ADDRESS OF ALBERT R. PARSONS.
Now, I have not been able to gather together and put in a consecutive
shape these thoughts which I wish to present here for your consideration.
They have been put together hurriedly in the last few days", since we began to
come in here, first, because I did not know what you would do, nor what the
position^, your honor would be in the case, and secondly, because I did not
know upon what ground the conclusion of the prosecution would be made
denying oajthe right of a rehearing; and, therefore, if the method of the presentation ofjthis matter be somewhat disconnected and disjointed, it may be
ascribed to that fact, over which I have had no control.
I maintain that our execution, as the matter stands jast now, would be a
judicial murder, rank and foul, and judicial murder is far more infamous than
lynch law—far worse. Bear in mind, please, this trial was conducted by a
mob,"prosecuted by a mob, by the shrieks and howls of a mob, an organized,
powerful: mob. But that trial is now over. You sit here judicially, calmly'
quietly, and it is now for yc^u to look at this thing from the standpoint of reason
and;' common sense. There is one peculiarity about the case that I want to
call yourjattention to. It was the manner and the method of its prosecution!
On the one side, the attorneys for the prosecution conducted this case from
the standpoint of capitalists as against the laborers. On the other side the
attorneys for the defense conducted this case as a defense against murder^ not
for laborers and not against capitalists. The prosecution in this case throughout has been a capitalistic prosecution, inspired by the instinct of capitalism
and I mean by that, by class feelings, by a dictatorial right to rule, and a denial
to common people the right to eay anything or have anything to say to these
men, by that] class of persons who think that working people have but one
right and.one duty to perform, viz., obedience. They conducted this trial
from that^standpoinfc throughout, and, as was very truthfully stated by my
comrade Fielden, we were prosecuted ostensibly for murder, until, near the
end of the trial, when all at once the jury is commanded, yea, commanded to
render a verdict against us as Anarchists. Your honor, you are aware of this •
you ;know this to be the truth; you sat and heard it all. I will not make a
statement but what will be in accord with the facts, and what 1 do say is said
for the purpose of refreshing your memory and asking you to look at both
sides of this matter and view it from the standpoint of reason and common
Now, the money makers, the business men, those people who deal in
stocks and bonds, the speculators and employers, all that claBS of men known
as the money making class, have no conception of this labor question • they
don't understand what it means. To use the street parlance, with many of
them it is a difficult matter to " catch onto" it, and they are perverse also-
they will not have knowledge of it. They don't want to know anything about
it, and they won't hear anything about it, and they propose to club, lock up
and, if necessary, strangle those who insist on their hearing this question Can
it any longer be denied that there is such a thing as the labor question?
I am an Anarchist. Now strike ! But hear me before you strike What
is Socialism, or Anarchism? Briefly stated, it is the right of the toiler to the
free and equal use of the tools of production, and the right of the producers to
their product. That is Socialism. The history of mankind is one of growth