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Newspaper Page Text
THE JOAN OF ARC OF THE CALUMET COUNTRY
SIZES UP THE WAITRESSES' STRIKE
BY JANE WHITAKER
"Do people go in that restatirant and eat? Oh, that cannot be possi
ble when they know these girls are picketing outside in a battle'for 'their
I smiled as the question was asked by Annie Clemenc, the Joan of
Arc of the Calumet country, the girl who has led so many parades of the
striking copper miners and their wives, the girl who has been arrested so
many times as she silently or verbally protested against the injustice of
the conditions that surround the working class.
"They do patronize that restaurant, some people," I answered, "but
I always try to excuse them by believing they are representatives of the
Restaurant Keepers' Association and the Brewers' Association, who are
backing Henrici's fight against labor. And even those people have a look
of half shame and half bmvado on their faces as they come out."
"But the girls inside!' The girls who have taken the places of these,
girls on strike." Annie's arm trembled under my fingers, and I knew she
was thinking bitterly of the word she uses when she speaks of the miners
who have taken the places of -the strikers in Calumet.
"Aren't they ashamed to go on serving the people who patronize this
restaurant when they know -that outside, these girls are fighting not only
for themselves but tor au wonting
She did not wait for me to answer.
"How I pity these girls," she mur
mured. "They go up and down so
quietly with no protest. You can
only tell the battle they are fighting
by the flag that they carry. Six slim
girls and almost an army of police.
I could not obey as they obey. I
would cry out, 'There is a strike
here, don't you go in.' "
"When they bav,e done that, they
have been arrested and sometimes
man-handled," I explained, gently.
"I know what, that is," she an
swered, .and. her soft brown eyes
grew hard with bitterness. I knew
she was'-thinfeing .of that parade not
so" many montKs ago when she led a
band of strikers .and their sympath
izers. When one of the large Ameri
can flags was cut 16 shreds by the
militia and she. snatched' the other,
and waved it aloft ihlher strong arms,
as she cried:
"Come on. Follow me!"
And I knew she was thinking of the
cowardly soldier who had, under, a.
uniform that pledged him to serve his
country and protect the rights of her
people, a heart filled with love of gold
and hatred ef the toilers a soldier
who struck at Annie with a saber and
cut a gash across her wrist, from
which the blood poured over her
And I knew she was thinking of
how she had held that flag until its
red, white and blue clothed her like
a gown, and had cried:
"Kill me, go on.arid kill me. I don't
care what you do, but you got to kill
me through the flag of my country. I
respect my country's flag, if you do
But the cowardly soldier jcontented
himself by striking at her, and several
of the strikers dragged her away.
I knew she was thinking of all
these things, as I pointed out to her
Ofllcer No'. 813, the big, brawny man
.who had belittled himself and his
manhood, according to the story told
;by Miss Meyers, by insulting defense
And I pointed out to "her Police
woman Mrs. Boyd, who was smiling
and- chatting with sdme men,, but
whose eyes glittered and whose jaw.