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Continuity News
W. J. Sidis
Mimeographed newsletter
No. 7, November, 1938

"Franco" Hague, the dictator of Jersey City has at last met up with an injunction from the Federal courts; and some elements have been hailing this as a victory for civil rights.

Continuity News, in its first few issues, gave news concerning the Jersey City terrorism; but it was thought inadvisable to continue harping on the same string, because of misunderstandings that actually did arise. The main misunderstanding among some readers was the notion that that meant that we were endorsing the Committee for Industrial Organisation in its personal fight against him on issues involving far different things than civil liberties for unattached individuals holding and expressing individual opinions. On the contrary, we called attention to the fact that Hague has repeatedly sought to confuse the issue by claiming that it was the C.I.O. that he was fighting and covering up the civil liberties issue thereby; and that taking him up on that issue of personalities rather than principle was actually playing into the dictator's hands.

It would seem that this view was borne out by the sort of injunction that was granted which merely gave special speaking privileges to the C.I.O. and its ally the Civil Liberties Union, without increasing by one iota the rights of the ordinary citizen to voice his opinion in a private conversation on Jersey City sidewalks. In fact, the judge who issued the injunction actually advocated that Hague continue with a restricted form of public censorship; and there is no reason to believe that general freedom of expression of opinion under C.I.O. supervision would be a fraction of an inch wider than it is now on the sidewalks of Hudson Boulevard.

Issues of principle as fundamental as that of free expression of all varieties of opinion can hardly be settled through disputes of a purely personal nature, such as that between Hague and the C.I.O., where both sides are agreed that their opponents must at all costs be suppressed.

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