Hal Draper et al.

Ask Aid of Yipsels
in New York Fight

(August 1937)

From Socialist Appeal, Vol. 1 No. 3, 28 August 1937, pp. 4 & 5.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

To all Circles:
To all members:

Dear comrades —

By the action of the rightwing-Clarity combination in moving the expulsion of eleven members of the Appeal Association in the New York League, with charges against others held in absence for one week, the New York District Executive Committee has ceased to exist as a legal body. In solidarity with those whom Clarity sought to expel, the left wing members of the former DEC, who represent the largest section of the League membership, have constituted themselves as a Provisional DEC. This Provisional Committee will function until arrangements can be made for the election of a regular committee.

To Disregard Rump DEC

All circles are hereby informed that the Clarity-right wing membership of the former DEC, if it continues in session as a DEC, is to be considered as meeting in rump session. By taking illegal action against the left wing, the former DEC, which in its actions and majority has ceased to represent the League membership, can no longer sit as the legitimate leadership of the League. The Provisional Committee, composed of comrades who received the greatest number of votes in the last elections and who have behind them the decisive majority of the League membership, informs all members and circles that they are to disregard any instructions forwarded to them by the rump Clarity-right wing DEC. It further informs all members that a general membership meeting of the League will be held Thursday, August 26, at Stuyvesant Casino, at which the Provisional Committee will submit its actions for approval.

All circles are instructed to hereafter turn over all finances and reports to the Provisional Committee. The P.C. is be informed of all elections for national convention delegates in order that it may provide the circle with election supervisors. Where a majority in any particular circle, in support of the right wing-Clarity bloc, refuses to recognize their decisions authority of the P.C., the minority is instructed to constitute itself as a functioning group, to elect delegates and to otherwise function as a circle. Circles are likewise instructed to send fraternal delegates to the conference of left wing party branches, called for August 28, on the basis of one for every 10 members or fraction thereof.

Split Created by Right-Center Bloc

These actions are taken by the left wing comrades of the formers DEC as the sole means whereby our League of revolutionary young socialists may be preserved from disintegration and capitulation to the political agents of Stalinism. Were these comrades to have acted otherwise in the face of the right wing-Clarity expulsion drive, they would have betrayed the trust which the majority of militants in our League entrusted to them. When at the DEC meeting of August 20, the right wing-Clarity bloc voted the expulsion of eleven left wingers, and announced that all members of the Appeal group were to be similarly expelled, it created a thoroughgoing split in the organization. Revolutionary militants on the one side. Right wing-centrist capitulators on the other.

This attempt at expulsion, taken less than two weeks before the national convention, was designed to keep formal control of the League in the hands of this bloc. The Clarity caucus had cast about for a pretext whereby to effect a mass expulsion, and fixed upon the charge of selling the Socialist Appeal, which the comrades do not deny for they have every right to do so. This action is only the culmination of a series of illegal acts executed by the Clarity-right wing majority of the DEC, each more flagrant than the preceding one. There was:

  1. The dropping of the four Yipsels, rejected by the Altman-controlled party, in violation of a long since established League precedent that Yipsels rejected by the Party are not to be dropped until appeal had been made to and settled by the higher party bodies.
  2. The expulsion of comrade Bergner from the YPSL with no quorum presented at the DEC, and before his hearings were ended.
  3. The falsification of League records by Irving Barshop, so as to gerrymander the national convention.
  4. The rescinding of a referendum on the four rejected Yipsels, though the referendum had been duly ordered by one-third of the DEC, as per the Constitution.

And now, to climax the complete disregard for League democracy, and all socialist precedent, the attempted mass expulsion of over one half of the N.Y. League.

Clarity Imitates Old Guard

The charge of selling the Socialist Appeal collapses in the light of previous experiences in the Party. In the fight against the Old Guard, months before branches were suspended or charters lifted, the Militants published the Socialist Call as a public organ, attacking the Old Guard as anti-organizational and splitters. It was not the official organ of either the N.Y. Local or the national Party. It appeared as a public faction organ, calling itself an organ of Militant Socialism. Today, after mass expulsion have begun, after the leaders of the national organization have openly, announced their support of the split drive, the left wing has decided to publish the Socialist Appeal. Need it be added that the Socialist Call is now a faction organ of the Clarity caucus? The Socialist Appeal proves that the voice of revolutionary socialism cannot be stifled either by the Old Guard, or the new Old Guard.

The Clarity mass expulsion drive means that the mass expellers have read themselves out of the organization. The YPSL will be carried on and preserved – by the nine members of the DEC whose names are undersigned, organized as the Provisional District Executive Committee of the New York District.

Comrades! the split has been forced by Clarity and the right wing. Every comrade must take his stand, with or against the splitters, with or against the left wing, with or against the representatives of revolutionary socialism. You must take action now. Attend the general membership called for this Thursday, at which the rotten policy of the Clarity caucus will be exposed. Not by rumors – but by proof!

Elect delegates to the left wing conference to be held on Saturday, August 28. After the national convention, a regular district convention will be held. Elect left wing delegates to the national convention.

Carry on the Young Peoples Socialist League! Build a revolutionary YPSL.


With Socialist Greetings
Donald Bergner
Hal Draper
Mary Ford
Manny Garrett
Anne Kracik
Irving Panken
Alex Retzkin
Oscar Shoenfeld

Address all communications to the Provisional Committee – Room 731 – 41 Union Square, N.Y.C.

Last updated on 31 July 2015