Monday, March 05, 2012

Today -100: March 5, 1912: Well, he was pretty young to be stabbed

The House Rules Committee hears witnesses from Lawrence, Mass. about the conditions in the mill town that led to the current strike, which has been going on for seven weeks. The witnesses included 13 children, who testified about police beatings of women and children during the strike. Rep. Thomas Hardwick (D-Georgia) demanded that one witness, Samuel Lipsom, an immigrant from... somewhere... provide names of victims of police violence. Lipsom said that a Syrian boy had been stabbed. “Is that boy here?” “He’s stabbed – dead – to death. He was running away when the soldier stabbed him.” “How old was he?” “He was 16 to 20 years old.” “Then he wasn’t a child?” “Well, he was pretty young to be stabbed.”

The office of Massachusetts Governor Foss responds to a NYT inquiry about this testimony and admits that the not-child was killed by a bayonet stab; he was “in a mob which refused to disperse.” The reply blamed the violence against women on the strikers, who put them in the front. It says that some of the strikers have “slapped the soldiers in the face and thrown pepper in their eyes” and that the soldiers have not used undue force or clubbed any women or children.

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