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Labor's Platform

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St. Louis, Aug. 31. - The delegates to the convention of labor leaders were elow in assembling Tuesday morning. It was 10 o'clock when the committee Dn rvsolutions flled into the hall and the delegates were called to order to henr its report. Mr. Berger in presenting the resolutions, spoke of the great task the committee had before it. He said the re;port about to be submitted was the best the committee could do under the circumstances. Whether it would suit the question remains to be seen. The platform as presented reads: "The fear of the more watchful fathers of the republic has been justified. The judiciary has become supreme. We witness a political phenomenon absolutely new in the history of the world; a republic prostrate at the feet of judges appointed to administer its laws. They acknowledge no superior on earth, and their despotic deeds recall Milton's warning to his countrymen: 'Who bids a man rule over his above law, may bid as well a savage beast.' Power of Legislation. "Under the cunning form of injunction, courts have assumed to enact criminal laws, and after thus drawing to themselves the power of legislation, have repealed the bill of rights and for violation of these eourt-made laws, have denied the accused the right of trial by jury. The exercise of the commonest rights of freemen - the right of assembly, the right of free speech, the right of traveling the public highways, have by legislation, under the form of injunctions, been made a crime, and armed forces disperse as mobs people daring in company, to exercise these rights. At its last term, the supreme court of the United States decided that the thirteenth amendment, forbidding 'involuntary servitude,' is not violated by arresting a seaman, imprisoning him until his vessel is ready to leave port, and then forcibly putting him on board to serve out the term of his contract; a decisión under which the old fugitive slave laws may yet be revived, and etriking Iaborers be seized and returned to the service of their masters. Subjugatio of Sovereign States. "Having drawn to themselves all the powers of the federal government until congress ar.d presidents may act only by judicial permistión, the federal judges have begun the subjugation of sovereign Ftates, so that, unless a check Is put upon the grogress of usurpation, in a short time no government but the absolute despotism of federal judges will exist anywhere over any portion of American soll. The pending strike of coal miners, starved to feebleness by their scant wages by arduous and dangerous toil, the pending strike for the right to be fed enough to make. labor possible, has been prolific of judicial usurpation, showing the willingness of judicial despots to resort to the most ahamt-leas defiance of decency, as weli as of law and humanity, in order to enable heartless avarice to drive its hungry serfs back to the mines to faint and die at their drudgery, and there remains today not one guaranteed right of American citizens, the exercise of which au injuncticn has not somewhere made a crime started by these subversions of constitutional liberty. Conclusión Reaclied. "We have met to counsel together and have come to the following conclusión? that, "Whereas, The present strike of coal miners has again demonstrated the fact _that our so-called liberty is not freedom, but is a stupendous sham, under which millions are degenerating, while hundreds of thousards of men, women and children are starving in hovels ard on the public highways; "Whereas, This condition has become permanent for a large and ever-increasIng number of our population as long as we permit a comparatively small class of leg-alized exploiters to monopolize the cneans of production and distribution for their private benefit - a fact again obvious in the case of the miners; "Whereas, Appeals to congress and to the courts for relief are fruitless, since the legislative, as well as the executives judicial power are under the control of the capitalistic class, so that it has come to pass in this 'free country' that, while cattle and swine have a right to the public highway, Amerieans, so-called freemen, have not; Capitalistic OlaxK Armed. "Whereas, Our capitalistic class, as is again shown in the present strike, is armed, and has not only policemen, marshals, sheriffs and deputies, but also a regular army and militia, in order to enforce government by injunction, suppressing lawful assemblage, free speech, and the right to the public highway, while on the other hand, the laboring men of the country are unarmed and öefenseless, contrary to the words and spirit of the constitution of the United States. Therefore, be it "Resolved, That we hereby set apart Friday, the third day of September, 1897, as a 'Good Friday' for the cause of suffering labor in America and contribute the earnings of that day to the eupport of our struggling brothers, the miners, and appeal to every union man and every friend of labor throughout the country to do likewise. "Resolved, If the strike cf the miners Is not settled by the 20th day of September, 1897, and announcement made to that effect by the president of the United Mine Workers, a general convpntion be held at Chicago on Monday, Sent. 27, 1897, by the representatives of all unions, ections, branches, lodges, and kindred organizations of laboring men and friends of their cause, for the purpose of consid'ering further measures in the interests of the striking miners and labor in general. Ballot the Best Meaiifi. "Resolved, That we consider the use of the ballot as the best and safest means for the amelioration of the hardahips under which the laboring class euffers. "Resolved, That the public ownership o" railroads and telegraphs Is one of the most necessary reforms for our body politie. "Resolved, That ve most emphatically protest against government by injunction, which plays havoc with even such politica! liberty as workmen have saved frcm the steady encroachment of capitalism, and be it finally "Resolved, That no nation in which the people are totally disarmed can long remain a free nation, and therefore, we urge upon all liberty-loving citizens to remember and obey article 2 of the constitution of the United States, which reads as follows: 'The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.' " Detegates on Their Keet. As soon as the platform was before the convention a dozen delegates were on their feet clamoring for recognition. Mr. Osborne introduced an amendment to the platform to the effect that the country should takecareof itsunemployed, the Etrikir.g miners and othtr laborers of the country applying to the authoritles of their respective counties for admission to the poor house, and again oratory was in full swing. There was no particular attention paid to the motion before the conventicn and delegates turncd themselves loose. Mr. Mr. Osborr.e's amendment was lost unanimously, and the attempt to change the date of the collection for the striking miners from Sept. 3 to 10 was defeated. Mr. Clayborne of Springfleld, Mo., moved to strike out the second resolution of the platform calling for the mass convention in Chicago. H. M. Williams of St. Louis presented a substitute for Mr. Clayborne's motion to strike out the plank calling for the Chicago convention, convening a lobor congress in St. Louis Sept. 20, Without action thé convention adjourned until 2 o'clock.


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