Newspaper Page Text
SATURDAY, OCT. 30-th 15'SG
The I. W. W. Political Prisoners
By John Martin,
Secretary, General Defense Committee, 1001 West Madison Street, Chicago, 111.
The long and bitterly contested legal fight for
the release of our fellow workers convicted on the
Chicago Indictment, has reached a, new stage in
The summing up of the good and bad results of
this fight is as follows: Starting with five points
against the ninety-six, there now remain only two.
The fifth count was thrown out of court by Judge
Landis during the trial. Counts one and two have
been quashed by the Circuit Court of Appeals.
This leaves only counts three and four to be ap
pealed to the Supreme Court of the United States.
On the other hand, no acutual betterment of the
lot of our convicted fellow workers has been secur
ed. Their sentences were made to run concurrent
ly ; and, serving sentences on the two remaining
counts, they would have to spend as much time in
the penitentiary as they would had there been no
killing of counts one and two.
It must be borne in mind that the two counts
which were quashed were those alleging acts of
violence and destruction by the defendants. After
the newspapers have for the past two years been
spewing their venon, accusing the I. W. W. of the
most dire deeds of violence, now comes the Ap
peal Court of the Seventh Judicial District of the
United States, and renders the accusation false!
There are now no charges against our fellow work
ers except Infractions of the war-time draft act
and the espionage act. This makes the men purely
political prisoners, convicted only of the violation
of war-time legislation.
Many Still In Prison,
This is, however, but very mild consolation to u?
who must witness the sorry spectacle of nearly a
hundred of our most able fellow workers losing
their health, strength and usefulness behind the
grim walls of the masters' prisons. All but thirty
of them, it is true, have been released on bond
except twelve who, being sentenced to only a year
and a day, have served their sentences but there
should not be these thirty yet in prison. There
should not be one of them in prison, so long as
there are friends and fellow workers on the out
side with the energy and capacity to secure aid for
Our attorneys are petitioning the District Court
for a rehearsing of the case. We are not especially
hopeful of securing this ; and, in the probable event
that it is denied, we shall immediately appeal to
the Supreme Court of the United States, on the
two remaining counts. This may mean another
year of waiting of long, dreary waiting for our
fellow workers in prison. They should not have to
suffer this! They should be free free to regain
their health, which has been shattered in the pest
houses of the master-class. They should be free to
come to the support of their grief-stricken families.
We have every hope of being able to secure their
release on the same bond as has been prviously set,
during the Supreme Court appeal. Every" member
of the organization, every sympathizer with the
struggle of the working class towards its emanci
pation, every believer in the rights of free speech,
assemblage and organization, should aid in this
crusade for the freedom of our fellow workers.
Loans must be solicited, in case, property or secur
ities, for bail. These should be turned over to the
General Defense Committee who will secure the re
lease of the imprisoned men just as fast as the
money comes in.
A Record Of Suffering And Courage.
Statistics are usually considered and, perhaps,
rightly considered dry and unsatisfactory. How
ever, the following figures should not prove dull.
For they represent untold suffering, unquenchable
courage' and unswerving class loyalty. Just read
and think it over:
303 members of the Industrial Workers of the
World were indicted by Federal Grand Juries dur
ing the war.
201 were brought to trial.
168 were convicted and sentenced to prison.
96 had their indictments quashed, or cases
against them dismissed.
33 were dismissed during trial, or were found
"Guilty" but were not sentenced.
8 won their appeal in the Appellate Court and