Thursday, July 13, 2017

Today -100: July 13, 1917: They cannot mine copper with machine guns or dig it with bayonets

Headline of the Day -100:

This is the Bisbee Deportation. “Vigilantes,” many of them employees of Phelps-Dodge and other owners of striking copper mines in Bisbee and sworn in by Cochise Country Sheriff Harry Wheeler, with machine guns mounted on automobiles, round up 1,200 IWW members, strikers, and anyone else who doesn’t answer questions to their satisfaction (such as, Are you willing to work?), and put them on cattle cars belonging to the El Paso & Southwestern Railroad, which shares directors with Phelps-Dodge. Oh, and about those cattle cars: many still had cow shit in them, not all of them were supplied with water, much less potable water, in Arizona in the summer, over 110 . Enjoy your breakfast! The cars arrive in Columbus, New Mexico (note: across state lines), whose authorities refuse to take charge of the kidnapped men. So the train starts again and dumps them in the middle of the desert. IWW Secretary-Treasurer Big Bill Haywood rejects the story spread by the mine-owners that the IWW campaign is backed by German money and says “the deportations will not affect the general situation. They cannot mine copper with machine guns or dig it with bayonets.”

German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg and his cabinet quit. It seems they were responsible to the Reichstag after all, despite theoretically only answering to the crown, their position having become untenable when the left and center parties join to threaten to refuse to vote war credits unless the government sets out its war aims. Meanwhile, Kaiser Wilhelm offers the possibility of equal suffrage in Prussia. Clearly a desperation move, but as it happens one he can do himself by decree, as opposed to reforming the German Reichstag.

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