[Marxism] Dorothy Healey's first campus talk after the McCarthyperiod
zarichny at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 17 16:43:07 MST 2005
In drawing up a handbill to advertise a speech by
Dorothy Healey, I also left out the final e in her
name. She was very irritated and told me it was a
sign of disrespect.
By that time she had left the CP and had led
anywheres from 50 to 150 people into the New American
I had first heard of NAM in 1970 (I think) when I
was visiting Steve Max in New York. At a NAM meeting
in his apartment, I found many of the people I had
known in early New York SDS. When I returned to
Boulder, Colorado, I found a large NAM chapter that
had been formed by the merger of three local radical
groupings. NAMs politics differed from. but were as
close to EuroCommunist as could be found in America.
Ideological differences in Boulder soon arose. Wave
after wave of people gravitated to Maoism. I placed
a special emphasis on avoiding bitterness and the
splits took place peacefully.
The military recruiting offices were open
Wednesday evenings and we had anti-military demos
NAM was possibly the largest left organization in
the Rocky Mountain region. In addition to chapters in
Montana, we had chapters in Laramie, Wyoming, and in
Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, and for a whle in
Our politics were in many ways similar to the
left wing of the Democratic Socialist Organizing
Committee (DSOC). Eventually, a movement for merger
developed. I opposed it from the left. People like
Irving Howe in DSOC opposed it from the right. But
majorities in both organizations voted for the merger
to form Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). I
dropped out of DSA over differences with Leo Casey a
quarter of a century ago.
Speaking of NAMs anti-military campaigns, one of
our members, Mary Sell, very cleverly maneuvered the
ecology people and the Sierra Club types in the city
council into supporting one of them. The story from
a major Denver newspaper (below) is worth reading
Rocky Mountain News Thurs. March 26, 1981, Denver.
Protest scraps Armys display of weaponry.
By Gary Delsohn.
It was a small protest, just a few angry phone
calls to the managers of a Boulder shopping mall, but
it still scuttled a formidable U.S. Army display of
American and Soviet weapons aimed at recruiting
youngsters for Todays Army.
Crossroads Shopping Center officials hastily sent
millions of dollars worth of tanks, helicopters and
guns back to Fort Carson last week after members of
a Boulder peace group called to protest the display.
Planned to coincide with the Armys Be All You
Can Be Week, the display which was to run from March
18 to March 25, was the militarys most lavish attempt
to recruit in Boulder, admittedly unfriendly
I thought it was awful phony of them to cancel
it because it cost several thousand dollars to get it
up there and back., said a recruiter in Boulder who
asked not to be identified.
Thats not an easy place to recruit because of
the college, said another recruiter, and we were
really counting on this . It was three months in the
Crossroads officials refused to talk to the News
Wednesday, but another recruiter said he thought the
display was yanked because Crossroads wants Boulder to
to issue revenue bonds for an expansion and didnt
want to hurt its chances with any adverse publicity.
We got a lot of phone calls from people who heard
the thing advertised and were mad it was pulled, the
recruiter said. So maybe this will backfire on the
shopping center if all the patriotic people
supporting this thing get angry and rise up.
Mary Sell of Boulder, one of the dozen members of
the New American Movement group that planned to
demonstrate against the display last Saturday, said
she was really shocked and disappointed when the
group showed up to protest a display that wasnt
It was unbelievable, Sell said. I didnt
think we had that much influence. But then after I
thought about it, I was pleased because our point, to
not advertise military hardware in peacetime,
Sell said group members were going to stand
around the display in T-shirts advocating peace and
less military hardware.
There were supposed to be jeeps, a helicopter,
guns, radio equipment and officers from Fort Carson
and recruitment centers at the display, but they were
sent packing late Friday after the phones started
ringing at Crossroads.
Just about the time we had it all set up, one
recruiter said, we had to tear it all down because
the shopping center didnt want it. Just because a
couple of dodos called up and said to cancel the
thing, thats ridiculous.
A Crossroads spokesman , without saying why the
display was pulled, told a Boulder radio station that
he would gladly reschedule the display in the near
I doubt that , a recruiter said. after all the
trouble we went to for nothing.
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