Treachery and Murder
The rulers of America threaten the world with two fresh outrages upon humanity.
In America, as in some other unhappy lands, there are certain ambitious individuals who take upon themselves to pose as servants, representatives, and guardians of their fellows. And in America, as elsewhere, these officious persons serve, represent, and guard nothing and nobody except property and property monopolists.
A hundred years ago they made a set of rules for this purpose, called the Constitution. Mr. Gladstone says it is the finest thing of the sort devised by man. In accordance with these rules the great mass of American citizens have submitted for one hundred years to have the fruits of their labor stolen from them by a handful of monopolists.
But the spirit of revolt is stirring among the wage-slaves of the world. Rulers and monopolists are beginning to tremble; to join hands for mutual support; to catch at every pretest to cow the masses --those of "free" America among the rest.
Eighteen months ago the victims of capital in Chicago rebelled. The majority did not dare go to the root of the matter and claim free use of the land they had tilled and the machinery they had made. They only struck for a little larger share of the wealth they created, but they were bold and determined, and among them were men like our Anarchist comrades, who fully faced the facts.
Like Irish landlords, the American capitalists stuck at no means to crush the people. The Chicago police batoned and fired upon the strikers with as much good-will as Mitchelstown constables. A public meeting was summoned to protest. It was peacefully dispersing when the police made ready to charge the people. At that moment a bomb exploded in the police ranks.
Who flung the bomb remains unknown. The police themselves recognize that it was not thrown by any one of the Anarchists accused; and certainly not by the eight together who have been prosecuted for "conspiracy"; that is, plainly speaking, for the Anarchist ideas they have spread. But in America justice, like the opinion of the press, is for the highest bidder. The Chicago capitalists spent £20,000 on the jury, that men whom they hated for seeing and speaking the truth might be condemned to death.
Last month the judges, sitting this time in the Supreme Court of Illinois, confirmed the sentence which condemns seven honest men after eighteen months' imprisonment, to hang for their opinions. Our comrades, one of whom is an Englishman, are to be murdered in cold blood, not because they took up arms against the police, but simply because they are Anarchists enemies of authority and property.
Whilst the capitalist-ridden American Republic is thus outbidding English Tories in the war of authority against freedom of speech and public meeting, it is stealthily extending a finger across the ocean to support the vilest despotism in Europe. An Extradition Treaty with Russia is to be quietly slipped through Congress: a treaty to deliver up any Russian refugee who has publicly protested, by word or deed against a Government which mercilessly crushes out every sort of freedom of thought, speech, and action among its unfortunate subjects.
Truly in spirit all governments are alike: official defenders of tyranny and injustice in society, who have managed to surround their vile office with a halo of superstitious reverence in the eyes of the masses. Empires. monarchies, republics, autocracies, aristocracies democracies--they are one and the same. Unscrupulous enemies of human development and social freedom. Armed guardians of every unfair privilege, every evil in the system, every oppressive institution which has grown up among me, hinderers of progress, from whom space for every social advance must be extorted by perpetual protest, perpetual revolt, at the cost of the best lives of the community.
When shall we learn, not to alter the form of government, but to do without government altogether?
Notice. - Public Meeting organized by the Socialists of London will be held at South Place l Institute on Friday October 14, at 8 o'clock p.m., to protest against the murder of the Chicago Anarchists.
A meeting of protest will also be held at Cleveland Hall, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m.