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Henry Judd

The APM Meets, ‘Discusses,’
Passes Stalinist Resolutions

(April 1941)

From Labor Action, Vol. 5 No. 15, 14 April 1941, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

NEW YORK – Last week end – April 5 and 6, to be exact – there took place in this city a gathering of the Stalinist clan and tribesmen from various sections of the United States.

The first day of the conference was completely and literally a washout! A public meeting, scheduled to be held in the huge open-air auditorium of Randall’s Island, was called off on account of a substantial rain. The committee in charge of the affair hastily transferred the sessions of the American People’s Meeting to Mecca Temple in the city proper.

The time consumed by the convention was Saturday evening – devoted entirely to speech-making and to song-singing by the International Workers Order chorus – and all day Sunday. On Sunday the APM split up into various panel discussions which adopted resolutions. These resolutions, in turn, were presented to the body as a whole on Sunday evening.

Openly Stalinist

Strange to say, nobody offered a single amendment to any resolution – either at the panel discussions or at the convention meeting as a whole. Every resolution – big, small and medium-sized – was unanimously adopted. At the Sunday evening session (after James P. Davis of the National Negro Congress and Stalinist vice-presidential candidate at the last election had spent a good deal of time in a money-raising speech) the panel resolutions were adopted. The resolution was read, or reported on, in five minutes and ONE MINUTE discussion per speaker was permitted from the floor!

It is really unnecessary to prove that the APM was a completely Stalinist-dominated affair. No bones were made about it! The Daily Worker and the Dean of Canterbury’s collection of Jesuitical lies called Soviet Power were sold openly everywhere. The entire proceeding from a practical standpoint (ushering, maintaining order, etc.) were handled by hundreds of New York members of the Young Communist League; every Stalinist publication, song sheet, record, art magazine, photograph, moving picture, etc., was represented in one way or another in the decorative lobby devoted – so it was said – to illustrating the activities of the APM. And finally, speaker after speaker mentioned the Communist Party in one way or another – in a laudatory fashion, we need hardly add. James P. Davis modestly admitted that he had written the major resolution adopted at the convention.

Who was there? According to the Daily Worker there were over 4,000 delegates, representing the Lord only knows how many tens of thousands. They were elected – according to the same source – by local APM councils, trade unions, fraternal groups, general social and welfare movements, etc.

This is stuff and nonsense or, more accurately, “twaddle.” The overwhelming bulk of those present came first from New York City itself and, second, were probably for the most part outright Communist Party members elected from the dozen and one innocent and “stooge” outfits set up by the CP.

There were present, undoubtedly, a substantial group of genuine working class delegates and militants. Many of them – when they got a chance to talk – made fighting speeches about local strike or civil liberty conditions. But these genuine delegates were completely swamped in the stereotyped procedures of the Stalinist machine.

What’s Wrong with the APM?

What was accomplished? What was the upshot of the whole thing? Well, a bunch of resolutions were adopted and a manifesto, ringing with indignant anti-war phrases and promises of action, was ordered to be circulated in a million copies.

But from a serious standpoint, from the standpoint of a genuine anti-war movement, it was all cut-and-dried. How easy it was to imagine the same group of people shouting the exact opposite slogans and passing the exact opposite resolutions if Stalin should jump over to the camp of the democratic-capitalist powers. The pacifist and anti-war protestations of the APM are fake and will change tomorrow with a change in Moscow’s policy. This is proved by the fact that no one dared offer a resolution which would explicitly state that the APM would refuse to support the United States in ANY war – no matter who its ally.

No, the trouble with the APM is NOT merely that it is a pacifist organization – which it is not! The trouble with it is that it is run by one of the partners of the Hitler-Stalin war alliance, and you can make a good guess which is the partner.

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