OCR Interpretation

The toiler. (Cleveland, Ohio) 1919-1922, July 30, 1920, Image 1

Image and text provided by Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, OH

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88078683/1920-07-30/ed-1/seq-1/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

NO. 130.
Published weekly
at Cleveland, Ohio.
Capital and Labor Testify
in Communist Trial
Duncan Refutes Hanson's Story of Red
Terror in Seattle General Strike
By H. Austin Simons
Staff Correspondent The Federated
CHICAGO, JULY 19. Evidence con
cerning the general strike at Seattle.
Wash., was admitted today by Judge
Oscar Ilebel into the trial of twenty
members of the Communist Labor
Party here. The court ruled against the
defense after hearing arguments which
lasted throughout Saturday and al
most all of this morning.
This paved the way for the ap
pearance of Harry J. Wilson, secretary
of the Soldiers, Sailors and Workmen's
Council of Seattle, ne will be followed
by Ole Hanson, former mayor of
Seattle. James Duncan, president of the
Seattle Central Labor Council, appear
ed in the courtroom this afternoon
and William Forrest, counsel for Wil
liam BroBs lLoyd, announced that he
would testify for the defense on the
Seattle strike.
Wilson, who says that his life is not
safe in Seattle, painted a lurie picture
of what a general strike means. II?
said he heard Unlet M. Wells, now hi
prison for violation of the Espionage
law, declare at a meeting preeeedinc
, the strike:
"T'm a Bolshevist and I'm proud
of it! I have only one flag, that of
my fellow men dyed red by the blood
of Russia."
He testified that all industries were
shut down completely after the strike
order was issued, that he witnessed
a funeral in which the hearse bore a
sign stating that it moved with per
mission of the strike council. But he
failed to prove that force or violence
had been used, nis nearest approach to
this was a quotation of Walker Smith,
officer of the general strike committte,
who said, the witness testified, "that
the workers mus contro lall industry,
that they must avoid bloodshed if pos
sible, must control the government
peacefully if possible but by force if
Attack upon the Illinois Anti-Anarchism
statute marked the trial on
Saturday. William S. Forrest, counsel
for defense, arguing against admission
Wltrmpeg jjeneral strikes, declared the
law was drafted "by a member of the
legislature who did it to please the
people who hired him to do it."
Forrest maintained that all terms of
the law "force, violence or other un
lawful means" are synonymous, that
the state must prove that the defend
ants conspired to commit acts of viol
ence and that evidence as to Seattle
and Winnipeg did not tend toward
that end. He argued that overt acts,
such as those strikes, could not be
admitted because they tended only to
prove that the conspiracy charged had
been enlnrged, not. that the conspiracy
bad been effected by them.
July, 20th. Ole Hanson, former
mayor of Seattle, recently Chautanoun
'-'-rci" baiter, went on the witness
stand hero to prove that the Seattle
general strike was an attempt to over
throw the government by force, vio
lence and other unlawful means. This
is how he proceeded:
Testifying about a meeting of the
strike executive committee which he
attended on the eve of tlio st riko, ho
2111 iHSHi iIii MH mH SHi 2IBitiiKSIiK iSBEiti
CLEVELAND. OHIO, FRIDAY, JlPLY 30th. imp, tZ2 1 o.
$1.50 A YEAR
said that the strike leaders, Unlet M.
Wells, Anna Louise Strong. Bert Swain,
Leon fireen and Phil Pearl, urged him
to turn over the municipally owned
electric lighting plant to the strikers.
"The plant belongs to us, and we're
willing to operate it if you turn it over
to us," the mayor quoted Pearl as
having said.
"I rejoined that it belonged to all
the people of Seattle and that we (all
the people) were going to run it."
Thus Ole Hanson did not deliver
the Chautauqua lecture on "Bolshev
ism versus Americanism" which he
had come prepared to give. The psy
chological effect of his testimony upon
the jurors was all spoiled by Forrest,
who interrupted him at almost every
sentence with objections. It is upon
the court's rulings on these objections
almost invariably in favor of the
state that the defense plans to base
its appeal in case of an unfavorable
verdict from this jury.
July 21st. James Duncan, testifying
on behalf of the defense in the trial
of twenty members of the Communist
Labor Party here, put the onus of use
of force in the Seattle general strike
upon Mayor Ole nanson. He gave the
lie to Hanson and to Harry J. Wil
son, a spy in the Soldiers, Sailors and
Workmen's Council, on important
points as to conditions in Seattle dur
ing the strike.
Duncan followed immediately Ole
Hanson, who was the last witness for
the state. Counsel for defense waived
the right of preliminary argument and
immediately produced Duncan.
Mayor Hanson had testified that
the strike had been called to overthrow
the government of Seattle. Duncan's
testimony will establish that it was
called to back up the shipyards workers
who were out for a 10 per cent in
crease in wages.
Wilson, the spy, sajd that the Sol
diers Sailors and Workmen's Council
had been organized to police the city
in behalf of the general strike. Duncan
said, point blank, that it had no part
in managing the strike.
Special Prosecutor Comerford, argu
ing for admission of evidence on the
Seattle situation, painted a lurid Die-
ir? of ft, rHy'erlTed'-()l,'BnntsTrttrT
lties by dictatorship of the proletariat.
Dunean stated that there had been less
disorder during the 3trikc than ever
And as to the use of force, Duncan
testified as follows:
First he related a conversation he
had with the mayor and other officials
two days before the general strike. He
"Our talk was principally as to
lighting. Mr. Hanson said to me, 'Jim,
Jim, won't you please give me the
lights. I need those lights, Jim. Won't
you be a regular fellow and give them
to me. T don't give a damn about the
cars, Jim, but I've got to have the
lights. Come on, Jim, be a good fel
low.' It was a repetition of this 'Jim.
im ' stuff for 'about an hour. And I told
him that T was not responsible for the
lights and that I could do nothing
about it.
"Next day," the witness continued
"I met him again. Ho asked mo if
something couldn't be done to prevent
(Continued on page 2.)
Bird of Freedom "No roost there for me!"
Well may the Bird of Liberty arrest
its fliglu unci pause er ii settles to rest
upon ir i once proud horpo From its high
place it may glance downward at number
less instances of "man':: inhumanity to
man" as pictured there in prison, scaffold,
burning pyre, suffering, want and des
pair, evidences of the raging class struggle.
From North to South and from Fast
to "West he will see dotting the country
over, fort like bastiles in which the ruling
class has imprisoned those who had the
fortitude and courage of their convictions
to oppose it, however in what pacific man
ner, and refused to shoulder arms with
which to murder in cold blood men of
other nations, the rulers of which were
in commercial revalry with their own.
More than a thousand still lie in these
dungeons. Many have died, some have
gone insane what of their cruel treatment;
all have suffered the torments of the
damned, which they truly are. At Atlanta,
lies Debs, noblest of them all, doomed
to remain there until ten years have pas
sed, or life itself, unless the political
needs of the ruling class compel it to
turn the key in the door and release him
or the workers arise in their might and
open the door for him.
From a hundred burning pyres the
shrieks of the black victims of the white
man's own crimes arise to make earth
Continued on page 3.)
Notice To Our Readers
Beginning August 1st the subscription price of The
Toiler will be odvanced to $2.00 per year, six months
$1.00. The continued increase in the costs of publication
make this advance in price necessary.
Bundle Orders.
The price for bundle orders will be as follows:
Five copies each issue for one month payment in advance 75c
Ten copies each issue for one month payment in advance $1.50
Twenty copies each issue for one month payment in advance $3.00
One hundred copies J3 50
One thousand copies $36.00
Bills upon bundle orders of 100 or more rendered
Bills must be paid upon presentation.
Order a bundle of Toilers weekly and sell them to
your shopmatcs.
Subscribe Renew Now!
Are you a subscriber? If not, become one.
Is your subscription expired! If so, renew-NOW.
Use this blank, send $2.00 for a year's subscription,
fj months $1.00.
Bellingham, Wash. -The I. W. W.
is a political organization
This was the ruling here of Judge
Edward E. Hardin of the Whatcom
county. superior court in denying the
application of the prosecuting fift'oTnTy
for an injunction restraining four al
leged T. W. W.'s from further par
ticipation in the activities of that or
ganization. The judge held that no court in
the land has vet decided that political
parties should be restrained. Judge
Harding in refusing to restrain the
I. W W. said:
"The I. W. W. is an exotic from
continental Europe where it was nur
tured by centuries of oppression. It
can not live in the light of public
discussion in a government which
provides constitutional methods of
charges to fit new conditions and if
it should thrive for a time and assume
menacing proportions in this, the
greatest of republics, that fact would
itself be evidence that somehow, some
where something needs fixing."
Judge Hardin also held that the
prosecuting attorney was seeking the
wrong metlod of attempting to abate
the I. W. W. The injunction plan
would prevent the man enjoying their
right of trial by jury, he maintained.
Copenhagen, (By the Federated
Press) A dispatch from Moscow vu
Helsingfors received here tells of the
publication in Isvestia of a wireless
message sent"' to 'Kik'Sfr"T7e"nln i,J
gToup of leaders of the Indian re
volutionists expressing the joy with
which India accepts tho proffered
hand of friendship of Soviet Russia
and thanking the Bolshevist Premier
for having listened to the cry of
anguish of a people of 315,000,000.
Lenin replied to this message as fol
"We rejoice to hear that the basic
principles of the supporters of the
Soviets arc shared by the Indians,
whose awakening to freedom is being
followed with sympathetic interest by
the Russian proletariat. We welcome
the union of the Mohammedan and
the non-Mohammedan elements in In
dia, and voice the wish that all the
.vorkers of the Orient will adhere to
this union in order to insure their
common liberties. In such solidarity
lies the guarantee of victory.
The speech of acceptance of the Republican
candidate for president indicates the policy toward
the workers which the capitalists will follow in the
presidential campaign that is now underway. While
the Democratic candidate has not yet officially
declared his acceptance of the nomination, other
statements he had made before and since his nom
ination, show that in his attitude toward the
workers he is in substantial agreement with his
It is cltar from the utterance of both candidates
that the capitalist class realizes that the workers
are not in a mood to bo trifled with. While the
lines of the class divisions are net yet clearly drawn
in the political struggle in this country and the
situation is not as threatening as in France, Eng
land, to say nothing of Italy, the capitalists sec
that a defiant attitude or any attempt at repression
would quickly solidify the opposition of the work
ers and sharpen the character of the straggle, Their
policy, therefore, is to blur the class lines and to
keep up the illusion of a unity of interests be
tween the capitalists and the workers.
The Republican candidate is for high wages, lie
is "ready to acclaim the highest standard of pay".
Hut on one condition, which is that the, "wage
earners will giro full return for the wages recei
ved." On that condition the workers may have any
thing they desire. "Full return" of course, means
that the workers shall produce a goodly margin
of profit for the capitalists over and above tho
wages they receive. As long as they do that th'
wages they receive will not be seriously questioned.
Since high wages can be paid only on this con
dition, the workers are urged that they must "join
hand and brain in production, more production,
honest production, patriotic production, because
patriotic production is no loss a defense of our civ
ilization than that of armed force." How these
various forms of production differ we are not in
formed, but one thing is certain, they all mean
more profits for the class Mr. Harding represents.
The essential point ii. the relations between the
workers and capitalists having thus been disposed
of in a form that leaves the workers fine phrases
to Tospond to and the capitalists assured good prof
its, the next thing is to show that there is really
reason for the workers and capitalists to fight eaclt
other. Hr. Harding "declines to recognize any
conflict of interest among the participants in in
dustry". Although at the time of Mr. Harding's
statement several million railroad workers were
expressing their disgust with a wage award which
had just been made to them and some of them
wore threatening to take more decisive action, and
poly a few weeks before a pitched battle between
striking workers and the capitalist tools raged in
the streets of Bridgeport, Connecticut, Mr. Harding
sticks his head in the sand and mumbles the usual
platitude. Since there is no conflict of interest, he
continues, both the workers and the capitalists must
be good and "economic justice" will snrely result.
Then comes the usual appeal to "American
ism" and onr glorious institutions" under which
ill wrongs can be righted by orderly procedure,
"The constitution contemplates no classes and re
cognizes no group", thunders Mr. Harding. While
other men have proven that the constitution is an
exceptionally cunning class document, Mr. Harding
will have none of that. The constitution does not
mention classes. There must be no classes. There can
be no classes. All the time Mr. Harding knows
that he was nominated by the capitalist class, is
tho candidate of the capitalist class and will loyally
serve the capitalist class if he, rather than Mr.
Cox, who stands in the some position, is elected
president. Why two capitalist class candidates, (or
three or four)? Because there 'are group capitalist
interests to be settled in the political struggle.
Keep your mind in the old rut, workingmen,
continued this mouthpiece of the capitalists. Wo
v ask nothing more of you than that you limit your
effort to improve your conditions to trying to gain
control of the machinery of government which wc
lave created for our own class purposes, by going
tho polls and voting for "good men". We prefer
lat you vote for the men whom the capitalists hav
lectcd, but if you can 'I quite stomach these men,
fou may nominate men ofyour own. That may bo
little more troublesome, but really it doesn't make
much difference, for so long as we control the
gleans of publicity and education, you haven't
orach chance of electing them, and if by any
chance you did, they would quickly wear themselves
out trying lo do something for you through the
government machinery which we have created fuT
our own purpose.
So kmg as the workers are good and do only
deed things they can have all the freedom of
speech, freedom of press and freedom of assemblage
mey can use. But if they are not satisfied to play
the game according to the rules which the capital
ists have framed for their own protection, then
woe to them! Those who would "destroy our
economic system" are to be stifled and cmshed.
Thus runs Mr. Harding's declaration.
There is, of course, nothing new in this. It is
the same sort of stuff that has been handed out to
the workers for many months. If the workers will
keep on voting, if they will continue to look with
respect and awe upon our American institution! of
government, the capitalists don't care much. They
feel themselves safe and secure.
Should they, however, rely upon their own
organizations, should they develop their own organs
cf power and teach the necessity of establishing a
working class government the Dictatorship of
the Proletariat, then all the power of the capitalists
will be used to mercilessly crush them.
Mr. Harding has proven himself an admirable
mouthpiece for the expression of the current capital
ist, policy, but his platitudes will have as little ef
fect in stopping tho onrashing class confict as a
pebble thrown against the waves can stop the
onru8hing water.
The economic forces at work in society will set
the workers in this country in as sharp opposition
to the capitalists as the workers of Italy are in
opposition to their ruling class. All the nice phrases
which Hr. Harding and Mr. Cox may utter during
the presidential campaign will not stop this class
conflict, from growing sharper, nor will the masses
of the workers be foohnl much kmgor into bolieving
that, they can win their emancipation by such meth
ods as the capitalists urge them to use.

xml | txt