International Red Aid
- IRA -
(1922 - 1938)
International Red Aid
(founded by the Comintern in the year 1922, and dissolved in 1938)
* Austria: Austrian Red Aid (Österreichische Rote Hilfe)
* Britain: International Class War Prisoners Aid
* Bulgaria: Organization for Support to the Victims of the Capitalist Dictatorship
Red Aid of Finland (in Finnish language)
(Suomen Punainen Apu)
Suomen Punainen Apu
Luovutustiedot Suomen Punaisen Avun arkisto on vain osa-arkisto. Asiakirjat on saatu Kansan Arkiston
edeltäjään SKP:n arkistoon samoin kuin Suomen Kommunistisen Puolueen maanalaisen
kauden aineisto. Huomattavan osan asiakirjoista muodostaa Etsivän Keskuspoliisin
takavarikoima aineisto, joka vuonna 1945 Suomen Kommunistisen Puolueen esityksestä
sisäministeriön määräyksellä luovutettiin puolueelle.
Historia Suomen Punaisen Avun toiminta on poliittisten vankien puolesta eri tavoin tehtyä työtä.
1920-luvulla toimi maassamme julkisesti Valtiollisten Vankien Huoltoyhdistykset aktiivisesti
eri puolilla maata. Fasismin nousun yhteydessä 1930 niiden toiminta lakkautettiin, niin kuin
kaikki muukin työväenliikkeen vasemmistolainen toiminta.
Fasismin nousun myötä poliittiset vangitsemiset ja vankilaterrori kasvoivat voimakkaasti,
joten vankien avun tarve kasvoi. Suomen Kommunistisen Puolueen ohjauksella järjestäytyi
Punaisen Avun toiminta. Tämä toiminta tuli maanalaiseksi, kielletyksi niin kuin kaikki
muukin vasemmistolainen työväenliikkeen toiminta.
Käytännön työssä muodostui huomattavaksi avustustoiminta vankilassa oleville, joka vaati
rahaa - ruokapaketit vankilaan ja muu avustus. Rahan keräämiseksi suoritettiin myöskin
käsitöiden valmistamista ja niiden myyjäistoimintaa, mihin saatiin paljon työläisnaisia
Etsivä Keskuspoliisi kohdisti myöskin näihin Suomen Kommunistisen Puolueen ystäviin
vainonsa ja pidätti myös heitä hanakasti ja lähetti hovioikeuden tuomittaviksi syytettynä
tavallisemmin "valtiopetoksen valmisteluun tähtäävän toiminnan edistämisestä".
Punaisen Avun toiminta oli yhteydessä Kansainväliseen Punaiseen Apuun ja välitön vaikutus
Punaisen Avun toimintaan oli Suomen Kommunistisella Puolueella.
Erilaisten kiellettyjen julkaisujen avulla, jotka ilmestyivät monistettuina, pyrittiin
tiedottamaan lähinnä työväenluokkaan kuuluville poliittisten vankien oloista ja heihin
Aineisto Parhaiten arkistossa olevassa aineistossa on Punaisen Avun keskuksen lehti Vankien Toveri
Vuoden 1935 jälkeisiltä vuosilta ei arkistossa ole yhtään asiakirjaa, joten asiakirjat ja muu
tieto järjestön toiminnasta vuosilta 1936-1944 puuttuvat kokonaan. Jonkinlaista toimintaa on
kuitenkin ollut, sillä vasta välirauhansopimus 19.9.1944 avasi vankiloiden ovet poliittisille
Suomen Punainen Apu oli 1930-luvulla Suomessa toiminut vasemmistolaisten poliittisten vankien tukijärjestö. Puna-avun toimintaa ohjasivat kommunistit, joita (tai joiden tukemisesta tuomittuja) myös tuetut vangit olivat. Puna-apu oli Suomen kommunistisen puolueen tavoin kielletty maanalainen järjestö, johon kuulumista saattoi saada syytteen "valtiopetoksen valmisteluun tähtäävän toiminnan edistämisestä". Puna-avun edeltäjiä olivat 1920-luvulla toimineet ja 1930 lakkautetut Valtiollisten vankien huoltoyhdistykset.
Puna-avun käytännön avustustoiminta muodostui muun muassa ruokapakettien ja muun tarpeellisen toimittamisesta vangeille. Naiset rahoittivat toimintaa esimerkiksi valmistamalla käsitöitä ja järjestämällä myyjäisiä. Puna-apu julkaisi lehteä Vankien Toveri ja muita monistettuja tiedotteita, joissa pyrittiin valistamaan ihmisiä poliittisten vankien ahdingosta ja huonosta kohtelusta.
Suomen Punainen Apu oli osa Kansainvälistä Punaista Apua (MOPR).
* France: International Red Aid (Secours Rouge International)
* Germany: Red Aid of Germany (Rote Hilfe Deutschlands)
* Mexico: League for Support of Persecuted Fighters (Liga Pro Luchadores Perseguidos)
* Netherlands: Red Aid of Holland (Roode Hulp Holland)
* Norway: Red Aid of Norway (Norges Roede Hjelp)
* Poland: Czerwona Pomoc w Polsce
* Soviet Union: International Red Aid to Fighters of the Revolution
* Spain: International Red Aid (Socorro Rojo Internacional)
* Sweden: International Red Aid - Swedish Section
* USA: International Labor Defense
United we stand - - divided we fall !
(Picture of Käthe Kollwitz - 1932)
Forward, and never to forget
what our strength consists of!
While starving and while eating,
forward, not to forget
Stand up, you, peoples of this Earth!
Unite in the sense which here is:
That she now become yours,
and the big foster mother.
Black, White, Swarthy, Yellow!
End up their bloodbaths!
Once the peoples themselves speak,
they rapidly will be united.
If we want to obtain it rapidly
we still need you and you.
Who abandons fellow beings,
solely, that is clear, abandons himself.
Our masters, whoever they are
like to see our disunity,
for, as long as they divide us,
it's true that they stay our masters.
Proletarians of all countries
unite and you will be free!
Your big regiments
smash any tyranny.
Forward, and never to forget,
the question asked to anybody:
Do you want to starve or to eat?
Whose morning is the morning?
Whose world is the world?
"The International Red Aid is a subsidiary of the world proletarian revolution"
* * *
Of the numerous front organizations spawned by the Communist International, none became more widely known or more active than International Red Aid (IRA). Created in 1922, IRA served the Comintern for over twenty years until it was dissolved with its parent in 1943.
By 1924 the organization had sections in 19 countries. By 1932, the IRA united 70 national sections, which included about 14 million people (including 9.7 million people were in the USSR whose contributions to the fund were the most significant).
At its peak (1932–1933) this front attained a membership of over fourteen million, scattered over seventy-three national sections. It provided relief and aid for thousands of Communist and non-partisan revolutionaries who were subjected to the persecutions of bourgeois class justice and White Terror. From its presses poured a steady stream of propaganda in a dozen languages – handbills, leaflets, pamphlets, books, and periodicals. The Red Aid leadership initiated and conducted protest demonstrations and campaigns on behalf of the most celebrated causes of the 1920's and 1930's:
Sacco and Vanzetti, the Scottsboro Boys, Tom Mooney, the Reichstag Fire Trial, Ernst Thälmann, Antonio Gramsci, and the Spanish Civil War.
Leaders of the Central Committee of the IRA:
founder: Julian Marchlewski (1922-1925).
In winter 1922, Clara Zetkin had already supported actively the efforts of her old friend Julian Marchlewski to found the Red Aid :
Clara Zetkin wrote:
"The foundation of the International Red Aid is the unforgettable merit of Comrade Julian Marchlewski. This was the irrefutable conclusion from the victory of the Red October, the assertion of the Soviet state and the effect of this most powerful time events in the world. Since his youth years, an infinite, passionate revolutionary fighter for the liberation of workers from the yoke of capitalism. He made himself personal experience about the grueling guerrilla war with spies and policemen, the dirt and the tortures of body and mind in the prisons of czarist Poland, the uncertainty, caring stressful existence of emigration that he suffered. During the years of the imperialist world war in Germany the many tortures of a concentration camp for politically suspect foreigners and incarceration in a cell of the infamous Berlin police prison because he was writing articles and spread treasonous ideas. As thoroughly educated Marxist he saw clearly, sharply, that the old ways of international fraternal assistance for revolutionary fights and fighters - so by the revolutionaries Red Cross and independently active organizations in each country - was not meeting the rapidly growing demands of the revolution. The old forms of international solidarity meant fragmentation, weakening the benefits. For acting in them it was needed international uniform summary and management, tighter centralization. The establishment of a world-wide mass organization of international fraternal assistance was absolutely necessary. Fighting against capitalism was an urgent need of the hour. On September 13, 1922 - guided by such considerations, Comrade Marchlewski proposed to instantly create a separate organization for fraternal assistance to political prisoners in all countries of the world, before the Board of the famous company of old Bolsheviks. The leading comrades of the Company approved the proposal enthusiastically and immediately decided the campaign to organize an International Red Cross. The comrades Marchlewski, Diwilkowski and Lepeschinski were elected to the Commission, which was responsable for the implementation of the Decision. On November 30, 1922 a full meeting of the IV. World Congress of the Communist International decided, according to the request of the old Bolsheviks (inspired by Marchlewski) , the final constitution of a political Red Cross in all countries and the international unity of this organization. The old designation was dropped and rightly chosen the name: International Red Aid (IRA). The need for this new international organization was justified with the rapidly increasing number of Communist and non-Party prisoners in all dominions of capitalism as with the extremely sad situation of these prisoners. Comrade Marchlewski took over the presidency in this meeting , and he wrote the reaching adopting Resolution. In February of the following year the centralization was adopted in form the "Commission for Assistance for the political prisoners in Poland". With this apparatus the funds were collected for the "International Red Aid", as had demanded a document signed by Marchleski newsletter. He was elected Chairman of its Central Committee, which was formed on 21 March 1923. Likewise, he chaired a special committee that had been used to control the issues of political emigration. It worked in close contact with the International Red Aid and this was later completely incorporated. As chairman of this committee Marchlewski advocated successfully that the political emigrants from Bulgaria would pass a state farm. Despite increasing severe physical suffering he worked in the service of IRA. He was all his life a tireless, upright, selflessly devoted revolutionary. He was chairman until his death in 1925. At a memorial gathering in his honor, organized by the Central Committee of IRA ,
Comrade Dombal said: "The International Red Aid is an organization that facilitates the proletariat the way to its goal in the world revolution. The executive of the IRA highlights the great importance of the Red-Aid work and the great merit of Comrade Marchlewski, who has organized and developed the IRA. The executive will keep alive the memory of comrades Marchlewski. He was one of the brightest and most outstanding figures of the international labor movement. "
Clara Zetkin (1925-1927).
Clara Zetkin was a member of the Executive Committee of the Comintern and Head of the Women's Secretariat of the leadership of the III. International.
She was also co-founder and from 1925 President of the International Red Aid - after the death of Comrade Marchlewski. She was elected on the II. Congress of the IRA. The name Clara Zetkin at that time was a symbol of international solidarity. Under her leadership, the IRA became a one million organization. In her report on the 10th anniversary of the founding of the IRA, Clara Zetkin announced that the International Red Aid was 11 1/2 million members. 1927 the International Red Aid launched an appeal to the vast masses in all countries: The two Italians Sacco and Vanzetti emigrated to America were (knowingly wrong) accused by the United States Justice to have murdered and robbed a cash courier. The IRA struggled to save them from the electric chair. This movement, in the course of which there were protest strikes and large street rallies in nearly all European countries, in South America and in the United States itself, was a powerful demonstration against the dollar imperialism and its judiciary. Sacco and Vanzetti could not be saved from death. But five years later, eight young black men were snatched from the hangman in Scottsboro (Alabama). Clara Zetkin wrote a call in millions of copies and in many languages to rescue the blacks. Clara Zetkin worked until the day she died as a harbinger of international solidarity with the victims of the White Terror and the reactionary class justice. Her final appeal to the international community was to stop the imprisoned and persecuted victims of the bloody Hitlerite tyranny. She was a great fighter against German fascism.
Jelena Stassow (1927-1938).
"The International Red Aid owes its decisive external and internal development to Comrade Jelena Stassowa and her ardent, passionate driving spirit. She leads valuable international staff from different national sections in the Secretariat of the Executive." (Clara Zetkin - 1932)
After her arrest and conviction she spent the years 1913-1916 in exile in South Siberian village Kuragino.
In the revolutionary year 1917 Stassowa was a member of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) from 1918 to 1920, while secretary of the Petrograd Committee. In 1918 she was co-founder and board member of the Petrograd Cheka.
In September 1920 Stassowa was secretary of the Presidium of the Council for "propaganda for the people of the East" and a member of the Caucasian Bureau of the Central Committee of the Party. From 1921 to 1925 she worked as a liaison woman in the apparatus of the Communist Party of Germany and the representative of the Executive Committee of the Communist International in Berlin.
1925 Stassowa returned back to the Soviet Union and was until 1937 chairman of the Soviet Central Committee of the International Red Aid and Deputy Chairman of the Executive Committee of the organization. In this capacity, she was in 1932 at the Amsterdam anti-war Congress as a member of a global anti-war and anti-Fascist Committee and took part in 1934 in the establishment of a world-anti-war and anti-Fascist Women's Committee.
From 1930 to 1934 Stassowa was also a member of the Central Control Commission of the CPSU, 1935-1943 Member of the International Control Commission of the Comintern.
International Communist Solidarity
in Documents of the Comintern
Forth Congress of the Communist International
Abridged report of meeting held at Moscow
RESOLUTION OF THE FOURTH COMINTERN CONGRESS ON PROLETARIAN HELP FOR SOVIET RUSSIA
5 December 1922 Protokoll, iv, p. 935
[ The resolution was moved by Munzenberg and passed unanimously without discussion. ]
The workers of all countries, without distinction of political or trade union attitude, are interested in the survival and consolidation of Soviet Russia. Apart from the deeply-rooted feeling of proletarian solidarity, this more than anything else has made all workers' parties ready to support action for the relief of the famine in Soviet Russia, and inspired millions of workers in all countries to make the greatest sacrifices with enthusiasm. With the help of this proletarian relief action, which grew into the biggest and most prolonged international solidarity action in the history of the workers' movement, Soviet Russia survived the most difficult days of famine and triumphed over hunger.
But even during this famine relief action, large sections of the workers' organizations which took part in it realized that more was needed to help Soviet Russia than the provision of food. The economic war of the imperialist States on Soviet Russia continues, the trade blockade continues in the form of a refusal of credit, and whenever capitalist groups do start to do business with Soviet Russia, this is done with the object of exploiting and profiting from Soviet Russia.
As in all other conflicts between Soviet Russia and its imperialist enemies, it is the duty of the workers of all countries to intervene in favour of Soviet Russia in the economic war also, against its imperialist enemies, and to support Soviet Russia actively and practically with every means, including economic assistance.
The best support for Soviet Russia in the economic war is the political revolutionary struggle of the workers and their pressure on the government of every country to recognize the Soviet Government and establish favourable trade relations with Soviet Russia. With the importance that Soviet Russia has for all workers, the maximum economic, as well as the political, power of the world proletariat must be mobilized in its support.
Every factory and workshop which Soviet Russia gets going with the support of the workers without capitalist credits, is effective help for Soviet Russia in the struggle against the imperialist robber policy, and every strengthening of Soviet Russia, the first workers' State in the world, strengthens the international proletariat in the struggle against their class enemy, the bourgeoisie.
The fourth congress of the Communist International therefore declares that it is the duty of all workers' parties and organizations, above all of communists, to give immediate and practical support to Soviet Russia in the reconstruction of its economy, not only through their political revolutionary struggle, but also by a campaign for economic aid among the broadest masses.
The most important task of proletarian economic assistance outside Soviet Russia consists in collecting funds for the purchase of machinery, raw materials, tools, etc., for Soviet Russia. In addition to the methods already used, collections, special exhibitions, etc., attention should be paid to participation by party groups, trade unions, co-operatives, and other workers' circles, in workers' loans for Soviet Russia.
Propaganda for proletarian economic help at the same time offers the opportunity of carrying on the best agitation for Soviet Russia. It should therefore be carried out in closest connexion with the sections in the individual countries.
Since the question of economic support for Soviet Russia is of general importance for the entire working class, it is necessary to create special committees or societies to organize and carry out this campaign, composed of delegates from all kinds of workers' organizations, similar to the workers' famine relief committees. These committees or societies should interest and win the support of the broadest workers' circles for this economic aid. They shall be subject to the control of the Communist International.
The use of the funds collected by these committees and societies is to be decided in closest consultation with the appropriate Russian economic bodies, either of the State or of workers' organizations.
In the present state of Russian economic life the mass immigration of foreign workers would not help but rather hamper reconstruction, and should in no circumstances be encouraged. The immigration of foreign workers into Russia should be restricted to individual specialist workers, who are urgently required in certain industries. But even in these cases the agreement and consent of the Russian trade unions must first be obtained.
Proletarian economic aid must aim at bringing into harmony two ideals: the concentration of international workers' solidarity on help for the first proletarian State in the world, and the attainment of tangible economic results.
In accordance with the principles of socialist co-operation and economic management, any surplus funds collected may be used only to expand the scope of the activities in question.
Not to be confused with Workers International Relief (aka Mezhrabpom), established by the Comintern in 1921 to channel international aid to Soviet Russia during the famine.
APPEAL FROM THE ECCI AND THE RILU TO ALL WORKERS AGAINST DEATH SENTENCES PASSED IN INDIA
March 1923 Inprekorr, iii, 48, p. 378, 14 March 1923
Imperialist justice has condemned 172 men in India to death.
A year ago 228 men, accused of taking part in the disturbances which led to the burning of the Chauri-Chaura police station and the murder of twenty-two policemen, were brought before the court. Now 172 men are to be executed in retaliation for the death of twenty-two policemen who fell in defence of 'law and order'. The ferocity of this judicial murder is unsurpassed even in the bloody history of British rule in India.
Since 1919 India has been the scene of mass murders and brutal repression.
Beginning in Amritsar, British imperialism has freely made use everywhere of tanks, bombs, machine-guns, and bayonets to smother the rebellious people in streams of blood. More than 30,000 men and women are in prison under various sentences for having taken part in the nationalist movement. More than 6,600 poor peasants from Malabar are serving hard-labour sentences, 5 have been executed, and 70 hanged. In the Punjab 5,000 Sikh peasants are in prison, beaten and ill-treated
there. This outrageous list is now to be extended by sending 172 men to the gallows.
The great majority of the condemned men are poor peasants, driven to revolt by the intolerable burden of war taxes and high prices. The revolt was directed against both the native landlords and the alien government, who together suck the peasants' blood. It took the form of a gigantic mass demonstration with nationalist slogans and under nationalist leadership. The demonstrations were peaceful, for the leaders of the nationalist movement are pettybourgeois pacifists who believe in the victory of nonviolence. But imperialism would not even allow a peaceful demonstration of the unarmed masses. The Chauri-Chaura police opened fire on a crowd of about 3,000 who were making their way to a nearby market where they wanted to put up posters against the sale of foreign goods. This provocative act angered the peaceful demonstrators, who attacked the police station, and all the inmates were killed. The number of casualties among the rebels was never established, but it is easy to imagine the effect of fire on a crowd of 3,000 persons. Indignation spread rapidly to neighbouring districts and grew into a dangerous agrarian uprising, which was suppressed by rapidly assembled military forces. The number of those who fell victim to the merciless hand of 'law and order' is not known. After the suppression of the revolt many arrests were made, and persons were brought into court charged with murder and incendiarism. The case ended with 172 death sentences.
The international proletariat, which is waging a bitter struggle against capitalism throughout the world, must not allow this imperialist mass murder to take place without protest. The revolt of the working masses of the colonial countries is a powerful element in the revolutionary struggle for the overthrow of the bourgeois dictatorship, and the establishment of a new social order. Imperialism is trying to smother the revolt of the colonial masses in streams of blood. The proletariat of the imperialist countries cannot remain indifferent to this. Energetic action must be taken on behalf of our Indian comrades, who are waging a bloody struggle against the imperialist terror.
Men and women workers!
Organize protest meetings and demonstrations which shall brand this act of imperialist mass murder and demand that the condemned men be set free. Call on the Second International and the Amsterdam Trade Union Federation to demand of their chief pillar, the British Labour Party, to save the lives of the 172 Indian peasants, whose only crime was their hunger, and who were in that state of unbearable hunger because they were forced to contribute too much to the waging of the 'war for democracy'. Call on the Two-and-a-half International to demand of its backbone, the Independent Labour Party, to give proof of its lofty avowal of pacifism.
Proletarians of Great Britain!
It is your duty to take the lead in this affair. Demand that the Labour Party take action in parliament against this bloody deed of British imperialism. If the reformist leaders cannot be moved to action even by so flagrant a violation of every moral and juri-dical law which they recognize as authoritative for others, you must reject your leaders and take direct action yourselves in support of the right of subject peoples to rebel and in affirmation of the solidarity of the working masses in the fight against capitalism.
THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL STATEMENT BY THE ECCI ON THE SOFIA CATHEDRAL EXPLOSION
23 April 1925 Inprekorr, v, 66, p. 891, 24 April 1925
Forgeries and deceptions are being more and more frequently used by enemies of the Communist International. Month after month, and recently week after week, cruder and cruder forgeries are published, now in one country, now in another, of alleged letters, instructions, decisions, and other documents attributed to the ECCI.
The fascist Tsankov Government has broken the record. Following the explosion in the Sofia Cathedral this fascist Government published some hastily fabricated documents designed to prove the complicity of the Communist International in that act of terrorism. It is superfluous to explain that neither the Communist International nor any of its sections could, if only because of their opposition on principle to acts of individual terror, have had any connexion whatever with the Sofia explosion.
The Executive of the International declares emphatically that all the documents attributed to it concerning this event, as well as the alleged fixing of a date for a Bulgarian insurrection, are forgeries from beginning to end. The frenzied enemies of the Communist International who are conducting a 'holy war' against communists are growing more insolent every day.
The ECCI calls on the workers of all countries to get ready to defend themselves, and to condemn the treachery of the fascist Tsankov Government as it deserves. No
white terror will stop the fight of the workers and peasants for their emancipation.
The sympathies of progressive workers everywhere are wholly on the side of the workers and peasants of Bulgaria and their vanguard, who do not shrink from the struggle even in the face of death.
MANIFESTO OF THE ECCI, RILU, AND YCI AGAINST IMPERIALIST ATROCITIES IN CHINA
8 June 1925 Inprekorr,v, 93, p. 1260, 12 June 1925
World imperialism, which oppresses and exploits the Chinese workers and peasants, and grows ever more insolent, has with a savage cynicism worthy of the Russian tsars allowed fire to be opened on a peaceful crowd of striking textile workers in Tsingtao, whose only fault was that they dared to raise their voice for an alleviation of their bitter lot. . . .
For a long time the Chinese working class endured in silence this prison of international capitalist oppression; now their patience is at an end. In March the Chinese workers in the Japanese cotton mills of Shanghai decided to put an end to their unbearable sufferings and went on strike for an improvement of their economic position. In April the strike was supported by the Chinese workers in the Japanese factories of Tsingtao in the province of Shantung. . . .
The Japanese industrialists were forced to yield to the pressure of the working masses. This struggle ended on 9 May with victory for the workers.
Meanwhile orders came from Japan to withdraw the concessions made.
Encouraged by this support, the Japanese exploiters in Tsingtao, taking advantage of the weakness of the Chinese Government, sent their gendarmes and spies into the
factories on strike. The Chinese workers did everything to preserve the peaceful character of their movement. . . . But on 29 May the warlike clique of Japanese
militarists organized a bloodbath among the workers of Tsingtao . . . .
which shook the millions of Chinese workers and awakened the slumbering but mighty revolutionary forces of this people to action.
A mighty wave of indignation swept over China. On the very next day, on 30 May, many thousands of people, including the revolutionary students, led by the communist party and the Kuomintang party, demonstrated their indignation and uttered a flaming protest against the insolence of the imperialists. . . .
As though by agreement the English and American police in Shanghai, while the Japanese gendarmerie were shooting unarmed workers in Tsingtao, took over the job of shooting demonstrators who expressed their sympathy with the Tsingtao workers and protested against Japanese militarism. . . .
These acts of atrocious violence were the foreign capitalists' revenge for their recent defeat; the blood of workers and students compensated them for their unsuccessful attempt to break the resistance of the trade unions and destroy the trade union movement. . . .
A detachment of 2,000 English, American, and Italian soldiers has been landed in Shanghai. . . .
Warships are being concentrated in the harbour and further troop disembarkations prepared. This means the beginning of a new war, open armed intervention. While French imperialism wages war in Morocco the English, American, and Italian imperialists are beginning war with China. . . .
This united front of aggressive imperialism must be opposed by the unbreakable iron front of the European and American workers and peasants with the oppressed
workers of the East.
The recent events in China bear eloquent witness to the uninterrupted growth of the national emancipation movement and the dominating role of the working class in this movement. . . .
The greater the pressure exercised by the workers in the West on world capital, the better the prospects for the movement of the oppressed millions of the East, who from their end are undermining the rule of capitalism, which with equal ruth-lessness oppresses the working masses of East and West.
RESOLUTION OF THE SIXTH ECCI PLENUM PROTESTING AGAINST THE BLOCKADE OF CANTON
24 February 1926 Inprekorr, vi, 37, p. 516, 8 March 1926
The British Government has imposed a blockade of Canton, and through its mission in Peking has sent a note to the Chinese Foreign Minister containing threats against the revolutionary Government in Canton, and calling on the central Chinese Government to make Canton put an end to the strike of seamen and dockworkers.
This strike has been going on for eight months. This is due not only to the extraordinary stubbornness and solidarity of the workers themselves, but also to the support and deep sympathy of the democratic population throughout China. Of course the Kuomintang Government of Canton, which has the support of the popular masses of Kwantung province and the national-liberation movement of the entire country, cannot suppress the workers' movement at the command of British imperialists. . . .
To mislead public opinion at home and the working masses of other countries, British imperialism cites as pretext for the blockade the alleged seizure of foreign cargoes by the strikers and the violation of Anglo-Chinese agreements by the South Chinese Government.
These excuses will deceive nobody. The Canton Government cannot be forced to suppress a strike movement for the benefit of British capitalists, nor can that be done
in virtue of any robber treaty forced on China by British imperialists. . . .
The revolutionary workers of the world, and above all the workers of Great Britain, must raise a loud protest against the imperialist attack. Canton must not be destroyed by the British colonizers. The liberation movement in China must be supported by all revolutionary workers and all honest adherents of the equality of nations.
ECCI MANIFESTO ON THE REVOLT IN INDONESIA
20 November 1926 Inprekorr, vi, 143, p. 2506, 23 November 1926
The anti-imperialist revolt is spreading; from China it has reached Java, where the oppressed and exploited masses have risen against Dutch imperialism. An armed
rebellion has broken out in western Java. . . .
The Dutch Governor-General has declared that he intends to crush the revolt mercilessly.
The struggle for freedom in the Dutch colonies is not a new phenomenon. The population has never come to terms with imperialist rule. . . .
Recently these struggles have assumed an organized form under communist party leadership. Under proletarian hegemony, a united front has been established to liberate the country from imperialist rule. This united revolutionary army includes the overwhelming majority of the population, proletariat, peasantry, intellectuals, and petty bourgeoisie.
Dutch imperialism has replied with measures of brutal repression. The communist party was the first victim; it was declared illegal, and its press forbidden; its leaders have been arrested or driven into exile. The revolutionary unions have been dissolved, meetings prohibited, newspapers shut down. The mass nationalist organization Sarekat Rajat has been declared illegal.
Nevertheless the rising wave of mass revolt has not been held back. The will to freedom cannot be defeated. . . .
The Indonesian people are rising against inhuman and intolerable conditions. Dutch imperialism, armed to the teeth, will drown this freedom movement in rivers of blood if the Indonesian revolutionary movement is not supported by the workers and the oppressed peoples of the entire world. The Communist International greets the Indonesian revolutionary struggle and will support it to the utmost.
Workers of the world . . . organize mass demonstrations to show your sympathy for the Java revolt and to protest against imperialist terror. . . .
Demonstrate outside the Dutch embassies and consulates and demand freedom for the Indonesian people and the withdrawal of imperialist armies from the colonies.
Oppressed peoples of the world! The Indonesian rebels are your vanguard ...
do everything you can to support them in their fight.
ECCI STATEMENT ON CHIANG KAI-SHEK'S ANTI-COMMUNIST COUP
15 April 1927 Inprekorr, vii, 41, p. 859, 16 April 1927
AGAINST IMPERIALIST WAR! AGAINST THE STRANGLING OF THE CHINESE REVOLUTION!
APPEAL OF THE EXECUTIVE OF THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL TO THE PROLETARIAT OF THE WHOLE WORLD AND TO ALL OPPRESSED PEOPLES!
The Communist International summons all of you to open mass protest against imperialism, which is threatening the world with the vast misery of a new world war. Nearly thirteen years have passed since the first imperialist world war started, and mankind has not yet made good the destruction it wrought. . . .
Now the guns are again belching forth smoke. The clique of imperialists, still powerful, has begun a hangmen's war against the Chinese people. More than 170 warships are lying in Chinese harbours. Tens of thousands of infantry, Japanese, English, American . . . have been landed on the soil that is drenched in the blood and sweat of the sorely-tried Chinese masses. The most important Chinese cities are virtually occupied by the hordes of these 'civilized' hangmen. . . .
They have already begun to prepare war against the Soviet Union. The outrageous attack on the Soviet mission in China, the destruction of its premises, the plunderings, arrests, and ill-treatment, the siege of the Soviet Consulate in Shanghai by Tsarist white guards, the English, and the Americans—all this bears witness to a systematic plan being operated at the instigation of the imperialist pirates.
It is no accident that British imperialism is working to fetter the English labour movement and to deprive the trade unions of all their rights. It wants to ensure
'peace' while carrying out its 'heroic' military activities.
It is no accident that the French bankers' clique is putting through special laws which are turning the country into a military camp. . . .
It is no accident that all the forces of capital are uniting against the Chinese revolution and against the citadel of the workers' movement, the Soviet Union. A new blood-bath is being prepared, more criminal, more bloody, and more murderous than the one that began in 1914.
This is being covered up by the League of Nations, the most hypocritical institution of all times. . . .
It is being covered up by the leaders of the Second International and Amsterdam, who yearn platonically for peace but use their best energies in the fight against the Soviet Union. . . .
In China the imperialists have not only blockaded the entire country. They have managed to destroy the unity of the Kuomintang and have bought over Chiang Kaishek.
This traitor to the Chinese revolution and the Chinese people has become the centre of the national counter-revolution. In agreement with the foreigners Chiang Kai-shek executed a coup in Shanghai and dissolved the Shanghai city council. His generals have disarmed the workers' corps and, on the orders of the foreign marauders, have shot down hundreds of proletarian men, women, and children. . . .
With the utmost indignation and the greatest hatred we declare Chiang Kai-shek a traitor to the revolution, an ally of the imperialist robbers, an enemy of the revolutionary Kuomintang, an enemy of the labour movement, and an enemy of the Communist International.
The working class of all countries, the oppressed people of all lands must realize that the Chinese bourgeoisie have withdrawn from the fight against imperialism in China, in fear of the tremendous rising wave of the workers' and peasants' movement. This movement is so vast that no imperialist forces will be able to crush the Chinese revolution. . . .
The Chinese revolution, with its tremendous impetus and its immense influence on the colonial world and over the European proletariat, reflects the extreme intensification of the capitalist crisis. The depth of this crisis is drawing the imperialists together. . . .
Their campaign against China, their criminal plans to provoke the Soviet Union are endangering the peace of the world.
STATEMENT OF THE ECCI SECRETARIAT ON THE DOCUMENTS PUBLISHED BY CHANG TSO-LIN AFTER THE RAID ON THE SOVIET EMBASSY IN PEKING
29 April 1927 Inprekorr, vii, 47, p. 980, 3 May 1927
The Chinese press in the territory occupied by Chang Tso-lin is publishing a series of forged documents, allegedly found during the recent police raid on the Soviet Embassy in Peking. These 'materials' are now being reproduced by the entire bourgeois press as new revelations about the Comintern's work. They have been quoted in the English parliament and are being used to stir up bourgeois public opinion against the Soviet Union. The fuss being made in imperialist circles about these fantastic documents is in itself clear proof of the object of the police, who are in the service of foreign capital, in forcing their way into the Embassy. . . .
In these documents 'secret instructions from Moscow' are said to have been given, in which the Comintern recommends 'stirring up the popular masses against the conduct of foreigners in China, with the object of bringing about foreign intervention'. That is, the Comintern is credited with nothing less than support for the plans of the imperialist hangmen in China. . . .
All this humbug, which betrays the political ignorance of the experts in foreign pay who manufactured it, is so nonsensical that it makes refutation superfluous. It can be used only by hopelessly biased people or by conscious deceivers who try to justify the imperialist robbery of their governments in China by these unsavoury methods. . . .
The workers of all countries will know what value to place on this attempt by Chang Tso-lin, inspired by foreign capitalists, to stifle the great movement of the working-class and peasant masses of China.
ECCI PROTEST AGAINST THE EXECUTION OF CHINESE COMMUNISTS
1 May 1927 Inprekorr, vii, 49, p. 1030, 10 May 1927
Chang Tso-lin, the hireling of world imperialism and bloody hangman of China, in obedience to the will of the imperialists, has had the twenty-five Chinese communists arrested in the diplomatic quarter of Peking put to death in a most horrible and agonizing way; among them was comrade Li Ta-chao, founder of the Chinese CP. . . .
It could only have been with the consent of the diplomatic corps that Chang Tsolin's murderous scoundrels entered the foreign quarter, only with that consent could the Chinese communists have been handed over to their executioners to suffer such dreadful class revenge. The responsibility for their blood rests on the international
gangs of murderers of the bourgeois-capitalist governments of all imperialist Powers. . . .
The extraterritoriality of the diplomatic quarter guarantees the right of asylum to all enemies of the Chinese revolution, monarchists, reactionary ministers, elements friendly to England and Japan, and all the other hirelings of foreign capital. . . .
Only for communists, for revolutionary workers and the Kuomintang left, does the diplomatic quarter serve as a trap. The imperialist Powers have no hesitation in trampling on its diplomatic immunity when it comes to surrendering communists to Chang Tso-lin's executioners.
This is not the first time they have perpetrated such a villainy. On 24 November last year the Kuomintang district committee in Tientsin was destroyed by the English authorities, and fourteen of its members arrested and handed over to Chang Tso-lin ... demonstrating the English Conservative Government's direct and open participation in the Chinese civil war on the side of reaction. . . .
After the blood-bath perpetrated by the English and American navies in Nanking, after the bombardment of Wanhsien by the English fleet last year, after the outrageous raid on the Soviet Russian Embassy, the only foreign Embassy to show friendship to the Chinese revolution, the world imperialist rabble have decided to do some blood-letting among the Chinese working class. . . .
The disarming and shooting down of workers organized by the latest hangman of the Chinese revolution, the treacherous general Chiang Kai-shek, and the executions of the communists in Peking are links in one chain, forged not in Peking and not in Shanghai, but by the imperialists of all countries in London.
ECCI APPEAL ON BEHALF OF SACCO AND VANZETTI
6 August 1927 Inprekorr, vii, 80, p. 1726, 9 August 1927
Once again, at the twelfth hour, the Communist International appeals to the workers of the entire world. Once again it raises its voice to summon all vvorkers to stay the arm of the executioners who are about to execute the sentence of American class justice. In tremendous demonstrations the workers of all countries have protested against the torture of the two revolutionaries, Sacco and Vanzetti, who for seven years have languished in gaol in constant danger of death. The sentence passed on them is a challenge to the world proletariat. It is an overture to, an announcement of new, ferocious reprisals, against not only the American but the international working class. The sentence shows that in 'civilized America' proletarian revolutionaries share the benefits of only one technical invention, the electric chair.
We appeal to all workers and to all revolutionary organizations:
Protest against the execution of the sentence; organize mass demonstrations against those responsible for this crime; organize protest strikes.
Only the united efforts of the world proletariat can save Sacco and Vanzetti from the electric chair.
Fight to the utmost against the bloodthirsty American bourgeoisie.
APPEAL OF THE WEST EUROPEAN BUREAU OF THE ECCI ON EVENTS IN CHINA
May 1928 Inprekorr, viii, 47, p. 831, 18 May 1928
The military partition of China has begun. Predatory Japanese imperialism has occupied Shantung. The world bourgeoisie, who smothered the nationalrevolutionary movement of the Chinese workers and peasants in blood, are turning from intervention to the open conquest of the country. Japan is hurrying to exploit the advantages of its strategical position to tear off the first morsels....
The war begun by Japan can turn into a world conflagration, a war of the imperialists for the general partition of the world, a re-division of colonies, a bloody campaign against all the oppressed peoples. Only the prompt and courageous solidarity of the international proletariat and the oppressed peoples can prevent or postpone the
The Mikado's Government is not waging war against Chiang Kai-shek, who has offered his services more than once to the various imperialist gangs and is now being bribed by American imperialism. In Shantung as in Manchuria Japanese imperialism is waging a predatory war against the Chinese people. It is the first to start on the partition of China because in Japan itself the government of bourgeois-feudal reaction can only keep in power by open war against the entire people.
Japanese fascism, which brutally suppresses the workers' movement, shoots down peasants, and throws not hundreds but thousands of militants into prison, is no longer even in a position to continue to use parliamentary deception to conceal its dictatorship. The recent parliamentary elections were held in an atmosphere of raging terror; but this did not prevent the workers and peasants appearing in a united revolutionary front at the elections, or the communist party from taking part in them at the head of the
workers and the village poor. . . .
Tanaka's Government which, notwithstanding its bribery of deputies, has half of parliament against it, stays in power only by the force of bayonets, but even these
are beginning to become unreliable, and bourgeois-feudal reaction is intensifying its terrorist regime to maintain discipline in the army. To strengthen the military dictatorship inside the country and distract the workers' attention from the political and economic crisis, the Mikado's Government is looking for an easy and brilliant victory in Shantung.
Workers, peasants, and soldiers of Japan!
It is your first revolutionary duty to stop those who have raised the sword against the Chinese people. Answer the occupation of Shantung by organized and selfless struggle against the Government, above all in Japan itself...
The counter-revolutionary Kuomintang has veiled its agreement with the foreign imperialists by the provocative lie that the 'eradication of bolshevism' in China will provide guarantees against imperialist intervention. The occupation of Shantung by the Japanese deals an annihilating blow at this provocative falsehood.
Only under proletarian leadership will the Chinese working masses defeat the counter-revolution inside the country and win independence for revolutionary China. Only the power of the workers and peasants organized in Soviets, by destroying imperialism's positions and eliminating its economic and political agents inside China, will with the help of the world proletariat lead the national revolution to victory and open a broad road to socialism. . . .
To conquer the country in order to partition it—that is the imperialists' policy in China. The first part of this criminal plan they have carried out by joint military intervention against the national revolution. Japan's capture of new war booty in Shantung is the beginning of the second stage. Japan will be followed by the other imperialist robbers, in the first place England and the United States, who will demand their share in the plunder.
England, which is inciting Japan and approves the Japanese robbery, is out to get a free hand for itself for military conquest. . . .
American military activity has become more marked and more intense as a result of the occupation of Shantung. The Washington Government is frankly out for a new
division of colonies, the winning of new markets and raw material sources. The protection offered to Nanking and the 'indignation' about the occupation of Shantung only mean that American imperialism will stop at nothing to secure for itself unrestricted opportunities for plunder.
More than once the Communist International has given warning that the attack on the Chinese people is the prelude to a gigantic monstrous world war. The partition of China started by Japan is a further step towards war. The world catastrophe is approaching with increasing rapidity.
The more intense attacks on the Soviet Union are only part of the general plan of the international robbers to re-divide the world. The existence of the Soviet Union, as the citadel and lighthouse of the proletarian world revolution, as the instrument for relentlessly exposing the secret war plans of the bourgeoisie, represents an immense danger for all the incendiarists of war.
International Communist Solidarity
in Documents of the
International Red Aid
in German language
10 Years struggle and Solidarity
1922 - 1932
in German language
Minutes of the Central Executive Committee, WPA: Chicago, IL — May 2-3, 1924.
A document in the Comintern Archive, f. 515, op. 1, d. 276, ll. 29-42.
Comrade R uthenberg reported the v arious communications in regard to the policy in r eference to continuation of the International Workers Relief and the establishment of I nternational Red Aid, r eading in connection therewith a letter fr om Comrade Amter [in Moscow] urging the establishment of an IRA Section in the FSR [F riends of S oviet Russia] and also cables received by the FSR in r eference to continuation of relief work.
Comrade R uthenberg submitted the follo wing motions.
Motion (by Comrade Ruthenberg):
1. That we establish an International Red Aid section in the FSR , which, however, during the next Minutes of the CEC, WPA [May 2-3, 1924] 7 six weeks, until the question of policy is definitely settled, shall only conduct pr opaganda wor k and shall not issue any dir ect appeal for aid.
2. That we accept the pr oposal of the r epresentative of the International Workers Relief that during the period 20% of the money r emitted to the IWR in Berlin shall be turned over to the IRA.
3. That we accept the pr oposal of the IRA in reference to the organization of a separate mo ving picture depar tment, a minimum of 20% of the pr oceeds of which shall be turned o ver to the Workers Party.
Motion (by Comrade Bittelman):
1. That the present German Relief Campaign be concluded b y July 1st .
2. That the FSR shall immediately establish an IRA Section to function for the pr esent as a publicity or propaganda agency in pr eparation for the futur e Red Aid Campaign.
3. That the Soviet Russia Pictorial shall be continued as a pictorial magazine dir ecting from now on more attention to the Red Aid matters. B usiness management shall be conducted as far as possible on a selfsustaining basis.
4. That the FSR shall be placed dir ectly in charge of the Organization Committee of the P arty.
Voting in favor of point 4 of Bittelman’s motion:
Abern, Browder, Bittelman, Burman, Cannon, Dunne, and Lore.
Voting against: Bedacht, Engdahl, Halonen, Ruthenberg, and Lo vestone.
[Bittelman point 4 carried.]
Voting in favor of point 3: All members of the
[Bittelman point 3 carried.]
Voting in favor of point 2: All members of the Committee.
[Bittelman point 2 carried.]
Voting in favor of point 1: Abern, Browder, Bittelman, Burman, Cannon, Dunne, and Lore.
Voting against: Engdahl, Bedacht, Lo vestone, and Ruthenberg.
Halonen not voting.
[Bittelman point 1 carried.]
Voting in favor of point 3 of Ruthenberg’s motion:
All members of the Committee.
[Ruthenberg point 3 carried.]
Voting in favor of point 2 of Ruthenberg’s motion:
All members of the Committee.
[Ruthenberg point 2 carried.]
Motion (by Comrade Bedacht): That all subsidiary organizations of the P arty are under the dir ect control of the Organization Committee and all national committees ar e abolished.
On being put to vote, no member of the Committee v oted for the motion.
Third Congress of the RILU - 1924
source: "Soviet Russia Pictorial" - July 1924
"The Daily- Worker" - April 18, 1925
March 1926 (published by the LD - "Labor Defender")
The International Labor Defense (ILD) was a legal advocacy organization established in the United States as the American section of the Comintern's International Red Aid network. The ILD defended Sacco and Vanzetti, was active in the civil rights and anti-lynching movements, and prominently participated in the defense and legal appeals in the cause célèbre of the Scottsboro Boys.
October 1926 - "Labor-Defender"
March 1927 (published by the LD - "Labor Defender")
Sacco and Vanzetti - LD - "Labor Defender" - March 1927