Column, March 29, 1935, Page 2
Unite Against War
Fundamental questions concerning the student position on war and fascism were cleared up last week at an Anti- war Conference.
"Can the student alone conduct a campaign on these issues?" we delegates asked ourselves.
Our conclusions are summed up in the preamble and resolutions adopted by the conference. We agreed that the student body, even in a well organized movement cannot strike a major blow at the war machine. It is essential to cooperate with all organizations and groups sincerely opposed to imperialist war. We recognized this. and also realized that of these groups, the most powerful, became of its strategic position in society, is the working class. It is the working class alone that can put an actual stop to war activities by striking against the manufacture and shipment of munitions and by refusing to bear arms for interests opposed to their own. The realization of this fact does not minimize the importance and. neaten of a student struggle. It merely shows the direction which one campaign must take: in order to be significant and effective.
When the resolution against Imperialist user was proposed; the question was raised,. "Why fight only against imperialist war? Why not fight against all war?" Several delegates pointed out that we adopt this anti-imperialist war question as a basic one on which all students can be rallied.
"The pacifist who is against all wars and the Communist who believes that a war is necessary to overthrow the system which breeds war are both willing to unite on this one issue," Joseph Cohen, student leader in the seminar on War. Fascism and Education declared. It is a minimum program which will not alienate any student sincerely opposed to war. It is a program which will draw the great majority of students into an active anti-war struggle.
Finally, we asked: "Why strike on. April 12?" Perhaps we had better have a mass meeting, sign a petition, or do nothing of all? We derided that war is so imminent that we .must take definite action now.
Strike and School
Does a school strike against war mean a strike against the school administration, was another question raised at the conference. Last year in the newspaper reports of our strike this idea was not at all prevalent. It is merely an excuse used by those who object to our militant action.. We state very specifically. what we are striking against. Our slogans are:
Anyone who misconstrues our purpose does so intentionally.
Another objection was raised against the use of the word strike. It was argued that this term was too vehement. Demonstration and Peace Parade were terms offered as substitutes. This is merely quibbling over words, for it will make little difference to W. R. Hearst whether or not we call our protest a strike. He will oppose and label as "communistic" any attempt to fight war.
With such an important precedent as April 13, 1934 we have. the basis for a strike of at least 100,000 students in America this year. Let us unite and exceed the expectations of the most optimistic students.