Imágenes de páginas

credited with playing a major role, if not the major role, in planning and masterminding the Communist infiltration of the moving picture industry 15, or rather 20 or 25, years ago.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes. I recall him now.

Mr. McNAMARA. Apparently there has been a split in the family: Jerome died a few years ago, that is, V. J. Jerome. T'estimony received before this committee indicates that his son, Fred, and Alice Jerome, his wife, switched over from the CP to the Progressive Labor Party even before he died.

Continuing Miss Warden's testimony: The center fold of this issue of Challenge has four pages of horror pictures, as it were. All of these pictures show policemen brutalizing Negroes, has comparisons between the Harlem riots and the Warsaw ghettos.

Mr. SMITH. [Reads :] Did you ever talk to this photographer about the taking of his pictures? Mr. McNAMARA. [Reads:] Yes. Mr. SMITH. [Reads:] Did he receive any instructions as to just what he should try to get, and was the application of his pictures to the purposes of Challenge discussed with him?

Mr. McNAMARA. [Reads :] I don't remember any particular occasion when he was urged to take pictures showing the most offensive acts of “police brutality,” however, it was certainly his understanding that this was the case; this is what he was supposed to do. In various circumstances when he was asked to take a picture of a certain thing, he was told exactly what we wanted. This is standard procedure.

Mr. SMITH. [Reads:] Now have you given us a general idea of the function of Challenge in respect to the Progressive Labor Movement?

Mr. McNAMARA. [Reads :]

Let me mention some of the things that Challenge deals with besides “police brutality.” It deals with tenant-landlord conflicts, particularly in the Puerto Rican or Negro ghettos in New York City. It is always talking about having to get rid of the two-legged rats and the four-legged rats.

Mr. SMITH. [Reads :) What are the two-legged rats? Mr. McNAMARA. [Reads:] This refers to people like Mayor Wagner, Police Commissioner Murphy, Screvane (Paul Screvane, president of the NYC Council).

Another big area of stress in Challenge is the area of labor. The Progressive Labor Party takes a fairly radical stand on unions in this country. It says unions are not any good, they are not doing anything for the working class, they are all sell-out unions to the imperialist of the working class. In that context it has written a number of articles against the ILA, the ILGWU, and Dubinsky. It has also done a lot of work on the situation of the railroads in New York City.

Mr. SMITH. [Reads:]
Now do you feel that we have got a fair picture of Challenge's function?
Mr. McNAMARA. [Reads:]
There are two more things that it covers.

Mr. SMITH. [Reads:]
All right.
Mr. McNAMARA. [Reads:]

One of them is that Challenge lately has given a great deal of space to the various legal entanglements of the Progressive Labor Party, and these are numerous. The other thing is that it carries every week a column of foreign news covering the national liberation movements and news from socialist countries. A. material comes mostly from Hsin Hua, which is the New China News


Challenge is printed by the Tri-Line Offset Company. Fred Jerome, who is on the national coordinating committee of Progressive Labor, was up until recently the editor of Challenge; Walter Linder is now the editor of Challenge. Walter Linder is also the head of the Unemployed Railroad Workers Council.

Selma Sparks is the feature editor of Challenge. Mark Shapiro is one of the reporters. Alejandro Figueroa is the reporter for the Puerto Rican community. He was very active at one time with Albizu Campos, and I do not know whether . is true or not, but he told me he was the guard for Albizu Campos at one point.

Mr. Chairman, I might interject that Albizu Campos, who died a few years ago, was the leader of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, which is the organization that tried to assassinate President Truman a number of years back and also shot up the House of Representatives and injured a number of its Members. %. reading:]

Elsa Martinez is also on Challenge, covering Puerto Rican affairs. She is a member of the Lower East Side Club of Progressive Labor. Roger Taus at the time that I was working on Challenge was also working on Challenge. He has been transferred over to the editorship of the Free Student. Challenge is sold primarily on a neighborhood basis. That means that the people in the neighborhood clubs of the Progressive Labor Movement get out on the street corner, walk up and down the street, and sell Challenge. They also will go door to door in the apartment buildings and sell it. There are about 100 to 120 that are sold every week on newsstands. Challenge is also sold every week in the garment center. I think its circulation is about 2,200 to 2,500 now. A great deal of its circulation comes from subscribers. The Progressive Labor Party has another newspaper similar to Challenge on the West Coast and the name of that is Spark. I do not know that much of the details of its circulation or how it is printed or anything. * * - * *

[ocr errors]

Were there also neighborhood clubs? That is what you named first, neighborhoods, which I called geographical locations. What are the functions of the clubs generally and in particular the college clubs and neighborhood ones; how do they fit into this?

Mr. McNAMARA. [Reads:]

The neighborhood clubs are basically in charge of such things as selling Challenge, selling the Progressive Labor magazine. Many of them devote a lot of their time to organizing rent strike activities within the neighborhood, trying to interfere with tenant-landlord problems. The members are also supposed to keep their eyes and ears open to see what is going on in the neighborhood and then report these stories to Challenge.

Mr. SMITH. [Reads:] In that regard what are their instructions, who do they look for, what is the purpose of the membership and the club?

Mr. McNAMARA. [Reads:]

Of course the key things to look for in terms of Challenge are any incidents of “police brutality” that they might come across, any tenant-landlord problem that could turn into a real crisis situation within the neighborhood. Let me give you an example of that. On the Lower East Side on East Third Street there is a landlord who has been involved over the past couple of years in various conflicts with some of the Puerto Rican people in the neighborhood. Last summer just before the Harlem riots there was an incident wherein he apparently practically beat to death this Puerto Rican man who lived On the block. Challenge picked up this story and of course made it into a big crisis. Also the neighborhood club down there got involved in the situation and started having street meetings and giving fairly incendiary-type speeches about this man. There was a picket line one Saturday night on East Third Street right across the street from the building which he owned, at which there were about 25 or 30 young people in the Progressive Labor Movement who were picketing. Unfortunately the Progressive Labor Movement was not able to draw in any of the neighborhood people on that picket line, it was just the Progressive Labor people picketing; no Puerto Ricans, no Negroes in the neighborhood picketing. This was going on for about 2 or 3 days and was an extremely tense situation in the neighborhood, a great deal of very strong feeling on the part of Puerto Rican people down there against this landlord. The Integrated Workers Club, which is the official name of the Lower East Side Club, took advantage of this and did quite a bit to inflame these feelings. They passed out leaflets and, as I said, had these street meetings. All this culminated in his building being burned down; the first floor of the building was completely burned out.

J Mr. SMITH. The following is the testimony of Judith Warden on une 9.

Miss Warden makes an opening statement.
Mr. McNAMARA. [Reads o

I would like to make a comment on that question of Harlem Defense Councils. It is stated in Challenge the purpose of the Harlem Defense Councils. There is another brief quote I would like to give you concerning the role of the neighborhood clubs in such things as rent strikes, what they hope to do.

[ocr errors]

Could you characterize it? We have only got about 10 minutes. We want to cover many things. Is it possible to summarize it and characterize what was said there, giving us the reference?

[ocr errors]

Let me just skip the one on the Harlem Defense Councils then and give you the one on the tenants question.

Mr. SMITH. [Reads:]
Give us the document and page and date.

Mr. McNAMARA. [Reads:]

This is page 5 of Challenge, volume 1, No. 3 [June 27, 1964] : “The idea is to form a tenants' committee in every building, and then to unite these committees with their own elected representatives into a neighborhood Council. This council could then carry on neighborhood-wide rent strikes, hold demonstrations, run candidates, or even block the streets, to get the tenants' rights.” Then on the block committees, one of the purposes is when a policeman arrests a citizen, the people on the block are then supposed to come out and rescue that citizen from the police officers. In this quoted Challenge [page 3], it says, “The possibility of self-defense in such cases”—of violence for the purpose of selfdefense—“is not excluded.” It is interesting to note, I think, that within the last 2 weeks there have been three incidents in the Bronx wherein people on the block have taken, through Violence, a prisoner away from police officers. So although PL may not have done this or led the people in doing this, they have spread the idea around so that it is catching.

Mr. SMITH. Mr. Chairman, that concludes Mr. McNamara's presentation.

Mr. TUCK. Mr. McNamara, do you have any information of your own as to whether or not any of these pictures were rigged, or were they true pictures?

Mr. McNAMARA. It is my understanding from talking with Mr. Luce and Miss Warden in the past, and with other people who have been in similar movements, that what they try to do is always, of course, to avoid photographing the provocative action, the brutality, the force that a citizen will use against a policeman, but then to get the justified reaction in most cases of the policeman who is trying to carry out his assigned duty and place a person under arrest. Mr. TUCK. The effect of that is a rigged picture, because it does not present the full facts? Mr. McNAMARA. That is true. It is true the thing actually happened, but it is carefully staged to create a misleading impression. Mr. WATson. In that connection, Mr. McNamara, without impugning anyone or any publication, they get a lot of help in advertising the reaction of the police, rather than provocation on the part of the citizen, from legitimate publications. I recall one magazine. I never saw such inflammatory pictures in all my life as the pictures I saw in that magazine. The chairman has seen them, where a young Negro boy is shot down, and the blood is flowing on the street, the policeman carrying a billy club, and what-have-you. So I think they are getting a lot of encouragement from legitimate sources, rather than their fabricated sources. May I ask one question? The CHAIRMAN. Go ahead. Mr. WATson. You referred to Roger Taus, at least the testimony referred to Roger Taus, as leaving the staff of Challenge and now being the editor of the Free Student. Are you knowledgeable, Mr. McNamara, as to who publishes that and the extent of its publication? Mr. McNAMARA. Free Student was the official publication of the May 2nd Movement. It is now out of existence. That organization, the May 2nd Movement, is defunct as well. Mr. Taus, as I recall, edited Free Student while it was being published. It is no longer published. The CHAIRMAN. The committee will stand in recess until 2:30. (Whereupon, at 12:10 p.m., Tuesday, October 31, 1967, the committee recessed, to reconvene at 2:30 p.m., the same day.)


(The subcommittee reconvened at 2:30 p.m., Hon. Edwin E. Willis,

chairman, presiding.) Subcommittee members present: Representatives Willis, Ashbrook,

and Watson.)

The CHAIRMAN. Our first witness this afternoon will be Mr. Herbert Romerstein.

Please raise your right, hand, Mr. Romerstein. Do you solemnly swear the testimony you give before this committee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?


The CHAIRMAN. Proceed.


Mr. SMITH. Please state your name.
Mr. Romers.IEIN. Herbert Romerstein.

Mr. SMITH. Where are you employed? Mr. ROMERSTEIN. I am an investigator for the House Committee On Un-American Activities. Mr. SMITH. How long have you been working in this field? Mr. RoMERSTEIN. I have been working in the general field since 1950, but I have been with this committee for about 2% years. Mr. SMITH. Have you conducted a background investigation into the events leading up to the Harlem riot of 1964 and subsequent activities? Mr. ROMERSTEIN.Yes, sir, I have. Mr. SMITH. Has racial and antipolice agitation taken place for many years in New York? Mr. RoMERSTEIN. Yes, sir; and much of this agitation has been developed by the various organizations within the Communist periphery—the Communist Party itself, as well as other organizations affiliated with the Communist Party and, subsequently, organizations of the Red Chinese-oriented Communists, such as the Progressive Labor Party and organizations affiliated with it. . Mr. SMITH. Can you describe some of the agitation that took place immediately after the shooting of James Powell on July 16, 1964, which helped stir up the community? Mr. Row ERSTEIN. Well, sir, might I go back a little bit and describe some of the climate of opinion that had been created over a period of time, over a period of years, that helped set the stage for the 1964 events. The Communist Party, U.S.A., for many, many years has had an interest in gaining recruits in the Negro community. This committee issued a report a number of years ago concerning this and pointed out that the Communist Party was extremely unsuccessful in its attempts to penetrate the Negro community. e CHAIRMAN. May I say that I am proud to say as chairman of this committee that it is a compliment to the colored race that they have been able to resist and not fall for all this effort to infiltrate and to entice them into the line of the Communists. It is wonderful that so few have fallen for that. Of course, in the white race you have some bad apples in the barrel, too. I would say that one, Stokely Carmichael, in my opinion, is just a troublemaking militant Communist. He says what he wants in America is Castro-type communism and he would like to have actual guerrilla warfare, revolutionary warfare. He is completely no good. But I compliment the colored race for resisting the effort to agitate and infiltrate. (At this point Mr. Tuck entered the hearing room.) Mr. RoMERSTEIN. Well, sir, in watching the attempts of the Communists over the years to gain recruits among Negroes, it was interesting to see that they always stressed winning the Negro working class. They have never made any kind of inroads among Negro workers. †h. few Negroes they got over a period of time, over the years, have often been Negro intellectuals and college students, and very few of those, and then they never held them very long. Only a tiny handful of Negroes remain in the Communist Party once they #. in. But we have suddenly seen a new approach by the Communists. ather than attempting to win over Negro workers whom they have unsuccessful with, there is now an attempt to win over another segment of the Negro population, a segment which exists in every population, the juvenile delinquent and semicriminal element. These

« AnteriorContinuar »