farrell presented Grace with a bouquet of red dahlias. By this time hundreds of onlookers had gathered around, and to the assembled crowd Grace and Farrell spoke briefly of the reception our great socialist platform had met from coast to coast. The reception concluded with lusty cheers for the, candidates and the singing of Solidarity.

But the capitalist press, which gives columns to the arrival of all type of characters, kept its iron curtain drawn against two of the bravest people in America.

From the Auto Empire

In a letter from Flint, a while back, there was a report of an NAACP meeting where Bill Yancey and Genora Dollinger our candidates for. Secretary of State and U.S. Senator from Michigan spoke. The report says that one of the conservatives tried to scare the audience with “the force and violence” claptrap.

Genora took him apart and had the audience applauding her repeatedly. Her theme was that human rights came before property rights and unjust laws must be fought as Jesus fought the laws of Pontius Pilate ... A round of applause goes to the comrades in Michigan who hold down jobs in the auto plants, function as union workers and campaign night after night for our candidates.

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