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The Co-operative news. (Everett, Wash.) 1917-1918, June 06, 1918, Image 1

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88085771/1918-06-06/ed-1/seq-1/

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In Things Essential, UNITY—In Things Doubtful, LIBERTY—In AH Things, FRATERNITY
5c per copy; SOfl per year.
The report on the work of the
Socialist and labor movement in
Denmark during last year has just
reached this country. It shows
that the membership of the Social-
Democratic party, which in Oc
tober, lbls, was 60,000, and at
the beginning of 1917 68,000, is
now 80,000, according to figures
published in The New England
The municipal elections last
year brought the party many im
portant victories. In all 1479
Socialists were elected to town
and "sogn" (rural community)
councils. In 14 city councils the
Socialists obtained a majority.
Copenhagen, the capital, is one of
these. They also secured the ma
jority in 34 "sogn" councils.
'•No member of the I. W. W.
has been convicted in any court
of any crime involving the or
ganization in so-called "disloyal
ty" or violence from the time the
war started up to March 1, 1918."
"Many I. W. W. unions have
been loyally serving the country
during the war, particularly in
loading ammunition and war sup
plies on the docks."
"No connection whatever has
been found between German agents
and German money and the I.
W W."
"Violence has been much more
commonly used against the I. W.
W. than by it."
"The Membership of the I. W.
W. is not composed of "bums"
?nd agitators, but for the most
part of hard-working men, chief
ly American born, engaged in mi
gratory jobs."
These statements about the I.
W. W. refuting popular miscon
ceptions of their activities and
purposes during the war are quot
ed from "The Truth About the
I. V>. W." a pamphlet now being
distributed by the National Civil
Liberties Bureau, of New York,
to help make clear the issues in
the present trial of 112 I. W. W.
leaders at Chicago.
The 'disloyalty and treason'
charged against the I. W. W. as
part of a conspiracy to obstruct
the war are so far as yet shown
by any evidence, simply the or
dinary activities of labor-unions,
struggling to get better wages and
conditions in even war-time" says
this report, and its principal con
'•lusion is "that the inevitable re-
Bult of this misrepresentation,
and indeed of the government's
prosecution itself, is to increase
labor unrest, to curtail war pro
duction, and to promote national
The United States Bureau of
Labor Statistics reports that a
of $1500 a year will only
ide "the minimum standard
of comfort."
In other words, this governmen
tal agency declares that if a
worker does not receive $5 a day
for 300 working days in the year
nnot support a family in the
most restricted kind of comfort.
In 24 principal American cities
the lowest annual wage should i>e
CHICAGO— prosecution is
progressing so successfully with
its startling disclosures about the
I. W. W. "conspiracy" that every
one in court including the report
ers and the jury has difficulty in
keeping awake. Endless files of
routine letters are read to the
jury. These letters arc no more
remarkable than thousands of
other communications which might
be gathered at random from any
fraternal or labor organization;
or, for that matter, from almost
any business concern in the coun
try. The lawyers of the prose
cution, however, seem to imagine
that by blundering along in this
manner a great foundation is be
ing laid for something more j in
teresting in the future. Let us
hope so.
Starting with the Marine Trans
port Workers' Industrial Union
No. 100, of the Atlantic Coast,
the prosecution has taken the In
dustrial Unions of the Eastern
industries one at a time present
ing a great number of letters that
Establish no facts other than
that the secretaries of these In
dustrial Unions were in communi
cation with the ■ General Office
of the Industrial Workers of the
World and with Wm. D. Haywood,
the General Secretary Treasurer
of the organization. Letters be
tween Walter T. Nef, secretary
of the Atlantic Coast M. T. W.
and Haywood were first taken
up. After these were read the
fact seemed firmly established
that both the General Office and
the Industrial Union were working
diligently to effect a real labor
organization of the much exploited
slaves of the docks and the seas
on the Atlantic Coast. Similar
letters from James Phillips, Sec
retary of the Boston M. T. W.
and Haywood were read and noth
ing more damaging was disclosed
than a healthy hatred for scabs
and scab tactics and an ardent
enthusiasm for organization.
This imposing array of guilt
diicloaing "evidence" was follow
ed by other letters in a similar
vein from John .1. Walsh, of the
Philadelphia M. T ,W, James
Slovick, Cleveleand, Ohio, secre
tary of the M. T. W. No 200 of
the Great Lakes, and Manuel
Ray, M. T. W. 200 organizer
from Buffalo, N. Y. All of these
letters were presented apparently
w;th the sole intention of showing
the connection existing between
these various Industrial Unions or
branches and the General Office
in Chicago.
Strikers. Scabs and "Conspirators"
While giving to the jury the
contents of hundreds of such com
munications, the prosecution is
presenting letters written about
various strikes in which these
unions were involved —letters that
I orl '■' : how that the I. W. W.
hag Bought to use powerful in
dustrial action against the capi
talists and that, at times, I. W.
W. strikers have been somewhat
rough with scabs. Anyone know
ing anything at all about strikes
knows that su<;h incidents unfor
tunately occur in times of indus-'
trial disputes—and that the I. W.
W. is no more guilty of them
than other labor organizations.
In fact, before the trial is over,
the I. W. W. hopes to prove that
its strikes have more order and
less violence than those of any
other union. This is because the
One Hig Union form of organiza
tion brings about a condition of
industrial solidarity that makes
violence altogether unnecessary.
A rather amusing touch was
given to the otherwise tedious
court proceedings when letters
written by E. F. Done, Secre
tary of the I. W. W. Textile
Workers of Philadelphia, were
read. Doree, while writing, wuh
evidently in that mood commonly
called a "peeve." In no uncer
tain language he informed Bill
Haywood that several organizers
in the East were, notable only for
their inefficiency. All of the
men mentioned in the letter were
present when the letter was read.
They pricked up their ears at
once and glanced qui/.tcally at the
author. Doree looked awfully
sheepish. The jury must think
the "conspirators" on trial must
be of a strange variety, to have
such sentiments about each other.
This is only one example of how
the faked-up and far fetched
charge against the I. W. W. is
falling down of its own weight
before even its foundation has
been established.
Three witnesses were placed on
the stand by the prosecution. One
of them was a plain everyday
operative of the Department of
Justice, one the sheriff of Lu
zerene County, Pennsylvania and
one, a regular, dyed-in-the-wool
'black Cossack' from the coal
fields of that state. "Anyone
listening to the testimony jjiven
by these worthy gentlemen who
is not convinced beyond a reason
able doubt of the existence of the
class struggle hail letters have his
head examined." This is what
one of the I. W. W. boys said
after court had adjourntd and
just before he put on his 'brace
lets' and started 'home' with the
And, sure enoujyh, in the pres
ence of these persons the labor
hatred of the brutal master class
became incarnate. Also a light
was thrown upon the Iron-Heel
tactics used against the workers
of Pennsylvania in the various
wage wars of the past by the coal
and steel trusts. Upon the tes
timony of thest- men especially
the last two mentioned- the pros
ecution seemed to place a great
deal of hope, but, even »t(fie news
•vi MTnpcled CO admit
that they helpetl the defense more
than the governmeni ; that is, if
the Department of Justice and
Messrs. Nebeker ami Potter can
be properly designated *is 'thu,
trovernment. 1
The "Unsocial ITwe of Sabotage"
Roy C. McHenry was the first
witness to take the stand— a spe
agent for the Department of
Justice from Scranton, Pa. Mr.
McHenry was asked to tell the
jury about what he had been able
to learn of the general character
and ideas of defendants Fletcher,
Graber, Baldazzi and Prashner,
of whom were arrested in
It appeared that
these men had admitted being ac
tive members of the I. W. W.
Baldazzi, when arrested, had re-
fused to take an oath stating that
he 'did not believe in God.' He
also had in his possession at the
time a copy of Andre Tridon's
'New Unionism' with a sinister
phrase deeply underscored. This
turned out to he a statement on
page 12.$ advising the member
ship of the I. W. W. against the
indiscriminate and unsocial use
of sabotage as a weapon of in
dustrial warfare. Mr. McHenry
admitted that Haldazzi, when ask
ed about the dtsruction of proper
ty and violence had told him he
did not believe in these things.
Upon cross examination by De
fense Attorney Vanderveer, Mr.
Mcllenry admitted that Albert
Prashner, secretary of the I. W.
W. Coal Miners' Industrial Union,
stated to him in Scranton, Pa.,
that if any German spies were
found in the I. W. W. he would
report them to the Department of
Justice. (McHenry, according to
the newspapers, was to have been
a star witness for the prosecu
Landis Hands the Prosecution One
Claude Porter received a richly
deserved rebuke from Judge Lan
dis for his manifest unfairness
in presenting I. W. W. press ar
ticles to the jury. Mr. Porter
who is understood to be a Pres
byterian Sunday School superin
tendent in his home town, by
the way, read that part of the
article which stated that Graber
had been arrested on suspicion
that he was a German agent. Mr.
Porter wanted to stop here, leav
ing the impression with the jury
that perhaps the defendant might
be a critter of that sort. Attor
ney Vanderveer objeced strenuous
ly and secured the consent of
the court to read the omitted por
tions of the article, These show
ed that Graber was born in Rus
sian Poland, that he was exiled
for revolutionary activities, went
to Germany where he was again
exiled for the same reason, and
that he came to America where he
was also arrested for his activi
ties in the labor movement. Men
who know him intimately say the
accusation was a joke because the
Kaiser is Graber's pet aversion.
Judge Landis, after listening to
the complete article, turned sharp
ly to the attorneys for the pros
ecution "That should have been
read" he said indignantly.
George P, Buss, sheriff of Lu
lerne County, Pa., was next call
ed to the stand. Buss is a
pompous personage, much im
pressed with his own sense of
power. He was born in Kaiser
land and looks the part, has a
fat red face and a rich German
brogue, He is very loquacious
and much given to bluster. Mr.
Buss boasted of the fact that he
had the state mounted police "ab
solutely under his control," and
that he and they had broken up
many meetings of union miners
held under the auspices of the
1. W. W. He stated that three
anti-military stickers were stuck
up hack of the building in which
the I. W. W. coal miners held a
meeting in Hilldale, Pa., last
spring. Mr. Buss could point
out no specific acts of violence
for which the I. W. W. could be
(Continued on Page a;
Number 384.
Complaint has been made, and
filed with the authorities, by
County Superintendent Evelyn
Spencer, of Island County, against
3, M. Salter, teacher of District
No. 10, the Freeland school,
charging him with disloyalty and
asking that his certificate be re
voked and that he be further
prevented from teaching in the
Mr. Salter was served with a
copy of the complaint and sum
moned to appear for trial at the
court house in Coupeville on June
22 when the case will be heard
by State Superintendent Josephine
This is another case of a man
persecuted on account of his po
litical convictions. Even non-
Socialists in the Freeland school
district admit there never has
been a better school there, that
the pupils as a whole have made
better progress than under any
former teacher. It is practical
ly admitted that the ones who
are behind this move are a bunch
of politicians at Coupeville, the
county seat.
Many silly rumors have been
started in the community to try
to work up a case. One was that
Salter had been so unpatriotic as
to spit on the flag. This was
dropped, however, when it was
realized that the one who had
charge of the flag, put it up,
took it down and put it away each
day, was the janitor, who is also
a patriotic stool-pigeon. A charge
made against Mrs. Salter is that
on one occasion she laughed sedi
However, there is still danger
that Salter's Certificate will be
revoked, because they have the
power to do so.
GENEVA, Switzerland.—Adolph
Joffe, the new Russian soviet
ambassador to Berlin, is shocking
official diplomatic circles, accord
ing to the Tribune. He has hoisted
the red flag above the embassy
:md refuses to meet the emperor.
He has not visited the government
officials, which is customary, and
lie gave his first important din
ner to the minority German So
cialists, at ' which he expressed
opinions in strong language. Ber
lin never experienced such a
strange ambassador, according to
a Tribune dispatch, and it is be
lieved that measures will be tak
en quietly to have him withdrawn.
—Associated Press.
AMSTERDAM — Three mass
meetings which had been ar
ranged by independent Socialists,
to be held in Berlin recently to
discuss the question of Prussian
electorial reform, were forbidden
by the police.
NEW YORK-The P. Lorillard
Co., tobacco, had a net income
for 1017 of $8,312,343. Tha net
income for 1916 was therefore $2
-438,20(5 greater than the 1916 in
come, according to the company's

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