FRIDAY, SEPT. 24, 1920
Guilty! of What!
"It is not generally understood that the
number of political and industrial prison
ers in the United States, sentenced merely
for expression of opinion or membership
in an organization, has been STEADILY
INCREASING. There are more convictions
now under state and local laws, than there
were under federal law."
This quotation is from a review issued
by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Many people have thought of the political
prosecutions as an affair of war and the
Espionage Act. The fact, is that prosecu
tions of this character are not of the war,
but of the class war.
The Espionage prosecutions, by the
federal government, for the most part,
wore only a veiled form of attack against
the spokesmen of the working class. In
"peace," as in war, the same use of the
governmental power goes on. Capitalism
defends itself, through government, like
every past system of privilege and op
pression, by the attempt to throttle the
ideas and 'the inspiration of action against
it by the oppressed class.
" Criminal Syndicalism."
Now the prosecutions arc being carried
on primarily by the states, under "crim
inal syndicalism" and like laws. All that
. is needed for conviction and long imprison
ment under these JaAVs is proof of loyalty
to theworking class and bctli-ef that a new
system must replace capitalism. Such has
been the result of the trials in New York,
New Jersey, California, Illinois, etc. An
other big "conspiracy" trial occurs short
ly at Chicago; 85 members of the Com
munist Party were indicted in January;
about 25 are about to be tried. The Com
munist Labor "conspiracy" case, with 20
sentenced to prison, is in process of appeal.
Trials and appeals are pending in New
York, New Jersey, in other states.
The deportation hurricane the attempt
to bully the "alien" proletarians into
craven submissivenesS has abated. We
have won most of the cases, but the bills
are not paid. Thousands of dollars must
be repaid to those who loaned every penny
in 'the hour of crisis. There are urgent
cases of family relief, of those deported
and of those in jail. Funds are needed to
pay for bail. The working class has no
property to use forlbail; this can only be
secured by payment of fees.
New deportation cases, not by the hund
reds but in the less dramatic way of two
and threes, or one at a time, are coming
The Workers' Fight.
There is no place to look for defense and
relief funds except to the working class.
This is the workers' fight, and everyone
now knows it. There is practically no help
from the "liberals." Nor is there any
working-class organization now in shape
to handle the situation. Particularly the
Communists, since the raids, have been
unable to take care of themselves. No
matter how much or how little you know
about Communism; no matter how much
you agree or disagree; you know that this
is one phase of the class war into which
you as a worker are thrust, no matter
what you think about it. You either help
those who meet the front-line shock of this
fight or you desert!
Funds Are Urgently Needed Now!
Make remittance payable to I. E. Fer
guson, Treasurer, and mail to Room 303
106 W; Washington St., Chicago, 111.
NATIONAL DEFENSE COMMITTEE:
MAX BEDACHT . L. E. KATTERFELD C. E. RUTHENBERG . I. E. FERGUSON
H EDGAR OWENS, Secretary. E
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