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The American Civil Liberties Union was a Communist Front by Chuck Morse 7/2/01 After his release from prison where he served a sentence for draft evasion, anarchist Roger Baldwin founded the ACLU in 1919 at a party attended by Socialist Party notable Norman Thomas, future Communist Party chairman Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, and Soviet agent Agnes Smedley. In 1920, Rev. Harry Ward, the Red Dean of the Union Theological Seminary was Chairman, Baldwin was director, and Communist publisher Louis Budenz, who would later go on to testify against Communism, director of publicity. Other Communist and radical founders included William Z. Foster, author of "Toward Soviet America", Harold J. Laski, Morris Hilquit, A.J.Muste, Scott Nearing, Eugene V. Debs, and John Dewey. The 1930's membership would include such radicals and change agents as Vito Marcantonio, Haywood Broun, Corliss Lamont, and Bishop G. Bromley Oxnan. The 1940's roll would include George S. Counts, Norman Cousins, Melvyn Douglas, Robert M. Hutchins, and Freda Kirchwey. Most prominent American luminaries of the left were, and are, members of the ACLU. On January 17, 1931, the Special House (of Representatives) Committee to Investigate Communist Activities in the United States issued a report which stated the following: "The American Civil Liberties Union is closely affiliated with the communist movement in the United States, and fully 90% of its efforts are on behalf of Communists who have come into conflict with the law. It claims to stand for free speech, free press, and free assembly; but it is quite apparent that the main function of the ACLU is to attempt to protect the communists in their advocacy of force and violence to overthrow the Government, replacing the American flag with a red flag and erecting a Soviet Government in place of the republican form of government guaranteed to each State by the Federal Constitution Roger N. Baldwin, its guiding spirit, makes no attempt to hide his friendship for the communists and their principles." In 1935, Baldwin wrote the following in his college yearbook: "I have been to Europe several times, mostly in connection with international radical activities and have traveled in the United States to areas of conflict over workers rights to strike and organize. My chief aversion is the system of greed, private profit, privilege and violence which makes up the control of the world today, and which has brought it to the tragic crisis of unprecedented hunger and unemployment . Therefore, I am for Socialism, disarmament and ultimately, for the abolishing of the State itself seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal."