Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial evidence book. People's Exhibit 52.
The Alarm (Newspaper) article, "Our Vampires," 1885 May 2

4 p.
Introduced Vol. K p. 646, 1886 July 29.
Transcript of article.


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THE ALARM, May 2nd, 1885.

"Our Uampires"

At the conclusion of Mr. Fielden's speech A. R. Parsons spoke briefly. He said substantially: At five oclock this morning over one hundred thousand men, women and children wage-workers in the City of Chicago, awoke from their lowly beds and hastily partaking of their frugal morning meal, could be seen in thousands swarming their way to the factories, workshops and other places of labor where they gave from ten to 12 or 14 or 16 hours hard work for a sum barely enough to keep themselves from actual want. Twenty thousand able bodied men tramp the streets of this city, vainly searching for employment, with compulsory idleness, enforced poverty, and the misery resolving therefrom. To-night the property class---the robbers of labor's product---were engaged in dedicating a temple to the God of Mammon, a temple which was to be devoted exclusively to the plunder and destruction of the people. We have assembled as anarchists and communists to enter our solemn protests against the methods and practice of the existing society, which is founded upon the expoliation of his fellow man. We are here to declare in tones that may be heard within the banquet halls of this board of thieves, who, like Belschazzar, may read the hand-writing on the walls of their temple "weighed in the balance and found wanting." (Applause).


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What is the Board of Trade? What is it but an institution devoted exclusively to the work of making the food of the people both dear and scarce. It is an establishment dedicated to the chicanery of legalized theft, and the people are its victims. It is the business of the Board of Trade to "run corners" and force up or down the markets; compelling the farmer who produces to sell at a price which does not remunerate him for his labor, and then compels the working class of the industrial centers, who are the principal consumers of the country, to buy at advanced prices. Their sword is two-edged; it cuts down the consumer and the producer, and levies a tribute from both which goes to make up the splendor and magnificence that this banquet represents. The people of the whole northwest pour their wealth into this gambling hell, where these social vampires and pharasites have assembled to-night. There is not a stone of the building which has not been carved out of the flesh and blood of labor and cemented by the sweat and tears of the women and children of toil. These are the men whose practices send our little ones supperless to bed, and bring wretchedness and woe where peace and plenty should prevail. When the corner stone of this Board of Trade was laid amid great pomp and ceremony last year, a devout, pious man named Richard Cheney was there to bless and baptise it. (Derisive laughter). What a truthful follower that man be of the tramp


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Nazarine, Jesus, that son of a carpenter, who had not where to lay his head, and who scourged the profit mongers of the Board of Trade from the temple of Jerusalem and denounced them as a gang of thieves and a gang of vipers? (Cheers). Another pius fraud is to take part in the present ceremony; that eminent divine, the Rev. Clinton Locke. (Cries of "shot him," "lock him up". and laughter.) Let us not be foolish. Let us not be deceived about these grave matters any longer. Have we the right to live? (Voices "yes" and "no"). Do we want to possess and enjoy our natural rights? ("Yes"). If we do then we must take the necessary steps to acquire and maintain them.

Is not our natural right to life, liberty and happiness the equal to anyone else? But we have yet to acquire these so inalienable rights. The present social system makes private property of the means of labor and the resources of life---capital---and thereby creates classes and inequalities, conferring upon the holders of property the power to live upon the labor product of the propertyless. Whoever owns our bread owns our ballots, for a man who must sell his labor or starve must sell his vote when the same alternative is presented. The inequalities of our social system, its classes, its priveleges, its enforced poverty and misery, arises out of the institution of private property, and so long as this system prevails our wives and children will be driven to toil, while our fathers and brothers are thrown into enforced idleness, and the men of the Board of Trade, and all other profit mongers and legalized gamblers


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who live by fleecing the people will continue to accumulate millions at the expense of their helpless victims. This grand conspiracy against our liberty and lives is maintained and upheld by statute law and the constitution and enforced by the military arms of the state. If we would achieve our liberation from economic bondage and acquire our natural right to life and liberty, every man must lay by a part of his wages, buy a Colt's navy revolver, (cheers) and ("that's what we want") a Winchester rifle, (a voice, "and ten pounds of dynamite. We will make it ourselves"), and learn how to make and to use dynamite. (Cheers). Then raise the flag of rebellion, (cries of "brave" and cheers), the scarlet banner of liberty, fraternity, equality, and strike down to the earth every tyrant that lives upon this globe. (Cheers, and cries of "Vive la Commune.") Tyrants have no right which we should respect. Until this is done you will continue to be robbed, to be plundered, to be at the mercy of the priveleged few., therefore agitate for the purpose of organization, organize for the purpose of rebellion, for wage-slaves have nothing to lose but their chains, they have a world of freedom and happiness to win. (Cheers).


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