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

Sunday July 12, 1914
From the Appeal to Reason: Mother Jones Thanks the Appeal Army:

Refugees from Ludlow in Trinidad
From the Appeal to Reason of July 11, 1914
Mother's "heavy volume of work," along with her amazing vitality was noted in yesterday's edition of the Indianapolis News in a section of that paper entitled "Women and Their Doings:"
Whether one admires or condemns the activities of Mother Jones, one is compelled to look in amazement on her vitality. Thirty-three years past the age which Osler is alleged to have fixed for extermination of the superannuated, this woman is heard of in a few weeks time at Washington trying to see the President, at New York pounding on the door of John D. Rockefeller's offices, in the northwest seeking to get into Canada, and now is reported returning to Colorado. The mere car riding in such journeys would take up the energy of almost any eighty-three year-old person, but Mary Jones accompanies it with passionate addresses, interviews and patrol wagon rides.

The Oil of Rockefeller by Ryan Walker from Appeal to Reason of May 23, 1914
By Ryan Walker
From the Appeal to Reason of May 23, 1914
Excerpts from John Reed's long article in the Metropolitan on the Colorado War are also offered in this week's Appeal to Reason which we reprint below. We highly recommend the full article to all of our readers.

John Reed on Ludlow

(A remarkable article on the Colorado war, written by John Reed, appears in the Metropolitan for July. The following extracts from Reed's article are especially interesting, now that the Camera and other plute papers are being circulated in the interest of the mine owners:)

On the morning of the 17th of October, a body of armed horsemen galloped down the Ludlow road and dismounted in a railroad cut near the colony. At the same time Felts' armored automobile appeared from the direction of Trinidad, swung around and trained its machine gun, immediately on the tents. Astonished and terrified, the strikers swarmed out, dragging their guns with them, but a a guard named Kenedy, afterward and officer in the militia, approached with a white flag, shouting:

"It's all right, boys; we're union men." And as the strikers lowered their guns, he said:

"I want to tell you something." They clustered around him to hear what he had to tell them. He cried suddenly: "What I wanted to say was that we are going to teach you red-necks a lesson!" and, lowering the white flay, he dropped on the ground. At the same time the dismounted horsemen fired a volley into the group, killing one man instantly. In a panic, the strikers poured back to the tents, across the field to a gulch where they had agreed to go in case of attack, and as they ran the machine gun opened up on them. It riddled the legs of a little boy who was running between the tents, and he fell there. The strikers immediately began to fire back, and the battle kept up from two o'clock in the afternoon until dark. Every time the wounded boy tried to drag himself in the direction of the tents, the machine gun was turned on him. He was shot not less than nine times. The tents were riddled, the furniture in them shot to pieces.

* * *
Guards Boasted of Deed.

I went to Ludlow next day [after federal troops arrived, May 1914] to see the federal troops come in and the militia leave. The tent colony, or where the tent colony had been, was a great square of ghastly ruins. Only a few were in uniform, for many of them were mine guards hastily mustered in. As the regulars left their train one militiaman said loudly, in the hearing of the militia officers: "I hope these red-necks kill a regular so they will go in and wipe out the whole bunch. We certainly done a good job on that tent colony."

* * *
"Better" Element with Strikers.

Nine out of ten business and professional men in the coal district towns are violent strike sympathizers. After Ludlow, doctors, ministers, hack-drivers, drug-store clerks and farmers joined the fighting strikers with guns in their hands. Their women organized the Federal Labor Alliance, which is to spread all over the country, even among women whose husbands are not union men, to provide food and clothing and medical attendance for workers on strike. They are the kind of people who usually form law and order leagues in times like these; who consider themselves better than laborers, and think that their interest lie with the employers. Many Trinidad shop keepers had been ruined by the strike. A very respectable little woman, the wife of a clergyman, said to me: "I don't see why they ever made a truce until they had shot every mine guard and militiaman, and blown up all the mines with dynamite."

* * *
Children Burned Alive.

Lucia Bartellotti [Bartolotti] rocked slowly backward and forward, the tears running down her cheeks; they said she had been crying steadily for a week and could not sleep. She burst out monotonously, as one recites a piece:

I can't remember nothing. I am so terrible and the shooting all the time, and me try to get down in our cellar under the tent. And then Mis' Fyler comes and says:"For God's sake, go down the well; they are gong to kill all the women and children!" When I come up again in the night, the tents burning and women and children burning alive, screaming, and I don't know what else. My husband is shot in the back when he is running away because he does not know the customs of this country; and why they should shoot at us, God knows.
* * *
Shot Down as They Ran.

I asked her how it happened.

We sleep late in the tent colony because we have no work to do, and I am just getting the children's breakfast when my husband comes saying: "They're going to attack the tent colony, and to go." I say: "Wait until I get the children's breakfast." "Never mind," he says, "get down cellar." Bed not made. Breakfast burning on stove. But there is no time. We pull the bed outside and go down under the floor, and just then all the bullets in the world come through the tent and break the oatmeal pot on the stove and the oat meal run all over and get burned, and smash the mirror on my bureau. Then Mis' Fyler come and I start. I got seven children-my God, it's hard to make them go!-and they shot us while we run and shoot through my dress. I try to say good-by to my man, and I can't see him because he is gong the other way so the melish will shoot him and not shoot us. There are two shot men in that well and they bleed...
* * *
Called Woman "God Damn Red Neck."

Maria Czekovitch dragged her little girl up to be interpreter:

My man was killed at Tabasco mine two months before the strike, and the company pay me $20 to buy a coffin with, and then throws me out because they do not want me. I go to Ludlow tents and take boarders there. I am very rich woman because I have no children. In two years I save $125 and I have my husband's two suits of clothes and his watch which cost $30 in Denver. I am lying in the pit in my tent when the militia comes in the evening after the shooting all day, and they smash open my trunk and take my husband's clothes and watch, and militiaman puts his hand in my breast and takes out my money and puts it into his pocket and hits me with the butt of his gun and says: "I don't care whether you get burned or not, you God damn red neck."
* * *
Rockefeller Approves It All.

I want to add one significant fact for the benefit of those who think that Mr. Rockefeller and the coal operators are innocent, though misguided. At the triumphant conclusion of the legislative session, it is said that Mrs. Welborn, wife of the president of the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company, told her friends of the "lovely telegram" her husband had received from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. It read according to Mrs. Welborn:

Hearty congratulations on the winning of the strike. I sincerely approve of all your actions, and commend the splendid work of the legislature.
[emphasis added]
Metropolitan Magazine of July 1914, John Reed in Corona Typewriter Ad
From the Metropolitan Magazine
-of July 1914
Appeal to Reason
(Girard, Kansas)
-of July 11, 1914

The Indianapolis News
(Indianapolis, Indiana)
-of July 11, 1914

See also:
From the July 1914 Metropolitan,
 articles by John Reed:
"The Colorado War," page 11
"With Villa on the March," page 23

1). Ludlow Refugees in Trinidad
-from International Socialist Review June 1914
(search with "Class War in Colorado")
2). Mother Jones Thanks Appeal Army
3). Oil of Rockefeller by Ryan Walker
4). John Reed in Corona Typewriter Ad


WE NEVER FORGET: Giovanitti Bartolotti
"The lessons of the past were all learned with worker's blood."


Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by WE NEVER FORGET, Shamrock American Kossacks, In Support of Labor and Unions, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and History for Kossacks.

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