Federal Bureau of Investigation. "Report: W.E.B. DuBois Clubs of America." 1967.
Date Issued: February 01, 1967
Date Declassified: July 31, 1996
Length: 47 pages
W.E.B. DuBOIS CLUBS OF AMERICA
Federal Bureau of Investigation
United States Department of Justice
John Edgar Hoover, Director
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
I. MAIN COMMUNIST YOUTH FRONT 1
A. Lineal Descendant 1
II. ORIGIN AND OBJECTIVES 5
B. Party Appendage 2
A. Immediate Predecessors 5
III. ORGANIZATION AND MEMBERSHIP 10
B. Founding Convention 7
C. Aims and Purposes 8
A. National Headquarters 10
IV. LEADERSHIP 14
B. Organizational Structure 10
C. Membership 11
A. General 14
V. GENERAL POLICIES AND MAJOR ACTIVITIES 20
B. Franklin Delano Alexander 14
C. Hugh Sterling Fowler II 16
D. Charles Harris 16
E. Roque Ristorucci. Jr. 17
F. James Milton Peake, Jr. 18
G. Stephanie Allan Wishart 19
A. General Policies 20
B. Campus and Community 20
C. Civil Rights 22
D. Vietnam War 26
1. Speeches 26
2. Literature 27
3. Demonstrations 28
a. Local Protests 28
4. National Youth Conference 32
b. National Protests 30
c. International Days of Protest 31
A. Newsletters 34
VII. FINANCES 36
B. Magazines 34
VIII. ATTORNEY GENERAL'S PETITION 37
A. Petition Filed 37
B. Honorary Members 38
C. Counteraction 39
The communist movement has always regarded youth as a primary target for exploitation. The
W. E. B. DuBois Clubs of America (DCA), founded in June, 1964, is the latest in a line of
communist youth front organizations that have existed in the United States over the years for the
purpose of attracting young people to promote the cause of communism.
The DCA is named for the late Dr. William Edward Burghardt DuBois, a prominent Negro civil rights
crusader who joined the Communist Party, USA (CPUSA), at the age of 93. The DCA is a vehicle of
the CPUSA and receives substantial financial support from it. In addition virtually all the top
DCA national leaders and many DCA members are members of the CPUSA.
Like preceding communist youth fronts, the DCA serves as a recruiting agent and a training school
for young communists and also functions as an important medium for agitating and propagandizing
among noncommunist youth.
Total DCA membership is reported to be approximately 425. DCA activity is concentrated in two
general areas--the campus and the community.
The main foreign goals of the DCA are the withdrawal of United States military forces from South
Vietnam and a negotiated peace with the National Liberation Front, political arm of the Viet Cong.
The DCA also advocates expanded trade with "socialist" countries, admission of Red
China to the United Nations, and diplomatic relations with Communist China and Cuba. Domestic
objectives of high priority to the DCA are the repeal of the Internal Security Act of 1950 and
the abolition of the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
Almost every domestic issue--especially civil rights--is linked by the DCA to peace in Vietnam.
The DCA maintains that the Vietnam war is harmful to the welfare and interests of American Negroes
on the grounds that the war is preventing the Government from initiating the programs and
expending the funds necessary for Negro improvement.
The civil rights issue was of primary concern to the DCA at the time of its formation in June,
1964, but in the past two years DCA attention has been focused increasingly on the war in Vietnam.
That conflict now dominates all DCA activities.
I. MAIN COMMUNIST YOUTH FRONT
A. Lineal Descendant
II. ORIGIN AND OBJECTIVES
Young people have been a primary communist target even since Lenin theorized that "the
youth will determine the issue of the whole struggle, the student youth and still more the
working-class youth." In countries where there is a Communist Party or its equivalent,
there is usually some communist youth organization by means of which the Party tries to
influence, condition, and manipulate youth.
The Communist Party, USA (CPUSA), since its founding in 1919, has created a number of front
organizations designed to appeal to the youth of America--particularly students and workers--in
order to promote the cause of communism. The W. E. B. DuBois Clubs of America (DCA) is the latest
in a line of communist youth fronts that have existed in the United States.
The principal Marxist youth group in this country from 1922 until 1943 was the Young Communist
League (YCL),* which functioned under several different names and was an affiliate of the Young
Communist International.** In 1943, the YCL was transformed into a group known as the American
*Cited as subversive pursuant to Executive Order 10450.
**The Young Communist International was an international communist youth group which became
defunct in 1943.
Youth for Democracy (AYD).* The AYD was succeeded in 1948 by a communist front called the Labor
Youth League (LYL)," which became defunct in 1957.
*Cited as subversive pursuant to Executive Order 10450.
Not only did the YCL, the AYD, and the LYL function as a recruiting agent and a training school
for young communists who were later promoted to the Communist Party, but also--and equally
important--they served as a vehicle for agitating and propagandizing among noncommunist youth.
The DCA is currently fulfilling the same role as its predecessors.
The CPUSA views so-called "new left" organizations and groups which have
precipitated "peace" marches, protest demonstrations against American policy in
Vietnam, and turmoil on college campuses as a fertile field for communist exploitation.
Through the DCA, the CPUSA is striving to influence, guide, and capture this youthful
sentiment which is hostile to the "status quo" and the "establishment"
and has even encouraged civil disobedience.
B. Party Appendage
That the DCA is nothing more than a vehicle and a mouthpiece of the CPUSA is evidenced in the
following statements made by several important functionaries of these two organizations:
"Naturally, the closest ties we (CPUSA) have are with the DuBois Clubs since they
occupy Marxist positions. Many of the DuBois Clubs members have joined our party."
--Gus Hall, General Secretary, CPUSA
"The DCA should be a mass organization favorable to socialism, favorable to the socialist
countries, favorable to Marxism, and with a working class outlook."
--Mortimer Daniel Rubin, National Organizational Secretary, CPUSA
"In Negro communities, the Party still supports the plan to build left socialist centers and to
solidify the Party base through the DCA."
--Michael Zagarell, National Youth Director, CPUSA
"All DuBois Clubs are under control of the Party. I doubt if any clubs exist without communists
in their ranks. I feel that the essential ingredient for the success of any DuBois Club is
Communist Party youth."
--Bettina Aptheker, CPUSA
National Committee Member and DCA Member "The DuBois Clubs is now in fact a functioning Young
--Franklin Alexander, National Chairman, DCA
The intimate relationship and mutual interests of the CPUSA and the DCA are graphically
demonstrated by a recent incident. A number of those who attended the CPUSA's 18th National
Convention on June 22-26, 1966, in New York City are also members of the DCA. The DCA adjourned
its second National Convention in Chicago, which was held on June 17-19, 1966, in sufficient time
to allow DCA leaders to travel to New York City for the CPUSA convention.
A. Immediate Predecessors
III. ORGANIZATION AND MEMBERSHIP
After the dissolution of the LYL in 1957, CPUSA plans for a new youth front took several years
before bearing fruit. Following the Party's 17th National Convention in December, 1959, some 125
communist and non-communist youths formed in New York City a group called Advance, which was
termed an "organization of progressive youth" committed to the ideas and concepts of
"socialism." Advance remained, however, strictly a New York group.
Party plans for a national youth organization were given impetus by the rioting against the House
Committee on Un-American Activities at San Francisco in May, 1960, and the upsurge of youth
activity in the civil rights field in the South. Such activity indicated to Party leaders that
the Nation's youth was becoming sufficiently stirred to be interested in a new youth organization.
As a result, Mortimer Daniel Rubin, then CPUSA national youth secretary, visited colleges to study
campus organizations and student activities.
In Chicago, in late December, 1960, the Progressive Youth Organizing Committee (PYOC) was formed
at a conference dominated by CPUSA youth leaders. The chairman and vice chairman elected were
CPUSA members. The task of the PYOC was to prepare for a founding convention of a new youth
organization within a year. However, the PYOC was not able to fulfill that objective.
In October, 1963, Rubin warned the Party's National Executive Committee that campus youth who
were drifting toward the left, as evidenced by demonstrations for civil rights, for "Hands
off Cuba," for peace, and against the war in Vietnam, were being lost to the CPUSA and
were joining Trotskyist and other left-oriented groups. Rubin said that the CPUSA must provide
a youth group or forego its influence among young people.
Several weeks after Rubin's remarks, 30 Party youth leaders met with CPUSA General Secretary Gus
Hall and Rubin in Chicago. Hall emphasized that, while the new organization was not going to be
openly Marxist-oriented, it must not be anti-Communist Party, USA, or anti-Soviet. The delegates
voted to compile a list of "initiators," both communist and noncommunist, to be
present at a meeting during the ensuing Christmas holidays. In addition, they voted to issue
a call for a national founding convention in June, 1964.
The December, 1963, meeting of 25 young people--all Party members except two or three-selected a
National Coordinating Committee that issued a call for the creation of the new group. The call
was also sent to non-Party youth. Subsequently, Party clubs and the Coordinating Committee raised
funds to enable convention delegates to travel to San Francisco.
B. Founding Convention
Nearly 500 delegates attended the proceedings of the founding convention in San Francisco on June
19-21, 1964. CPUSA districts had chosen representatives, and opposition groups also sent
The Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party designated members of its youth group, the Young Socialist
Alliance (YSA) to attend to order to "force" the new organization to "reveal
its Stalinist domination." As a consequence, considerable factionalism developed at the
convention. On the second day of the convention, it became obvious that workshop chairmen
were controlling the floor, recognizing no opposition speakers for the discussions of
resolutions. The next day, the YSA and the independent delegates walked out. Communist Party
youth was left in complete control.
*Cited as subversive pursuant to Executive Order 10450.
Mortimer Daniel Rubin, at that time a member of the CPUSA's National Board, was in San Francisco
during the convention, but remained in hiding to confer secretly with selected delegates. While
establishing and maintaining control of the new organization, the CPUSA endeavored to conceal
its grip in order to make the group more attractive to American youth.
The convention adopted the name of William Edward Burghardt DuBois for the new group--W. E. B.
DuBois Clubs of America (DCA)--Obviously hoping to exploit sympathies for the civil rights issue
and for DuBois. A prominent Negro civil rights crusader, DuBois was a founder of the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909, but later repudiated it. The
Lenin Peace Prize was bestowed upon him in 1959. At the advanced age of 93, he joined the CPUSA,
subsequently becoming a resident and citizen of Ghana, where he died in 1963.
In keeping with the projected theme of unity, brotherhood, and peace, the convention chosen for
the official DCA insignia a half-white, half-black circle encompassing a white hand and a black
hand under a dove.
C. Aims and Purposes
According to the preamble of the DCA constitution, as revised in June, 1966, at the second DCA
National Convention, the organization was created "in the name and with the vision and
dedication of W. E. B. DuBois. We join together to fight against the evils which plague our
generation and our world--poverty, racism, exploitation, and war. We will build a movement
which can create a now America--a society where every individual may develop to the limits
of his capability, where human dignity is valued above corporate profit; a world where men
shall not know want, where there will be no war."
A. National Headquarters
National headquarters of the DCA was located in San Francisco from the DCA's inception until May,
1966, when it was moved to 180 North Wacker Drive, Chicago. The reason given for the move was that
the DCA was too isolated in San Francisco and needed a central location to better coordinate its
On March 6, 1966, while the headquarters was still in San Francisco, the three-story headquarters
building was wrecked by a bomb explosion still considered unsolved by the San Francisco Police
Department. The explosion gutted the building and caused extensive damage to homes and businesses
in the same block.
B. Organizational Structure
According to the constitution, DCA policies are formulated by the highest ruling body, the
National Convention, that is supposed to convene every two years. To direct the national
operations of DCA, there is a National Executive Committee whose duties include the execution of
general policies, supervision of publications, and control of finances.
A National Coordinating Committee coordinates national action projects, assists local groups in
organizing, and acts as the interim policy body between National Conventions. This body is set up
to include the National Executive Committee, one representative from each chartered chapter or
its delegated authority, and all area officers.
The original constitution also provided for five regional officers with officers--West, Southwest,
Midwest, South and East--as a link between national headquarters and individual chapters. The
1966 Convention, however, eliminated reference to the regional level from the DCA constitution,
apparently abandoning the regions and their officers in order to create closer control of the
local chapters by the national headquarters and reduce expenses.
There are two types of DCA chapters--campus and community. Some of the DCA's campus clubs are
located at the University of California, at Berkeley and at Los Angeles; the University of
Michigan; Indiana University; the College of the City of New York; and the University of
Bridgeport in Connection. The DCA claimed in May, 1966, to have over 70 chapters of organizing
committees in the United States and Canada.
Some 500 delegates attended the DCA founding convention in June, 1964. In January, 1965, the total
national membership was reported to be 800. During the earlier part of 1966, DCA spokesmen
publicly claimed from 2,000 to 4,000 members. However, at the second National Convention in June,
1966, Hugh Fowler, then national chairman, announced that the east and west coast memberships
together totaled about 300 and the midwest region totaled about 300, giving a national membership
of about 600.
In November, 1966, DCA membership totaled approximately 425. Membership is concentrated in New
York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago.
The constitution of the DCA as revised at the 1966 Convention states that membership is open to
any young person who agrees with the basic aims of the DCA as presented in its constitution and
directives. There are no age requirements, and membership ages have ranged from 17 to 35.
Certain DCA leaders and associates are members of the CPUSA or else have Party parents. Franklin
Alexander, Hugh Fowler II, and James Peake, Jr., for example, are Party members. Richard Healey is
the son of Dorothy Healey, chairman of the Party's Southern California District; and Frank Emspak
is the son of the late Julius Emspak, a CPUSA member and a labor leader. Others are members of the
CPUSA National Committee. These are Bettina Aptheker, Michael Eisenscher, Donald Hamerquist,
Theodore Pearson, Timothy Wheeler, and Roque Ristorucci, Jr.
V. GENERAL POLICIES AND MAJOR ACTIVITIES
The DCA constitution provides for six national officers to be elected by the National Convention.
Those members elected to the positions of leadership at the second National Convention in June,
1966, include Franklin Delano Alexander, national chariman; Hugh Sterling Fowler II, executive
secretary; Charles Harris, community field director; Roque Ristorucci, Jr., campus field director;
James Milton Peake, Jr., national educational director; and Stephanie Allan Wishart, publications
director. Only two--Harris and Wishart--are not CPUSA members although they have participated in
Party activities in the past. The ages of the six leaders average nearly 26, with one officer now
B. Franklin Delano Alexander
Alexander, a Negro and DCA national chairman, has been active in the group since its origin. He
is a CPUSA member as is his sister Charlene Alexander Mitchell, who has been a member of the
CPUSA National Committee for several years. His father too has been an active Party member.
Since entering communist circles at 15, Alexander has traveled abroad as a representative of
communist youth groups in the United States. He has also helped organize other communist youth
fronts, taught Marxist classes, and participated in demonstrations and rallies against United
States policy in the Congo, the Dominican Republic, and Vietnam. He had a prominent part in
DCA and CPUSA activity protesting the accidental slaying in Los Angeles of Leonard Deadwyler, a
Negro, by a white policeman after a high-speed chase on May 7, 1966.
When interviewed by a Chicago newspaper after his election as DCA national chairman in June,
1966, Alexander said he planned to direct a campaign to incorporate Watts, the Negro section of
Los Angeles that was the scene of rioting in 1965 and 1966, as a separate municipality. He also
stated that he would establish a "police observer corps" in Watts. Alexander has
called for more "black power" in the DCA.
Born in Chicago in 1941, Alexander attended Los Angeles City College between 1960 and 1962. In
1964, he was arrested for selling liquor to minors, and in March, 1966, was sentenced to 30 days
in jail for being drunk in an area where racial disturbances were occurring. He received $50 a
week during 1965 as national fund raiser with the DCA national office. His first wife was a member
of the CPUSA, and his present wife, Kendra, is a Party member.
C. Hugh Sterling Fowler II
Fowler, former DCA national chairman, is now executive secretary. He too is a member of the CPUSA.
Fowler was born in Los Angeles in 1944. After two years at the University of California at
Berkeley, he failed to meet scholastic requirements, apparently as a result of devoting his time
and efforts to heading a DCA peace committee.
In 1965, Fowler was extremely busy in behalf of DCA. He was on hand at meetings, educational
sessions, and study classes. He organized a rally and a teach-in and prepared a leaflet urging
Berkeley students to march on the Federal Office Building in San Francisco to protest United
States policy in Vietnam.
He attended the CPUSA national youth leadership school in June, 1965, at Camp Midvale, New Jersey,
and the CPUSA youth conference three months later in Monterey, Indiana. Fowler has traveled
extensively at home and abroad for the DCA.
D. Charles Harris
Harris, a Negro, was elected DCA community field director at the June, 1966, DCA convention.
Previous to that time, he had been full-time organizer and treasurer of the Chicago DCA and
coordinator for the DCA's Midwest Region.
In recent months, Harris, because of his preoccupations with Negro affairs, disaffiliated the West
Side Club in Chicago, of which he has been chairman, from the national DCA. However, it continues
to receive DCA financial assistance and support.
Harris was born in Chicago in 1931. In the past, he has been arrested and convicted for assault,
burglary, and other crimes, although in recent years he has become involved in efforts to
rehabilitate school 'dropouts' and young criminals. It was this activity that brought him to the
attention of the CPUSA and the DCA for exploitation in behalf of communism.
Harris attended the CPUSA national youth leadership school at Camp Midvale, New Jersey, in June,
E. Roque Ristorucci, Jr.
Ristorucci is DCA campus field director and was elected to the CPUSA National Committee in June,
1966. He was born in Puerto Rico in 1945.
Ristourcci attended the CPUSA youth leadership school at Camp Midvale, New Jersey, in June, 1965,
and the Monterey, Indiana, CPUSA youth conference in September, 1965. Also, he has been a student
at Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, New York.
Ristorucci has represented the DCA at a youth congress in Puerto Rico. Protesting United States
policy in Vietnam, he participated in the March on Washington on November 27, 1965, as well as
in various demonstrations at the United Nations. Building in New York City.
F. James Milton Peake, Jr.
Peake DCA national educational director, is also a CPUSA member and is highly regarded for his
ability and potential.
Peake was born in Lafayette, Indiana, in 1938. His legs were paralyzed in an attack of
poliomyelitis when he was 12. He is partially confined to a wheel chair but has learned to drive
a car equipped with hand controls. Peake attended Southern Illinois University into his senior
year, but did not graduate.
In the past, Peake has been a member of the Trotskyist Young Socialist Alliance; the pro-Castro
Fair Play for Cuba Committee; the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), an extremely
militant civil rights organization; the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), a civil rights group;
and the NAACP. He has been jailed frequently as a result of his participation in civil rights
Peake was a delegate to the founding convention of the DCA and was sent back to the Midwest to
develop DCA activities. In June, 1965, he attended the CPUSA national youth leadership school at
Camp Midvale, New Jersey. Afterward, he became coordinator for the DCA Midwest Region and a
member of the DCA National Executive Committee.
G. Stephanie Allan Wishart
Wishart was elected DCA publications director at the June, 1966, DCA convention. Immediately
prior to the convention, the married to Blaine Wishart, who is a DCA member on the Chicago
headquarters staff and is a youth leader in the CPUSA's Illinois District. Stephanie Wishart
was born in Detroit in 1943.
Although her parents have been CPUSA members for a long time, she has hesitated to join the CPUSA
formally for fear that her membership might curtail her acceptance in college and professional
While not a Party member, she was leader of a Michigan CPUSA group in 1961 that traveled to the
Soviet Union and to the Eighth world Youth Festival in Helsinki, Finland, in the Summer of 1962.
She assisted in fund-raising to pay the expenses of delegates to the DCA founding convention.
Wishart was dropped from DCA activities in Detroit for several months as a result of an emotional
disturbance over her personal problems, but she was readmitted later and has played a leading role
in DCA local and regional activities.
A. General Policies
The chief foreign policy objectives of the DCA parallel CPUSA objectives. The DCA wants to bring
about the withdrawal of United States military forces from South Vietnam and a negotiated peace
with the National Liberation Front, the political arm of the Viet Cong. The DCA also advocates
expanded trade with "socialist" countries, admission of Red China to the United
Nations, and the establishment of normal United States diplomatic relations with Communist
China and Cuba. Domestic objectives of high priority to the DCA are the repeal of the Internal
Security Act of 1950 and the abolition of the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
Almost every domestic issue--especially civil rights--is linked by the DCA--as it is by the
CPUSA--to peace in Vietnam. The DCA maintains that the Vietnam war is harmful to the welfare and
best interests of the Negro, for the war is preventing the Government from initiating the programs
and expending the funds necessary for Negro improvement.
B. Campus and Community
In agitating and propagandizing among young people, the DCA has conducted activities in two
general areas--the campus and the community. Following its formation in June, 1964, several
campus disturbances and demonstrations occurred, spurring the DCA to exploit the rebellious
behavior and nonconformist views of a small but vociferous number of students.
Specifically, the DCA chapter in Berkeley, California, injected itself into the Free Speech
Movement (FSM), which was initiated in October, 1964, by a group of students headed by Mario
Savio at the University of California at Berkeley. Bettina Aptheker, a student at the University
of California and a member of the Berkeley DCA, was a leading speaker, organizer, and demonstrator
for the FSM.
The FSM demanded the right to engage in political activities on the campus in violation of
university regulations. Demonstrations continued for several months thereafter, culminating in
early December, when 1,000 demonstrators gathered at Sproul Hall and refused to leave. When
police were compelled to arrest 780 demonstrators who refused to leave the hall, it was Bettina
Aptheker who set the policy of "going limp."
In mid-November, 1964, Savio undertook a speaking tour of colleges in the Midwest and East,
seeking financial support for the FSM. A close adviser who accompanied him on this tour was
The student rioting at the University of California convinced DCA leaders that students could be
aroused to action and were no longer reluctant to speak out on issues and to become involved in
causes. The DCA made efforts to approach young people in communities, particularly workers and
unemployed. As a result of discussion at the second DCA National Convention in June, 1966, there
has been a gradual shift away from heavy emphasis on campus activity and toward greater community
Since its inception, the DCA has initiated or participated in numerous demonstrations,
conferences, and other activities in behalf of civil rights, civil liberties, and peace in
C. Civil Rights
The civil rights issue was of primary concern to the DCA at the time of its formation in June,
1964. To project a picture of its interest and concern in civil rights, the DCA founding
convention elected a civil rights worker, Philip Davis, to be DCA national chairman. Davis, a
Negro working with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, had been active in civil rights
demonstrations in the South.
The DCA founding convention also directed telegrams to President Johnson, Attorney General Robert
Kennedy, and various civil rights organizations, demanding Federal intervention in the civil
rights strife at that time.
On August 24, 1964, several members of the DCA chapter in Philadelphia picketed the Democratic
National Convention at Atlantic City, New Jersey, on behalf of the Mississippi Freedom delegation
to the Convention.* Members of the New York DCA also joined the picket line.
*The Freedom delegation as opposed to the all-white regular delegation from Mississippi demanded
recognition as the State's delegation on the grounds that the Democratic Party in Mississippi
In Chicago, the DCA sponsored a "Vigil for Vigilance on Freedom Day" on August 28,
1964, to mark the anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. The
vigil also commemorated the three civil rights workers--James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and
Michael Schwerner--who were murdered in Mississippi in June, 1964.
The DCA in San Francisco cosponsored and played a leading role in the Ad Hoc Committee to End
Discrimination in 1964. During that year, the group held a militant nightlong picketing and
sit-in at the Sheraton-Palace Hotel that eventually led to an agreement by the management to
During the rioting in the Watts area in Los Angeles in August, 1965, members of the DCA joined
members of the Socialist Workers Party in a demonstration at the Police Administration Building
in Los Angeles. Two days later, DCA members passed out pamphlets demanding the removal of the now
deceased Chief of Police William Parker.
In the Spring of 1966, leaders of the CPUSA's Southern California District instructed several
members of the Los Angeles DCA branch to set up a DCA club in the Negro community of Los Angeles,
which would seek new recruits and serve as a vehicle for the Party's work in the Watts area.
On May 7, 1966, Leonard Deadwyler, a Negro, was accidentally killed by a white policeman in Los
Angeles after a high-speed automobile chase. The DCA and a communist-front group called the South
Side Citizens Defense Committee sponsored a memorial meeting about a week later at a Los Angeles
church, which was attended by 300 persons.
A rally held on May 17 at Will Rogers Park in Los Angeles to protest Deadwyler's death attracted
some 300 persons. One of the principal organizers of the rally was Franklin Alexander, who was
elected DCA national chairman in June, 1966. Top leaders in the CPUSA's Southern California
District and the Los Angeles branch of DCA attended, supported or spoke at the rally.
Following the rally, some 500 persons, led by Alexander in an automobile equipped with
loudspeakers, proceeded to the 77th Street Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, where
they staged a boisterous picketing demonstration. A vehicle with press representatives was
attached, and one occupant seriously wounded. After a window in a liquor store was broken, the
store was looted. In addition, bottles and bricks were hurled at passing automobiles.
During the Chicago riot of July 12-19, 1966, DCA representatives visited the riot-torn area as
observers in order to ascertain if any instances of "police brutality" were
In the late evening of July 14, 1966, during the course of a disturbance on Chicago's West Side,
some 35 Negroes, a number of whom were known to be members of the DCA, proceeded to the Loop area.
Armed with bricks and Molotov cocktails, they intended to throw these missiles into department
stores. But when they found the Loop busy and well lighted, they returned to the West Side without
accomplishing their purpose.
On July 18, 1966, during a riot in the Hough area of Cleveland, four members of the DCA were
detained by the Ohio National Guard. Communist literature was found in a search of their
automobile. Later, two of the four were arrested by Cleveland police and charged with obstructing
D. Vietnam War
The close attention which the CPUSA focused during 1965 and 1966 on the war in Vietnam has been
duplicated by the DCA. This issue now dominates the activities of the DCA, and the importance of
the "peace struggle" and the relationship of the Vietnam issue to all
others--particularly civil rights--have been emphasized repeatedly by DCA spokesmen and
In August, 1965, Michael Myerson, then DCA international secretary, and three other men went to
Hanoi, North Vietnam, where he talked with Premier Ho Chi Minh. The four went to Hanoi on a
two-week visit after attending the World Peace Congress in Helsinki, Finland. Their trip was
sponsored and paid for by the North Vietnam Youth Federation.
On his return to the United States, Myerson spoke to a number of student groups and accused this
country of aggression in Vietnam. In these speeches, he defended the Government of North Vietnam
and contended that it was ready to negotiate for peace if the United States would withdraw its
Another active DCA speaker denouncing United States involvement in Vietnam is Hugh Fowler, former
DCA national chairman. Now DCA executive secretary, Fowler has traveled extensively to condemn
United States policy in Vietnam and has appeared before students at the City College of New York,
Reed College and Portland State College in Oregon. Indiana University, Michigan State University,
and Wayne State University in Detroit.
Literature prepared and disseminated by the DCA on the war in Vietnam is highly critical of the
United States and viciously inflammatory. Typical of such material was an article by Terence
Hallinan, then organizational secretary of the DCA, which appeared in the January, 1966, issue of
"Dimensions," DCA theoretical quarterly journal.
Hallinan labeled the Vietnam conflict an "aggressive," "imperialistic,"
and "unjust" war which cannot be won by the United States. He stated that peace
will come to Vietnam only as a result of a combination of the efforts made by the National
Liberation Front on the battlefields, the pressure which can be brought to bear on our
country internationally, and the opposition to the war which can be mobilized here in the
United States. He urged DCA members to "help increase and organize the already widespread
discontent with the war that exists in this country."
A similar article, written by Hugh Fowler, was published in the March-April, 1966, issue of
"Insurgent," DCA bimonthly magazine. Fowler charged that the "farce of talking
peace and then bombing innocent men and women is the wickedest hypocrisy." He charged
that Americans "are the aggressors in Vietnam" and "the ones who are responsible
for all the barbaric acts we claim to be saving the Vietnamese from." He called on the
United States "to get out of Vietnam as fast as it can and leave Vietnam to the
The medium of propaganda most used by the DCA for protesting American action in Vietnam is
demonstrations in the form of rallies, picket lines, sit-ins, teach-ins, marches, et cetera. The
DCA has itself organized and directed some protests of this type and has participated on a local
and national level in protests sponsored by other groups.
a. Local Protests
4. National Youth Conference
Members of the Portland, Oregon, chapter of the DCA--which was organized by Donald Lee Hamerquist,
executive secretary of the CPUSA's Oregon District, and several young CPUSA members--were active
in demonstrations protesting Vietnam policy during the early part of 1965 in Portland. One of
these demonstrations, held on February 20 at the Pioneer Post Office, was led by Richard Healey,
son of Dorothy Healey, chairman of the CPUSA's Southern California District. As a result of this
demonstration, 51 persons were arrested for trespassing on Government property. Two other protests
were organized by Healey, one on February 27 and another on March 7.
In August, 1965, DCA members in St. Louis participated in several anti-Vietnam demonstrations at
the United States Post Office and the New Federal Building. One poster carried by demonstrators
was a handmade enlargement of a Selective Service Registration Card. The facsimile was later
soaked with lighter fluid and ignited as a protest of the drafting of youth for the Vietnam war.
In San Francisco, the DCA has been active in numerous anti-Vietnam protests. As an example, prior
to President Johnson's State of the Union message to Congress. DCA members, on January 9, 1966,
equipped themselves with a sound truck and a loudspeaker and began a "peace vigil"
in front of the Federal Building. The DCA in San Francisco had earlier participated in a
protest demonstration against Vice President Humphrey when he visited that city for several
The Brooklyn college DCA chapter organized a demonstration against United States policy in Vietnam
during a speech by President Johnson on the college campus on October 12, 1966. As a result of the
disturbance, a DCA member was arrested. Later that day, several DCA members were among nine
demonstrators arrested for interrupting a Brooklyn political rally being addressed by the
President. The demonstrators carried placards and chanted slogans denouncing United States
involvement in Vietnam.
b. National Protests
On April 17, 1965, the Student March on Washington was sponsored by the Students for a Democratic
Society (SDS) with numerous other groups participating, including the DCA. The communists actively
promote and participate in SDS activities, and CPUSA General Secretary Gus Hall has characterized
the SDS, along with the DCA, as a group which the CPUSA has "going for us."
The Student March on Washington was designed to protest against military intervention in Vietnam
and to demand an end to the war there. Approximately 15,000 students and others participated in
a speaking program during the protest. Coordinating the march for the Philadelphia area was the
DCA east coast coordinator, Jarvis Tyner, who is also a CPUSA member.
Major demonstrations in support of this march took place simultaneously in Chicago, Los Angeles,
and San Francisco. The largest was in San Francisco, where 2,000 gathered at the Federal Building
to hear speeches made by representatives of various groups. That rally was coordinated and chaired
by Hugh Fowler. Just prior to that protest, DCA members wearing identifying buttons acted as
monitors at a smaller anti-Vietnam rally.
Following the Student March on Washington, Arnold Johnson, CPUSA public relations director, stated
that "our people" were there from all over the country and that credit should be
given to the stimulus that the DCA gave to the march.
The SDS, joined by the DCA, the Student NonViolent Coordinating Committee, and the Committee for
Non-Violent Action--a pacifist group--sponsored a demonstration in Washington, D. C., from
August 6 through August 9, 1965, known as the Washington summer Action Project. This demonstration
included picketing of the White House and a sit-in at the White House gate, as well as workshops
on Vietnam, the draft, Puerto Rico, and South Africa. On August 9, the demonstrators marched to
the Capitol Grounds for the purpose of staging a "Congress of Unrepresented People"
to declare peace in Vietnam. Numerous demonstrators were arrested when they attempted to enter
c. International Days of Protest
So-called International Days of Protest have been observed in this country on three
occasions--October 15 and 16, 1965, March 25 and 26, 1966, and August 6 through 9, 1966-- by
various communist, subversive, and pacifist groups to condemn United States action in Vietnam.
Opposition groups around the world were called upon to hold simultaneous demonstrations.
Although the DCA did not sponsor any of these protest demonstrations, DCA leaders and members did
participate in the preparation, promotion, and staging of them. The three protests were observed
in several large cities across the country: New York City, Philadelphia, Detroit, Los Angeles, and
Washington, D. C.
While the DCA has joined other groups in several national anti-Vietnam activities, the DCA itself
initiated a national youth conference which was held on August 27 and 28, 1966, in Washington,
D.C. The conference, with the theme of "jobs, peace, and freedom," was called
following a resolution passed at the DCA's second National Convention in June, 1966. Along
with the DCA, the sponsors included the Students for a Democratic Society; the Student
Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; the National Coordinating Committee to End the War in
Vietnam; and the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union, which was expelled
from the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1950 as a communist-dominated Union.
Workshops were conducted by DCA leaders and members with CPUSA affiliations including Hugh Fowler,
DCA executive secretary; Matthew Hallinan; Charles Harris, Blaine Wishart; and Bettina Aptheker.
Two high-level CPUSA functionaries at the conference were George Meyers, chairman of the CPUSA
Maryland-District of Columbia District, and Michael Zagarell, CPUSA national youth director.
The workshop on United States policy in Vietnam and the draft discussed the case of the
"Fort Hood Three," which relates to three members of the United States Army who
refused to obey orders to report to Vietnam and were subsequently convicted in September,
1966, by Army court-martial on a charge of disobeying an officer's order. One of these
individuals, Dennis Mora, is a DCA member. A resolution was passed by the conference favoring
the formation of a National Committee to Defend the Fort Hood Three.
The first DCA publication circulated was "Spur," a national newsletter of
approximately 12 pages that is issued irregularly. The title was chosen to symbolize its aim
to "quicken the fight for social change, spread the world about socialism and jab at
ourselves, making sure we remain active with energy equal to the job that must be done, now
In addition to "Spur," several other newsletters have been published by various
DCA regions and chapters. "Organizer" was the newsletter produced by the Midwest
Region. "The Hub" is the newsletter of the DCA in Pittsburgh, and "Area
News" is the DCA newsletter in New York.
"Insurgent," a bimonthly DCA magazine, describes itself as "lusty and bold"
and "radical." "Insurgent" is intended to appeal to both campus and
community youth who are not yet committed to the "left." The first issue claimed
that "Insurgent" would survive if its editors, contributors, and readers "have
the guts and imagination to speak out and fight for the goals of our wonderful generation."
A DCA quarterly "discussion" journal is called "Dimensions," but to date
only the January, 1966, issue has appeared. The emphasis of this publication is "on
the ideological and tactical problems of the movement, and on any aspect of life and culture
confronting America's young activists." One of the international sponsors of
"Dimensions" is Cheddi Jagan, formerly Premier of British Guiana,* who has admitted
that the term "communist" best describes him.
*British Guiana became the sovereign state of Guyana on May 26, 1966.
All DCA members receive "Spur" and "Dimensions" free of charge, while
"Insurgent" is sold for 25c a copy or $1.25 for a year's subscription.
Other types of literature disseminated by the DCA on a national and local level include pamphlets,
leaflets, and posters.
The DCA estimated that its national operating expenses--salaries, rent, publishing and mailing
costs, travel, et cetera--for the first six months of 1966 would total approximately $14,500.
The principal source of funds for the DCA appears to be the CPUSA. At a meeting of the DCA
National Executive Committee in December, 1965, the then DCA national chairman, Hugh Fowler,
admitted that the CPUSA was contributing $12,000 a year to the DCA.
Another prime source of income is the dues collected from the membership. DCA national dues are
one dollar per year. Dues are also collected for DCA chapter activities. From time to time, as
the need arises, chapters are assessed to provide additional funds for the maintenances of
A five-dollar charter fee is payable by any group eligible and desiring to become a chartered
chapter. To supplement income on national and local levels, DCA members have raised funds through
parties and rummage sales, ski and hiking trips, jazz concerts, movie showings, and
The DCA--like the CPUSA and other communist organizations--always seems to be on the verge of
insolvency and is constantly making appeals for more funds.
VIII. ATTORNEY GENERAL'S PETITION
A. Petition Filed
On March 4, 1966, the Attorney General filed a petition before the Subversive Control Board
(SACB), requesting the SACB to order the DCA to register as a communist-front organization under
the provisions of the Internal Security Act of 1950. The Attorney General petitioned the SACB on
grounds that the DCA had failed to register with the Attorney General within 30 days after its
inception on or about June 21, 1964, as required by the above law.
From the time of its formation, states the petition, "the DCA has been and is substantially
directed, dominated, and controlled for the purpose of giving aid and support to the Communist
Party." To substantiate the charges, the petition presents the following information:
In 1959, the Communist Party directed the establishment of a national Marxist youth organization.
During 1960, the Party appointed a national youth director and held meetings from New York to
California to make plans.
At a conference from December 30, 1960, to January 1, 1961, Party leaders and representatives
created the Progressive Youth Organizing Committee, which served to bring into being the DCA.
In late 1963, the Communist Party launched the organization afterward known as the DCA.
The Communist Party directed activities at the DCA founding convention on June 19-21, 1964.
The Party directs and controls the DCA through its members in the DCA who hold office, give
guidance in forming new chapters, and discuss DCA problems at Communist Party meetings.
The Communist Party contributes active and financial support for the DCA.
The Party conducts classes and supplies literature to indoctrinate DCA members.
The Communist Party receives support from the DCA for its activities and its positions.
After the Attorney General's petition was filed with the SACB, leaders of the DCA called for
demonstrations by all local chapters to protest the petition.
On March 6, 1966, DCA national headquarters, then in San Francisco, was bombed. The DCA claimed
that the bombing was "invited" by the Attorney General's petition creating the
"environment" for the bombing.
B. Honorary Members
Staughton Lynd, assistant professor at Yale University and former member of the American Youth
for Democracy, applied for membership in the DCA later that month, adding that he would also
apply for membership in any group subject to future petition by the Attorney General.
Capitalizing on the publicity given the bombing of its national headquarters, the Attorney
General's petition to the SACB, and Lynd's application for membership, the DCA established what
it calls "honorary" membership for those who want to protest the Attorney General's
action but who do not want to be obligated to work with the DCA. Lynd was accepted as an
honorary member of the DCA.
Leaders of the CPUSA have long been extremely concerned about the Party's increasing age level,
for they are fully cognizant that CPUSA's future existence and success depend on "new, young
blood." For this reason, Party officials have devoted considerable time and thought to ways and
means by which they Party can attract and recruit youth.
In view of the importance that the CPUSA attaches to the DCA, this communist youth group can be
expected to take all possible steps to counteract any adverse effects the Attorney General's
action might have. In the period ahead, the DCA will exert strenuous efforts to strengthen itself
as an organization and to expand its influence. The DCA will strive harder than ever to win young
people to its ranks, and it will continue to make a serious bid to be a potent force in the
"new left" in this country.