Clergy and Laity Concerned

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The Clergy and Laity Concerned (CALC) Organization was formed in 1965 by the National Council of Churches and operated out of New York, New York. The organization first became widely known in 1967 when it cosponsored a White House demonstration in conjunction with the Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, a coalition strongly influenced by Communists and found by the House Committee on Internal Security in 1970 to have "operated from its inception with significant international Communist support" through the World Peace Council. CALC's former leader, Rev. Richard Fernandez, served on the New Mobe Steering Committee.

Fernandez was also a leader of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (National Mobe}, which was created in 1967 as a successor to both communist dominated "united fronts" "November 8 Mobilization Committee, formed on Sept. 10-11, 1966 in Cleveland and its successor the "Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam" (Spring Mobe), founded on Nov. 26-27, 1966, again, in Cleveland.

It later changed its name to National Mobe at its May 20-21, 1967 national meeting in Washington, DC. That name lasted until it became the New Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam (New Mobe) at the July 4-5,1969 national meeting at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, hosted by Mobe leader and former CPUSA Wisconsin State Party member Prof. Sidney Peck.[1].

The original name of CALC was Clergy and Laymen Concerned About the War in Vietnam (CALCAV)and still appeared on their letterheads at least as late as Winter 1971, '72, according to a mailing they sent out from their headquarters at 475 Riverside Drive, New York, New York, 10027.

Winter 1971, '72 CALCAV Letterhead and Letter Contents

A CALCAC fundraising letter was sent to its mailing list in late 1971 concerning the war in Vietnam. It was revealing not only in its pro-Communist disinformation message about what was really going in South Vietnam (Hanoi's secret preparations for their Easter Offensive, but about their claimed size of their organization and how it functions.

The letterhead contained the names of their key leaders, as follows: Co-chairman:

Co-Directors:

  • Rev. Richard Fernandez - hardcore supporter of the Viet Cong, Hanoi and numerous other communist fronts and causes. Visited North Vietnam in 1970.

Publishers of "American Report":

Program and Administrative Assistants:

Text of "Dear Friend" letter:

CONTINUE HERE

About

As at March 1982, CALC's co-director, John Collins, was an endorser of the U.S. Peace Council's November 1981 national conference. On February 17, 1982, CALC released an "open letter to Congress" signed by 400 religious activists and leaders opposing U.S. aid to El Salvador. With the American Friends Service Committee, CALC sponsored a U.S. speaking tour by nine European disarmament leaders. According to the Zill report,

"[CALC] has been most active in the formation and nurturing of the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, participating on the steering committee and involving a number of the 42 CALC chapters in the Freeze Conferences... There is a new CALC chapter in Amarillo, Texas, (home of Bishop Matthiesen and the Amarillo Pantex Plant, DOE's assembly plant for all war-heads), and it is serving as a center for job references, [and] counseling of the former atomic workers who have left their jobs on principle, and for a conversion study and vigils."

Other program areas include South Africa and the "politics of food". CALC provided the initial U.S. coordination for the campaign against the Nestle Corporation's infant formula.

Mission

As at Jan. 1970 the goals of the organization were as follows:

"what we are about today is not simply an end to the war in Vietnam, but a struggle against American imperialism and exploitation in just about every corner of the world... Our task is to join those who are angry and who hate the corporate power which the United States presently represents, and to attempt, in our struggle, to liberate not only black, brown and yellow men in every corner of the world, but more importantly, to help liberate our own nation from its reactionary and exploitative policies."

Personnel

Founders

The following is a partial list of the founding members of Clergy and Laity Concerned:[2]

Staff

The following were staff of the organization as at March 1983:[2]

Chicago Chapter

For information about the Chicago chapter go to: Clergy and Laity Concerned, Chicago Chapter

For information about the Schenectady, New York chapter, go to: Clergy and Laity Concerned, Schenectady Chapter

References

  1. "Communist Origin and Manipulation of Vietnam Week (April 8-15, 1967), Report, House Document No. 186, House Committee on Un-American Activities, (HCUA), March 31, 1967" and the more updated and inclusive "Subversive Involvement in the Origin, Leadership, and Activities of the new Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam and Its Predecessor Organizations", Staff Study, House Internal Security Committee (HISC), April 1970, SubDoc No. 45-1523 O,
  2. 2.0 2.1 Clergy and Laity Concerned, Metro Chicago chapter letterhead, March 22, 1983