Viewing page 14 of 19
It looks like you're using a mobile device. We recommend using a physical keyboard for transcription entry.
I.S.H., who delivered the official report. After reviewing the general world economic situation, he outlined the political and organizational tactics to be adopted by the water transport workers in the colonies and the capitalist cuntries in building up a world wide fighting organization which alone will enable them to defeat the shipowners and their agents, the reformist leaders of the International Transport Federation. About 80 delegates spoke on this question. They related their experiences in various strike struggles. They all adopted the program of the Congress and pledged themselves to continue their struggle on their return to their respective countries, in order to guarantee greater and greater victory along the whole capitalist front. The War Danger. Comrade T. Ray, a representative of the Marine Workers Union of America, reported on the struggle against imperial war. He pointed out that this struggle was part and parcel of the struggle of the seamen against the offensive of the bosses on wagers, hours and working conditions. That in order to successfully struggle against imperialist war and for the defense of the Soviet Union it was necessary for all seamen and transport workers to carry on a day-to-day struggle against capitalist offensive, and to refuse to transport amunition for the Japanese and other imperialist powers, Colonial Work. Comrade G. Kouyate', the leader of the Seamen's Federation in France, himself a native of the Sudan, made the colonial report. Despite the limited time at his disposal, comrade Kouyate' reviewed the activities of the I.S.H. and its adherents in their work among the colonial seamen in Europe. He emphasised the importance of organizing the coloured seamen as an intregal part of the united front of all water transport workers for joint struggle against the imperialists. Colonial Work. Comrade G. Kouyate', the leader of the Seamen's Federation in France, himself a native of the Sudan, made the colonial report. Despite the limited time at his disposal, comrade Kouyate' reviewed the activities of the I.S.H. and its adherents in their work among the colonial seamen in Europe. He emphasised the importance of organizing the coloured seamen as an intregal part of the united front of all water transport workers for joint struggle against the imperialists. [[image]] Comrade H. O'Connell of British Guiana, leader of the Colonial seamen in England. The scant treatment given to the colonial question by congress, due to lack of time afforded the official reporter as well as the colonial delegates; reflected the greatest shortcoming in the whole congress. It indicates the tremendous underestimation of this problem which still prevails in the ranks of the I.S.H. and its sections. After the report of comrade Kouyate', only two colonial delegates had the opportunity of discussing the important questions raised at the congress. Comrade H. O'Connell, a Negro seaman from Cardiff, in a very interesting speech pointed out how, with the proper methods of work, and the putting forward of concrete demands, the S.M.M. was at one time able to rally more than 500 Negro, Arab and Somalis seamen under its banner. But due to political confusion and opportunist tactics which later developed, the colonial seamen drifted away from the organization. He stated that the objective situation among the colonial seamen in England demanded that immediate steps be taken organize this section of the water transport workers who are willing to unite in common struggle with their British workers for better conditions. Comrade Padmore, in the name of the International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers, greeted the congress on behalf of the Negro transport workers in the colonies and pledged support to the I.S.H. in carrying out its decisions, especially among Negro workers. He emphasized that it is the task of the I.S.H. and its affiliated sections to give the Negro workers active help in breaking through the barriers set up by imperialist, terror and reformist treachery to strengthen their already existing organizations and to create new ones in the colonies. He pointed out that in view of the policy of the shipowners, the reformist trade union leaders and the state apparatus to repatriate the colonial seamen in Europe back to Africa and the West Indies, the question of organizing these workers becomes a burning issue before the I.S.H. and its sections. It is the task of the advanced water proletariat in Europe and America to take the initiative of drawing these workers into their ranks and fighting their every day battles. It is only by putting forth concrete demands that will enable them to raise their standard of living, will be able to win their confidence and consolidate the united front between the white and coloured workers. In conclusion, comrade Padmore assured the Congress that the Negro workers were already taking up the counter-offensive against the capitalists as recent struggles in Durban and Port Elizabeth in South Africa show. These strikes were defeated by the capitalists who used the white workers as strike breakers, thanks to the treachery of the reformist labour leaders in Africa. Therefore the immediate task which stands before the I.S.H. and its sections is to make a sharp orientation towards the colonies and to resolutely put into effect the colonial resolution which was adopted by the congress calling for the immediate launching of a campaign to organize the coloured seamen, not only in the metropolis, but in the colonies. Negro Worker Nominated for Vice President More than fifty years ago, a Negro worker by the name of Forsch - his first name has not been recorded - was lynched in the small town of Gainesville, Ga. The excuse given was the usual lying charge of "getting fresh with a white woman." The grandson of this Negro worker was put forward by the Communist Party and its candidate for the vice-presidency, to serve with William E. Foster, presidential nominee, as one of the two chief standard-bearers of his Party in its election campaign at a monster convention of over 1,200 delegates in Chicago on May 30. This is the first time in the political history of America that a Negro has ever been nominated for vice-president. The name under which the candidate for the vice-presidency on the ticket of the Communist Party will be known to the voters is James W. Ford. How he got his name is a story in itself. Lymon Forsch, son of the Forsch who was lynched in Georgia, began working for the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company in Pratt City, Ala., in the 1890's. When he got his first pay-envelope, he found that the name had been changed to "Ford". He appealed to the foreman. "Keep that name", said the white foreman. It don't matter about a nigger's name nohow." 25
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 email@example.com.