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You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
                                                      -Mother Jones

Saturday December 5, 1903
From the The Labor World: "MOTHER JONES SACRIFICE" & Report form Cripple Creek

Today's edition of Labor World heaps praise upon Mother Jones:

Good Mother Jones-Do you know her? If not, you have heard of her. She has been working in the interest of organized labor for a quarter of a century. She has been untiring in her efforts among the organized Mine Workers of America and has been given the title of "Mother" to all. she visits the miners in their work in the bowels of the earth, making herself one of them. Some one has said of her:

"No lioness defending her young has shown the dauntless courage of Mother Jones. She has become the patron saint and the angel of light of the anthracite regions of Pennsylvania; and upon the hills of West Virginia she has become an idol, lovely and adored with a reverence that is as pure and holy as ever linked together a mother and her sons."

Good Mother Jones is now busy in Colorado helping the coal miners who are demanding an eight-hour day.

From Cripple Creek, The Labor World reports:

Rights of Citizens are Ruthlessly
   Torn and Trampled Upon by the State Militia-
   Innocent Men Arrested
   Without Warrant and Held Without Charge.
   Writ of Habeus Corpus Denied.
The Labor World further reports on the release of a circular by Charles Moyer and W. D. Haywood, President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Western Federation of Miners, which we quote in part:
    General Chase says, "The militia will remain in Cripple Creek until unionism is wiped out."
     General Bell says, "Only the Lord and the military powers know what our next move will be."
     Judge Advocate McClelland says, "To hell with the constitution; we are not following the constitution."
     Governor Peabody when presented with a petition signed by 3,000 citizens asking that the troops be recalled brutally replied, "The soldier will stay in Cripple Creek until the strike is broken."
     Frank Woods, manager of the Gold Coin Mine, told his employees they must sever their affiliation with the Western Federation of Miners or be discharged. Every man quit rather than violate his obligation.
[emphasis added]
The Labor World
(Duluth, Minnesota)
-of Dec 5, 1903

Friday December 5, 1913
Southern Coalfield, Colorado - Blizzard Buries Tent Colonies, Miner Digs Own Grave

A massive blizzard has been blowing across the state of Colorado with sixty-three inches of snow reported in some areas of the state. In the strike zone, we have reports of twenty-six inches and more. Many residents of the tent colonies report that their tents collapsed around them as they slept. The work of digging themselves out from under the snow begins today.

Meanwhile, we have received troubling news from the Pryor tent colony. Andrew Colnar, a Serbian immigrant, is a striking miner who lives with his family in the Pryor tent colony. A few weeks ago, he received a letter from a friend who wanted to stop scabbing on his fellow miners. Colnar wrote back, encouraging his friend to move down to the tent colony, that he would be welcomed there. A few days later Brother Colnar was arrested. He was held overnight, then interrogated about the letter the next day by Captain Drake. Colnar reports:
He raising hell with me, and I thought he going to lick me with the gun. He was pretty cranky and mean.
Drake demanded that Colnar rewrite the letter which Colnar attempted to do:
I could not remember just what I said, but I wrote what I remembered.
At which point Drake began to rage at Colnar and called him names. Brother Colnar was taken back to a soldiers' washroom, were he was held overnight:
[A soldier] then took me back to the room where I was in the first night. He tied my hands and kept them tied all night and had a soldier with a bayonet watch me.
On November 30th, in the morning, Colnar was led out to the back of the barrack, given a pick and shovel and told to get to work, digging a hole. The area was marked out: two and a half feet wide, six feet long. He was told that he was digging a grave, his own. Soldiers passed by laughing and joking about how they should bury him, with a coffin, or with a blanket. Even a military doctor joined them in their fun.

After awhile a soldier came to speak to him in Polish, and Colnar asked him if he was, indeed, digging his own grave. The soldier answered:

Yes, that is what I came over here to tell you. You are digging your own grave, and you are going to be shot tomorrow morning.
Brother Colnar began to beg for a telephone so that he could call his wife. This request was roughly refused. He begged for pencil and paper to write her a note, also refused. He was taken back to his cell and left there alone, until, finally, he was brought once more before Captain Drake. The Captain lectured him about writing letters, warned him not to write any more, and then released Brother Colnar with a final warning that, if he did not want to be arrested again, he should:
...go home now, with your wife and children, and don't go out at all.
Blood Passion
The Ludlow Massacre and Class War
 in the American West

-by Scott Martelle
Rutgers U Press, 2008


Thursday December 5, 2013
More on the Great Colorado Blizzard of 1913:

The biggest blizzard known hit Denver a century ago, in the first days of December, 1913. The snowstorm of historic proportions swooped over Colorado and other western states, leaving a devastating crust of heavy snow 45.7 inches deep in the city.

Today, most people have experienced a big snowstorm or two, but it may be difficult to imagine how paralyzing a blizzard can be; the amount of snowfall coupled with fierce winds creates drifts that can bury livestock, farmhouses, roads, trains, streets, building entries and vehicles.

“Guard Your Coal Bin” brays a headline. “Downtown stores, hospitals, city institutions are cold today. They find themselves with a limited supply of coal on hand and are forced to be sparing in its use. Every person in Denver who has not at least a week’s supply should watch every pound of coal.”

There was further worry about poor people who could not get out of their homes to buy a few more lumps of coal.

The Denver Post Archive

Workers Song-Dropkick Murphys

We're the first ones to starve, we're the first ones to die
The first ones in line for that pie-in-the-sky
And we're always the last when the cream is shared out
For the worker is working when the fat cat's about.

                            -Ed Pickford

Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 11:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Shamrock American Kossacks, In Support of Labor and Unions, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and History for Kossacks.

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