ADDRESS OF ALBERT R. PARSONS.
fraud upon the face of it, no matter under what name it is called, or what flag
floats over it; whether it be a republic or a monarchy, or an empire," said
ihe speaker. The American flag protects as much economic despotism as
any other flag on the face of the earth today to the ratio of population. This
being the case, of what does the boasted freedom of the American working-
men consist? Our fathers used to sing,
* Come aloug, come along; make no delay;
Come from every nation, come from every way;
Come along, come along; don't be alarmed—
Uncle Sam is rich enough to give us all a farm.'
The stars and stripes in those days floated upon every water as the emblem
of the free, but today it obeys only the command, and has become the ensign
of monopoly and of corporations, of those who grind the faces of the poor and
rob and enslave the laborer. Could Russia do more than drill in its streets to
kill the people? But alas! Americans creep and crawl at the foot of wealth
and adore the golden calf. Can a man amass millions without despoiling the
labor of others? We all know he cannot. American workingmen seem to be
degenerating. They do not seem to understand wThat liberty and freedom
really consist of. They shout themselves hoarse on election day—for what?
For the miserable privilege of choosing their master; which man shall be
their boss and rule over them; for the privilege of choosing just who are the
bosses and who shall govern them. Great privilege! These Americans—
sovereigns—millions of them do not know where they could get a bed or a
supper. Your ballot—what is it good for? Can a man vote himself bread, or
clothes, or shelter, or work? In what does American wage slaves' freedom
consist? The poor are the slaves of the rich everywhere. The ballot is
neither a protection against hunger nor against the bullets of the military.
Bread is freedom; freedom bread. The ballot is no protection against the
bullets of those who are practicing the street-riot drills in Chicago. The ballot is worthless to the industrial slave under these conditions. The palaces of
the rich overshadow the homes or huts of the poor, and we say with Victor
Hugo, that the paradise of the rich is mrfde out of the hells of the poor. The
whole force of the organized power of the government is thrown against the
workers, whom the so-called better class denominates a mob. Now, when the
workers of America refuse to starve according to law and order, and when
they begin to think and act, why, the street drill begins. The enslavers of
labor see the coming storm. They are determined, cost what it may, to drill
these people and make them their slaves by holding in their possession the
means of life as their property, and thus enslave the producers. Workingmen
—we mean women, too,—arise! Prepare to make and determine successfully
to establish the right to live and partake of the bounties to which all are
equally entitled. Agitate, organize, prepare to defend your life, your liberty,
your happiness against the murderers who are practicing the street-riot drill
on Thanksgiving day.
11 'Tis the shame of the land that the earnings of toil,
Should gorge the god Mammon, the tyrant, the spoiler,
Every foot has a logical right to the soil,
And the product of toil is the meed of the toiler.