ADDRESS OF ALBERT R. PARSONS.
Verein should assemble in the park with arms. After Engel said this, a
committee was appointed to watch the movements in the city and report to us
if a riot should occur.
Now then, take into consideration this language. Just consider the situation. Look at the attitude of these capitalist papers for years toward the
workingmen; and not only that, but the actual use of these armed hirelings
at East St. Louis, at Saginaw, at Pittsburg, all over the country, and at McCormick's the day before. Look at the condition of affairs, and I ask you if
these men were not justified in making some preparation by which they could
defend themselves, because there is no proposition here to assault anybody.
There is no proposition here to make war upon anybody, either their persons
or their property:
Q. "Now, was anything said about having a meeting of workingmen the
A. "Yes, sir; I proposed that a meeting should be held the next afternoon, but that was rejected. It was decided to have a meeting in the evening, as more could come then."
(}. "Who proposed calling a meeting in the evening?"
A. "Fischer. He proposed having one at the Haymarket and it was
finally resolved to call one at 8 o'clock."
Q. "Was anything said as to what should be done at that meeting?"
A. "It was intended to cheer up the workmen bo that if anything should
happen they should be prepared for a conflict. It was decided to call this
meeting by means of hand bills. The getting up of this was intrusted to
Fischer, but he did not say where they should be printed. It was decided
that as a body we should not participate in the Haymarket meeting, but
should meet at halls. While only a committee should be at the Haymarket,
if the committee reported that something happened, we should attack the
police where it was arranged for each group to do so; if necessary, in addition to the police, we would attack the militia and fire department."
Now, then, in the first part of this it says that in the case of the police
coming upon the strikers, shooting the strikers down, destroying therri interfering with the people, interfering unlawfully, interfering with the right of
the people to assemble, interfering with the right of the people to express
their views, mark you, it was said in such a contingency they would defend
themselves. Now, these men here upon the stand, Schroeder and Waller who
were giving the testimony, used the word "attack." When it was tran8lated
"attack," you must not take that as a literal meaning of these men. It was
defense. They meant by this word defense. If it had been literally translated as these men meant it, and as the spirit of the testimony shows, the
word would not have been "attack," but would have been defense. In every
instance the whole preparation and proof about it shows that it was for defense. What could they attack? What can a handful of men attack? There
was only a handful of men there at best. What can they attack? Who can
they attack? What could they capture? What could they take? Wouldn't
it be ridiculous for them to undertake to attack the city of Chicago, to attack
the authorities, to undertake to seize the city? Why, that would be none-
senee. It would be ridiculous. Upon the very face of it, it is an absurdity.