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MOTHERS' DEFENSE COMMITTEE 163 West 129th Street, New York, N.Y. June 1964. The Mothers' Defense Committee was formed at the instigation of the Progressive Labor Movement (now known as Progressive Labor Party) as a defense group for six teenage Negro male youths who have been convicted for the murder of Mrs. Margit Sugar, a white shopkeeper, at 3 West 125th Street, New York, N.Y., on April 20, 1964. This organization is now defunct. Small membership. Exact size unknown. Membership included the mothers of the teenage Negroes convicted of the crime of homicide. Mrs. Mildred Thomas, chairlady ; Mrs. Mary Hamm, treasurer. None. The committee has(1) sponsored fundraising rallies for the defense of the six

Negro defendants ; (2) sponsored street rallies in which members of the commit

tee have made charges of "police brutality," "frame-up,"

and "police terror," in connection with the case; (3) staged meetings for the purpose of generating hate and

distrust of law enforcement officers; and (4) functioned to undermine the American judicial system.




The Harlem Solidarity Committee (HSC) was formed at a meeting held at 40 East 7th Street in New York City on July

23, 1964. The Spartacists claim to have initiated the group. PURPOSE:

According to a press release dated July 25, 1964, the purpose of the HSC was "support of the citizens of Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant against police terror" under such slogans as "Demand the removal of the rioting cops from Harlem !" and “Support the right of the citizens of the ghetto to defend them

selves !" ORGANIZATION: Number of individual members, if any, unknown. Directed

by a coordinator. Address unknown; telephone given as SC4
Supported as of July 25, 1964, by the following: Brooklyn Civil
Rights Defense Committee, Committee for Peace Organiza-
tion, Jesse Gray, Progressive Labor Movement, Spartacist,
Youth Against War and Fascism, and Liberator editor Daniel

H. Watts.
KEY LEADER: Judy Weiner, coordinator.
PUBLICATION: Only known publication was a mimeographed press release

dated July 25, 1964, and reportedly printed by Tri-Line Offset

Co. Inc. ACTIVITIES: The only recorded public activity of the Harlem Solidarity

Committee was a rally at 8th Avenue and 38th Street in the garment center of New York City at noon on July 28, 1964, at which time there were inflammatory antipolice speeches by James Robertson of Spartacist, Conrad Lynn, Vincent Copeland of Workers World, Milton Rosen of PLM, Sandra Rodriquez of Movimiento Pro Independencia de Puerto Rico,

and Key Martin of YAWF. 88-083 0–68--pt. 212



6 East 117th Street, New York, N.Y. ORIGIN:

Early 1960's. PURPOSE:

Organizing of every slum tenement in Harlem as a "political pressure approach to socialized housing" and as an “organizing

tool” that may “even kick off the revolution in the ghetto." KEY LEADER: Jesse Willard Gray, director. ORGANIZATION: 2,300 in January 1964. PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS: Lower East Side Rent Strike Committee, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Rent Strike Committee, Metropolitan Council on Housing. PUBLICATIONS: No newspapers or periodicals. CCOH has issued flyers of a

highly inflammatory nature. ACTIVITIES: (1) In December 1963 Jesse W. Gray took over the leader

ship of a Harlem rent strike which had been in effect since September. In November 1964 Gray's plans for intensified rent strikes were reported in the National Guardian. He reportedly told the Guardian that rent strikes “ are not intended to solve the problems of housing or of slums, but to give people in the ghetto a feeling that they have some

power. ***"" [Emphasis added.] (2) held mags rallies ; (3) held demonstrations at City Hall; (4) planned a citywide Rent Strike Coordinating Committee; (5) agitated against the police; (6) conducted “The World's Worst Fair" in June 1964.

On July 19, 1964, during the Harlem riots, CCOH issued a
flyer entitled “IS HARLEM MISSISSIPPI ?" It charged
police with the murder of three children in 2 weeks and
with "whipping people's heads for no reason all over Har-
lem." The flyer made three demands :

1. Commissioner Murphy's resignation
2. Indict Lieutenant Gilligan for murder

3. Remove Armed Forces from Harlem
Another flyer issued on about the third day of the riot called
on the people to “ORGANIZE YOUR BLOCKS" so that you
will be "in a position to properly deal with the enemy." This
flyer carried the names of the Community Council on Housing
and the Harlem Defense Council. CCOH was to be contacted
for information on a "MASS DEMONSTRATION AT THE
On July 25, 1964, Justice Charles T. Marks, New York State
Supreme Court, New York County, issued a temporary re
straining order preventing further demonstrations by the

Community Council on Housing and Jesse Gray. STATEMENTS BY JESSE GRAY:

THE WORKER, FEBRUARY 4, 1964, p. 7:

" "The police * are the running dogs of the slumlords.' WORKERS WORLD, FEBRUARY 6, 1964, p. 1:

"There's no law for people up here,' said Jesse Gray angrily. "The police work only for the landlords. Blood is going to flow if something isn't done.'”

1 Formation announced in The Worker, 1/14/64:1, 7.

TAE WORKER, FEBRUARY 16, 1964, p. 2: "the eviction tactic is a 'conspiracy between the police department and the slumlords.'"

THE WORKER, FEBRUARY 18, 1964, p. 6: « The police

* did nothing about the slumlords who refuse to fix violations,' * NEW YORK TIMES, JULY 20, 1964, p. 16:

Gray (on July 19, during the Harlem riot) called for “100 skilled black rerolutionaries who are ready to die' to correct what he called 'the police brutality situation in Harlem.'

“ There is only one thing that can correct the situation, and that's guerrilla warfare,' he said.

"Mr. Gray said that he was seeking platoon captains, who could each recruit 100 men loyal to them.”


MAU MAU SOCIETY 1964 Seventh Avenue, Harlem

New York, N.Y.




Late 1966 or early 1967.
The Mau Mau Society is a tiny all-Negro extremist group that
has apparently taken upon itself the task of providing protec-
tion for well-publicized black power leaders. Its official emblem
is an octagon gnia within which depicted a black arm
holding a poised bloody dagger and the words "Charles Ken-
yatta-Mau Mau Soc.—Let's Use Black Force Now !"
As its name indicates, the group is patterned after the famed
dread Mau Mau tribe of Africa which is best remembered for
its merciless killing of white settlers and missionaries.
10–20 members (estimated).
Charles (37X) Kenyatta (also known as Charles Morris),
Theodore K. Smith
Herbert Spencer
The Mau Mau Society has-
(1) acted as guards at the Newark, N.J., National Black

Power Conference (July 1967) and forcibly ejected white

newsmen covering the event; (2) provided guards for various speaking engagements by

black power leaders in the New York City metropolitan

area; (3) participated in a small separate anti-Vietnam black power

rally which coincided with the October 21 "Confrontation" at the Pentagon (1967).



The following is a copy of the Pre-Convention Discussion Bulletin #2 of the Progressive Labor Movement ? referred to on p. 965.

THE BLACK LIBERATION STRUGGLE AND THE RIGHT TO REVOLUTION Minutes of the October, 1964 meeting of the National Co-ordinating Committee

of the Progressive Labor Movement


Since the formation of PL there has been some criticism from various quarters that we have failed to come to grips with the Negro question, and that we have failed to come up with a definite statement on it. Part of this criticism is justified, because in other areas of our work we have devoted a little more time, and the questions weren't as complicated. We havent fought for a meeting on the Negro question in general. We should fight for a line even if we can only put out segments of a line. The next major document we put out should be on the Negro question. The criticism that we have failed to come to grips with the Negro question is not accurate because in our publications . . many of us have attempted to deal with one or another aspect of this question.

The main features of the Negro question that we must deal with are 1) the role of nationalism, which is a very strong current among the Negro people. It manifests itself in many ways. 2) Whether the Negro people constitute a nation or not, or what do we mean by self-determination. Does it have to mean nationhood, or can it mean some form of autonomy? Of course self-determination means just that, that the Negro people will determine themselves what they want to be. As communists we must have an outline of what we mean by selfdetermination, and what our line would be on this question. Being a vanguard means not leaving things to chance and to hoping that the Negro people will choose the correct path. 3) We must also deal with the question of land, because I don't think the Negro people will take up a real revolutionary stand unless the question of land is prominent. 4) The role of the black bourgoisie must be thoroughly analyzed and evaluated. 5) What reform demands can we present to bring the people into struggle against the ruling class? How do we develop these reformist demands into revolutionary struggle? 6) There is a lot of discussion in our community around what the Negro people actually call themselves and what do they want to be called.

I think the report that I presented is weak in the sense that on many of these questions I did not go into detail. I don't think that the main substance of the Negro question has drastically changed since the party developed the line on self-determination, and the right to nationhood. This report attempted to take out the essentials of Harry Haywood's line ... and to sort of bring it up to date. The six points: 1) The question of nationalism-There is almost no organized expression of nationalism in the Negro community. Most of the nationalist organizations in Harlem have been discredited and command no following .. but there is a very strong nationalist current that runs through the Negro community, and a strong sentiment along these lines. This is a healthy, progressive and revolutionary form of nationalism. I think that what is needed is a progressive, honest (and I use this word "honest” quite correctly, because the people in our com

1 The committee's copy of this bulletin was too poor to photostat. The many misspellings and errors are as they appear in the original document.

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