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07 48 08 12 1934 3
07 48 08 12 1934 3 black white

SATURDAY; DECEMBER 8, 1934 Workers Party Declaration oi Principles cannot be. met by an amalgamation of the Second and Third Internationals or by an International based on a mixture of the bankrupt policies of the two. new, be, a Fourth, International, based on the theoretic and strategic principles laid down by Marx and Lenin, representing the historic continuity of the international revolutionary movement, and applying these basic principles to the historical realities of the present stage of capitalist decline, must be built.
The is prepared to eatablish fraternal relations with all groups, organizations and parties in other countries which stand on the same fundamental program as our own and to cooperate with them in the elaboration of a complete world program and the speediest possible establishment of the New Internationai.
STRUGGLE AGAINST IMPERIALIST WAR The Workers Party is pledged to a revolutionary struggle against war, which can be eliminated only by the overthrow of the society which breeds it. It will strive by every means in its power to prevent the outbreak of another imperialist war. It will combat the idea that it is to the interest of the workers to support. defense of the (capitalist. fntherland. based as this idea is on the conception of a community of interest between classes which capitalism by its very nature makes impossible.
Inder no circumstances will the give any support, directly or indirectly, to any war conducted by the capitalist government of the 0n the contrary, it will actively fight such a war and work not for the victory of the capitalist govern.
ment but its defeat. The :Workers Party rejects the utopian and illusory ideas of pacifism. We support the wars of the oppressed against the oppressor, of workers states against capitalist states, of the en.
slaved peoples against their imperialist exploiters, of the colonies against those who keep them in servl.
tude, of the nationalities, races and minorities who suffer under the yoke of a ruling caste. The policy of folded arms, passive resistance. conscientious objection. etc. is completely futile as a means of struggle against imperialist war, regardless of the sincerity and courage of those who resort to it. The answer to imperialist war is the workers revolution.
This policy holds good also in the event of a military alliance between the and the Soviet Union (an alliance which under certain circumstances the might be unable to avoid. In such a case the nnreservedly supporting the Soviet Workers State, would expose the treacherous aims of the government of imperialism in the alliance, call for its overthrow and its replacement by a revolutionary workers government which alone would be capable of making a loyal alliance with the S, and giving it unqualified support. in the war.
TIIE DEFENSE OF THE SOVIET UNION The Soviet Union is a workers state, product of the Russian revolution and beacon light of inspiration to the workers of the entire world. Despite all the difficulties imposed upon it by its isolation within a ring of capitalist enemies the Russian workers have already accomplished marvels, and have demonstrated beyond doubt that planned socialist production is manifestly superior to capitalist production even in its best period. The unconditional defense of the Soviet Union against capitalist; attack is an elementary duty of every worker. Any attempt by the impen lalists of any land to attack or undermine the Soviet Union will find the revolutionlsts of the Workers Party ready to defend it to the utmost. Fundamentally this real defense of the Soviet, Union depends not upon the League of Nations, non aggres sion pacts, or any such measures, but upon successful workers revolutions in other countries.
THE MAIN TASK The main and immediate task of the is the mobilization of the American masses for the struggle against capitalism and the preparation for its revolutionary overthrow. To this end the Party will work within the mass organizations of workers and farmers and will support and seek to give leadership to all their immediate practical struggles, strikes, demonstrations, mass action for relief and social insurance, fights against lynching, evictions, foreclosures, etc. The will participate with its own candidates and program in election campaigns, with.
out, however, sowing the fatal illusion that the workers can accomplish their emancipation by means of the ballot box. Election campaigns will serve primarily as a means of revolutionary propaganda.
Our candidates elected to Congress or other govern mental bodies will utilize their positions for the purpose of exposing the sham of capitalist democracy and promoting the development of the mass movement of the workers. It will carry on constant propaganda to educate the vanguard workers in the principles of revolutionary Marxism. Everywhere, it will seek to demonstrate in action the applicability of its principles and tactics and the competence of its leadership in the mass movements of the workers.
THE TRADE UNIONS The trade unions are the elementary and basic organs of working class defense against capitalist aggression, and of all trade unions the most impor.
tant are those of the workers in the large shops, mills, factories and mines of the basic industries.
With these as its base, the Party will penetrate similarly the unions and federations of all groups of workers, activizing and politicalizing their struggles.
The main aim of the in the trade unions is to infuse them with the spirit and policy of class struggle and to aid in developing a militant. leadership in accord therewith. To this end it will wage an irreconcilable struggle against the reactionary ofiicialdom of the trade union movement. We shall encourage and inspire workers in the unions to fight against autocracy, corruption and gangsterism and against the class collaboration tendency so prevalent in the trade union movement, wherever these appear. The stands for rank and file control and trade union democracy. It will take the initiative in organizing ihe left and the progressive forces to fight for a militant. class struggle policy and leadership in the trade union movement.
The stands for trade union unity; a divided trade union movement facilitates the progress of reaction and Fascism. The Workers Party is opposed to the Communist Party policy of building paper unions, mechanically controlled by the party, which are in no sense genuine mass organizations. The favors the organization of workers into unions affiliated with the of wherever possible, since the of represents the main mass of organized labor and the trend of workers now moving for organisation is in the same direction.
The Workers Party does not believe, however, that the American Federation of Labor has any right to claim a monopoly in the field of labor organization.
Too often the Federation ofi lcialdom has repelled workers in the basic industries by an insistence on craft union forms. In numerous cases, important groups have been forced out of its ranks by outright betrayal of strikes. by bureaucracy. racketeering and other evils. Where the masses are forced to form independent unions as a result of such. intolerable situations the will support them in their efforts and struggles. We are firmly opposed to the present maneuvers of the Communist Party for the arbitrary and mechanical liquidation of independent unions, regardless of the circumstances that called them into existence, their mass base, or the will of the membership. Where the of is unable or unwilling to organize the unorganized workers, especially in the basic industries, the will as»
sist them to form independent unions on an industrial basis. It will, however, continue to work for a united, industrially constructed and militant trade union movement The Workers Party stands for industrial unionism, and will press forward the issue of amalgamation in every field in which such action is necessary.
We warn the organized workers against the tendency, particularly noticeable since the NRA, to tie the trade union movement up with the capitalist government. This policy, nourished and supported by the leaders of the American Federation of Labor, must inevitably result, if It is allowed to prevail, in emasculatlng the unions, in restricting the right to strike, to picket and carry on any normal activity, and undermining the workers power of resistance.
AGRICULTURAL WORKERS AND FARMERS The section of the agricultural population on which the Workers Party bases itself directly consists of the agricultural laborers whose standard of living is even lower than that of the industrial workers and whose efforts to organize in order to improve their conditions are met by the most brutal repression. The organization of these workers into milltant unions is an essential part of the development of the revolutionary movement in the United States.
The Workers Party will give special attention to this task, and pledges its fullest support to all the struggles of the oppressed agricultural workers.
Millions of share croppers and tenant farmers in various sections of the United states have been reduced to virtual servitude and a peasant basis of existence. Even those farmers who nominally own the land they occupy, are loaded with a growing burden of mortgages and debts and under capitalism are less and less able to make a living from the sale of their produce. This situation has driven them to openly violent Holiday movements, milk strikes, anti foreclosure and anti eviction demonstrations, etc. These struggles, however, can have a consistently progressive characetr and can achieve lasting results only if they are directed against the capitalist system itself. For the farmers, as well, as for all oppressed groups, emancipation and security can come only by allying themselves with the working class in the struggle for a socialist society.
NEGRO. AND OTHER OPPRESSED RACIAL GROUPS The Negroes compose the most exploited and persecuted section of the population of this country.
Racial differences are used by the capitalist dicmtorship to drive down the standard of living of all workers and to keep them from uniting against their oppressors and thus achieving complete emancipation.
The Workers Party will labor uncoasingly to convince the white workers on the one band, and the workers of the Negro and other oppressed racial groups, such as the Japanese, Mexicans and Filipinos, on the other hand, that their interests are the same.
The elementary and basic task is to unite the work ers regardless of race in economic and political organizations for a common struggle. The stands for the complete equality of the Negroes and all other races and will fight against every form of race discrimination economic, political, social, against wage differentials, lynching, Jim Crowism, the barring of Negroes and other groups from the trade unions, and all other forms of racial and national chauvlnism. At the same time, we point out that: the Negro urban and rural masses cannot achieve deliverance by reliance upon Negro capitalists and middle class elements or a so calied Negro capitalism.
Only by the complete abolition of capitalism will they gain freedom from discrimination, exploitation and tyranny.
COLONIAL PEOPLE The workers in the United States and the peoples of Latin America, the Philippines, Hawaii and Liberia, have one enemy in common American im perialism. The Workers Party pledges its unqualified and active support to these peoples in every progressive struggle they undertake to gain the unhampered right of self determination, free from military, political or economic intervention or pressure by imperialism. Our Party stands for the unconditional and immediate independence of the Philippine Islands, Hawaii, Porto Rico, the Virgin islands and all other colonies and dependencies of the and for the withdrawal of all troops from any territory outside the boundaries of the The Workers Party is further pledged to active, opposition to any endeavor by American imperialism, be it open or masked, to infringe upon the right of self determination of any nation or people.
The revolutions in the colonies, semi colonies, and spheres of influence of imperialism will play an important part in the revolutionary struggle to overthrow the imperialist exploiters at home, and vice versa. successful revolution in the United States would be decisive for the emancipation of the toiling masses throughout Latin America. On the other hand the revolution beginning in one of the Latin American countries, or in one of the colonies or semi colonies of the United states, can spread throughout the continent and powerfully accelerate the development of the class struggle and the revolution in the United States. The struggle against imperialism at home and throughout its vast empire is thus indissolubly linked together. The Workers Party will actively support and endeavor to coordinate all the manifestations of this struggle.
PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL WORKERS The professional and technical workers have a dis tinctive contribution to make both in the struggle to overthrow capitalism and in the building of a new social order. With these considerations in mind the will help to build up economic organizations of these workers and seek to penetrate existing or.
ganizations. It will seek to overcome the traditional hesitancy of American professional and technical workers to take part in social and political activity and to draw them along with all other exploited groups into the labor and revolutionary movement.
TIIE UNEMPIADVED The great and largely permanent army of the unemployed during the period of the rapid decline of capitalism is a vast depository of every kind of social discontent. In a position where the conduct of their lives has lost social meaning, the unemployed will loin with the movement that convincingly promises them a new and integral place in the social order.
Unless the working class movement by giving support to their struggles and by convincing presentation of the revolutionary way out of the crisis, draws in the unemployed, they will be a prey to chauvinlstic and military propaganda, to fake social nostruma and to Fascist demagogy. The Workers Party will moist all shorts to erect harriershetween the em.
ployEd and unemployed, will constantly stress the community of interest between them, and will show Constitution Resolved, bat the following document be adopted as the CONSTITUTION OF THE WORKERS PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES, and be it further Resolved. That all members of the American Workers Party and of the Communist League of America, as certified by the Secretaries of the respective organizations shall become Charter Members of the workers Party of the upon signifying their desire to do so, and are eligible for elec tion or appointment to all offices, and be it further Resolved, That all persons applying for membership within sixty days after the first Convention, and; whose applications are accepted, shall have the status of Charter Members. and be it further Resolved, That the National Committee of the Workers Party of the in the period between the initial and the second National Conventions, is empowered to increase its membership up to and including thirty by two thirds vote, and to elect additional members accordingly, likewise by twmthirds vote. O CONSTITUTION OF THE WORKTRS PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES ARTICLE 1: NAME The name of the organization shall be the WORKERS PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES (hereinafter referred to as the Party. ARTICLE II: PURPOSE The purpose of the Party is set forth in its Declaration of Principles.
ARTICLE III: INTERNATIONAL AFFILIATION The Party, at its launching, is affiliated with no other group, party, or organization in the United States or elsewhere. Its National Committee is empowered to enter into fraternal relations with groups and parties in other countries, and, if they stand on the some fundamental program as its own, to cooperate with them in the elaboration of a complete world program. and the speediest possible establishment of the new revolutionary International. Action on any organizational affiliation must be submitted to a National Convention of the Party.
ARTICLE IV: MEMBERS Section All those who actept the Declaration of Principles adopted at the First Convention, who agree to abide by the disicipline of the Party, and to engage actively in its work. are eligible to membership.
Section Every member must belong to a duly constituted branch or the Party in the locality where he resides. if such a branch exists. In localities where no branch exists, members shall be admitted as members at lnrge.
Section Applications for membership shall be acted upon by the local branch concerned, in accordance with the general regulations laid down by the National Committee, and subject to review by higher units of the Party. Applications for membership ntlarge shall be acted upon by the National Committee, or by such committee as it shall designate.
Section An official Membership Card shall be issued to each member.
Section member desiring to leave one locality for another must apply to his branch for permission, and receive a transfer card, which is to be deposited with the branch of the locality to which the member moves. If no branch exists in the new locality, the member shall remain a member at large.
Section The National Committee is empowered to accept groups or organizations of individuals.
eligible under Section of this Article, as members en bloc, and to assign them to the proper branches.
ARTICLE V: ORGANIZATION Section The basic unit of the Party shall be the branch. branch shall consist of not. less than nor more than 50 members. When a branch achieves a membership of 50, it shall be subdivided into two branches. Exceptions can be made only by permission of the National Committee.
Section Wherever two or more branches exist in the same locality, a Local Execiltlve Committee shall be formed by delegates from the respective branches elected on the basis of proportional representation.
Section In such cases as may be decided by the National Committee, District Executive Committees, comprlsiug delegates from a given group of local branches, shall be formed.
ARTICLE VI: ADMINISTRATION Section The highest governing body of the Party is the National Convention. Its decisions shall be binding upon the entire membership.
Section Between National Conventions, the anthority oi the Convention, subject to the decisions of TI! MILITANT in action how the fight of employed and unemployed against their common oppressor can be united. It supports and helps organize the struggles of the unemployed masses for relief, against evictions, for social insurance, etc.
THE YOUNG WORKERS The capitalist system has throughout its existence been marked by the most hideous exploitation of children and youth. Capitalist society today cannot offer jobs even at starvation wages to millions of its youth, but only frustration or actual destruction under Fascist reaction or war. The working and student youth will find in the Workers Party which aims at the establishment of a socialist society the constant champion of their interests. The Party will undertake as one of its most urgent and important tasks the building of a youth organization embracing young workers. young farmers and young students based on the party principles of revolutionary Marxism.
THE UNITED FRONT In spite of organizational and political differences.
the workers, to defend their rights and advance their interests, must achieve united action. If they do not, wage and relief cuts, increasing abrogation of polltical and civil liberties and finally war and the victory of fascism are assured. This does not mean the false and in practice disruptive united front such as was proposed by the Communist party in the unitedfront from below. Likewise the rejects arbitrary arrangements between bureaucratic officials Imposed upon the masses. and so called non aggression pacts which in practice mean capitulation to reformist tendencies since they obscure differences of principle between reformists and the revolutionary party. The Workers Party stands for an honest.
straightforward, carefully defined united front of organizations on specific and immediate issues facing the workers. Such united front actions in which the participating organizations retain complete political and organizational independence develop the mass power of the workers, teach the workers the need and value of unity, expose the weakness or treachery of reactionary and reformist leaders. and give the revolutionary party the opportunity to show in action the correctness. of its principles and tactics. Thus, united 7front actions are indispensable prepsraflons for the revolutionary unity which. in the revolutionary crisis. will enable the workers to take power.
of theWorkers Party the Convention, is vested in the National Committee elected by the Convention.
Section The National Committee shall be comprised as follows: Par. There shall be twenty two members.
Par. The National Convention shall elect also six alternates. to fill vacancies in the National Committee in the order decided upon by the Convention.
Par. Members of the National Committee may be dropped from the Committee and or from the Party only by vote of the National Convention.
Members of the National Committee may, however, be suspended from membership and be barred from all rights as members, pending final decision of the Party Convention, by vote of two thirds of the membership of the National Committee.
Section The National Committee directs all the work of the Party, decides all questions of policy in accord with the decisions of the Convention, appoints subordinate officers and sub committees, including the Political Committee, and; in general, constitutes between Conventions the functioning authority of the Party.
Section The local governing body of the Party shall be the Local Executive Committee, or, where only one branch exists, the Branch Executive Committee. Where District Executive Committees shall be constituted, the National Committee shall decide their relation to the Local and Branch Executive Committees.
Section The Branch Executive Committee shall be elected by the membership of the branch, and is subordinate to the branch membership. Its duties are to direct the activities of the branch, and to act.
with full powers for the branch between branch meetings. This section applies likewise to Local Executive Committees.
ARTICLE VI: INI IATION FEES AND DUES Section Each applicant for membership (other than Charter Members) shall pay an initiation fee of twenty five cents, which shall be receipted for by an initiation stamp furnished by the National Office.
The entire initiation fee shall be paid to the National Ofiice.
Section Each member shall pay monthly dues of fifty cents which shall be receipted for by dues stamp furnished by the National Office through the Branch Treasurer, and affixed to the membership card of each member. In addition, all members are expected to make regular voluntary contributions according to their means. in special cases. the Na tionul Committee may authorize a reduction in the amount of monthly dues, not more than fifty per cent, upon application by the party unit affected.
Sofion Where branches are joined in Local or District Committees, one half of all dues payments shall go to the National Office; where Local or District Committees do not exist, two thirds of all dues payments shah go to the National Office. In the case of members at large, the entire amount of dues payment shall go to the National Oflice.
Section No members are exempted from the payment of at least the minimum dues. In special cases, however, local branches are at liberty to provide payment for individual unemployed branch members from the branch treasury, upon vote cf the branch. The National Committee is, however, empowered to exempt a branch, and its members, from this requirement. and to issue special unemployed stamps.
Section Housewives, not employed, who are members of the party, may, on request, be granted unemployed exempt stamps.
Section Dues paying members of the youth organization who are simultaneously party members shall, on request, be exempted from the payments of dues in the party branch.
Section Members who are three months in urrears ln payment of dues shall cease to be members in good standing, and shall be so notified by the Branch Executive. Members six months in arrears shall be stricken from the rolls of the Party.
ARTICLE VI: DISCIPLINE Section All decisions of the governing bodies of the Party are binding upon the members and subordinate units of the Party.
Sendai Any member or unit violating the decisions of a higher unit of the Party shall be subject to disciplinary actions up to expulsion by the body having jurisdiction.
Section Charges against any member shall be made in writing and the accused member shall be furnished with a copy. Charges filed before branches shall be considered by the Branch Executive Committee at a meeting to which the accused member is invited. The Branch Executive Committee shall submit a recommendation to be acted upon by the mem bership oi the Branch. Charges considered by high er units of the Party shall, however, be acted upon by the said units.
Section Disciplinary action by a higher unit of the Party shall be initiated in the local branch.
Failure of the branch to act, or branch action deemed improper by the higher unit, may be followed by direct disciplinary action by the higher unit.
Section Any member subjected to disciplinary action has the right to appeal to the next higher unit, up to and including the National Convention. Pend lng action on the appeal, the decision of the Party body having Jurisdiction remains in full, force and effect.
ARTICLE VII: QUALIFICATIONS FOR ELECTION Section Except in the case of newly organized branches, members of Local and Branch Executive Committees must have been members of the Party for at least three months.
Section Members of the National Committee must have been members of the Party for at least one year.
ARTICLE VIII: NATIONAL CONVENTIONS Section The National Convention of the Party shall be held once a year. Special Conventions shall be called by the National Committee upon the demand of branches or Local Executive Committees representing one half of the membership.
Section The Call for the Convention, together with an agenda and the proposals of the National Committee shall be issued at least sixty days before the date of the Convention for discussion in the local organizations and in the official publications.
Section Representation at the Convention shall be proportionally based upon the membership in good standing at the time of the Convention Call.
ARTICLE IX: FRACTIONS Ilernbers of the Party in trade unions and other mass organizations shall organize themselves into fractions for common work within such organizations. The work of a fraction within a given mass organization shall be under the direction and control of the Party unit having jurisdiction over the Party members constituting the fraction. The members of a fraction must work as a unit under all circumstances. Violations of traction discipline shall be reported to the proper organization of the Party for action.
ARTICLE X: AMENDMENTS Amendments shall be made to this Constitution by majority vote of the National Convention.
PAGE Minneapolis Frame Up Attacked by Dunne (Continued on Page 1)
immediately called for his re arrest on the trumped up charge of hav.
ing murdered Lyman.
The following day at a meeting of 70 representatives and officials of the trade union movement of the city, which had been called to plan to fight the Citizens Alliancefor control of the city government, resolutions were introduced by the leaders of local 574 which resulted in the meeting being converted immediately into a defense rally for Happy Holstein.
The Minneapolis Labor Review of Friday, Nov. 23, devotes its front page entirely to a discussion of that meeting characterizing it as the greatest outpouring of business representatives and officials of unions thnt has occurred in several years.
The next day the Trade Union Defense Committee brought Happy Holstein out of jail on 10, 000 bail, procured by placing the property of the Milk Drivers nlon at 340 Fifth Street, lvi. under bond.
The Labor Review says: Organized labor is in an ugly mood at the attempted framing of Happy Holstein. Trade unionists have not forgotten how Henry Ness and John Belor, valiant. members of Drivers 574, were slaughtered and more than 40 others shot in the back.
That there has been no effort to apprehend or indict those big shot higher ups responsible for giving the order for their slaying while Happy Holstein, a humble worker, is being attempted to be framed is convincing the workers more than ever that the so called machinery of justice is the machinery of class Justice and not of even handed justice. Dunne Promises Fight Commenting on the attempted frame up of union leaders, Vincent Dunne, leader of General Drivers Local Union 574 of Minneapolis.
now in New York City to attend the founding convention of the Workers Party of the made the following statement to the Militant. We have heard of such confes sions before in the history of frameups against members of trade unions who dared to behave like honest union men. We are not right shell by this one. If the Citizens Alliance wants a fight, they will get it. Seventy Minneapolis unions. all of the American Federation oi Labor, have leagued together to fight these frame ups and their instigators. am confident that the. Workers Party will make one of its first activities the rallying of its members throughout the country to organise a nation wide defense movement. Before we get through with the Citizens Alliance similar plunder organizations in other cities will think twice before they try to rail. road an honest trade union militant to his death.
Party to Act on Defense (Continued from Page 2)
sions. In the struggle against reaction, against Fascist and semiFascist trends. against the suppres sion of civil liberties and the right: of labor to organize, strike, picket and otherwise defend its interests, against deportations, against me oppression of aliens, Negroes and other minority elements of the population, the entire working class has a common interest. It is the task of the revolutionary party to make clear to the class this common interest and. to bring about united action on behalf of this interest. In such action on an honest, fighting, unlted front basis, labor will advance step by step against its class enemy and out of the fires of the struggle will come new revolutionary elements and an ever larger militant movement.
The founding convention of the Workers Party of the notes with regret that there exists no or ganization capable of giving continuous and organized expression to this common interest. broad.
class conscious militant defense organization does not exist today. It!
creation is a crying need. To it should rally all class conscious ole meats, regardless of political differences. It should be partisan only of the class as a whole, including all militant workers and fighting on behalf of all working cass victims of capitalist oppress sion regardless of their political heliefs or affiliations. It should combine with skillful legal work, the organization of mass campaigns so that the capitaist courts and administrative agencies will learn to fear the anger of the class and be compelled to abandon their plots against the workers.
The founding convention notes with approbation the proposals made some months ago by the Provisional Committee for NonPartisan Labor Defense and discussed on several occasions with representatives of the American Workers Party, the the Socialist Party and other elements of the labor movement. The convention authorizes the to carry these discussions further and to hasten the establishment of a milltant, class conscious, non partisan defense organisation as a primary need of the working class in a per.
iod of intense struggle and bitter reaction.