Thursday, February 20, 2014

Editorial: Rockefeller's roast. (1914)

Editorial from the July 1914 issue of the Socialist Standard

For six months past the miners employed by the Rockefeller interests in Colorado have been out on strike against the truck system, and for the right to live where they pleased, and to be attended by their own doctors.

Starvation and misery, together with much brutality on the part of thugs, were endured stoically by the strikers, but they were eventually turned out of their "homes," owned by the Rockefeller Mining Company, and forced to erect tent colonies in the wilds.

Rockefeller was appealed to by the Miners' leaders to go to arbitration, but he was adamant against any alteration in the status quo.

Eventually one million dollars were voted for a Special State Militia, to be used against the miners; and according to the evidence of a Captain Carson, a large percentage of the "militia" were also hirelings of the Mining Company.

Machine guns were brought into play, and to make things look black against the miners, arms and ammunition were hidden in the vicinity of the latters' tents.

At the end of April there took place one of the bloodiest events in the annals of industrial warfare. The forces of "Law and Order," not content with allowing militia men to outrage the workers' daughters and beat all the workers they could find, were determined to wipe the strikers out of existence.

The Gatling guns were trained right on to the tents in Ludlow City whilst the women and children were asleep in bed. Explosive bullets were used and other means of civilised effort. The horrors of that day are almost indescribable, but the plain fact is that, with the dead and dying hopelessly intermingled, the soldiers made paper torches, dipped them in Standard Oil, and set light to all the tents.

A hundred men, women and children at least were either murdered by gun, suffocated by smoke, or literally burned to death.

The story of the charred bodies of a score of little mites is awful reading indeed, as is also the news that dozens of women in the Tent City were expectant mothers, one woman actually giving birth to a child whilst the conflict was raging.

The Coroner's Jury have "found" that the responsibility for the murder rests with the State Militia, but, of course, no further action has been taken.

These are the barest facts indeed in the callous murder of our fellow-workers in the land of the Almighty Dollar. It shows the most dull-witted worker how similar is the conduct of the class war by the masters all the world over. It vividly recalls the slaughter of the miners in the Lena Goldfields to mention one instance.

Rockefeller jun., before the Congressional Committee in New York, declared that his father owned 40 per cent. of the stock but took no part in the working—only in the plunder. He said that they had too many interests to know what went on, but if the miners attempted to restrict the Company's liberty they would shut down every mine in Colorado.

Such is the policy of No Compromise preached by the masters. Stop our liberty to roast some of the worker's children alive and we will starve the rest.

Rockefeller virtually owns the Cavalry Baptist Church in New York, and there were many demonstrators against him there. But here again armed force was used to brutally illtreat the defenders of "the lambs of God."

Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the friends of our murdered fellows in Colorado. We urge upon them to learn well the blood-sealed lesson of class hatred taught them by the masters; let the toilers of America steep themselves in a knowledge of the class war, and act always with that for their guide. No Compromise; No Quarter, politically and economically, must be the burden of their song. Thus only will vengeance for the vampires' victims be secured.

Further Reading:
Witness at Ludlow by Sam Orner