Center for Marxist Education
The original Center for Marxist Education (CME) was set up in New York City about August 6, 1969, and incorporated on Jan. 14, 1970, after the Party's convention wherein it adopted a resolution establishing such a place. The U.S. government's Subversive Activities Control Board (SACB) held hearings on a petition filed July 17, 1970, by the Attorney General designating the CME as a Communist Party USA (CPUSA) "front organization."
The SACB held its hearings on the CME and made a finding on March 14, 1973, that the CME was a "communist front organization" and ordered it to register with the government as such. A reproduction of the Final Report, with many details about the CME and its staff/teachers/programs, was not only published by the SACB, but was included in a House Internal Security Committee (HISC) combined report on "The Communist Party Youth Program", issued April 1974.
In the HISC report, they also included hearings/reports on other CPUSA youth fronts, including Advance, Burning Issues Youth Organizations, and the successor to the CP's W.E.B. BuBois Clubs of America (DCA), the Young Workers Liberation League (YWLL)..
This publication is invaluable for understanding the youth programs of the CPUSA from the late 1950's thru the early 1970's, along with the many names it provides, some of whom were still fucntioning Party members or members of the Party-split-off, the Committee of Correspondence for Socialism and Democracy (COCSD) well into the first decade of the 21st century.
Key Leaders,Staff, Faculty and Speakers of the Center for Marxist Education, New York City
Among those CPUSA members whose names appeared in the HISC/SACB publications as being connected to the CME in New York City, we find:
- John Gallo - First Director from 1969 onward
- Duba Weinstein - Assistant Director since June 1970, Young Workers Liberation League (YWLL)
Fall Term 1969 Teachers:
- Dynamite Hallinan - National Committee, CPUSA; Chairman, National Education Commission
- Henry Klein - Party member
- James Jackson - Secretary, International Affairs Commission, National Committee
- Conrad Komorowski - National Committee
- Hyman Lumer - National Education Director, National Committee
- George Meyers - Chair, Labor Commission, National Committee
- Charlene Mitchell - Secretary, Black Liberation Commission, National Committee
- Victor Perlo - Chairman, Economics Commission, National Committee
- Jose Stevens - National Committee, Harlem Organizer, CP
- Rasheed Storey - Chairman, New York State Communist Party, National Committee
- Jarvis Tyner - National Committee
- Louis Weinstock - Party member, labor
- Tom Foley - Party member, Daily World (DW) writer
- Phillip Bonosky - Party member, DW writer
- Miriam Pandor - "actress and choreographer who taught 'Theater Workshops" had "recently taught in Cuba"." Fall Term 1969.
- Arthur Simson - had "taught at the Jefferson School (of Social Science)" (found to be a CPUSA front, "Attorney General v. Jefferson School of Social Science, Report and Order of the Board (SACB), June 30, 1955."
- Harry K. Wells - had "also taught at the Jefferson School and had articles published 'in Soviet and German Democratic Republic (GDR) encyclopedias."
- Dr. Herbert Aptheker - Party theoretician
Winter Term 1969 Teachers: (have deliberately avoided duplication from previously listed teachers): New teachers;
- Clara Colon - Party, National Women's Commission
- Gil Green - National Committee and former New York State Chairman
- Roque Ristorucci - National Committee
- Leonore Valeton - DW staffer - Lived and worked in Cuba, 1962-68." Taught German at Havana University.
- Joseph Reynolds - DW writer and former teacher at the Jefferson School.
100th Anniversary of Lenin's Birth speakers: (Hall, Hallinan, Aptheker, Mitchell & Winston)
- Will Weinstone - Chairman, History Commission, National Committee
Marxist Forum - Friday Nights: (Tyner, Stevens, Ristorucci)
- Roscoe Proctor - Party member
- Leslie Cagan - March 6, 1970 speaker on "Cuba and the Venceremos Brigade: A First-Hand Report"
Spring Term 1970 Teachers: (previous teachers not listed unless for a specific reason)
- Donna Ristorucci - Party member
- Warren E. Gillespie - DW columnist
- Mike Zagarell - National Committee
Summer Term 1970: Teachers (previous teachers not listed)
- Alva Buxenbaum -Chairman of the National Women's Commission
Fall Term 1970: Teachers (previous teachers not listed)
- John Gallo - Party member and Director of the CME
- Margrit Pittman - Associate Editor and Moscow correspondent, DW, Party member
- Ben Levine - "had worked on the copy desk of the Daily Workers and Daily World since 1945."
Winter Term 1970: (No record evidence concerning this term/teachers - SACB Report)
Spring Term 1971: (again no record evidence)
Summer Term 1971: (again no record evidence)
Fall Term 1971:
- Fern Winston - Party official, National Women's Commission
- Rick Nagin - DW correspondent and Party member
- Ron Tyson - DW correspondent and Party member
Winter Term 1972: (duplicate names avoided)
- John Pittman - DW co-editor and Party member
New York State Communist Party Care School (taught at the CME during this time) (teachers included: Tyner, Stevens, Perlo, Storey, Weinstock, Weinstein)
- Frances Borodofsky - Organizational Secretary of the NY State CP
- Earl Scott - CME Staff
- Ernest Kuddes - Educational Director of the NY State CP
- Joseph North - National Committee
According to director Gary Dotterman, the volunteer-run center—which will celebrate its thirtieth anniversary in January — 2005, is still open during limited hours on Thursday evenings, offering lectures, courses, book signings and film series. The center, which has a mailing list of 540 members, also operates the Bookmarx bookstore and hosts a weekly show on Cambridge cable television.
“It’s mainly a place for people to come, converse, learn and explore new ideas and some old ideas,” Dodderman says.
The space on Mass. Ave. was first used as a headquarters for Communist Party USA candidate Laura Ross, who challenged legendary Massachusetts congressman Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill in the 1970’s. After she lost—twice—the newly founded center took over the space, and to this day pays the rent using donations from members. One of its founders, MIT mathematician Dirk Struik, was banned from teaching during what Dotterman calls “the dark years of the McCarthy era.” Struik stayed on at MIT, and “he couldn’t teach but they had to pay him anyway,” Dotterman says.
Since then, the center’s space has been used by activists and hosted foreign dignitaries, including an ambassador from Haiti and representatives from Cuba. Dotterman says Harvard faculty members and students have taken part in the lecture series and study groups over the years. “We got a really good deal on the rent,” Dotterman says of the space. “We’ve grown up around it.”
- The Communist Party Youth Program: Documents of the Subversive Activities Control Board on Advance and Burning Issues Youth Organizations, Center for Marxist Education, and Young Workers Liberation League, HISC, April 1974
-  Seeing Red A Communist guide to Cambridge, Harvard Crimson, December 09, 2004
-  Unfinished Business: Socialist Market Economy By Al L. Sargis, Political Affairs, January 2004