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Newspaper Page Text
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about, or it does know what it is talking about; and if it does know
what it is talking about, it is deliberately misrepresenting the situation.
It may interest the Tribune to know that more than a month ago at
torneys for the coal operators in Colorado announced that a federal grand
jury would attempt to indict strike leaders under the Sherman anti-trust
When this announcement was made Attorney General McReynolds in
structed U. S. District Attorney Kelly not to go into the matter.
U. S. District Judge Lewis instructed the federal grand jury not to at
tempt such a move.
An attorney for the coal operators requested U. S. District Attorney
Kelly to make such a move and Kelly refused.
Then Jessie E. Northcutt, attorney for the coal combine, appeared be
fore the grand jury, made up of men from counties controlled by the coal
companies, and demanded that the strike leaders be indicted.
The grand jurors followed the instructions of the attorney for the coal
companies and ignored the instructions of the U. S. district judge.
The government did not instigate the investigation, took no part: in it,
summoned no witnesses and presented no evidence against the strike
leaders. All this was done by the grand jurors themselves, acting under in
structions from the attorneys for the coal operators.
At the same time the Colorado coal country was overrun with the hired
thugs and gunmen of the coal operators, most of them desperate charac
ters recruited from the slums of the big cities by alleged detective agencies.
Guns were doled out to these desperadoes, and the guns were used.
Miners were shot down by the criminal gunmen, and without provocation.
If the miners armed themselves to protect their own lives and the lives of
their wives and children, they did the only thing that .was left for them to
do. For the governor, the adjutant general, the militia and all of the courts
of Colorado controlled by Big Business were against them.
But there was no indictment of the coal operators, or of the murder
ing gunmen in their employ.
The coal miners of Colorado have violated no law in striking for a
living wage. Only desperate need would lead 14,000 miners to brave the
privation tlftit comes with a strike and the danger of death that comes from
infesting a country with hired murderers.
Yet the coal operators themselves are openly and defiantly violating
the law. The very grand jury that obeyed orders from the coal barons and '
indicted labor leaders reported repeated violations of the law by the Rocke-fellev-controlled
Among other things the grand jury reported:
That the coal companies have nominated, elected and controlled many A
county officers; - W
That camp marshals, whose appointment and salaries were controlled
by the coal companies, have resorted to arbitrary powers of "police control, i
acting as judge and jury and passing sentence; ' &
That camp marshals have brutally assaulted miners;
That the scrip system is still in effect;
That miners are under unjust obligation to deal at company stores be
cause of attitude of mine superintendents;
That coal companies maintain camp saloons and charge saloonkeepers
for the exclusive saloon rights;
That saloons are the curse of the camps and the sink-hole of the
miners' earnings. x