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Ben Hall

Labor Action Writer Answers a Reader

(August 1943)

Readers of Labor Action Take the Floor ..., Labor Action, Vol. 7 No. 34, 23 August 1943, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Dear Editor:

In the August 2 issue of Labor Action you printed a letter signed by Jerry F. Foch, executive secretary-treasurer of the Ferndale Labor Club.

Referring to an article I wrote in the July 25 issue entitled UAW Should Organise Against Klan, the Ferndale Labor Club resents the fact that I mentioned an attack by a white gang in the Negro neighborhood of Ferndale and denies that this took place.

The reference in that and other articles was NOT to the events of June 21 but to an incident which occurred in March. This incident and others like it in Detroit were important factors which led to the June 21 outbreaks. The event was reported in both the Michigan Chronicle and the Detroit Tribune, both papers dated April 3. The Michigan Chronicle writes:

“Seizing on a fight between colored and white students at Lincoln High School on Nine Mile Road in Ferndale as the provocation, a group of White hoodlums led by members of the Ku Klux Klan instituted a reign of terror among the colored residents of the Eight Mile Road community last Wednesday which did not subside until Friday night as state troopers, city and county officers blanketed the area.

“During the three-day reign of terror the Klan-inspired hoodlums rode through the district in automobiles, firing shots that endangered business establishments along Eight Mile Road. Windows were smashed in four business establishments on the highway.”


Ben Hall (Detroit)

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