Saturday, July 15, 2017

Today -100: July 15, 1917: I would not endanger the lives of loyal American citizens in attempting to protect the I.W.Ws


The new German chancellor is Georg Michaelis, described by the NYT as “a bureaucrat of the old type.” He was the Prussian under-secretary of finance and the German food commissioner. And no “von” in his name; he’s the first commoner to hold the office. Other than that, the only interesting thing about him is that he spent several years in Japan. The ouster of Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg is being blamed by many on Crown Prince Wilhelm, who never liked him, but it’s really more like a right-wing coup against the prospect of the “parliamentization” of the Reichstag, i.e., making the German government responsible to the elected Reichstag rather than the crown, as the majority in the Reichstag becomes increasingly critical of the war, the way it’s being waged, and the lack of stated war aims. Kaiser Wilhelm did not bother consulting with any member of the Reichstag before appointing Michaelis.

The IWW men and other Bisbee deportees say they won’t return to Bisbee unless accompanied by US soldiers. Evidently they actually believe the US government will support their right not to be kidnapped from their homes and deported. Spoiler Alert: It won’t. Sheriff Harry Wheeler, replying to Arizona Gov. Campbell’s request for an explanation of his actions, says “I can protect law abiding and peaceful citizens, but I cannot guarantee the technical rights of lawbreakers and criminals. I would not endanger the lives of loyal American citizens in attempting to protect the I.W.Ws.”

American-born lead miners in St. Francois County, Missouri force foreign miners out of the area at gunpoint. The Western Federation of Miners blames the IWW, but it would.

16 suffragist picketers are arrested at the White House, celebrating Bastille Day with banners reading “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.”


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