Jim Williams

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Jim Williams

DSAers for Economic Justice

Members of the Democratic Socialists of America for Economic Justice Public Facebook group as of March 13 2021 included Jim Williams.

An Open Letter to the New New Left From the Old New Left

An Open Letter to the New New Left From the Old New Left.

Now it is time for all those who yearn for a more equal and just social order to face facts.

By Former leaders of the Students for a Democratic Society. April 16, 2020.

On April 13, 2020, Senator Bernie Sanders urged his supporters to vote for the presumptive Democratic nominee, former vice president Joe Biden. Writing as founders and veterans of the leading New Left organization of the 1960s, Students for a Democratic Society, we welcome Bernie’s wise choice—but we are gravely concerned that some of his supporters, including the leadership of Democratic Socialists of America, refuse to support Biden, whom they see as a representative of Wall Street capital. Some of us are DSA members, but do not believe their position is consistent with a long-range vision of democracy, justice, and human survival....

We salute Bernie Sanders and our friends and comrades in DSA and in the diverse movements for social justice and environmental sanity that enabled them to rise. We look forward to joining together to build on and defend our accomplishments. And now we plead with all: Get together, beat Trump, and fight for democracy—precious, fragile, worth keeping.

The signers of this letter were founders, officers, and activists in Students for a Democratic Society between 1960 and 1969.

Signers included Jim Williams.


Michael Hirsch was 18 when he first met Doug Ireland in 1963. He was already a moving force in the early Students for a Democratic Society. With Steve Max and Jim Williams, Ireland formed the Political Education Project, an SDS work group that saw political action as doable by the New Left and a necessary adjunct to its ongoing campus, community and civil rights organizing.[1]

Labor movement influence

In the early 1970s, Communist Party USA aligned union members began to find their voice through new coalitions such as the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists , the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement , and the National Coordinating Committee for Trade Unionists for Action and Democracy. TUAD leaders — Fred Gaboury, Rayfield Mooty, Debbie Albano and Adelaide Bean, along with Labor Today editors Jim Williams and Scott Marshall, helped bring these coalitions together. These labor coalitions, like Coalition of Labor Union Women, reflected rising communist influence in the labor movement.[2]


In the early days of NAM, contacts for the organization included Lynne Shatzkin and Jerry Coffin, NY, Michael Lerner, then working from the Cambridge Policy Studies Institute, a branch from the Institute for Policy Studies, Andy Starr, Philadelphia, Alice Lynd and Staughton Lynd, Chicago, Frank Blumer, Seattle, and Jim Williams, by 1975 a co-editor of the Communist Party USA trade union publication, Labor Today.[3]

In 1975 Steve Max was a member of the West Side chapter New American Movement.He wrote an article with Jim Williams "Strikes and Strike Support", for NAM Discussion Bulletin No. 9, March 1975, which was unpublished, but could be ordered, as a pamphlet from the Midwest Academy.[4]

Communist Party reformer

In 1991 Jim Williams Illinois, was one of several hundred Communist Party USA members to sign the a paper "An initiative to Unite and Renew the Party" - most signatories left the Party after the December 1991 conference to found Committees of Correspondence.[5]

Committees of Correspondence Connection

In 1994 Jim Williams, Chicago was listed on a "Membership, Subscription and Mailing List" for the Chicago Committees of Correspondence, an offshoot of the Communist Party USA.[6]


  1. [ http://www.dsausa.org/remembering_doug_ireland, Dem Left,Remembering Doug Ireland: Comrade and Friend, Posted by Michael Hirsch on 11.07.13]
  2. [Joy in the Struggle, My Life and Love, Bea Lumpkin, page 163]
  4. NAM Discussion Bulletin No. 9, March 1975, page 104
  5. Addendum to Initiative document
  6. Chicago CoC "Membership, Subscription and Mailing List" 10.14.94