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T. Stamm

Execution of Scottsboro Boys Stayed

(April 1932)

From The Militant, Vol. V No. 17 (Whole No. 113), 23 April 1932, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Two developments in the Scottsboro case within the past week testify to the protest it has aroused in the working class. The execution has been stayed to June 24 upon the appeal of the I.L.D. to the U.S. Supreme Court. No doubt the bourbon tiger still feels that its prey is secure. It feels that it can afford this small concession and expects that its judicial superior will confirm its finding.

The State Department has applied to the Governor for information about the case for transmission to U.S. consulates abroad. Unquestionably this is a reaction to the working class pressure abroad being brought to bear on the diplomatic representatives of dollar imperialism.

In the consciousness of the international working class the memories of the Sacco-Vanzetti and Mooney cases are still green. They do not need legal proofs of the innocence of the Scottsboro boys. The American frame-up system is familiar to them. In this case they see another attack on the international working class.

And they are protesting. They hold meetings and send cables of protest. The mother of one of the boys, Mrs. Wright, will tour Germany under the auspices of the International Red Aid to speak for all nine of the boys.

Will the U.S. Supreme Court confirm the decision of the Alabama Supreme Court? It may. It may reserve it. One thing is sure. Only an aroused working class movement can save these nine members of our class. Between now and June 24 the time is short. The small concessions the capitalist class has yielded must be a stimulus to yet greater activity. Our protest must be organized. Of this there is yet little sign. The I.L.D. is not doing it. The C.P. is not doing it. They limit themselves to calls for demonstrations in the Communist press.

This is not sufficient. Only a comparatively small number of workers read the Communist press. Only a small number respond to the party’s calls. The overwhelming bulk of the working class is still non-Communist. It must be approached thru the press it reads, thru the organizations it supports.

For this is required the tactic of the united front of working class organizations. This the party and the I.L.D. should take the lead in organizing. There is no other way to build a mass movement to free the Scottsboro boys.

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