Max Shachtman

Hooliganism Spreads to Brooklyn

An Open Letter to the
International Labor Defense

(December 1933)

From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 56, 23 December 1933, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Dec. 16th, 1933

International Labor Defense
District Office
799 Broadway
New York City


We are enclosing to you a copy of the letter we have just sent to the District Committee of the Communist Party, New York, which is self-explanatory. You will observe from the letter that we are inviting a number of labor organizations to sit on the platform with our speakers at the coming Wednesday evening, .December 20th, mass meeting of our organization, for the purpose of giving an objective judgment on any untoward occurrences that may take place at this meeting, such as a recurrence of the events of last week’s affair.

We cannot impress upon you too strongly the depths of our feelings on this question. At such a time as this, when the labor movement should be girding its loins to drive out of existence any tendency to introduce the methods of reaction into the working class, it is tantamount to giving aid and comfort to the enemy when any section of the labor movement permits itself the practise of such methods as were pursued at last week’s mass meeting. The International Labor Defense has as one of its declared aims the defense of workers’ meetings from attacks and intervention from the police, and such an aim we and every other class conscious group heartily endorse. Such events as the Hoffman Mansion meeting disruptiveness, are directly responsible for the intervention of police in labor gatherings.

On this occasion, the police struck at us, as a small group. Tomorrow, they will use such situations in order to proclaim that no radical group may hold public meetings unless they are under police supervision; or else, they may declare that tile radicals may no longer hold any public meetings at all.

It is your obvious duty to help avoid such a situation. We therefore invite you, as one of the organizations involved, to send a representative to our meeting for the purpose indicated in the enclosed letter. We look forward to an immediate reply to our office so that the necessary detailed arrangements may be made.


Fraternally yours
City Committee
Communist League of America (Opp.)
Max Shachtman, Org.

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Last updated on 5 January 2016