What have Communists done?

April 30, 2016

Founded in 1919, the Communist Party has helped win important changes in our country. Communists helped organize the great industrial unions including steel, meatpacking and auto. Communists were pioneers in the 1930s in the fight for Social Security, unemployment compensation, the 8-hour day and the 40-hour week. They took a lead in the fight against lynching and to save the Scottsboro Nine. Communists were among those who developed militant direct action tactics – such as the sit-down strikes that helped win unionization of the auto industry. At the height of the Great Depression communist neighborhood clubs organized mass unemployed councils that put back the furniture of evicted neighbors. In rural areas, communists organized to block bank auction of foreclosed farms.

Fighting Jim Crow, communists helped lay the groundwork for the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. During the Spanish Civil War and in World War II, Communists volunteered to fight fascism. Many died in battle. In the Korean War and early days of the war in Vietnam, Communists were among the few who openly opposed the war. Their pioneering work helped build a huge peace movement.

In the 1970’s Communists led the movement to free Angela Davis continuing the party’s commitment to defend victims of political repression. We worked for peace and nuclear disarmament. Communists always focus on opposing the U.S. government’s role in supporting dictatorial regimes abroad, from apartheid in South Africa to the fascist dictator Pinochet in Chile.

In the labor movement of the 1970s , 80s and 90s communist workers along with other progressive rank and filers helped build caucuses to fight for more democracy, diversity and affirmative action and against “business unionism.”


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  • QHow does the CPUSA feel about the current American foreign...
  • AThanks for a great question, Conlan.  CPUSA stands for peace and international solidarity, and has a long history of involvement...
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