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Α. Φ. Σ. Α.


This is an historical and descriptive sketch of the present drift from parliamentary to industrial socialism -as epitomized in the career of the Industrial Workers of the World in the United States. The I.W.W. is now thirteen years old. During the first half of its existence the general public hardly knew that there was such an organization. A few local communities, however, were startled into an awareness of it quite early in its history. The city of Spokane had an I.W.W. "free-speech fight on its hands in 1909. Fresno, California, McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, and Missoula, Montana, all had their little bouts with the “Wobblies " long before the Lawrence strike of 1912 made the I.W.W. nationally prominent.

Just now the Industrial Workers of the World, as represented by more than one hundred of its members and officials, is on trial for its life in Chicago. The indictment charges the defendants with conspiring to hinder and discourage enlistment and in general to obstruct the progress of the war with Germany. The specific number of crimes alleged to have been intended runs up to more than seventeen thousand. Since the war-time activities of the I.W.W. most concern us now, it is regretted that this book cannot be brought up to the minute with a final chapter on the I.W.W. and the war. But this is impossible. The trial is still in progress and almost no trustworthy evidence regarding the

alleged anti-war activities is available outside of the court records.'

Though nowadays well aware of the existence of the I.W.W., the public still knows little about the organization and its members. Moreover, a great deal of what it does know is false. For thirteen years the I.W.W. has been rather consistently misrepresented—not to say vilified-to the American people. The public has not been told the truth about the things the I.W.W. has done or the doctrines in which it believes. The papers have printed so much fiction about this organization and maintained such a nation-wide conspiracy of silence as to its real philosophy-especially as to the constructive items of this philosophy—that the popular conception of this labor group is a weird unreality.

The current picture is of a motley horde of hoboes and unskilled laborers who will not work and whose philosophy is a philosophy simply of sabotage and the violent overthrow of “capitalism," and whose actions conform to that philosophy. This appears to be about

Since this went to press the trial has come to an end. On August 17 the case went to the jury which, after being out fifty-five minutes, returned a verdict of “ guilty, as charged in the indictment.” On August 30 Judge K. M. Landis imposed sentence. W. D. Haywood and fourteen others were sentenced to twenty years imprisonment and $20,000 fine each. Thirty-three others were given six years and fined $5,000 each on the first count; ten years and $5,000 each on the second count; two years and $10,000 each on the third count; and ten years and $10,000 each on the fourth count. Thirty-three others were given five years and fines of $5,000 apiece on each of counts 1 and 2 and $10,000 each on counts 3 and 4. Twelve more were sentenced to one year and one day, with fines of $5,000 each on the first and second counts and $10,000 each on the third and fourth counts. Two of the defendants were given ten-day sentences. All sentences run concurrently. The fines imposed aggregate $2,570,000 and costs.

It is announced that the case will be appealed. (U. S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Div., Criminal Clerk's Minute Book 12, pp. 61-62.)

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