The Militant, November 7, 1931
Canadian Party Leaders on Trial
[by "An Executive Member of the Workers’ Rights and Anti-Deportation Conference"]
Since the arrest of the nine Party leaders in Canada last August, the main efforts of the Canadian Labor Defense League have been in forming a mass defense movement; this work has found expression as the Workers’ Rights and Anti-Deportation Conference.
In all leading cities of Canada where a branch of the C.L.D.L. [Canadian Labor Defense League] exists, conferences have been organized for the defense of the Communist Party. In Toronto, where the headquarters of the Party are located, and where the trial will take place, a conference was organized on September 28th, which was attended by 129 delegates representing 49 organizations, and consists of an effort to form a united front of various sections of the Labor movement, as evidenced by the nature of the organizations represented, reformist unions, Labor party, fraternal and cultural bodies, and organizations sympathetic to and under the ideological control of the Party. The composition of the conference has shown that if proper tactics are adopted united front can be attained. It seems that the Party leaders are learning a few lessons, from the catastrophic policies of the last few years; that the present trial means the legality or illegality of the Communist movement, and strangulation or bureaucratic control of the defense movement would have serious repercussion in harming the cause at a critical period.
The first meeting of the conference in Toronto adopted a resolution giving an analysis of the situation in Canada, of the various phases of capitalist breakdown leaving an army of 600,000 unemployed.
Instead of granting unemployment insurance to the hungry, capitalist economy "strengthens" itself by adding to its police forces, and using more outrageous methods of violence as instanced by the shooting of three striking miners in Estevan, Saskatchewan. Canada has also broken off all diplomatic and commercial relations with the U.S.S.R., and is now a leader in the Christian anti-Soviet blockade.
The Decisions of the Defense Conference
The conference accepted the Workers’ Rights and Anti-Deportation Bill, and the following are its main clauses
This Bill was unanimously adopted.
It also resolved that the conference recognize the C.L.D.L. as the workers’ defense organization in Canada, and also undertakes to reach every labor organization for the aid of the arrested. It accepted a quota of $50,000.00 to be raised, and endorsed the collection of 100,000 signatures for the support of the Bill.
An executive of the conference was elected of seventeen delegates, which includes a member of the Toronto Branch of the Communist League (Opposition). Our Branch, under the specific prevailing conditions, decided; for tactical reasons, not to ask affiliation to the conference directly as an organization; but our comrades are active in the conference in the collection of money, signatures and the general defense work. The Branch is preparing a manifesto explaining our stand, and calling upon all workers and sympathetic elements to give full support to the Party in its fight for a legal existence.
The Regime of Police Terror
Mass Meetings have been called for October 28th, under the auspices of the United Front Conference, and also for November 2nd, the day the trial begins and a call to workers in the factories for a one day strike, Owing to the unmitigated police terror in Toronto it was impossible to hold a meeting within the city, and had to be held just outside the city limits. Free assemblage in halls, or in streets, is denied to the Party; the F.S.U. and all Left wing organizations. The ban now extends to the reformists, and even the Fellowship of Reconciliation is denied the rights of democracy. A few weeks ago at a gathering of soul-savers, the United Church of Canada, Communism happened to be mentioned, and the worthy reverends were visited by the minions of law and order. Our branch has attempted to hire halls to hold a meeting, but it has been found impossible to do so.
The purpose of these united front meetings is to imbed in the consciousness of the workers that the attack against the Party is a prelude to a further attack against the whole labor movement; that the interests of the Communists are those of the whole working class. A successful fight in this trial can only be predicated upon a genuine mass movement of all ranks of the workers.
A united front of all workers and poor farmers, employed and unemployed, for the defense of the Communist Party. This is our slogan.
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Copyright South Branch Publishing. All