Tag Archive: labor history

Jun 13 2014

Hellraisers Journal: General Bell Blames Socialist and W. F. of M. for All Troubles in Colorado

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.

-Mother Jones

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Monday June 13, 1904

From The Indianapolis News: More Union Miners Deported from Cripple Creek District

Cripple Creek Deportations June 1914

BELL SAYS SOCIALISTS ARE CAUSE OF TROUBLES

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SAYS HE WILL DRIVE FEDERATION FROM GOLD CAMP.

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THE ONLY HOPE FOR PEACE

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CRIPPLE CREEK, June 13.-Gen. Sherman Bell has given out a statement concerning his action in deporting strikers and the causes leading up to the same. He attributes the recent troubles growing out of the miners’ strike, and the strike itself to the Socialist element in the Western Federation of Miners, which, he says, captured the organization two years ago. He declares that the federation has made unionism a secondary consideration, and the organization, root and branch, is being made a vehicle for the promotion of socialism. The leaders, he asserts, have not hesitated to cause “weak and willing members to commit any crime to strike terror to property owners or working men who refuse to abide their dictates.” The murder of non-union men by blowing up the Independence station, he charges, was “perpetrated with the aid and advice of federation leaders and by men in their employ.” The only hope for peace and security of life and property was “to exterminate the federation from the camp.”

General Bell and staff attended church yesterday and transacted no business, except what was absolutely necessary. Another party of 100 deported miners left Victor to-day, their destination being either New Mexico or Utah. The saloons of the district were opened to-day for the first time in a week.

Practically all the large mines in this district which closed down last Monday, after the explosion at Independence, were working to-day. The Portland mine has not yet been reopened and the company has not announced its plans.

[emphasis added]

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An Appeal to Gompers.

KANSAS CITY. June 13.-The Industrial Council of this city, which claims to represent 25,000 union members, adopted resolutions [yesterday] asking President Gompers, of the American Federation of Labor, to call a meeting of the executive board of that  organization for the purpose of devising means to settle the Colorado labor troubles. Telegrams were sent to President Roosevelt asking him to investigate and to Governor Peabody, condemning his actions by the orders of the Industrial Council. Mother Jones addressed the meeting.

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Miners Remain at Holly.

HOLLY, Colo., June 13.-Ten of the deported miners from Cripple Creek left here at midnight Saturday for La Junta, Pueblo and Denver. The remainder are staying in town. They have paid cash for their meals and lodging and made purchases at stores. It is probable that a considerable number of the exiles will go into the country to seek work on the ranches.

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Today’s edition of the St. Louis Republic reports that Mother Jones addressed the Kansas City, Missouri, Industrial Council yesterday, and that the following telegram was sent to Governor Peabody of Colorado:

The Industrial Council of Kansas City, Mo., in regular session assembled, condemns your action as unamerican, uncivilized and barbarous in the extreme, in your treatment toward workingmen and women of Colorado. For such acts Russia, in her darkest ages, would blush with shame.

Jun 12 2014

Hellraisers Journal: Deported Union Miners Dumped at Bleak Alkali Sand Dunes Without Food or Water

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.

-Mother Jones

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Sunday June 12, 1904

Cripple Creek District, Colorado – Deported Miners Dumped Near Kansas Border

Cripple Creek Deportations June 1914

The miners who were herded down the street on Friday by militiamen and Citizens’ Alliance “deputies” and then loaded into railroad cars and deported from the Cripple Creek strike zone, were found near the Kansas border yesterday. The following report comes to us from today’s San Francisco Call:

EXILED MINERS, HUNGRY AND WEARY,

CAMP ON THE COLORADO BORDER

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Deported Men Are Taken to the Kansas Line by Troops.

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Left on a Bleak Prairie Without Food or Water Supply.

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SYRACUSE, Kansas, June 11.-The deported Colorado miners camped at Holly to-night, just across the Colorado line. They were notified to-night that a special train would be sent to take them all to Denver.

HOLLY, Colo., June 11. – With a parting volley of rifle bullets, fired over their heads by the militia and deputies to, warn them to “hike” eastward as fast as their legs could carry them and never again set foot on Colorado soil, ninety-one union miners from the Cripple Creek district were unloaded from a special Santa Fe train on the prairie this morning, one half mile from the Colorado-Kansas State line, and left to shift for themselves. The exiles were disembarked in haste and without ceremony. The guards and deputies were tired out and in ill humor from their long, tedious trip from the Teller County gold camp and were in no mood to extend any special courtesies or kindness to their unfortunate charges.

“Hurry up there, you fellows,” cried Lieutenant Cole, when the train stopped in the midst of the alkali sand dunes that dot the prairie in the vicinity of the eastern part of Powers County near the Kansas line. “We haven’t got any time to waste out here.”

WITHOUT FOOD OR WATER.

And no time was wasted. The special, which consisted of an engine, a combination baggage car and smoker and two day coaches, had no sooner come to a standstill than the car doors were unlocked and thrown open and the order given by Lieutenant Cole for the exiles to leave the train.

“Step lively, you fellows, step lively,” admonished Deputy Benton, who was in command of the civil forces of the expedition, and in less time than it takes to tell it the three cars were emptied of their passengers and the train was started on its way back to La Junta.

The men were dumped out on the cheerless prairie without food or water, for the soldiers and deputies, in their haste to get home, had forgotten to unload the small stock of commissary supplies the train carried when it left Victor yesterday afternoon.

SPIRIT OF MEN BREAKS

The exiles were a cheerless lot, indeed. Without even a light and miles from the nearest habitation, they huddled together in groups on either side of’ the Santa Fe track and discussed their plight. Warned to move eastward, on pain of being rearrested  and severely handled, and notified by the Kansas authorities that they would not be allowed to seek refuge in that State, the spirit of the men broke. Many of them walked  back westward on the railroad to Holly, the Salvation Army colony in Colorado, where the charitable inhabitants provided breakfast for them. Some of them later started to walk to Lamar, Colo.

Sheriff Jack Brady and forty deputies of Hamilton County were at the State line to prevent the deported men entering Kansas.

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CLAIMS TO HAVE MURDERERS.

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Bell Declares Independence Dynamiters Are In Bullpen.

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CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo., June 11.-General Sherman M. Bell to-day made the following statement for publication:

“I have indisputable evidence in my possession which will lead to the conviction of  union men for the murder of non-union miners who were killed in the Independence explosion. We have between thirty-five and forty men in the bullpen who will swing for this crime. We are only waiting to capture three or four men before we tell what our evidence Is.”

SOURCE

The San Francisco Call.

(San Francisco California)

-of June 12, 1904

Ahttp://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1904-06-12/ed-1/seq-22

Image

Miners Being Deported from Cripple Creek District

http://www.rebelgraphics.org/w…

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Dec 22 2013

Anti-Capitalist Meet-Up: Annie Clemenc and the Italian Hall Massacre by JayRaye

Annie Takes Up Her Flag

Ana K Clemenc

Ana K Clemenc

On July 23, 1913, 9,000 copper miners of the Keweenaw laid down their tools and walked off the job. The were led by the great Western Federation of Miners, and they had voted by a good majority for a strike: 9,000 out of 13,000 The main issue were hours, the miners wanted an eight hour day, wages, and safety. The miners hated the new one-man drill which they called the “widow-maker.” They claimed this drill made an already dangerous job more dangerous.

The mining companies had steadfastly refused to recognize the Western Federation of Miners in anyway. They would continue to refuse all efforts at negotiation or arbitration, even those plans for arbitration which did not include the union, and this despite the best efforts of Governor Ferris, and the U. S. Department of Labor. James MacNaughton, general manger of Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, famously stated that grass would grow in the streets and that he would teach the miners to eat potato parings before he would negotiate in any way with the striking miners.

The Keweenaw Peninsula was a cold, windy place, jutting out into Lake Superior from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This area was known as the Copper Country of Michigan and included Calumet Township of Houghton County, with the twin towns of Hancock and Houghton ten miles to the south. Calumet Township included the villages of Red Jacket and Laurium.

It was here in Red Jacket, on the third day of the strike that Annie Clemenc, miner’s daughter and miner’s wife took up a massive America flag and led an early morning parade of 400 striking miners and their families. Annie Clemenc was six feet tall, and some claimed she was taller than that by two inches. The flag she carried was so massive that it required a staff two inches thick and ten feet tall. The miners and their supporters marched out of the Italian Hall and through the streets of the Red Jacket to the Blue Jacket and Yellow Jacket mines. They marched silently, without a band, lined up three and four abreast. These early morning marches, with Annie and her flag in the lead, were to become a feature of the strike.

Nov 17 2013

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Feb 23, 1903 Mother Jones and the Massacre of the Raleigh County Miners

By JayRae:

 

“Has anyone ever told you, my children, about the lives you are living…?”

 

Mother Mary Harris Jones

 Mother Jones The Miners Angel
 

Let us stop and consider, for a moment, what would cause thousands of miners to lay down their tools and go out on strike, when striking meant homelessness and hunger for themselves and their families. Striking also brought down upon them the terror of the company guards, heavily armed deputies (often one and the same), state militia, bullpens, raids, court injunctions, and the wrath of the capitalistic press. In 1897, Mother Jones was in West Virginia traveling and speaking to miners and their families. John Walker of the United Mine Workers of America was traveling with her. In 1904, a reporter who had accompanied her wrote this account of one of her speeches:

 

“Has any one ever told you, my children, about the lives you are living, more so that you may understand how it is you pass your days on earth? Have you told each other about it and thought it over among yourselves, so that you might imagine a brighter day and begin to bring it to pass? If no one has done so, I will do it for you today. I want you to see yourselves as you are, Mothers and children, and to think if it is not time you look on yourselves, and upon each other. Let us consider this together, for I am on of you, and I know what it is to suffer.” So the old lady, standing very quietly in her deep, far-reaching voice, painted a picture of the life of a miner from his young boyhood to his old age. It was a vivid picture. She talked of the first introduction a boy had to those dismal caves under the earth, dripping with moisture often so low that he must crawl into the coal veins; most lie on his back to work. She told how miners stood bent over until the back ached too much to straighten, or in sulpher water that ate through the shoes and made sores on the flesh; how their hands became cracked and the nails broken off in the quick; how the bit of bacon and beans in the dinner pail failed to stop the craving of their empty stomachs, and the thought of the barefoot children, at home and the sick mother was all too dreary to make the homegoing a cheerful one…. by JayRaye And so, while he smoked, the miner thought how he could never own a home, were it ever so humble; how he could not make his wife happy, or his children any better than himself, and how he must get up in the morning and go through it all again; how that some day the fall of rock would come or the rheumatism cripple him; that Mary herself might die and leave him, and some day there would be no longer for him even the job that was so hard and old age and hunger and pain would be his lot. And why, because some other human beings, no more the sons of God than the coal diggers, broke the commandment of God which says, “Thou shalt not steal.” and took from the toiler all the wealth which he created, all but enough to keep him alive for a period of years through which he might toil for their advantage. “You pity yourselves, but you do not pity your brothers, or you would stand together to help on another,” said “Mother” Jones. And then in an impassioned vein she called upon them to awaken their minds so that they might live another life. As she ceased speaking men and women looked at each other with shamed faces, for almost every one had been weeping. and suddenly a man pushed his way through the crowd. He was sniveling on his coat sleeve, but he cried out hoarsely: “You, John Walker; don't you go tell us that 'ere's 'Mother' Jones. That's Jesus Christ come down on earth again , and saying he's an old woman so he can come here and talk to us poor devils. God, God-nobody else knows what the poor suffer that way.” The man was quieted by his wife and led away, while “Mother” Jones looked after him with dilating eyes, and then broke out fiercely in one of her characteristically impassioned appeals for organization. The reporter feared the outbreak was too sacrilegious for publication….

Oct 13 2013

AC Meet-Up: Hellraisers Journal, The Labor Martyrs Project, and WE NEVER FORGET by JayRaye

Back of Envelope Containing

Joe Hill’s Ashes

WE NEVER FORGET

At Joe Hill’s funeral, sashes were worn by many in attendance with “WE NEVER FORGET” written on them in big bold capital letters. This slogan was also written on the program for the day’s events. A year later, the ashes were handed out to IWW delegates from every state of the USA (except Utah) and from countries all around the world. The envelopes also carried this slogan. The Labor Martyrs Project uses this slogan to honor all of our Labor Martyrs, quite certain that Fellow Worker Joe Hill would not mind.

Jul 14 2013

Anti Capitalist Meetup: The Tolpuddle Martyrs: Why them, why now

     The Tolpuddle Martyrs, condemned and harshly punished by the biased justice system of 19th century England, were very lucky. They not only lived through their ordeal, but also became enduring symbols of resistance whose story is celebrated even now.  Next weekend, union members and their families from all over the UK will gather at the little museum on the outskirts of Tolpuddle on July 19th – 21st for a festival of music picnics, and rallies. The magnificent union banners often seen on the streets of London during the recent protests will be paraded in a far different setting: the rolling agricultural land of Dorset. Though the Martyrs didn’t pay with their lives, their fate was dire enough, and the circumstances that caused them to be sent, first to the prison hulks of the Southwest coast and then across the world, were universal enough that they became a rallying point for resistance throughout the country.

What makes their story relevant, not only to British union history, but to the present circumstances that many working people find themselves in worldwide, is that their story, like ours, arose from a time of social and technological change, dislocation, changing class allegiances, long term conflict, and scarcity. English history has not been part of the American educational canon since before WWII, when my mother struggled with the intricacies of the Corn Laws in high school; so follow me below the fold to find out a little of what is not shown in the costume dramas that pass for our understanding of 19th century England.