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Your journal. 1929, birth of the Committees of defense of the Humanity (CDH)

Calling on the readers to ensure the future of the newspaper, as its director Marcel Cachin does in August 1929, is not a novelty in itself. But the ban on daily life – threatening even the very existence of the Communist Party – generates an unprecedented form of mobilization.

At first, the launch of the Human Rights Committees (HRC) is a success. About a hundred committees are created, mostly in the Paris region. But they disappear rather quickly, diverted from their main reason for being after being transformed at the request of the Communist Party into factory committees or strike at the beginning of the year 1930.

Build an important network of volunteer presenters at corporate entrances

The movement was revived in 1930 at the request of the International Communist (IC) around the defense of the newspaper. A general assembly of the committees is convened on July 27th, 1930 in the Bellevilloise to define their goal. A temporary leadership is set up, responsible for organizing the movement at the national level. It is composed in the image of the diversity of the communist movement in France and includes newspaper delegates, communist leaders, CGTU trade unionists, leaders of associations such as Red International Aid or the Friends of the Soviet Union. , representatives of the cooperative circles and elected communists of the suburbs of Paris. The first congress of the CHR is convened on September 7, 1930 in Bezons, where is also organized, the same day, a country party to become the Feast of Humanity.

From now on, the main role of the HRCs is to sell the newspaper in order to significantly increase its circulation, an indispensable measure to get out of the crisis that the communist daily is going through. The administration of Humanity hopes to form an important network of volunteer broadcasters – much to the chagrin of the newspaper bearers' cooperative – in charge of the distribution of the special editions or the weekly edition of Sunday.

The multiplication of sales teams is aimed at ensuring greater visibility in the main title of the communist press, while at the same time taking care to avoid competing with newspaper custodians. It is more about being present at the same time in certain places, at specific times of the day, with a specific audience. For example, HRCs should prioritize organizing the sale of Humanity at the doors of companies.

A proper outfit, "learn to scream the Huma" and not to seek the fight.

The sale by auction is important enough for the leadership of the Communist Party to encourage the activists to respect not only a certain number of legal provisions but also simple rules of politeness. She regularly reminds the steps to be taken to ensure the legality of a sale at auction. She invites the broadcasters to have a correct outfit, she offers them to "Learn to scream the Huma "and especially it encourages them not to seek the fight.

Ultimately, the Committees for the Defense of Humanity must seek all appropriate means to ensure the existence and development of the communist daily.

A true organization was formed at the request of the Communist International in July 1930. Its establishment is difficult. In the provinces, activists are more concerned about the regional newspaper than the national daily. In spite of some attempts, the movement remains mainly Parisian, at least until 1936 when the committees represent nearly 70% of the organization, mainly in the districts, much more rarely in the companies. In April 1939, the number of committees officially amounted to nearly 1,400. Faced with the decline in sales since the fall of the Blum government in June 1937, the editor-in-chief of the communist daily Georges Cogniot proposes to mobilize the entire party. – and not just the CDH – around the broadcast.

On the eve of the Second World War, the existence of the HRCs as an organization seems to be in question. Their next integration into the administration of Humanity in the sales department seems more and more likely, especially since the transformation in January 1938 CDH in Friends of Humanity, potentially at the origin of a new militant figure.


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