Haywood Burns

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Haywood Burns

Haywood Burns was founder of the the "legal arm of the black revolution" the National Conference of Black Lawyers-an affiliate of the Soviet front International Association of Democratic Lawyers.

Burns had close ties to Cuba and was involved in several other communist fronts including the National Lawyers Guild, Center for Constitutional Rights and the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee.


According to the National Conference of Black Lawyers website[1];

In 1968, young people of African descent in America were growing impatient with the slow pace of social change. Despite modest advances brought on by two decades of non-violent resistance, from one end of the country to the other, the cry for Black Power was raised in the midst of a sea of clinched fists. At the same time, this new militant spirit had moved many to don black berets and carry rifles. On street corners in practically every Black community, passers-by heard demands for Nation Time and Power to the People!

The National Conference of Black Lawyers and its allied organization, the National Lawyers Guild are the U.S. affiliates of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers.[2]

The IADL, was a "front" for the former Soviet Union and is still dominated by communist and socialist lawyers and legal organizations.

Defending Angela Davis

Burns successfully defended Communist Party USA member Angela Davis during her trial for murder.

Marrying Jennifer Dohrn

After successfully defending Angela Davis, Burns went on to marry Jennifer Dohrn, sister and supporter of terrorist Bernardine Dohrn.

National Anti-Imperialist Conference in Solidarity With African Liberation

Haywood Burns, Executive Director of National Conference of Black Lawyers was named as a sponsor of the Communist Party USA dominated National Anti-Imperialist Conference in Solidarity With African Liberation held at Dunbar Vocational High School, Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago, October 19 to 21 1973.[3]


In March 1979, the New York radical magazine the Guardian issued an emergency appeal to funds in an effort to save the publication.

Over fifty supporters endorsed the appeal including Haywood Burns[4]


In 1981 Mark Loo, a Chinese-American member of the Communist Workers Party[5] , his party comrade Rodney Johnson, and unionist David Boyd were charged with the attempted bombing of the National Shipbuilding Company in San Diego, California. The trio were represented by lawyer Leonard Weinglass.

Defending the NASSCO 3, soon became a major cause for the Communist Workers Party.[6]

A cocktail party in support of the NASSCO3, was held at Ramsey Clark's house in New York on July 10. Sponsors of the event included Haywood Burns, Abe Feinglass, Juan Gonzalez, William Kunstler, Stewart Kwoh, Manning Marable, Margaret Ratner, Abbott Simon, Frances Borden Hubbard, Flo Kennedy, and Ramsey Clark.[7]

Anti-Apartheid Harvard

In 1987, six candidates ran for the Harvard University Board of Overseers on a Divestment from South Africa platform. They were DSA members Ruth Messinger, and Victor Sidel, Jerome Grossman, Haywood Burns, Consuela Washington, and Peter Wood. $350 million in stock was at stake. [8]

CoC National Conference endorser

In 1992, Haywood Burns, chair emeritus and founding member of the National Coalition of Black Lawyers, New York endorsed the Committees of Correspondence national conference Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s held at Berkeley California July 17-19.[9][10]

Advisory Board Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center

As at Winter, 2008, the following served on the Advisory Board of the Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center:


  1. http://www.ncbl.org/history.htm
  2. http://www.nlg.org/news/statements/SouraniStatement.htm
  3. National Anti-Imperialist Conference in Solidarity With African Liberation - Partial list of sponsors
  4. Guardian March 2 1979
  5. Curriculum Vitae of Leonard I. Weinglass
  6. Workers Vanguard, June 19, 1981, NASSCO3 Railroaded, San Diego Co Entrapment Threat to Labor
  7. Memo on NASSCO3 Support Work, from the general secretary Jerry Tung, written by Kurt, 7/81
  8. [NY Democratic Socialist April/May 1987 page 2]
  9. CCDS Background
  10. Founding members