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James T. Farrell

Aid the Eighteen Class-War Prisoners
and Their Families

(February 1944)


From Fourth International, Vol. 5 No. 2, February 1944, p. 32.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Fourth International
116 University Place
New York 3, N.Y.

Dear Editors:

You have written editorials in your magazine upon the unjust imprisonment of the 18 leaders and members of the Socialist Workers Party and of Local 544-CIO Truckdrivers Union, who are now behind bars in three Federal penitentiaries.

These 18 Minneapolis Case prisoners were tried and convicted under the Smith “Gag” Act, not for anything they did, but for their socialist ideas and opinions. Three times the US Supreme Court refused to review the case which would have tested for the first time the constitutionality of this viciously anti-labor act. Thus by these imprisonments, people can now be deprived of their freedom to think and speak – in defiance of our guarantees under the Bill of Rights.

You can help our Committee, which is the authorized representative of the 18. We need funds to carry on our national campaign to secure pardon for the 18 and to fight for the repeal of the Smith “Gag” Law. We also need funds to provide relief for the wives and children of the 18 prisoners while they are incarcerated. In some of the families there are babies and children of school age who need food, clothing, medical care.

You can help us by asking your readers to aid in this important campaign by contributing to the Minneapolis Prisoners Pardon & Relief Fund. Checks should be sent to the Civil Rights Defense Committee, 160 Fifth Avenue, New York 10, N.Y.


James T. Farrell

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