Ben Hall Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index   |   ETOL Main Page

Ben Hall

New York Party Organizes
Outdoor Rally Against War

(June 1940)

From Labor Action, Vol. 4 No. 11, 24 June 1940, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

A minimum of 2,000 workers witnessed the anti-war parade and series of mass meetings organized by the Workers Party in the East Bronx section of New York City on Friday night, June 14. This action, climaxed by a meeting of close to 1,000 people on the corner of Tremont and Prospect Avenues initiated a one month campaign of intensive anti-war propaganda.

The parade began at the headquarters of the Bronx branch at 1334 Wilkins Avenue and wound its way through the East Bronx; stopping at interva1s of ten blocks for brief open air meetings lasting 20 minutes each.

At each of these open air meetings there were from 200–400 workers present attracted by the slogans of the marchers: “Fight Against the Draft”, “This is Wall Street’s War, Let the Bankers Fight,” “Stop Persecution of Foreign-Born Workers”.

At none of the meetings was there any trouble from the listeners. Where small groups of hecklers interfered, they were effectively squelched by others in the crowd. After each meeting, knots of people formed to discuss the Workers Party program for stopping Hitler.

At one point, three squad cars of police drew up and emphasized the need for fighting for democracy by tearing down the platform and banners and threatening to arrest all those who protested.

Defying a police order, the lines re-formed and the parade continued for another block where the police staged another raid. Again the lines re-formed, and the police made a last, and unsuccessful, attempt to keep the marchers from joining the wind-up open air rally which had been going on all evening at Prospect and Tremont Avenues. This rally was as large as the tremendous meetings held in the days of the anti-Coughlin agitation in the same area.

The campaign will continue with a large mass meeting in the Brownesville area on Friday, June 21: Twenty five thousand copies of a special anti-war leaflet have been issued. Indoor and outdoor meetings are being held all over the City by the branches of the Workers Party.

Ben Hall Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index   |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 18 February 2015