Jarvis Tyner

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Jarvis Tyner


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Jarvis Tyner (born July 11, 1941) is a executive vice chair of the Communist Party USA and a long-time member of the party's national board.

As a leader of the CPUSA Tyner has been an active public spokesperson against racism, imperialism and war. He has written numerous articles and pamphlets and appears on the media, campuses and in other public venues advocating for peace, equality and the socialist alternative.

He currently resides in the Inwood section of Manhattan, N.Y., is married and is the father of four adult children[1].

Early life

Tyner was born in the Mill Creek community of West Philadelphia in 1941 and graduated from West Philadelphia High School.

Joining the Party

Jarvis Tyner joined the Communist Party USA, through the civil rights movement[2].

Halltyner.jpg
At 20 I was a strong supporter of the civil rights upsurge that was sweeping the country.
I was also just starting out my working life in the printing industry and eventually joined the union movement. In my civil rights activity, I was impressed by the dedication of many activists, Black and white, and those who stood out the most were members of theCommunist Party USA. I joined the Party because I felt it had the best understanding of how to win full equality for all. I could see that Marx, Engels, Lenin and our own great American Communists, offered solutions to the seemingly intractable problems of poverty, racism and war. The Party today continues its long commitment to anti-racism. The stronger the Party becomes, the closer we will be to the goal of freedom that the African American people, and all other people of good will, have been for.

Tyler joined the Communist Party USA at the age of 20.

After several years working in various industrial jobs in the Philadelphia area, where he was a member of the Amalgamated Lithographers and the Teamsters union, he moved to New York in 1967 to become the national chair of the W.E.B. DuBois Clubs of America, and later founding chair of the Young Workers Liberation League.

Jarvis Tyner was the Communist Party USA candidate for vice president of the U.S. in 1972 and 1976, running with party leader Gus Hall[3].

Inspired by Paul Robeson

Jarvis Tyner was inspired as a child and young man by the communist hero Paul Robeson;

As a child growing up in my mother's West Philadelphia beauty shop, I heard the name Paul Robeson frequently. Robeson was held in high esteem. In our tight little African American working-class community where everybody was struggling to survive, Robeson was a national hero.
Throughout the '40s, '50s and early '60s, the name Robeson was like magic to us. He was what Black leadership was supposed to be like. And the more they tried to persecute him, the stronger our support for him grew. Indeed, the fact that they persecuted him proved his greatness to us.
My siblings and I were just one generation removed from being sharecroppers in the South. It gave us hope and the energy to struggle, as we heard that a Black man of his stature was a fighter for his people.
Furthermore, when he was red-baited, our instinct was to reject redbaiting and the redbaiters. I remember wanting to be like Paul because he stood up to racism and was for the common person. He didn't give in or give up.
I wanted to contribute to the struggle and, after my radicalization in the civil rights movement of the late '50s and '60s while in my early twenties, I began to work with the Communist Party.

In 1964 Tyner was a speaker on a program to honor Alexander Trachtenberg who was then the director of the Communist Party's International Publishers.

After completing my little speech, I sat down and a thunderous applause filled the room. "Wow," I said to myself, "was I that good?" Actually it turned out it wasn't that. The thunderous applause was for a giant of a figure who had entered the room unexpectedly. That figure was Paul Robeson.
My mouth dropped and that good feeling you get in the presence of a great leader overwhelmed me. He shook the hands of every one on the dais including mine. I was honored. I was also stunned. He took the mike and expressed his pleasure at being there. He greeted Trachty (as he was called) and spoke of how happy he was to be back home from Europe and that he was as dedicated to the struggle then as he ever was. To prove that he was the same Paul, he sang a verse or two of Deep River.
That basso profondo voice filled the room and the audience was enthralled. As a 23-year old idealistic man, I was in Communist heaven[4].

National Anti-Imperialist Conference

Jarvis Tyner, National Chairman of Young Workers Liberation League was named as a sponsor of the Communist Party USA dominated National Anti-Imperialist Conference in Solidarity With African Liberation held at Dunbar Vocational High School, Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago, October 19 to 21 1973.[5]

Political Action Committee

In the early 1990s, Jarvis Tyner was chair of the Communist Party USA Political Action Committee.

Supported Communist Party call

In May 1992 the Communist Party USA newspaper Peoples Weekly World published a May Day supplement which included a call to "support our continuing struggle for justice and dignity"

Endorsers of the call included Jarvis Tyner, NY, NY.[6]

Vietnam trip

In July 1996 Tyner visited Vietnam to attend the 8th Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam.[7]

Black Radical Congress

In March 1998 “Endorsers of the Call” to found a Black Radical Congress included Jarvis Tyner, Communist Party USA[8].

In 2000 Jarvis Tyner served on the Coordinating Committee of the Black Radical Congress.[9]

Tyner was a founding member of the Black Radical Congress and served on its national coordinating committee for five years[10].

THE BLACK SCHOLAR VOLUME 28, NO. 3/4, page 46

At the 1998 Black Radical Congress in Chicago, a panel was convened on "Black Radicalism, Black Workers and Today's Labor Movement"

Panelists were Saladin Muhammad, Lou Moy, Frank Lumpkin, Jim Wilkerson, Theresa Polk-Henderson, Jarvis Tyner (coordinator)

Endorsed Communist Party Call

On March 30 2002 the Communist Party USA paper People’s Weekly World called for a national holiday in honor of late Farm Workers Union leader Cesar Chavez. The article was followed by a long list of endorsers[11]including Jarvis Tyner, Almost all endorsers were confirmed members of the Communist Party USA.

Visiting China and Vietnam

A Communist Party USA delegation to China and Vietnam returned to the United States on Dec. 12 2006, with a "wealth of political and cultural experiences they say they hope to share with the U.S. public in order to build better understanding and friendship between the peoples of the U.S., China and Vietnam."

The delegation, made up of National Chair Sam Webb, Executive Vice Chair Jarvis Tyner, International Secretary Pamella Saffer and Labor Secretary Scott Marshall, visited at the invitation of the Communist Parties of China and Vietnam.

In China, they were hosted by the CPCs international department and were able to meet with leaders of the All China Womens Federation, the All China Federation of Trade Unions including a leader of the now famous Wal-Mart union and other leaders, party members and everyday citizens.

The delegation then traveled on to Vietnam. While the CPUSA has sent people to Vietnamese party congresses, and Tyner himself had visited Vietnam in 1972 while bombs were falling, this was the first official CPUSA delegation to ever visit. They described it as a moving experience.

Saffer and Webb both said that relations with between the CPUSA and the Chinese and Vietnamese parties had been further strengthened, and they look forward to building even stronger relations in the future.[12]

Left Forum

Jarvis Tyner, co-chair of Black Radical Congress, Khalil Almustafa of Uptown Youth for Peace and Justice Harlem, Dorothy Benton Lewis, co-chair of International N, COBRA, Hank Williams of CUNY and Freedom Road Socialist Organization, LeShane Lindsey, Labor Organizer for Local 1199 and Bill Berkins, New York State Senator Dist. 30 representing Harlem and West Side were speakers on the Today's Black Agenda: Fighting for Full Employment and Social Justice under the impact of War and Globalization panel sponsored by Black Radical Congress at the Left Forum. The forum was held March 9 - 11, 2007 at Cooper Union College, New York City.[13]

Supporting Barack Obama

Promoting Obama at an Oregon socialist meeting, 2008
Campaigning for Obama, Oregon 2008

In 2008 Communist Party USA leader Jarvis Tyner criss-crossed America, rallying party members, converting wavering Democrats and building support for Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama.

From the blog Maine Owl[14];

It's time to stand up and be counted if you're a Democrat in Maine. Yes, I'm a registered Democrat and have had periods of actual participation in Party activities over the years...But I've made up my mind for Obama and I will stand for him at the caucus on Sunday.
Why? Well, it happened today at a talk I went to record in Orono at the University. It was by Jarvis Tyner, executive vice-chair of the Communist Party USA, and former candidate for vice president of the U.S. Tyner made the case in favor of the social movement building behind Obama...
I'm sold not because I put any special weight on the CP, but because I do believe in social movement, as Tyner helped me understand.

From the West Coast, the Communist Party led Willamette Reds of Oregon reported[15];

The Civil and Human Rights Committee of SEIU Local 503, Oregon Public Employees Union sponsored and hosted a talk by Communist Party Vice Chair Jarvis Tyner, Local 503 retiree activist Ann Montague and union organizer Bob Novick on Friday, August 8 in Portland, Oregon...
The Friday meeting was one of four events held in Oregon featuring Jarvis Tyner and discussions about the Party and the elections. A Thursday night dinner brought together CWA, SEIU and AFT members. A Saturday educational discussion involved the Oregon club and several friends, and was followed by a reception which brought together a mix of union and gay activists and some people from a West Salem neighborhood...

Committee to Celebrate the Life of Luis Miranda Rivas

In 2009 Jarvis Tyner was a member of the Committee to Celebrate the Life of Luis Miranda Rivas.[16]

Latinos for Peace

On October 31 2009, Latinos For Peace issued a statement calling for “no escalation of the war in Afghanistan and for expedited withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan as well as an end to the coup government in Honduras”.

More than 100 activists endorsed the call, including Jarvis Tyner, New York.[17]

Obama only the beginning

Jarvis Tyner, executive vice chairman of the Communist Party USA, spoke to 70 people at Missouri University's Ellis Auditorium in mid November 2009 and said the election of President Barack Obama opens the door for the left wing, which he feels has allowed itself to be pushed to the sidelines and overcome with progress-impeding cynicism, to mobilize.

"He's only the beginning," Tyner said. "I think he's a transitional president. I think somebody else is going to come in and take it even further."

Although the president is neither a communist nor socialist, his administration marks the country's movement away from the right-wing governments that have been dominant in the U.S. since the Reagan administration, Tyner said.

He said that while the Democratic Party is not without blame, the Republican leadership has been the source of the nation's problems that include an increase in poverty, a ruined economy, the continuation of global warming, impeded scientific research and the destruction of public schools by No Child Left Behind.

Tyner said he and his party are not completely satisfied with the work Obama has done since taking office, listing the need to withdraw troops more quickly from Iraq, for initiatives to end nuclear weapons and to re-establish trading relations with Cuba.

However, Tyner praised the public option in the recently passed House health care bill, saying Americans need to put massive pressure on the Senate to pass the legislation with the option intact. He also felt there should be public options for the auto and housing industries and for student loans...

He said the next step for the Communist Party USA is to move more into the mainstream.

"We're not ready to run for president, but we are ready to run for City Council, school boards. And we're going to do that more," Tyner said.[18]

References