Pm Eight THE commuNlST The Iron Heel in the Land of the Free Strikers at Plant of Corn Products Company Murdered by Hired Thugs. The White Guard in Amorics is doing the work that is expected of it, and doing it well. From all parts of the country come reports of strikes involving large numbers workers, and quite frequently these reports are accompanied by lists of dead and wounded strikers, victims of the White Terror. There are those who while mouthing the phrases of democracy send to their graves men and women who would strive to put into practive principles of democracy.
The most recent scene of the White Guard activities is Argo, Illinois. Argo is a suburb of Chicago. and therein are located several large industrial plants including that of the Corn Products Refining Company, employing some 2, 500 men and girls. The men employed in this plant were well organized, the minimum wage being 50c per hour, 44 hours constituting a week work. But the Federal Brewery Workers Lnion, to which the men helonged, wanted to substitute collective bargaining for individual bargaining. The de mands of the men were presented to the officials of the company who promised to meet with the officials of the union to further discuss the demands of the men.
But instead of keeping their promise and ignoring the arrangements made for a conference with the union officials, the Company immediately made preparations for meeting the demands of the men with bullets. The number of guards in and about the plants were greatly increased and all were armed with high»power rifles: the foreman and superintendents who were not allowed to hold membership in the union were also supplied with arms.
Preparations were made as for a siege, large supplies of provisions and ammunition were laid in. and sleeping quarters were constructed for the guards and scabs.
In the meantime a strike was called to force the inaugum.
lion of collective bargaining. 000 of the 2, 500 employees Descefully refrained from Working and left the details of. WWW their demands in the hands of the union ofiiclsls. 39. about the plant was established. crowd of curl. mentors gathered, u if they expectant something to ppm they were not dh wolmd.
Out from the (lie. oz 1, plant came rushing the armed guards. the guardians 0f WWII aged and proportied interests.
to protect the massive concrcte plant from being set afire by the immense crowd outside. this was the statement made afterwards by one of the company ofiicials. To protect the Company property human lives had to be spent The guards rushed from the factory gates and without provocation or warning immediately fired a volley into the crowd of strikers and spectators. Two were killed, a third died of wounds received, a fourth is mortally wounded and expected to die, a score were seriously injured including women, girls and babies held in their mothers arms.
One of those killed was a Russian named Mike Marchuk.
He had been conscripted into the United States army and had fought the Germans on the Western Front. Marchuk was a socialist. and the final chapter of his life, in which he was murdered by hired assassins, merely proves what he and others have long contended: THE ENEMY AT HOME IS MORE DANGEROUS AND BRUTAL THAN IS ANY FOREIGN ARMY! The plant has been converted into a virtual fortress. There are at least 200 armed guards on constant duty, and about 300 armed formen and superintendents, all of whom are well supplied with guns and ammunition.
An interesting incident of he strike was the action of the mayor. Himself superintend ent in the machine shop of the Corn Products Company and a scab. 0n the second day of the strike he visited all the grocery stores and meat markets and instructed the proprietors not ;o sell provisions to the strikers.
He not only requested them to withold credit, as reported by the Associated press, but ordered them NOT TO SELL FOOD 0 TlIE STRIKERS. It was not ong before this action of the mayor became known to the. on and in a rage they d uotxgn the trail of the honorable mayor. That dignitary 10 refuge in a drug store from which he was finally rescued by the police and escortedtolsafety an automobile.
The strike was called on Tuesday, July 8th; the attack upon the strikers took place in the evening 0f the same daYi then followed the attempt on the part of the mayor to starve the families of the strikers and his ignominous defeat at the hands of the women. For a few days quiet again reigned in Argo. At the end of the first week the strike was still in progress: the Company had hired some few scabs but had not succeeded in gettirg the plant in operation. The scabs were housed within the plant and kept virtual prisoners. The strikers appreciated the situa tion; they were without arms of any description while opposed to them was legalized violence.
Stores are current of workers being kidnapped and held within the plant; one report sthat 43 girls, who have informed the Company and the union that they are with the strikers, are being forcible detained.
On Saturday the scabs were allowed to leave the plant and were escorted to their homes by armed guards. Monday morning, July 13th, as they were again being taken to the plant in automobiles heavily guarded by armed thugs, they encountered a parade of strikers. The guards immediately opened fire, two women and one man were mortally wounded and are not expected to live.
One of the women, who is not expected to live, is the mother of a family of four young children. Clubs were freely used and the strikers finally dispersed. The scabs were then rushed to the plant without further interference.
The strikers continue to picket the plant, and at one of their mass meetings urged that every effort be made to conduct the strike peacefully. While the situation is again quiet. is every reason to believe that the blood lust of the Corn Products Company will result in further attacks upon the unarmed workers.
THE COMMUNIST :221 Blue lslsnd Avenus CHICAGO. ILLINOIS Enclosed find NImo.
SUBSCRIPTION for which please son MUNIST to the address given below for. months. Subscription: 00 per year; six months 00.
of a new brand of pure Amer.
lean communism. And Itrsnu as is may seem. Comrade Lon Fraina made up the tail of this majorityl Yes: Comrade Pm.
no turned his back upon rem. tionary socialism to join had.
with the luke wam, watery, swampy majority. warm crowd, indeed! But. Conn ad.
Fraina do you feel entirely comfortable in this e tld swamp?
To more emphatically char.
acterize the uncertain position of this accidental majority of the Left Wing Conference it is sufficient to point out the clear and definite negative relation, so emphatically expressed in one of the clauses in the Mauifesto of the Third Communist International: As regards the social pats loci, who everywhere in the critics! my men: oppose the proletarisn mslution with force of arms, mess cites: fight is absolutely necessary.
As regards the Center. our tactics must be to separate the revolulimsv sry elements by pitilessly criticise ing the leaders. Absolute up.
lion from u. ornniuu. slCenter is amour, at. ours Iplus. of develop sillThis proved to be too sharp for the majority of the me too communists. To attract the centriats, there me too communists dulled the edge of that clause.
There is nothing accidental in the American Socialist Party, nor is there anything Iceldental in what took place st the Left Wing Conference. As everywhere in Europe, the American Socialist Party is divided into three distinct groups: the Right, the social traitors, headed by Berger and Hilquit, and permeated with the rottenness of the Second International; the Center, with whom Fran ina cast his lot, who because a!
misunderstanding still continue to call themselves the left wing, and demand the capture of the party of the Right for revolutionary socialism. and the extreme Left, the Communists, who headed by the Russian Communiatic Federations and the Socialist Party of Michigan, readily answered the call of the Third Communist In»
temationsll Down with the Socialist Party! Down with the wsveb ing Center! Long live the milltant Communist Party of Amer.