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title: 'The Day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, December 15, 1913, Image 14',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
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is Mrs. Winnie Branstetter, national
director of the entire woman's de
partment of the socialist party.
A great national relief fund, to be
devoted solely-to, the care of all the
babes and children, anywhere and
everywhere, who become the inno
cent victims of America's continuous
strike-wars, is the wonderful vision,
which, by tireless effort, she has at
last made a reality-!
Sociologists declare that such a
fund, if established, portends ulti
mately tremendous changes in the
long struggle between labor and
capital; it means, they say, that the
strikers will wage against capitalism
a longer, stiffer fight with a fairer
chance; and that their children will
not grow up to be criminal, diseased,
or pauper burdens upon society!
The opeiiing of this fund is to be
heralded by monster mass meetings
in ail cities on national Children's
day the first Sunday after Christ
mas. Mrs. Branstetter, from her desk
in the socialist party headquarters in
Chicago, is directing the organization
of these meetings.
Today I asked her how her great
idea which is entirely novel in the
labor history of the whole world
had come to her.
"Do you realize' she asked in re
turn, "that today children are act
ually freezing, starving, in the Col
orado strike colony, in the miserable
miners' huts of the Michigan copper
"Do you know what it means to be
unfed, and hardly clothed, in bitter
winter weather? Well, I do! And
that is why the idea came to me!
"I have seen many a strike
through, and I have seen that hun
dreds and hundreds of helpless babes
are ground into dead chaff between
the upper and nether stones of those
mills of industrial conflict!
"With my own mother's eyes I have
seen the children's pitiful sufferings,
and my heart has been utterly
broken. But not my will! I have re
solved that America cannot and
would not, if she knew permit such
horrors to be.
"What, then, could I, a frail wo
"Why the idea came naturally to
me I could work for a great na
tional fund for their relief!
"I was sure all people in the nation
would unite in contributing to such
a fund, destined to save strike-children
from tha terrible conditions for
which they are not to blame.
"For, whether people sympathize
with striker or employer, they cannot
but take pity on the little ones who
are neither employers nor strikers
but only helpless babes!
"I know that the labor unions, all
sincere philanthropic workers the
Mrs. Raymo 1 Robins type, -I mean,
not the Andrew Carnegie type and
all socialists will co-operate in rais
ing the fund.
"A strike-children's stamp has been
printed, which will be sold to all those
who are willing to contribute. It will
be pasted on letters and packages,
like the red cross stamp, and on the
membership cards of union men and
"With the money collected and held
in trust by the socialist party, a fine
national relief home will be built for
the children. Then, whenever a strike
is declared, all the babies of the dis
trict will be taken at once to this
pleasant home. It will be like a hap
py vacation to them a holiday 'trip
to grandmother's.' And, knowing
that their babes are safe from the
pangs of hunger and cold, and the
brutality of hired gunmen, which they
themselves must endure, the strikers
will at last be able to face the em
ployers on a more nearly equal foot
ing and in a fairer fight!
"The torture of their little ones
will no longer be used against them
as a heavy scourge to drive them
back to work!
"And those of the American peo
ple who prefer to remain neutral in.
the conflict, or even to side -with cap
italists, can do so with a free can-,