Charles Curtiss Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index   |   ETOL Main Page


Two Philly Oppositionists Held for Sedition

(March 1931)

From The Militant, Vol. IV No. 5, 1 March 1931, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Two of our comrades, members of the Philadelphia branch of the Communist League of America (Opposition) have been arrested on charges of sedition and are being held under $1,000 bail for distributing leaflets in front of a “shelter for homeless men” and for calling on the employed and unemployed workers to demonstrate on International Unemployment Day at the mass meeting of the unemployed on City Hall Plaza.

Comrades Goodman and Morgenstern were distributing our unemployment leaflet. The passage in the leaflet (The Open Letter to the Central Committee of the party) for which they were indicted and which the District Attorney termed seditious, reads as follows:

“There can be no solution to the unemployment problem under capitalism. The solution can be found only in the Socialist revolution and, finally, on a world scale.”

For calling upon the workers to fight against unemployment and for the six hour day, against capitalist rationalization and for unemployment insurance paid by the bosses and their government, for long term credits to the Soviet Union (where unemployment does not exist) in order to gain employment for more American workers and at the same time to help put through the Five Year Plan and lastly, for pointing out to the workers that unemployment can be abolished only by the world revolution, our two comrades have been snatched up by capitalist class justice. Together with scores and hundreds of other courageous working class militants they are threatened with imprisonment and with isolation from their class brothers in struggle.

Under the outrageous Flynn Sedition Law of the state of Pennsylvania the Communist fighters Peltz, Holmes, Resetar, Muselin and Zima have already been incarcerated, while Bill Lawrence, Tess Ryder and Anna Lynn are awaiting sentence and Leon Goodman and Berman Morgenstern are up for trial. The ravages of capitalist justice must not be allowed to go on unhampered. The entire revolutionary working class of America must be aroused to action in defense of their valiant pioneers. Comrades Goodman and Morgenstern, as well as the other arrested Communists need the help of the united forces of the whole communist and Left wing movement in this country, in the fight for their freedom. Thus far, they have been furnished only with an attorney by the Civil Liberties Union. The local organization of the I.L.D. has been appealed to for help, and we are awaiting their response.

On Sunday, March 1, an Anti-Sedition Conference has been called by the I.L.D. in Philadelphia, to organize the struggle against the Flynn Sedition Law as part of the struggle against capitalist class justice all over the country. This Anti-Sedition Conference must be made into a real, united front conference in defense of all class war prisoners, into a real fighting weapon of the working class.

In these times of deep capitalist crisis and growing workers’ unrest, the savage onslaught of the bosses and their government against the liberties and rights of the workers, as well as against their living standards, can be repulsed only by the combined efforts of the entire working class, by the fighting unity of its revolutionary vanguard. Only a broad united front of struggle, composed of all elements fighting capitalist justice on a revolutionary class basis can save Goodman and Morgenstern, Peltz, Holmes, Lawrence, Ryder and Lynn and the others from the fangs of the bosses and their government.

Charles Curtiss Archive   |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 4.2.2013