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17 ‘Self-Determination’ and Comintern Intervention

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Chapter Summary

Gomez, a Cannon supporter and a specialist on anti-imperialist work, urged his party to 'link up the struggle of the Negroes as an oppressed minority in the United States with anti-imperialist struggles in Haiti, Santo Domingo'. He added: 'This includes propaganda of the right of self-determination for the Negroes in the United States'. He attacked Lovestone for the party's lack of work among blacks, connecting it to the growing refrain that the then-dominant faction was soft on US imperialism. In East St. Louis, Illinois, the site of an anti-black riot in 1917, and across the Mississippi in St. Louis, Missouri, Communists braved police violence to fight for relief. The Trade Union Unity League (TUUL) led a strike of 1,400 largely black women workers in the Funsten nut pickers' strike in 1933. The 'black belt' theory played almost no role in these struggles, but Comintern intervention was crucial.

Keywords: anti-black riot; Comintern intervention; Negroes; right of self-determination; Trade Union Unity League (TUUL); United States



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