Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial evidence book. People's Exhibit 63A.
Arbeiter-Zeitung (Newspaper), "Bravely Forward," 1886 May 1

4 p.
Introduced into evidence during testimony of Eugene Seeger (Vol. I p. 500-505), 1886 July 20.
Transcript of translation of article.


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May 1st.

Arbeiter Zeitung (Local Columns).

Bravely Forward!

The conflict has begun.

An Army of wage laborers are idle.

Capital is concealing its tiger paws behind the ramparts of order.

Workmen; Let your watchword be:

No Compromise!

Cowards, to the rear! Men, to the front!

The die is cast. The 1st of May, 1886 has come, the historical significance of which will be understood and appreciated only in later years. The working people of the United States have been whining for twenty years to the legislators and extortioners to introduce the eight hour system. But they succeeded in putting off the timid beggar with empty promises, and thus one year after the other has passed by. Finally, two years ago the representatives of a number of labor organizations made bold to frame a resolution to this end. The resolution read as follows: "The eight hour system shall be introduced in the United States on the first day of May, 1886." "That is a reasonable demand," wrote the press, cried the professional deceivers of the people,


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clamored the robbers. The insolent socialists who wanted everything, and would not be satisfied with reasonable demands like this were roundly abused.

So it went on. The question was agitated, and everybody was in favor of shortening the working hours. But as the day approached, when the plan was at last to be realized, a strange change of tone was perceptible on the part of the extortioners and journalistic priest-craft. That which formerly in theory had been modest and reasonable, suddenly became insolent and unreasonable. That which was formerly hailed as standing in commendable contrast to socialism and anarchy, was all at once transformed into criminal anarchy itself. The devil's hoof of these plundering imps of hell became visible. These imps had only struck up this eight hour hymn in order to lull to sleep their dunces, the workmen, to put them off, and in this manner to keep them from socialism.

That the workmen would energetically begin to introduce the eight hour system did not at once enter the minds of those confidence men, that the workmen would develope such a power, they did not even dream of. In short, to day when the object of their long struggle was to be realized, when the extortioners are reminded of their convenants and promises,


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one excuse after another is trumped up. It is urged the workmen might indeed be contented, and put entire confidence in their plunderers. The workmen are once more to be put off with promise for the future. Workman, haven't you had your wits sufficiently sharpened by the experience through which you have passed to see through the game which they are playing with you? If not, you are past redemption. In this regard, we have no fears about the mass of laborers who feel what what they stand in need of,, even if they do not understand it. We are more anxious about the rascally trimmers, who by the smoothness of their treacherous tongues have succeeded in placing themselves by fraud at the head of the labor unions, and who now in the critical moment sound the signal for retreat. These miserable creatures are more despicable than we can find words to express. Workmen, don't listen to them. Proscribe them as traitors and cowards. Who can say, whether these scamps have not been lavishly rewarded for giving this signal for retreat? When so much is at stake as at present, the thieves are very liberal.

Workmen, insist upon sight hours and not a minute more. What you do in regard to wages is your own affair, you alone are the judges of that and if George Schilling and confederates declare that they are the ones to fix your wages, then sit down on those scallawags.

To all appearances it will not pass off smoothly. Many


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of the extortioners, yes, most of them, are determined to bring back to "reason," that is, to servitude, the laboring men who will not yield to their dictation, by means of starvation. It is simply a question whether the workmen are willing to permit to be starved to death slowly, or whether they prefer to impart to their would-be murdered an appreciation of modern views. We hope they will do the latter.


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