[Marxism] On Ed Shaw
lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Jan 12 19:26:49 MST 2014
I remember meeting with Ed in 1967 when I was applying to join the SWP.
He was about my dad's age and dressed like him, with a short-sleeved
white shirt with slits in the sleeves. He had a tattoo on his arm from
the merchant marine days. Somehow the subject of the JFK assassination
came up. He said that when he got off the subway in Washington Heights,
he saw police cars all around his building. They were interested in
questioning him since he had been a leader of the Fair Play for Cuba
Committee. The next day Farrell Dobbs sent a condolence letter to Jackie
Kennedy that got James Robertson and Tim Wolforth nuts. For them, this
was like voting for war credits in 1914.
Here's a bit from the Wikipedia article on Ed. Fascinating stuff:
Edward "Ed" Shaw (1923 – 1995) was an American socialist and lifelong
member of the Socialist Workers Party.
Born in Zion, Illinois, on July 13, 1923, Shaw grew up in a family of
working farmers. In his youth, he rebelled against the fundamentalist
religious assumptions that surrounded him in Zion. After high school, at
the outbreak of World War II, he entered the Illinois Institute of
Technology in Chicago. Shaw moved to New York City in 1942. There, while
still in his late teens, he entered the military-run Maritime Service
training school at Sheepshead Bay, where he got his papers as a
fireman/watertender in the merchant marine.
On his way to start a job on a boat on the Great Lakes in 1943, Shaw
found himself helping a Black worker escape a racist lynch mob during a
race riot in Detroit - an act that ended up marking the rest of his
life. From that moment on, he identified with, and later became an
active participant in, the struggle for Black rights. During World War
II, Shaw sailed mostly on what were called "liberty ships." While in
Murmansk, in the Arctic region of the Soviet Union in 1943, on a ship
carrying arms and supplies, Shaw got his interest piqued in socialism.
A few months later, on a ship in a Philadelphia harbor loading cargo for
the USSR, Shaw met a seaman who had gotten to know a member of the
Socialist Workers Party on another trip. This seaman told Shaw that 18
leaders of the SWP and the Minneapolis Teamsters had been imprisoned on
charges of "conspiring to advocate the overthrow of the U.S.
government," because of their opposition to World War II. Their
convictions had been the first under the notorious Smith Act. As a
result, Shaw joined the Socialist Workers Party in October 1944 and
later served in the Army during the Korean War.
More information about the Marxism