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TIME was when a presidential election thrilled the hearts of men with torchlight processions, roaring brass bands ans similar demonstrations dear to the spectacular-minded. Today the election of a president is a much duller affair. Enthusiasm is gone; it is as if the people felt that the country won't go to the dogs, after all, no matter who the next president is. Likely as not, the people are right. They have experienced quite a variety of presidents, even within the present generation, and still things are about as they always have been: monopoly is still monopoly, the cost of living in continuing its upward flight, the independent farmer is becoming a tenant, the workers strike, are shot down, their spokesman are sent to prison ot to the gallows, and the jolly Mammon dance goes merrily on.
Some day the children of man will grow up: they'll tire of the national Punch and Judy show called presidential elections. They will gtow to understand that free men need no governors; that sane men need not tolerate slaveryl; that the idle are vampires on the industrious; that life is to live and enjoy, not to rob or be robbed. Then they will laugh at their blindness, and rulers and elections be a thing of the past.
THE Hugher is a rank reactionist is not denied even by his best friends. It is sufficient to recall to mind his record in the Danbury Hatters' case. He is anti-labor to the core of him. Some women are campaigning for him, admittedly only to spite Wilson, femenine-like. However, it must be said to the credit of the woman suffragists that the intelligent among them have no faith in the vote at all. They admit--generally privately--that politics is too rotten to hold out any hope of betterment for humanity. These women consider suffrage valuabe only as a movement, one that will prove eduactional by interesting women in the larger issues outside of their narrow home sphere.
Be that as it may, there is no one in the camp of Hughes except the big grafters and some women who know better.
San Francisco Bomb Case
THE people outside California do not seem to realize in the least the great importance of the so-called bomb trials in San Francisco. That is due chiefly to the conspiracy of silence on the part of the conservative press. Also to a great extent to the fact that the International Workers' Defense League, in charge of the cases, is not blessed with funds sufficient to flood the country with information regarding these cases, as should be done.
And yet, since the days of 1887 there has been no occasion fraught with such meaning to Labor. The situation in San Francisco is briefly this: the fight of the Big Crooks for the open shop had reached a point where the workers had to be terrorized into submission. The old tactics are therefore resorted to: Nolan, Mooney and his wife, Weinberg and Billings--of the most active and intelligent labor element on the Coast--are arrested and accused of murder. The $1,000,000 slush fund of the Chamber of Commerce and the powers of the District Attorney's office are used to corral prostitutes, crooks and drug fiends, manufacture evidence for the prosecution and intimidate witnesses for the defense. A professional jury obediently grants placing the bomb on Steuart and Market Streets, in spite of absolute proof to the contrary. The road is now paved for the conviction of the other accused labor men.
Innocence does not count. For the dice are loaded against us, every time. And let me assure out readers most emphatically: if ever there was a case where the accused were absolutely innocent, it is these men charged with participation in the explosion on July 22nd.
San Francisco is run by one of the most corrupt political gangs of the country--which is saying a good deal. The dominant power in that gang is the United Railroads, whose creature, Fickert, is the District Attorney of the city and county of San Francisco. The Uniter Railroads is the real prosecutor in the case of Mooney, Noal, et al. It was within the domain of the United Railroads that Mooney recently attempted to organize the men and call them out on strike.
The bosses os San Francisco are planning to hang some of the arrested labor men. If this hellish scheme is permitted to materialize, a crime second only to the judicial murders of 1887 will have been committed. There is no power in San Francisco to call a halt to this fiendish plot. For the workers here are partly terrorized, partly unconscious of the real significance of the planned outrage. It will have to be outside pressure, the coive of the county at large, that shall prevent the repetition of the Chicago murders.
The conscience of the country must be aroused. To work, friends! From New york to San Francisco the cry must be raised: Our brothers shall not be sacrificed to the greed and murder lust of Capital!
Mesaba Range Victims
THE strikers on the Mesaba range have returned to work, but their struggle is not at an end. They have learned the lesson of organization and the potency of solidaric effort. A strike of this character is never lost, whatever its immediate result. It is valuable preparation for a bigger, more decisive struggle.
Meanwhile the victims of the Steel Trust in the Minnesota jails must not be forgotten. Carlo Tresca, Joe Schmidt, Sam Scarlett and their companions are the objects of a deliberate frame-up bu the agents of the Steel Trust. They are accused of being participants and accessories to the murder of a deputy sheriff who, as a matter of fact, was shot in a row provoked by the deputies and in which all the shooting was done by themselves. But the hyena of greed is thirsting for vengeance: the bosses of the Range will do everything in their power to doom our friends to a living death.
Let us be warned in time, then: not to rely on the fictitious "justice" of the courts, nor on the mere gact of the innocence of the accused. But to understand that safety lies only in solidarity of our efforts, and to make the masters of the Iron Range feel the passion of our understanding.
Their Silence Speaks
THE 11th of November, 1887, finds a striking parallel in the present situation on the Coast. Now in San Francisco, as then in Chicago, the Overlords are tryin to strangle the asiprations of the workers with the rope or the jail. But whatever the momentary success of the enemies of Labor, the hands of time cannot be held back. And time means progress.
1887-1916! In 1887 our Chicago comrades were murdered for their advocacy of the eight hour day: in 1916 the President of these United States begs the railroad workers to accept the shorter workday. Surely the Chicago Anarchists never hoped for a more significant vindication in the eyes of history.
In view of the local situation it is most appropriate that the revolutionary groups of San Francisco have arranged a mass meeting in commemoration of the martyrdom of 1887, the international gathering to take place Sunday, November 12th, 8 p.m., at Carpenters' Hall, 112 Valencia Street.
ENRIQUE FLORES MAGON, our beloved Mexican comrade, who has for years fought so valiantly in behalf of Land and Liberty, and who is even now under a Federal prison sentence for his unyielding devotion to the cause of Liberty, has promised his presence at this meeting. He will speak in English and in Spanish.
Our friends and readers in San Francisco and vicinity will take advantage of the opportunity for a general reunion of all rebels.
By request of the International Workers' Defense League of San Francisco, Alexander Berkman has gone to New York to work on behalf of Nolan, Mooney, Weinberg, Billings and Mrs. Mooney. It is hardly necessary for us to urge our comrades and friendly organizations to co-operate with him to their utmost ability in his important Mission.
THE BLAST will continue publication as before, as the editor will contribute articles while in the East. Personal mail for A.B. should be addressed to: 20 East 125th St., New York City.