Ailciirt^?* of Oscar rWet>€*,
Your Honor: I have found out during the last few days what law is.
Before I didn't know. I did not know before that I was convicted because I
knew Spies and Fielden and Parsons. I have met these gentlemen. I have
presided in a mass meeting, as the evidence against ine shows, held in the
Turner Hall, at which meeting your honor was invited to appear. The judges,
the preachers, the newspaper men, and everybody, in fact, were invited to appear at that meeting for the purpose of discussing Anarchism and Socialism.
I was at that hall. I am well known among the workingmen of this city, and
I was elected chairman of that meeting. None of the representatives of the
capitalistic system came forward to speak, to discuss the questions of labor
and Anarchism or Socialism with laboring men. No; they couldn't stand it.
I was chairman of that meeting. 1 don't deny it.
I also on one occasion had the honor to be marshal of a labor demonstration in this city, and I never saw a more respectable lot of men than on that
day. They marched like soldiers, and 1 am proud that I was marshal of those
men. They wTere the toilers and the workingmen of this city. The men
marched through the streets to protest against the wrongs of society, and I
was marshal of them. If that is a crime, then I have found out, as a native,
free-born American, of what I have been guilty. I always supposed I had a
right to express my opinion as the chairman of a peaceable meeting, and to
be marshal of a labor demonstration. Was it a crime to be marshal of that
demonstration? I am convicted for that.
On the morning of the 5th of May, your honor, on the road to my business, I heard that August Spies and Michael Schwab were arrested. I was in
the yeast business. I peddled my yeast through the southern part of the city.
I was informed that they were arrested. That was the first time I learned
that there had been a mass-meeting held at the Haymarket the day before.
After I was done with my business and drove home, 1 stopped at the ArbeiU r-
Zeitung to see what was going on, and I met there Mrs. Parsons and Mrs.
Holmes and a couple of boyB of the Arbeiter-Zeitung. They explained to me
that the men were arrested. Just as I was going to speak rb Mrs. Parsons
about it, up rushed a lot of pirates, called detectives of Chicago; men—you
could see the rum and ignorance in their faces—mostly picked up from among
the ruffians of the streets of Chicago. I never saw a rougher set. Well, I don't
wish to make any further remarks about these honorable pirates. Mayor Harrison was with these pirates. He came in and he says: " Who is the manager
of this paper here?" The two boys couldn't speak English, and I knew Harrison, so I said : " Harrison, what is it? " " Well," he says, " I want to have
this thing stopped. There won't be any more inflammable articles allowed in
this paper." Said I: "Mr. Harrison, T will sit here and read the articles,
and see that there won't be anything inflammatory in this day's issue." Our
compositors were not arrested at that time. So Harrison said to me, " I will
go to the house and Bend Mr. Hand over here." I knew him, and both of us