Civil Rights Greensboro

UNCG Home > The University Libraries > Civil Rights Greensboro Home > Communist Workers Party U.S.A.

Communist Workers Party U.S.A.

Gender: UNKNOWN

Ethnicity: Other

Biographical/Historical note:

The Communist Workers Party (CWP) was a Maoist group in the United States. It was founded in 1969 as the Workers' Viewpoint Organization. The party is mainly remembered for the "Greensboro Massacre", a November 3, 1979 Death to the Klan march that left five of the CWP protesters dead.

The CWP emphasized unionization and self-determination for African-Americans and enjoyed some success in textile cities of North Carolina. The party established branches in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Greensboro, West Virginia, Colorado and other locations. Prior to its reorganization as a political party, the group had been known as the Workers Viewpoint Organization. Under this umbrella, it directed groups as the Revolutionary Youth League, the African Liberation Support Committee, and the Trade Union Education League.

Confrontations with the Klan were particularly acute in Greensboro, where the Klan attempted to disrupt the work of the CWP and vice versa. In July, 1979, the Klan held a rally and viewing of The Birth of a Nation in China Grove, N.C., which was disrupted by CWP members who burned a Confederate flag and taunted members of the KKK. There were also challenges in the press. These provocations were a precursor to the November 3, 1979. "Death to the Klan!" rally organized by the CWP. Members of the Klan were armed, as were some members of the CWP. Two members of the CWP and three rally participants were killed in the assault by the KKK. This was the incident that became known as the "Greensboro Massacre". In response to the acquittal of the accused killers, the CWP attempted to storm the 1980 Democratic National Convention and succeeded in setting off firecrackers in Madison Square Garden.

Subsequent to the Greensboro massacre, the group moved towards a social democratic formation that would work for peaceful transition to socialism; it dissolved the Communist Workers Party and formed the New Democratic Movement in 1985. The New Democratic Movement lasted but a few years. The Greensboro Justice Fund is a still extant remnant of this movement.

Items created by this individual or group:
Item thumbnail image Workers Viewpoint
Date: November 5, 1979
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
These are photocopies of six pages of the November 5, 1979 Workers Viewpoint newspaper, a publication of the Communist Workers Party (CWP). This issue reports on the Oc...
Item thumbnail image Workers Viewpoint
Date: November 12, 1979
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
This photocopy of the November 12, 1979 Workers Viewpoint newspaper, a publication of the Communist Workers Party (CWP), includes articles that report on the shooting de...
Item thumbnail image Workers Viewpoint
Date: December 10, 1979
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
These are photocopies of five pages from the December 10, 1979 Workers Viewpoint newspaper, a publication of the Communist Workers Party (CWP). One article discusses the...
Item thumbnail image Workers Viewpoint
Date: December 26, 1979
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
These are photocopies of eight pages from the December 26, 1979 Workers Viewpoint newspaper, a publication of the Communist Workers Party (CWP), which pertain to the Nov...
Item thumbnail image Workers Viewpoint
Date: April 5, 1980
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
These are photocopies of three pages from the April 5, 1980 Workers Viewpoint newspaper, a publication of the Communist Workers Party (CWP), that pertain to the "Green...
Item thumbnail image Workers Viewpoint
Date: May 19, 1980
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
These are photocopies of three pages from the May 19, 1980 Workers Viewpoint newspaper, a publication of the Communist Workers Party (CWP), which pertain to the the No...
Item thumbnail image Workers Viewpoint
Date: May 26, 1980
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
These photocopies of three pages from the May 26, 1979 Workers Viewpoint newspaper, a publication of the Communist Workers Party (CWP), pertain to the November 3, 1979...
Item thumbnail image Workers Viewpoint
Date: September 28, 1980
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
These photocopies of four pages from the September 22-28, 1980 Workers Viewpoint newspaper, a publication of the Communist Workers Party (CWP), pertain to the November...
Item thumbnail image Workers Viewpoint
Date: November 9, 1980
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
These photocopies of six pages from the November 3-9, 1980 Workers Viewpoint newspaper, a publication of the Communist Workers Party (CWP), pertain to the November 3, 19...
Item thumbnail image Workers Viewpoint
Date: November 16, 1980
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
These photocopies of two pages from the November 10-16, 1979 Workers Viewpoint newspaper, a publication of the Communist Workers Party (CWP), pertain to the November 3, ...
Item thumbnail image Workers Viewpoint
Date: November 23, 1980
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
These photocopies of eight pages from the November 17-23, 1980 Workers Viewpoint newspaper, a publication of the Communist Workers Party (CWP), pertain to the November 3...
Item thumbnail image Turn Grief Into Strength! Avenge the CWP 5!
Date: November1979
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Sydney Nathans Papers
This flyer, issued by the Communist Workers Party (CWP), and dating from early November, 1979, urges attendance at a protest march to be held November 11 in Greensboro. The flyer includes accusations ...
Item thumbnail image Letter from Communist Workers Party
Date: December 23, 1979
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
This December 23, 1979 mimeographed letter from the Communist Workers Party (CWP) to its supporters and contacts discusses the November 3, 1979 Death to the Klan march where five protestors were kille...
Item thumbnail image Communist Workers Party press release
Date: February 4, 1980
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
This February 4, 1980 press release, issued by the Communist Workers Party USA, describes a February 2, 1980, demonstration held in Greensboro. The demonstration, which coincided with the twentieth an...
Item thumbnail image Communist Workers Party press release
Date: February 8, 1980
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
This February 8, 1980 press release, issued by the Communist Workers Party (CWP), criticizes the Greensboro city government, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the FBI for permittin...
Item thumbnail image Statement to the North Carolina Advisory Commission on Civil Rights
Date: February 26, 1980
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
This February 26, 1980 statement by the Communist Workers Party (CWP) to the North Carolina Advisory Committee on Civil Rights, frames the November 3, 1979, Greensboro Massacre, in terms of civil righ...
Item thumbnail image District Attorney Schlosser Comes to Rescue of Klan/Nazi Murderers
Date: March 27, 1980
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
This March 27, 1980 press release, issued by the Communist Workers Party (CWP), criticizes Greensboro District attorney Mike Schlosser's handling of the murder trial of Ku Klux Klan and Nazi party mem...
Item thumbnail image Greensboro Community Leader and Anti-Klan Demonstrators to Face Trial
Date: April 16, 1980
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
This April 16, 1980 press release, issued by the Communist Workers Party (CWP), criticizes the prosecution of CWP member Nelson Johnson for "inciting to riot" or "interfering with police officers" fol...
Item thumbnail image Felony Indictments: More Victims Blamed for U.S. Government Crimes
Date: May 1, 1980
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
This May 1, 1980 press release, issued by the Communist Workers Party (CWP), discusses the charges against six CWP supporters present at the November 3, 1979, Death to the Klan march (also known as th...
Item thumbnail image Indictments Sought Against Six Anti-Klan Demonstrators
Date: May 2, 1980
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
This May 2, 1980 press release, issued by the Communist Workers Party (CWP), announces Greensboro District Attorney Mike Schlosser's request for indictments against six CWP members on rioting charges ...
Item thumbnail image Indict the U.S. Government's Upside Down Justice / Free the Greensboro Six
Date: May 3, 1980
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
This May 3, 1980 press release, issued by the Communist Workers Party (CWP), announces the release on bail of three of the six CWP members indicted on rioting charges stemming from the November 3, 197...
Item thumbnail image Free Nelson Johnson and the Greensboro 3
Date: May1980
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
This flyer, produced by the Communist Workers Party (CWP), announces a rally to be held in Greensboro on May 5, 1980, two days before the start of the trial of three CWP members (Nelson Johnson, Rand ...
Item thumbnail image CWP Scores Political Victory - The Whole World is Watching - The Klan/Nazi/FBI Trials Can't be Kept Closed
Date: June 23, 1980
By: Communist Workers Party U.S.A.
From: Blanche M. Boyd Papers
This June 23, 1980 press release, issued by the Communist Workers Party (CWP), announces that the CWP will be filing criminal charges against law enforcement officers in Greensboro for assaulting CWP ...