Freedom Press (London)
Notes [Feb, 1887]
The energetic action of our Norwich comrades in flinging food from the store in the shops to their famishing fellow-workmen, and breaking the windows of the rich burgesses who refused to attend to their grievances, will do more to advance the cause of the Social Revolution than much talking. Before Mowbray's nine months' imprisonment are over Judge Grantham is likely to discover as much.
Note the effect of --Norwich riots, Trafalgar Square meetings, BatterPea church parades, and the morning calls of the unemployed upon vestrymen and guardians upon the middle-class conscience. The wretchedness of the workers is no new thing, but when have the news papers swarmed as they do to-day with letters, and accounts of committees, meetings, royal commission reports, and proposals for fresh royal commissions? All to suggest some method of evading the Social Question, and pacifying the people without trenching on the privileges of the rich.
Indeed the Liberty and Property Defense League have some cause for alarm. English Socialism is becoming a distinctly national movement, taking a definite national shape. It is localizing itself and moving by spontaneous popular initiative. It is passing, with characteristic English practicality, from propaganda by word to propaganda by action. Socialists are pressing into local public affairs and insisting on the claims of the people to the direct management of their own business. And their business is not the maintenance of the status quo !
Mr. Harrington, M.P., exhorted the peasants of Glenbeigh to pray, not to fight, while the evictors were dragging a sick child from its parents' burning hut to die on the straw in a pig-sty. The young girl who dealt the ruffians some hearty blows with a spade was certainly the better man, of the two."
Gentlemen who look forward to office in a Home Rule Parliament cannot, of course, afford to encourage too much disrespect for authority.
The manly contempt shown by our comrade Duval for the forms of law during the trial in Paris, which ended in his condemnation to death, hits made a deep impression on his fellow workers. One man who has the pluck to act on his conviction makes such action easier for each one who follows him. A common-place truth, but we all forget it sometimes.