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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, February 05, 1917, LAST EDITION, Image 7

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1917-02-05/ed-1/seq-7/

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CHICAGO FEDERATION OF LABOR PROTESTS
U. S. WAR WITH GERMANY
Labor, union labor, at least, is not
for war, if sentiment expressed at
the Sunday meeting of the Chi. Fed.
of Labor is worth anything.
The federation was unanimous in
protest against war with Germany.
John-J. Walt, a Swiss and an active
Wilson worker in the last election,
led the assault upon Washington war
talk.
"They talk of war, these holders of
big offices, bankers and business men
who would benefit toy war," said
Walt, "as if it were a matter of con
cern to only themselves and a few
more of their kind. I tell you it is
they who are concerned least of all.
They stand to lose nothing but dol
lars, for few of them woud enlist,
and they stand small chance of los
ing dollars. They will rejoice at war,
for it will mean wealth to many, sell
ing munitions and supplies to the
government at high prices, and po
litical glory to others.
"But what of the great mass of
people woh will make up the army of
millions if we come to blows with a
fellow nation? They are the ones
who will suffer. Their's are the
homes which will be wrecked. They
will bear the brunt of great taxation.
And they are the workers, you here
are these men, you and your brothers
in and out of the ranks of organized
labor who have no quarrel with your
brother who happened to be horn in
another country.
"You must protest to your presi
dent; ask him to reflect what it
means to you; ask him to stop this
country from plunging into a horri
ble war; ask him to prevent Amer
ican citizens from entering the war
zone."
A resolution framed by Walt was
passed by acclamation and ordered
sent at once to Illinois senators and
congressmen and to Pres. Wilson.
Bernard Berlyn, Socialist unionist,
invited federation members to join in
a mass meeting toi be held next Fri
day or Saturday in a downtown hall
to protest against war with Germany
It is planned there shall be an anti
war parade before the meeting.
"We wish by this meeting to make
it conclusively evident that the work
ing men of the United States have no
quarrel with the workers of other na
tions, nor want any," said Berlyn.
"We will demand peace."
"I lofet my patriotism at San Juan,"
said Wm. Sims, negro representative
of Flat Janitors' union and Spanish
American war veteran. "Refuse to
enlist, and if authorities try to force
you into the army, say: 'Shoot me
down! That will convince the war
lord capitalists that they cannot
make cannon fodder of workers at
will."
Pres. Fitzpatrick said the C. F. of
L. should act in accord with the
American Fed. of Labor, which is on
record that it will not support con
gress in any involvement in the Euro
pean struggle.
The federation ordered a telegram
sent to Pres. Wilson reminding him
that he was elected on the slogan:
"Thank God for Wilson; he kept us
otu of war."
Washington, Feb. 5. Sam'l Gom
pers, pres. of the Am. Fed. of Labor,
has appealed to the sec'y 6f the Ger-
man federation to use his influence
and that of his organization to pre
vent war. Having asked this federa
tion to appeal to Berlin, Gompers will
himself bring strong pressure to bear
on Wilson.
New York. Ex-Pres. Taft advo
cates conscription to build up defense
"now that war is on us."
Washington. American Red Cross
society starts measures to put itself
on footing for active war relief.
Berlin. Every American in Berlin
is preparing for war between United
States and Germany.
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