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' WHO' OWNS THOSE BABIES ' '
'The fight in court tox determine the right of parents to send
their children out of town will come up tomorrow." Such is the
telegraphic, news in this, the, year of our Lord, 1912, from Lawrence,
Mass., where the trust controlled police and 'soldiers clubbed
mothers and fathers and tore from their arms their children whom
they proposed to'send away from the misery of the strike.
The mere fact that there should be any questipn at ajl as to
such right is a reproach upon the nation.
What 'is that court to determine? Why, whether we aVe a
nation of free people. It seiems that there is some legal doubt
about it. ' i
Whose are our children? Are they really ours or doth,qy
belong to mill owners who grow fat on their cheap service?
What are our' children ? Are they property? Are they "chat
tels" in whom a greedy trust has title and the right to say where
they shall and shall not go ?
' After all the blood and suffering, after, scores of thousands of
American mothers have offered up their sons on the battlefield,
after the martyrdoriuof Abraham -Lincoln, mustwe have another
fugitive-slave act underwhich' the mill lords of Massachusetts may
chase children through the .other states of free America and whip
them back to' the freezingand starving of idleness or the soul-killing
servitude ofvthe mill!'
Don't sit-in' your cpmfortable home and say it is only the chil
dren of a cheap foreign labor at, Lawrence." Your child's turn may
come. If might is right -and might can take "one of the least of
these,-" -then when the occasion comes might will not hesitate to
lay' hands' on your child.
And this question is raised in court! Think of it! Not as
to whether your child shall observe the laws as to theft, assault,
sanitation or schooling. Not as to whether you shall control your
child in compliance with the just demands of society. But as to
whether your child shall be sent where it will not starve or freeze
where it will be 'safe from the dangers of riot.
Behind the high-toned sentiment of the south in the civil war
was greed in property in human beings. 'That same greed shows
its teeth in Massachusetts today. It raises the question of property
right in human beings. In 1912, in Massachusetts, a court must
decide whethei or not Americans are free men !
'It is no time to mince words. These teeth must be pulled.
The lawand the court which stand for dollars and against those
children must be -pulled down, by peaceful means if possible, but if
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