ADDRESS OF ALBERT R. PARSONS.
not think that we stand alone. Some are crying out in more desperate tones
than otheis, but all in tones that it will not do for any government, much less
a government—a pretended government—of the people—to disregard.
Now, in this state of things a murder is committed by some one. Not by
us, nor by any of us but by some one as yet unknown. We are confessed by
the chief agent in procuring our conviction to be innocent, and have had
abundant proof of our innocence, or if we had been permitted to do so we
could have proved ourselves innocent "a thousand times over," says Captain
Schaack. But the government which, in the opinion of the despairing millions, whose woes and whose miseries we voice here today—the government is'
responsible for their wrongs, but tbe government does not brook any forcible
resistance by even so much as a single man. It regards this single man as a
torch that may explode vast numbers of others. It, therefore, demands not
only a victim, but victims. Victims they must have, whether they be innocent or whether they be guilty. The innocent will answTer for examples as
well as the guilty. "Away with them! Victims are what we want," say monopoly and corporations. So, being unable to discover the guilty man, the
machinery is set to work to convict seven innocent men in his stead.
Your honor, there has been a great deal said in the trial of this case about
the " Board of Trade demonstration," and the red and black flags.
In your refusal to grant us a new trial you allege as one of the reasons
why Oscar Neebe should be sent to the penitentiary for fifteen years that
he presided at mass meetings of workingmen and organized several Trades
Unions. You say:
"As to Neebe's part, there is the evidence of witnesses that he presided
at meetings called by the class of people from whom this combination was
drawn, and that he called meetings of the people who were engaged in the
movement. There is evidence that he marched in the Board of Trade procession, the object of which was said to be the demolition of that building."
Now, sir, do you hold it to be a crime for a man to organize the working
people to defend themselves against "rifle diet, police clubs, strychnine,"
etc., or to preside at mass meetings of workingmen? You say that the object
of the Board of Trade demonstration Was " the demolition of the building."
Who told you so? Where did you get your information? There is no evidence before this court to that effect. Not a particle. You say that our purpose was "to sack the Board of Trade." Ridiculous 1 Where did your honor
get such an idea from? There is no testimony heie to that effect. What
right has your honor to assume what our motives were to charge us with
intentions contrary to the proof? Now, sir, I deny it. It is not true.
Your honor, you say, in overruling our motion for a new trial, that our
purpose was " the demolition of the building," to " sack it " Where is the
proof? The article I have just read giving an account of the demonstration
says it was intended as a protest against the practices of these monopolists;
that was all. It was intended as a manifestation of the working peoi le'e discontent with the existing order of things; a protest against the pra 3 of
the class which the Board of Trade represents. Now, sir, is this th. d of
testimony upon which you intend to deprive us of our lives and 1 Is
this the great crime for which we must suffer death? Because we have held