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PAGE 2 THE TOILER SATURDAY, OCT. 16t 120
The War In West Virginia
By Paul Hanna.
Two Polish families are among the coal min- liamson, West Va." Inside lay the mangled form
ers ejected from company houses, who live in the of a union organizer, and to it was pinned a note
tent village at Nolans. All the others are Amer- which read: "And if any more agitators come
icans white Americans descended from the old- into McDowell County this is what they will get."
est Colonial families, and black Americans whose That same merchant told me the square
ancestors came in on special invitations, all ex- deal enjoyed by union men under the law in Min-
penses prepaid, from Africa. g0 County will not last beyond election day. I
In all this region that same racial percentage ase(j for an explanation,
holds good. Foreigners are as rare as pro-union
mine owners. In numbers the whites and blacks "You can talk all you want about law and
are almost equally divided. In militant devotion order," he replied, "but Lean tell you the union
to the union each race strives to excel the other. is somg to be suppressed. Here's how it works.
Last night word came that a little group of We had a lot of old stock here that we couldnt't
miners, isolated in a mountain pocket far from set rid off, so I shipped it over to Logan and went
a union local, were in need of an organizer. One alon the streets with two boys distributing hand
man was available to make the trip at once and bills announcing a special sale. Within five minutes
establish the local. He is a tall, slender negro, the sherif mes f and W me- Tnen he read
middle-aged and with only one eye saved from a the handbill, and smiled.
mine explosion years ago. " 'That's all right', he said, T thought you
"You know the Baldwin gunmen have a dead were getting up a union meeting. If it's just a
line around that place," the black man was told, sale of goods you can go into any of the camps
"but someone must go in there right away. Can and scatter your bills around.' If I had been a
you make it?"- union organizer he would have clouted me over
"I kin make it," the negro replied; "and ef the head and shipped me out in a box. That's the
you hears I didn't arrive you all kin look for me way they handle 'em in Logan and McDowell, and
along the road." they will do it that way here after election, law or
no law." ' ' i ' . :
Negroes Active In Union
Today I saw some photographs of a black A Dynamiting Job.
organizer whom the operators' thugs had caught
at Dinges. His head and arm "were covered with The dynamiting and total destruction of a
bandages, concealing the wounds inflicted by Pwer Plant near here is one of the outrages by
clubs and blackjacks before the ' 'detectives" Yhloh startled tne newspaper readers of
decided the man was dead and left him lying in the the land and Pved the, for a caU for Federal
roa(j I i troops. After a little detective wprk of his own,
Many of the local union officers are colored Sheriff Blankenship arrested two night watchmen
men, proud of their responsibilities and conscious who have S1ed written confessions that they
of their affiliation with a wea national body of were engaged by the owners to blow up the plant,
600,000 miners, whose , moral1 and financial ' George", said a mine boss to a young fellow
strength is behind the movement' id bring labor Wlth Wlfe and baby wh(m 1 th teBt twn'
civilization to darkest West VirfiniL at Nolans "yu ot B0 buineSS ia this strike-'
East of iMtygo lies McDowdl j Count a You were in the &vmy and 'ought in France and
stronghold of operators' tyranny. A ocal hTeUh- yu ouht to kn0W better'"
ant, related by marriage to reac.tlor)aiy I wne "Yes,.I did fight in France," answered George.,
owners, tdld me s story: Some? Weeks ag4 a "Tha,t's why I'm in is fight, and; that's why
big oblong Iwx came down by freight frdhi Mc- I mean to stay in. it ill we get a little justice and
Dowell, addressed to "United Mine Workers, Wil- freedom from you all."