Viewing page 6 of 19

return home is forced to starve. It must be understood that the taxes just referred to are not inclusive of hut taxes: They are, light taxes, poll taxes, Headmoney, etc.

Punitive Expedition Against Krus.

This is what makes the payment of hut tax for the Kru people extremely inconvenient at times. Consequently, during the year 1931, when the Kru people were actually exhausted and destitute of money, they asked the government for a sort of moratorium, in order that by working ships they might in a couple of months try to pay their taxes; and they candidly informed the government that money was not available at the exacting period. Their request was misinterpreted, and they were proclaimed "rebellious", "recalcitrant", and what not; hence, a punitive expedition was despatched on the Kru Coast on the 20th of May, 1931, which committed all the atrocities of which it is sorrowful to hear.

In other sections of the country the toilers live on and by rice; that is to say, rice is their principal food, their only source of income. But the officials who are sent to these sections render conditions so intolerable for these poor workers that they too cannot readily pay their taxes. It has been conclusively proved, not quite 10 months ago, where a certain District Commissioner extorted £ 225.0.0 worth of clean rice from the peasants. How can these toiling, poor and helpless people be expected to make prompt payment when such enormous sums are extorted from them without due cause? This matter was brought to the judicial notice of the government, and up to the present nothing effective has been done in the way of redress.

Government to Blame.

The Government should therefore be blamed for this whole topsy-turvy condition of the country. The firms complain that they have to pay high duties, and are thereby compel to raise the prices of their goods, and to pay little or nothing for the produce of the natives who are handicapped in the payment of their taxes. The government does not protect the interest of the toiling masses, who inject the life blood into it, against the obstinate will of capitalists in the country; it does not shield the already exploited and exhausted workers against the graft and avarice of its officials. Thus the whole economic system of the country has become practically hopeless!

A Call to the Workers.

It is for the most effectual betterment of this wretched condition of the working masses that a branch of the International Trade Union Committee is being formed in our country, known as the Liberia Workers' Progressive Association. The organization will not concern itself with the squabbles of the politicians and their agents. Its aim is to create conditions under which the Liberian workers and in the long run, the African toiling mass as a whole might improve their economic condition and not starve to death. To the workers of Liberia, therefore, we appeal for whole-hearted cooperation and support. Remember that nothing will ameliorate your hopeless condition but the speedy formation and maintenance of an indissoluble working class organization. Be united! Be earnest! Be enduring! Your safety lies in unity of purpose and unity of action.

Fellow Workers of Liberia, a new day has arrived: Unite under the banner of the Workers' Progressive Association!

[[line]]

8

Scottsboro Campaign in Europe
By B.J. (Hamburg).

The Scottsboro case has reached a new stage. Thanks to the tremendous wave of mass protest and indignation in all countries of the world, the United States Supreme Court in its session of May 31st was forced to agree to the demand forwarded by the International Labour Defense attorneys calling for a review of the Scottsboro lynch verdicts.

This decision to review the sentences is a tremendous partial victory for the revolutionary working class and a smashing defeat for the traitorous activities of the Negro reformists. During the past 14 months, millions of Negro and white workers throughout the world have rallied to the world-wide mass fight against the lynch verdicts and for the freedom of the innocent Scottsboro boys. Their protests have rung from one end of the world to the other. Scores of demonstrations

[[image]] Mrs. Ada Wright and J. Louis Engdahl, Secretary of the I.L.D. (U.S.A.) in Europe

have been held before the American Consulates by workers in Europe, South Africa and Latin America protesting the sentence.

This partial victory again proves the effectiveness of mass pressure on the bosses' courts to stop the bloody hands of the ruling class. This is the third time that the revolutionary workers have forced the lynch courts to postpone the carrying out their plans to massacre these innocent working class youths as an additional act of terror against the Negro toilers and the whole working class. The decision of the Supreme Court to review the verdicts automatically stays the execution which had been set for June 24 of seven of the nine boys.

In order to strenghten the campaign in Europe the workers of Germany, through the International Labour Defence have invited Mrs. Ada Wright, the mother of two of the Scottsboro victims, to tour the continent.

9
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.