Siege: The Voice of the Black Workers Congress, Vol.1 No.1, 1971

Archive #

69031X

Item Name

Siege: The Voice of the Black Workers Congress, Vol. 1 No. 1, 1971

Author

Black Workers Congress

Project/Collection

Detroit's Revolutionary Black Workers Movement

Type | Pages

Newspaper | 12p

Date

1971

Location : Publisher

Detroit, Mich. : Black Workers Congress

Protest

State of Emergency, Detroit September 23, 1971

additional credits

Cartography: John A. Wassell;Bryan Thompson (Supervisor) - (Department of Geography, Wayne State University

- - -

Detroit, Mich. : Black Workers Congress.

First issue of Siege published in 1971, shortly after the first Black Workers Congress first National Conference, held in Gary Indiana. The Black Workers Congress grew out of The League of Revolutionary Black Workers (LRBW), which itself grew out of the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (DRUM). Some of the early DRUM members were still part of the Black Workers Congress like Michael “Mike” Hamlin, Chairman of the Black Workers Congress and John Watson.

Front page show a photo taken at the “State of Emergency” protest gathering in Detroit September 23, where “10,000 Black workers, students, housewives, professionals and others turned out. […] to protest the outrageous slaughter of Black people occurring in plants, prisons, and our communities across the country.”

Just below the front page image the main headline reads “Organize the Revolution, Disorganize the State: 300 Attend National Conference” and proceeds to give an account of the proceedings of this “historic first” The newspaper notes that the conference was attended by about 300 people over the course of Labor Day weekend, September 4-5, 1971[1].

Other contents include labor briefs on the auto industry, working people’s health conference, the forming of a “State of Emergency” committee within the Black Workers Congress, a one page Attica graphic, prison news, anti-war drafter prosecution, anti-war activities, The United Front, Nixon’s visit to China, Black G.I.s, Republic of New Africa, Nixon’s Wage-Price Freeze, open letter to Vietnamese people and Black G.I.s, John Watson’s conference speech titled “Conditions Facing Black and Third World Workers”, Black workers delegation in Vietnam, Portuguese Colonies in Armed Struggle, and the back page includes and 11 point excerpt from the Black Workers Congress Manifesto which was presented at the National Conference.

1.Siege Vol. 1 No. 1 (above) reports the conference schedule beginning on Saturday September 4th, I’ve not verified the schedule for Sunday or Monday, September 5 and 6th.