From The Militant, Vol. II Nos. 9–10, 1–15 May 1929, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).
Minneapolis workers have the opportunity, in the 1929 municipal election campaign, to vote for a Communist candidate. The entry of comrade C.R. Hedlund for the post of mayor by the Opposition has a meaning of more than ordinary importance for the revolutionary movement here. It signifies the adherence to the teachings of Lenin of those energetic and trusted fighters who have been expelled from the Party by a small group of apparatus agents of the Lovestone-Foster regime.
It is a significant fact that after the split in the Party in the Twin Cities caused by the expulsion of the majority of the leading comrades who constitute the Party’s mass connections in the trade unions, the labor party movement, the Jewish workers’ organizations and the Scandinavian clubs, the “official” Party has made not even a single gesture that would indicate an intention to take advantage of the splendid opportunity offered for Communist work in the present city election.
In spite of the fact that most of the expelled comrade’s were the very ones, because of their experience and ability, to be called upon to carry out the Party program in the political campaign in Minnesota during the national election last fall, as well as in all past campaigns, and did an excellent job by placing Minnesota among the first few states in the whole country in the number of votes for the Communist candidates, these same comrades arc now singled out in the press of the Party as the ones who have no understanding of the tasks of the Party and are, in fact, the ones who deliberately tried to betray the Party to the fakers of the farmer-labor movement.
The expelled comrades of the Opposition formed the only bloc within the Party during the last campaign to put up a determined struggle against the opportunist maneuvers of the majority of the D.E.C. when they tried time after time to go into some backdoor deal with these same fakers. It is unquestionably true that the comrades of the Opposition, together with the whole Party, had a false perspective of the development of the Labor Party, having been taught over a long period by the leaders of the Party and the Comintern, the dangerous and reactionary theory of a political party based upon two classes – the workers aid the farmers. Because of this numerous mistaken were made in the labor party work. But it is just as true that the comrades of the Opposition never made the mistake of advocating the support of Democrats posing as Farmer-Laborites, is was proposed by Tallentire in the 8th Congressional District, and again by Loves-tone, while denouncing Shipstead before the D.E.C. last March and almost in the same breath proposing to put up the reactionary county attorney Olson for Governor (see Lovestone’s speech printed in the April 1928 Communist).
It is also a matter of record that during the election work last November and also after the campaign, the question of the Party’s participation in the Minneapolis municipal election was raised by the comrades now expelled. An outline of the work before the Party in this campaign was made and generally accepted by the thin majority of the D.E.C. Since that time events have demonstrated the correctness of that estimate. The Labor officialdom have gone over more and more to the side of the adventurous political charlatans in the Farmer-Labor Party. This, together with the still more recent collaboration of the trade union officials with the so-called labor representatives in the city council, who are part of the machine of the local gas and street car company, in preventing the development of a real rank and file fight on the big scab building job of the N.W. National Bank, presents an opportunity for revolutionary campaign work which must be utilized.
Our candidate for the post of mayor, C.R. Hedlund, is qualified for the responsibilities of this fight by a life-long record of left wing activity in the railroad unions as well as by years of membership and active life in the Party and finally by his complete acceptance of the platform of the Opposition. His unhesitating stand in defense of the comrades first expelled is in keeping with his whole history in the labor movement. He has carried the banner of the Party in previous campaigns. In this campaign, with the additional handicap of a fight against the Opposition by vicious and unscrupulous Party bureaucrats, we will have need of such a standard bearer. Comrade Hedlund, on a Communist platform, contested the 10th Congressional District in the general election last November and in spite of a full fight by the Republican machine and a bitter fight from the farmer-labor officials received some twenty-four thousand votes.
The platform for the campaign in this election consists of several local and partial proposals based on the needs of the workers in the industries generally, making up in the aggregate the following demands:
- The right to organize, to strike and to picket without police interference.
- The abolition of all employment agencies and the placing of workers on the job through their unions.
- A fund administered by the unions for the relief of unemployment.
- The substitution of party designation for the present system of “non-partisan” filings for political office.
- The organization of a labor party.
- The recognition by the United States of the Soviet Republic and the defense of the Soviet Union against the war danger.
- In addition, our agitation in the campaign will emphasize the need for the amalgamation of the craft unions and the strengthening of the fighting power of the workers.
- The organization of the unorganized workers.
- Rank and file control of the several strikes now going on and the rallying of the unorganized workers to support them.
- Against the growing danger of imperialist war.
- For the union of all revolutionary workers in on the basis of Leninist teachings in the fight for power in the United States.
Comrade Hedlund has already spoken before several workers’ organizations, and endorsement of the platform will be secured from a number of unions and other working class organizations. The comrades of the Opposition will organize meetings in the different sections of the city and as the weather permits we will hold outdoor gatherings in support of the campaign. Literature will of course be distributed to the extent that available funds permit.
We are out in the name of the Communist Opposition in the present election struggle to make a serious and determined attempt to organize against the Bosses! Against their state machinery! Against the bureaucrats in the labor and revolutionary movement! For registering a big Communist vote for our candidate!
NOTE: Since this article was written, the Stalinites have entered their candidate in the primaries. – Ed.
Last updated: 12.8.2012