Congress. House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Subversive Influences in Riots,
Looting, and Burning. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1967, 1968.
Pt. 6: San Francisco - Berkeley (June 27, 28, 1968).
SuDoc No.: Y4.Un1/2:R47/pt.6
Date(s) of Hearings: June 27, 28, 1968
Congress and Session: 90th - 2nd
Edward S. Montgomery of the San Francisco Examiner testifies in Part Six of the HUAC hearings.
Among the items brought into the record are two flyers put out by the Progressive Labor Party
one which states in part:
"The events in Selma have proven that the civil rights tactic of meeting violence with
prayer is only an invitation to more violence. the rising wave of police terror against Black
people has proven that the only protection the people can rely on is self-defense. The only
time the Federal government sends its troops into action is to PREVENT the Negro people from
fighting back. Johnson sends troops into Vietnam for the same reason: to crush the Vietnamese
who have been fighting back to achieve their freedom. And the Vietnamese will win regardless
of how many Marines Johnson sends to the slaughter."
The other Progressive Labor Party flyer entitled "You don't have to go!" announces
a rally with speakers from the Black Anti-Draft Union. It reads:
"In Oakland, this week, a lot of people have 'discovered' just what kind of 'democracy'
we really have. A lot of people have learned what some of us have known for a long time
(especially around Mission H[igh] S[chool]) -- what makes this country run, police clubs!
Another interesting item brought out in Montgomery's testimony is from an article that
originally appeared in San Francisco's News-Call Bulletin. The article, published on May 4,
1965, and written by NAACP leader Roy Wilkins indicates the stance of the moderate civil
rights leader on communism. Wilkins writes:
"The reason more and more people are coming into conflict with the system is because they
are coming to hate the rich man's war in Vietnam.
"Young men are throwing away their lives in a war run by the rich and for the rich.
Racism and poverty keep the establishment in power. The cops, army, big business and the
school authorities work together to push us into a war that we had no part in making and no
reason for continuing.
"We must stand together and resist this war. Support liberation in Asia, Africa and
Latin America. Our fight is for freedom and democracy right here at home.
"Vietnam, Santo Domingo, the Congo, to name just a few, should be free of U.S.
domination. Support this fight.
"You don't have to join the rich man's army. And if you do join, you can fight for
your rights inside, too.
"Join this fight for freedom here. Learn more about what you can do to stay out of the
army, or what you can do inside it."
"The USA Communist Party in 1941 officially urged Negroes to cease their agitation
against all Jim Crow, especially that in the armed forces, until the Soviet Union was saved.
The Negro cause was dumped between the suns..... It remains to be seen whether this legitimate
movement, representing the aspirations of millions of Negroes who are Americans, first and
always, can be perverted and made a tool to serve communism."
Edward Montgomery himself comments on the attitudes of African-Americans towards radicalism
and communism by giving an example of a conversation he had with a woman over a cup of coffee.
Montgomery was working as a reporter trying to locate two witnesses to a murder who had fled
the scene. Montgomery related the conversation to the committee:
"She went on to say that she and the other members of the community she knew, her friends,
wanted no part of H. Rap Brown or Stokely Carmichael. They wanted no part of LeRoi Jones and as
a matter of fact, after he had gotten off on the Vietnam situation, they had sort of lost some
confidence in Martin Luther King."
Montgomery's testimony concluded the HUAC hearings on "Subversive Influences in Riots,
Looting and Burning."