John Conyers and the Communist Party USA

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John Conyers and the Communist Party USA. For more more than fifty years John Conyers, Jr. has been linked to the Communist Party USA.

Sugar/Crockett connection

Detroit law partners Maurice Sugar and George Crockett, both lifelong affiliates of the Communist Party USA, encouraged the young John Conyers to first stand for Congress in 1964.[1]

Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center

In 2007, John Conyers and the Communist Party USA was a member of the Honorary Host Committee for the Essential: Advocacy for Workplace Justice Reception & Silent Auction. The reception, which was held on Nov. 14, 2007 is the annual fundraising event to benefit the far left National Lawyers Guild-affiliated Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice. The guest of honor at the reception was Andy Levin, son of Congressman Sander Levin, and Deputy Director at the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth.[2]

National Lawyers Guild

Conyers has served on the national executive board of the National Lawyers Guild, the foremost legal bulwark of the Communist Party, its front organizations, and controlled unions.

Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights

Invitation to CCDBR event with John Conyers

In 1965 John Conyers was a guest speaker with Communist Party USA member Frank Wilkinson at a March 27 Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights supper-workshop-confrence at McGiffert House in Chicago.[3]

On March 1, 2003, John Conyers was the keynote speaker at an event entitled "Assembly to Reclaim our Rights" which was held at Bethel AME Church, 4440 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. The event was organized by the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights and the Bill of Rights Foundation.[4]

Trade Unionists for Peace

In 1966, Conyers spoke at the founding convention of Trade Unionists for Peace which was established by leftist labor leaders as a lobby against United States forces remaining in Vietnam. (TUP was run by Charles Walters, a shop steward for the United Automobile Workers. Former Communist Bereniece Baldwin testified under oath, in 1954, before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, that Walters was a member of the Communist Party USA). In 1966, Walters was editor of Labor Today, a communist controlled publication. Conyers has written for Labor Today.

Supporting Angela Davis

In the early 1970s, several leading US elected officials publicly called for Communist Party USA member Angela Davis' freedom after her arrest on serious charges. They included Ron Dellums, Mervyn Dymally, Jackie Vaughn, Coleman Young, Sydney Von Luther and John Conyers.[5]

Sponsors of the Founding Conference of the NAARPR

The list of "sponsors" of "A Call" for a founding conference of the Communist Party USA front National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression May 11-13, 1973, included John Conyers of the House of Representatives.[6]

CES event

On June 3, 1975, Coalition for Economic Survival honored Rep. Parren Mitchell, at a banquet at the Airport Hyatt Inn, Los Angeles. Mitchell was being honored because of his Transfer Amendment - which would redirect several billion from military to social spending.

CES chair Rev. Al Dortch presided. Sharing the podium with Mitchell were William Robertson, exec secretary of the Los Angeles Federation of Labor, and Humberto Comacho of the United Electrical Workers.

Ruth Yanatta, newly elected Santa Monica councilor and CES founder, was also an honored guest.

Assemblywomen Maxine Waters also presented an award from the state legislative black caucus, to Mitchell and CES.

Honorary co-chairs of the event included Ed Asner, former US rep Yvonne Braithwaite Burke, US reps John Conyers and Ed Roybal, and actor John Randolph.[7]

US Peace Council

List of founding sponsors of the U.S. Peace Council, November, 1979.[8] "Partial List of Sponsors", included John Conyers.

National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression

The 10th Anniversary Conference of the Communist Party USA front National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression was held in Chicago, May 13-15 1983, at the McCormick Inn - featured speakers included John Conyers[9]

Labor Research Association award

Communist Party USA's Daily World, November 25, 1982

In November 1982, Reps. George Crockett and John Conyers of the Congressional Black Caucus were honored at the Communist Party USA controlled Labor Research Association's Banquet Luncheon. Rep. Major Owens of Brooklyn was also present.[10]

Martinez Jobs Bill

Circa early June 1997 Congressmen Sidney Yates, Jesse Jackson, Jr., William Clay, John Conyers and delegate Donna Christensen, all signed on as co-sponsors of the Communist Party USA inspired Martinez Jobs Bill.[11]

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

A coalition of labor, peace, civil rights and human rights organizations in Connecticut joined in the international commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with a conference at Quinnipiac University on Saturday, Dec. 6 2008.

Rep. John Conyers, chair of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives and sponsor of HR 676 for universal single payer healthcare, will be keynote speaker.

Conference convener, Alfred Marder was a leading member of the Communist Party USA.[12]

Keynote Address by U.S. Rep. John Conyers, Jr. of Michigan with introduction by Alfred Marder, Greater New Haven Peace Council and Connecticut State Sen. Toni Harp.[13]

Communist Party "ally"

In a report "What Can We Learn From the Movement for Health Care Reform?" prepared as part of the discussion leading up to the Communist Party USA's 29th National Convention May 21-23, 2010.Communist Party USA member David Bell wrote on the partial failure of the Party's health care agenda;[14]

Did we forget the fact that many of the same unions, hundreds of locals, and the rank and file supported single payer? We also turned away from our allies in Congress, the Progressive Caucus, and John Conyers. We did not insist that single payer supporters, including Conyers, be included in the White House summit on health care reform.

Connecticut conference

A coalition of labor, peace, civil rights and human rights organizations in Connecticut joined in the international commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with a conference at Quinnipiac University on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008.

Rep. John Conyers, chair of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives and sponsor of HR 676 for universal single payer healthcare, was keynote speaker.

Conference convener, and Communist Party USA member Alfred Marder, had recently returned from the European Theater in the fight against fascism during World War II when the Declaration was adopted. It made an indelible impression on him. He now chairs the International Association of Peace Messenger Cities of the United Nations, and leads many local organizations concerned with peace and equality.

“Look back historically,” he says. “Even though the cold war was starting, the United Nations was laying out a vision of the future. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights would change our society drastically.”

Marder points out that, “while the State Department uses the Declaration to talk only about free speech, they never mention the obligations of jobs, education, medical care, gender equality, peace, and all the requirements for the full expression of the human personality.”

The Connecticut conference, called around the theme “Fulfilling the Promise,” is bringing together activists from a wide range of groups and relating their issues with the Declaration of Human Rights.

Connecticut AFL-CIO president John Olsen says popularizing the Declaration gives strength to the campaign for the Employee Free Choice Act and the rights of workers to form unions. A resolution in support was passed at their convention.

In addition to the plenary speech by Rep. Conyers and a presentation on the Declaration by Prof. James Silk of the Yale School of Law, the conference will feature six workshops highlighting the right to a living wage, the peace economy as key to sustainability, social and economic struggles in Connecticut, and issues of political injustice and humanizing the judicial system.

The following day, on Sunday, Dec. 7, Alfred Marder will be one of three honorees to receive the Amistad Award from the People’s Weekly World at a reception at 4:00 pm at the New Haven People's Center, 37 Howe Street. Other recipients are Kathy Jackson, chairwoman of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists in Connecticut and Juan Hernandez, Assistant District Leader of SEIU 32 BJ Justice for Janitors. [15]

References

  1. [ Union power and American democracy: the UAW and the Democratic Party, 1935-72, By Dudley W. Buffa, page 148]
  2. Sugar Law website: Essential: Advocacy for Workplace Justice 2007 Event flyer (accessed on Feb. 11, 2011)
  3. CCDBR letterhead Feb 1965
  4. Assembly to Reclaim our Rights Event Invitation, March 1, 2003
  5. [the Fight to Free Angela Davis, Charlene Mitchell, CPUSA Convention 1972]
  6. Revolutionary Activities Directed Toward the Administration of Penal or Correctional Systems, Part 4, HISC, Hearings, July 25, 1973, in part, p. 1654 and additional sponsors, p. 1655, to "A Call to a Founding Conference for a National Defense Organization Against Racist and Political Repression"
  7. [Peoples World Southwest, May 26, 1975, page 2]
  8. INFORMATION DIGEST, NOVEMBER 1979
  9. NAARPR newsletter Mar 24 1983 p1
  10. Daily World, Honor Black Legislators, Barry Cohen, November 25, 1982
  11. PWW, June 7, 1997, page 3
  12. PW, Connecticut conference highlights Declaration of Human Rights anniversary by: JOELLE FISHMAN december 2 2008
  13. Fulfilling the Promise of Human Rights: the Universal Declaration at 60
  14. Convention Discussion: What Can We Learn From the Movement for Health Care Reform? by: David Bell February 2 2010, This article is part of the discussion leading up to the Communist Party USA's 29th National Convention May 21-23, 2010.
  15. Monday, December 1, 2008Connecticut conference highlights Declaration of Human Rights anniversary by Joelle Fishman