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Sixty Years Ago: Congressional Red-Hunters Set Their Sights on Bridgeport

Andy Piascik Portside
Passed into law in 1940, the Smith Act made it illegal to "teach, advocate or encourage the overthrow" of the government and extended to any member of an organization that allegedly did so. The notion that in 1956 the Communist Party was interested in, let alone capable of, overthrowing anything was patently absurd. From a 1940's peak of around 80,000, the CP's national membership had dwindled to perhaps 10,000 by the time of the hearings in Connecticut.

Who's Afraid of Communism?

Malcolm Harris New Republic
Americans have largely forgotten the anti-Communist sentiment from decades past. Anti-communism has been a powerful force for over 150 years. American communism has always been racialized. When Jim Crow laws banned interracial organization, the Communist Party was the only group that dared to flout the rule. Socialists and Communists in the South in the 1930s fought both economic and racial inequality - an important lessor for today's developing socialist movement.

Exonerate Our Mother, Ethel Rosenberg

Robert Meeropol and Michael Meeropol Rosenberg Fund for Children
Petitioning Attorney General Lynch and President Obama: Exonerate our mother, Ethel Rosenberg. Our mother was not a spy, and her execution was wrongful. Her conviction was based on perjured testimony and prosecutorial and judicial misconduct. The charges against our mother and the threat of the death penalty were meant to intimidate her and our father into cooperating. Sign te petition (below) -

books

Letters from Langston: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Red Scare and Beyond

JJ Johnson Portside
"Letters from Langston: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Red Scare and Beyond" is both a compilation of an intriguing exchange of letters among five heroic African Americans and a loving tribute to the letter writers from the daughters of four of the writers: Evelyn Louise Crawford and MaryLouise Patterson.

Pete Seeger in East Berlin, 1967

Victor Grossman The Volunteer (Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives -ALBA)
Pete Seeger, folk singer and activist for peace, civil rights, labor rights and the environment, left us just two years ago - January 27, 2014. Recently, Seeger's FBI file has been released. Included in the file is Pete's correspondence with Victor Grossman. The Editors of The Volunteer, founded by the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, asked Grossman if he had any recollections of Pete's visit to East Berlin in 1967. Here's his story.

books

An American Communist Saga

Paul Buhle Portside
Herbert Aptheker, to introduce the man by his highest prestige, was an early scholar of African American uprisings against slavery, and in his middle years, the director and coordinator of the W.E.B. DuBois Papers, one of the great archival triumphs of US history at large. For many in the 60s, through his books and public apperances, a generation became aware of the Communist Party, U.S.A.

Tidbits - June 11, 2015 - Kalief Browder, Criminality of Prisons; Fight for $15; Edward Snowden: Hero; Ronnie Gilbert; Walmart; Suicide in Young Women; Left Strategy Needed; and more...

Portside
Reader Comments: Kalief Browder and Criminality of Prisons; Fight for $15; Edward Snowden - Hero; Ronnie Gilbert; Walmart Anti-Labor Activity; Suicide in Young Women; The Audacity to Win - Left Strategy Needed; Recommended Books - By non-white authors; Announcements: 62nd Memorial of the Execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg; Brooklyn Peace Fair

books

Wising Up to the Wise Men of American Foreign Policy

Jeet Heer New Republic
Propping up dictators, rigging elections and aligning with some of the world's more unsavory characters is an accurate description of U.S. foreign policy past and present. It's also a fair characterization of the narrow gamut of thinking for both the wise oracles who urge containment and the hawks promoting armed confrontation. The book focuses on these elite policy makers who have become not just complacent with, but complicit in, U.S. hegemonic crimes worldwide.
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