Page 5

Title page


Foreward to 2002 edition

Chapter 1: The Anti-Imperialist League 1898-1902
Pages 3 - 4

Chapter 2: The People's Council 1917-1919
Pages 5 - 6 - 7

Chapter 3: The American League Against War and Fascism and the Emergency Peace Campaign 1933-1939
Pages 8 - 9 - 10

Chapter 4: The Progressive Citizens of America 1946-1948
Pages 11-12

Chapter 5: The "Mobes" against the Vietnam War 1966-1970
Pages 13-14

Chapter 6: The Nuclear Freeze Movement and People-to-People Diplomacy 1980-1990
Pages 15-16-17-18

Chapter 7: Global Movement for a Culture of Peace 2000-
Pages 19-20-21

Chapter 8: The Root Causes of War
Pages 22-23-24-25-26-27

Chapter 9: The Future of the Peace Movement
Pages 28-29-30-31

Pages 32-33-34-35-36

Page 37

In 1914 when World War I began in Europe, there were American peace organizations involving leading members of the U.S. ruling class. They were financed by such wealthy industrialists as the steel baron Andrew Carnegie and automaker Henry Ford. However, by 1917 when the U.S. entered the war, these initiatives had collapsed, because they were based exclusively on "middle and upper classes" who the leadership assumed "could more easily understand and identify with the civilized quality of their movement than the unenlightened masses." The Women's Peace Party, formed in 1915 and combining anti-war and women's suffrage as issues, split as many suffragists seized the war emergency to declare their patriotism. The anti-war movement in the U.S. "narrowed to a hard core of anti-war socialists, FOR-related liberal pacifists, and scattered urban intellectuals."

In 1917, as American casualties in the war began to mount, a new organization emerged at the head of the peace movement, the People's Council of America (note 3). The People's Council launched its campaign at a Madison Square Garden Rally in New York with 20,000 people in May, 1917, one month after the U.S. declared war on Germany. At its peak, according to Curti's history of the peace movement, it had at least two million sympathizers.

The program of the People's Council was "radical." It was a direct response to the Russian Revolution where Russian workers had laid down their weapons and refused to continue fighting World War I against German workers. In addition to favoring an "early, just, and democratic peace," the People's Council also "denounced war profiteering, insisted on adequate wages for labor and expressed sympathy with the ideals of economic and social justice which the new Russia seemed to champion."

The base of the People's Council was working' class, and its leadership, for the most part, was explicitly socialist. It drew support from many trade unions and from the left wing of the Socialist Party. Although there were few direct ties to the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World), the militancy of the IWW workers and their outspoken opposition to the war added strength to the cause. The U.S. government became so worried that there might be a working class revolution that they came to the direct support of the pro-war leadership of Samuel Gompers in the American Federation of Labor, and the government funded a pro-war propaganda organization, the American Alliance for Labor and Democracy" in order to split the labor opposition. The subsequent battle provides the title for the most complete book on the history of the People's Council, The Struggle for Labor Loyalty, by Frank Grubbs. Despite massive defections from the ranks of organized labor, Samuel Gompers managed to hold the AFL leadership to a pro-war program (note 4).

There was still no effective mobilization of the Afro-Americans into the peace movement, largely because they continued to be excluded from trade unions. One bright exception was the monthly publication of The messenger, an anti-war and socialist periodical put out by Black intellectuals and trade unionists, including A. Philip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. The war years were a time of lynchings and Ku Klux Klan terrorism, as well as segregation. Responding to the murder of 30 Afro-Americans in an East St. Louis race riot, Eugene Victor Debs noted: "Had the labor unions ever opened the door to the Negro, instead of barring him...the atrocious crime at East St. Louis would never have blackened the pages of American history."

(continued on next page)

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