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of the County of New York resorted to every known device to secure a conviction.
The attorneys for the accused labor leaders, Morris Hillquit, Judge William Olcott, Abraham Levy and Judge Henry W. Unger, demolished the case of the prosecution with heavy blows, clearly established the innocence of the defendants and brilliantly vindicated the principles and methods of trade unionism. The opening address of Morris Hillquit was a classic defense of the principles, methods and achievements of organized labor. One of the defendants, Louis Holzer, was discharged for lack of evidence even before trial, two others, Vice-President Saul Metz and Brother Julius Woolf, were acquitted on motion of the District Attorney immediately at the close of the case. The jury was out less than two hours and returned a verdict of “not guilty" as to the remaining five defendants. The prosecution aroused tremendous public interest, and stirred the entire labor and Socialist movement all over the country. The victory of the labor leaders was hailed as a triumph for the labor movement and served largely to repair the damage done by the McNamara case.
CAPLAN AND SCHMIDT CASE.
The prosecution of Caplan and Schmidt for complicity in the destruction of the Los Angeles Times' Building came as an aftermath of the confession of the McNamara Brothers. Mathew Schmidt was tried in 1915 and convicted to life imprisonment. An appeal has been taken to a higher court." The Jury failed to agree in the case of Caplan and a second trial was set for October 16, 1916.
THE LAWSON CASE.
On Oct. 25, 1913, John Nimmo, a mine guard was killed in an attack upon the tent-colony at Ludlow, Colorado. John Lawson, a Board Member of the United Mine Workers was accused of the alleged murder of Nimmo.
Upon return of the indictment Lawson's attorney filed a plea of abatement claiming that the grand jury had been packed with Coal Company partisans. To this plea, Jesse G. Northcutt, chief attorney for the allied coal companies, who had no standing as a public official, filed a demurrer, setting up that even admitting all the allegations in the plea to be true, they furnished no ground for quashing the indictment, Attorney General Farrar also signed the demurrer. Judge
Butler of Denver held that the plea of abatement was good, and directed the prosecution to answer the charges. This the companies did not care to do. They dismissed the indictment, and filed an “information” again charging Lawson with murder.
Before the case came to trial Granby Hillyer, an attorney for the coal companies who had himself acted against strikers, was appointed judge. Lawson came before him for trial. In a previous case, that of Louis Zancanelli, the right of Judge Hillyer to sit in such cases was challenged. Under the Colorado law, when this is done the judge loses jurisdiction until his rights are investigated, but Hillyer ignored this, and sat in both the Zancanelli and Lawson cases.
Lawson's attorneys filed a motion asking for a bill of particulars stating whether Lawson was charged with having killed Nimmo, or with being an accessory, or a member of a conspiracy. This motion was denied.
A motion was filed to set aside the panel of jurymen on the ground of prejudice. This motion was also denied. The jury was drawn by the sheriff, contrary to the usual procedure.
The evidence against Lawson came entirely from two mine guards, one an ex-forger, and one a blackmailer. They testified to having seen Lawson on the firing line. Both admitted grudges against Lawson. The charge of the judge to the jury was unfair. While the jury was out Judge Hillyer sent a bailiff to the jurymen with the threat that they would secure no food till an agreement was reached. Juror Hall, holding out for Lawson was also told, falsely, that his wife was dying. Under these circumstances the jury found Lawson guilty.
While the Supreme Court was still considering Hillyer's right of jurisdiction, Hillyer sentenced Lawson to life imprisonment at hard labor.
Later Hillyer was debarred from sitting in any more cases growing out of the strike. Lawson was freed on bail pending the adjustment of his case by the Supreme Court of Colorado.
The whole case shows a deplorable collusion between the coal companies and the officials of the State of Colorado. A more flagrant miscarriage of justice can scarcely be quoted.
THE QUINLAN CASE. In 1914, Patrick Quinlan was convicted in Paterson, N. J., of having incited a riot, during the silk-workers' strike of 1913, although the prepondering weight of evidence taken at the trial showed that he had not even spoken at the meeting
at which the 'incendiary' utterances were alleged to have been made. He was sentenced to the State Prison for a period of two to seven years.
On March 15, 1915, Attorney Carless presented a petition signed by 21,000 citizens of New Jersey, to Judge Klenert, requesting Quinlan's release on the ground of his innocence, and ill-health. Judge Klenert reserved decision pending the decision of the Pardon Board which was then considering Quinlan's request for a parole. On April 2, 1915, the Pardon Board decided not to grant a parole.
In May Quinlan addressed a letter to President Wilson, reviewing his case, and requesting an investigation.
Judge Klenert denied the petition for parole, and President Wilson never acted in the matter. Quinlan is still in prison.
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, arrested at the same time, and tried with substantially the same evidence against her was acquitted by a jury drawn from another county. The Quinlan case has every ear-mark of special persecution, instead of legal prosecution.
ROOSEVELT. While the United States Commission on Industrial Relations was in session in New York City a strike broke out among 700 employes of the William and Clark plant of the American Agricultural Fertilizer Chemical Company at Chrome, N. J. On January 19, 1915, strike guards employed by the company fired into a gathering of strikers, killing two and wounding eighteen, three of them seriously. One of the men killed was found to have six bullets in his body. The men
were organized into the Chemical Workers Union of the American Federation of Labor. Immediately after the shooting appeals for help were sent to the American Federation of Labor and Congressman Meyer London, and a request was sent to the United States Commission on Industrial Relations asking for an immediate investigation of the strike. On the following day 31 deputy sheriffs were arrested, charged with murder in the first degree, and held without bail.
On this day it was shown also that the strikers who had been fired upon were unarmed. The strike guards had been furnished by Sheriff Houghton, and most of them were unknown to him when they were engaged. Mayor Hermon, of Chrome, was openly sympathetic with the strikers, and maintained that attitude throughout the strike.
Eventually the strikers returned to work, having gained
an increase in wages of approximately 20 cents a day. Before the strike the wages had averaged $1.60 a day. The work was of the hardest kind, performed under the most adverse conditions. The strike, too, came at a time when unemployment throughout the country was intense. The immediate cause of the strike was a reduction in wages to $1.60 from $2.00 a day. Perhaps the whole psychology created by the action of the company can be summed up no better than in the words of one of the strikers, who testified later on before the United States Commission on Industrial Relations. He said:
"For three years I work all the week and every Sunday, too. My wife, she take in washing. We have five children. I I am a Polak and I don't drink, chew, just smoke a pipe. My name is Antonio Wiater, and I work at Liebig's before the strike. They pay $2. Then the boss say 'I pay you $1.60'—then we strike.”
One of the most significant facts brought to light during the strike was the fact that the Rockefeller Foundation was the owner of $500,000 worth of stock in the American Agricultural Fertilizer Chemical Company, which owned the plant at Chrome where the strike took place. It was clearly shown that Rockefeller dominated the policy of the plant, and this policy, with its resulting violence, bloodshed, and death, was singularly in accord with that in force in other Rockefeller dominated plants that impressed themselves on history during the year, notably the Rockefeller oil works at Bayonne, N. J., and the Rockefeller mining interests in Colorado.
Five months later nine of ten deputy sheriffs indicted for first degree murder were found guilty of manslaughter, and sentenced by Justice J. J. Berger to prison terms from two to ten years each. The tenth deputy was acquitted..
BAYONNE. Strikes of 1915 seem to have been uniformly of a dramatic character. Like the strikes in Roosevelt and Youngstown, the strike of 5,000 employes of the Standard Oil Company in Bayonne, N. J., was marked by violence of a highly sensational nature. The strike began about July 18, but it was not until July 20 that public notice was really directed to it. On that day the company brought in a detachment of guards, who had seen duty in the strike at Roosevelt, and also brought a number of strikebreakers into the plant.
On that day the police first began the use of guns, and a volley of several hundred bullets was fired close to the heads of the strikers. In a clash between strikers and strike breakers, the latter guarded by police, several strike breakers emerged the worse for the clash. On the following day,
July 21, there was a much more serious clash between the strikers and the company guards. The guards were hired by the oil company from the Bergoff agency. They had at all times the class co-operation of the Bayonne police force.
In the clash on July 21 one boy striker was killed, eight others received serious wounds, and probably fifty escaped with superficial injuries. The casualties, if any, on the other side never became known, because of the policy adopted by the company of shielding every operation of its guards.
Met with a policy of extreme brutality on the part of the company, the strikers adopted a like policy. When the shooting occurred on July 21, the strikers descended upon the police force with such violence that the police threw up their hands in token of surrender, whereupon they were disarmed by the strikers and allowed to go.
On July 25 the Rockefeller interests were instrumental in securing the suppression of The New York Call in Bayonne, and for several days it was impossible to secure copies of that newspaper on the news stands of Bayonne. The paper was taken into Bayonne, however, by roundabout methods, and distributed to the strikers surreptitiously. The Call had openly espoused the cause of the strikers, and was regarded as the strorgest weapon they had. So intense was the company's resentment against The Call that the warden of the Hudson County jail stated over the telephone to a reporter of The Call on July 26 that if he came within his jurisdiction he would be arrested.
The strike continued with more or less violence until on July 27 the men voted to return to work, allowing the company 10 days in which to make good on a promise given by it to substantially increase the wages of the workers. Subsequently an increase in wages ranging from 10 to 15 per cent a day was granted to about 16,000 Standard Oil Co. employes in New Jersey. This came after the Bayonne strike had been broken and after there had been sporadic outbreaks or threats of them at several of the Standard Oil Company's other New Jersey plants.
The active force in the breaking of the strike was wielded by Sheriff Kinkead. His fanatic brutality, backed up by the use of all the force that he could muster, was something that the strikers could not meet on equal terms. The strikers, to be sure, used what physical force they could muster for the simple reason that they were driven to it. Their courage was magnificent. On one occasion strikers armed with nothing but their bare fists went up to the very walls of the company's plants, while inside were men armed with modern rifles and revolvers.
A total of five men died as the result of police and strike guard brutality during the course of the strike. Four of the