William Hogan

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Fr. William (Bill) E. Hogan was a Chicago Catholic priest and Communist Party USA activist.

He was the oldest of six children born to Daniel Edward and Anne O'Malley Hogan; his father, a First National Bank employee, died in 1941. His mother, a longtime teacher at Chicago's Copernicus elementary school, died in 1980[1].

Bill was a former Roman Catholic priest (though he would have disputed the adjective "former"), ordained in 1952, whose career was marked from its earliest days by political activism, notably in the civil rights, antiwar, and antinuclear struggles of the 1950s, '60s, '70s, and '80s.

Priesthood

Hogan's first assignment was at Holy Angels, which was later George Clements's parish (on Oakwood Boulevard on the South Side). He also served at St. Martin de Porres and St. George parishes[2].

Activism

Hogan participated in several of the major civil rights campaigns in the South, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Selma-Montogomery march in 1965. Later, he joined in the local and national campaigns to end the U.S. war in Vietnam, was a leader in Chicago Clergy and Laity Concerned (an antiwar group), and was one of the plaintiffs in a pair of federal lawsuits in 1974 and '75 that sought to stop alleged Chicago Police Department harassment of political activists (the suits led to a consent decree, stillin force, that restrains police surveillance of political groups).

Bill Hogan was prominent in the campaign to oust Chicago school Superintendent Ben Willis in 1963, there were daily marches against Willis to protest school segregation in the city, at one of which hogan was arrested.

Around 1970, he and another protester were arrested after dumping red dye in the river to protest the Vietnam War[3].

Chicago Freedom Movement

In 1966 Father William Hogan, a Communist Party USA supporter, served as recording secretary of the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations, the group that, together with Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, formed the Chicago Freedom Movement, which led the massive civil disobedience direct action campaign of the summer of 1966 in Chicago.

Hogan said that while King was "first among equals," the composition of the CFM staff was exceptional and reflected the scope of the movement: James Bevel, C. T. Vivian, Al Sampson, James Orange, Jesse Jackson and Andrew Young, who went on to become mayor of Atlanta and later U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

According to Hogan..."All were veterans of major battles in the South," he said, adding that key players from Chicago included Edwin Berry of the Urban League, Bob Lucas of CORE and Carl Fuqua of the NAACP.

"In addition to traditional civil rights organizations, CFM included representatives from the religious and liberal communities. Some of the unions affiliated with AFL-CIO Industrial Union Department provided staff assistance.[4]

Conflict with the Church

Bill Hogan's activism frequently put him at odds with the leadership of the Chicago archdiocese, and in the 1970s he was suspended for disobeying directives to refrain from political activity. He drove a cab for a time to make ends meet. In part because members of his Mundelein seminary class protested.

Hogan left the priesthood in the early 1980s, partly over his opposition to the Church's position on celibacy. After leaving the priesthood, he got married and taught for a time in the Chicago schools and later as a case officer in the Cook County adult probation department[5].

Illinois Communist Party

New political party petition.jpg

In 1976 William Hogan was nominated as a candidate for the Illinois Communist Party USA as an elector for the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates of the Communist Party USA, Gus Hall and Jarvis Tyner.[6]

US Peace Council

As at March, 1982, the following took active roles in the Communist Party USA initiated U.S. Peace Council - founding, speaking or listed as workshop leaders:[7]

Clergy and Laity Concerned, Chicago Chapter

In 1983, William Hogan, St. Brendan's Church, served on the Executive Committee for the Clergy and Laity Concerned, Chicago Chapter:[8]

"Memorial Services for Karlin Flory"

In an article about the 1985 memorial service for Karlin Flory, son of "Ishmael Flory, former chairman of the Illinois District of the Communist Party USA, and the late Eloise Boone", he was identified as having been in "many activities for peace and equality" including protests at the South African Consulate, was a "Daily World supporter" who circulated the paper "in the early days of Operation Breadbasket, which later became Operation PUSH".

Among the speakers were:[9]

Communist Party Labor Day call

The Communist Party USA paper People's Weekly World issued a statement to mark Labor Day 1995, entitled "We honor the dead and fight like hell for the living."

Of the more than 100 endorsers listed, almost all were identified members of the Communist Party USA.

Reverend Bill Hogan, Chicago, was on the list.[10]

Open Letter to the Colombian People, Press and Government, Aug. 1996

"Stop the Bloodshed in Uraba, Due Process for Jose Antonio Lopez, Nelson Campo and others, and an End to Faceless Justice and Political Repression".

We, the undersigned, are North Americans and others who are deeply disturbed by the human rights situation in Colombia.
Massacres, disappearances and torture happen continually in the anguished region of Uraba. We can not understand how paramilitary groups operate so freely in this militarized region where the Colombian army is present in massive numbers, and which does not perform its constitutional function of defending the civilian population. And we can not understand why the regional paramilitary leader is not apprehended and brought to justice for his crimes against humanity.
We call upon all armed parties -- paramilitary units, guerrillas, army, police, urban militias and commandos -- to immediately cease all attacks upon both the civilian population and upon each other. Justice, peace and a fruitful life is never found through murder, torture, kidnapping and intimidation.

Rev. Bill Hogan signed the letter, from the Colombia Support Network .[11]

Rally to Lower Gas Bills

In the winter of 2001, the gas bills for heating Chicago homes rose. Members of Bea Lumpkin's South Side Communist Club were angry too when they saw their huge gas bills. We agreed, anger is not useful unless it leads to effective action.

So on February 7, 2001, the Communist club took the first step to start the fightback. They talked to their coalition partners and together acted fast. Within a week they had a rally of 130 people to demand lower gas prices.

On February 13, 2001, USWA and Save Our Jobs Committee co-sponsored a rally in the steel union hall in South Chicago. They formed a new group, "Angry Utility Consumers." They included presidents of three USWA locals, Bea Lumpkin , Frank Lumpkin of Save Our Jobs Committee, Katie Jordan of Chicago Coalition of Labor Union Women; community leaders included Rev. Winfield Phillips, Free Salvation Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. Bill Hogan, Saint Bride Roman Catholic Church, and many block club presidents and members.

The next month (March) they brought a busload of protesters to a demonstration against Peoples Gas, a company owned by Peoples Energy. The company claimed they were not profiting from the rise in gas prices. At a later date, the Illinois attorney general proved the company had lied. Peoples Gas was forced to pay back the overcharge to their gas customers.

That demonstration was organized by Pat Quinn, later elected Illinois lieutenant governor. He became governor after Rod Blagojevich was removed. Other community groups came from Bridgeport, Back of the Yards (stockyards) and South Austin. That same evening, at our coalition strategy meeting, they were joined by State Senator Donne Trotter, who was asked to introduce a bill to extend the moratorium on gas shutoffs until the gas crisis ended. He promised to "look into" it. [12]

References