[Marxism] Dorothy Healey's first campus talk after the McCarthyperiod

James Zarichny 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
anywhere’s from 50 to 150 people into the New American
Movement (NAM).  

     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.  NAM’s 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
Pueblo, Colorado.  

     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 NAM’s 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 Army’s display of weaponry.
By Gary Delsohn.
News Staff
     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 “Today’s 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 Army’s “Be All You
Can Be Week,” the display which was to run from March
18 to March 25, was the military’s 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.
     “That’s 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
planning .”
     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 didn’t
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 wasn’t
     “It was unbelievable,” Sell said.  “I didn’t
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  didn’t want it.  Just because a
couple of dodos called up and said to cancel the
thing, that’s 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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