‘Coast to Coast’ by William D. Haywood from Industrial Worker. Vol. 4 No. 48. February 20, 1913.

‘Coast to Coast’ by William D. Haywood from Industrial Worker. Vol. 4 No. 48. February 20, 1913.

Under direction of the Agitational Bureau of the Industrial Workers of the World the trip was made from coast to coast.

The week previous to leaving New York was a busy one. Took part in an Aldamas protest meeting. Spoke at Harlem Casino hall at the meeting arranged to greet Ettor and Giovannatti by the Seventh Ward Branch of the Socialist Party. The echoes of that meeting are still heard throughout the land. Had a splendid eight-hour meeting at Peterson. N.J., under the auspices of the I.W.W.

The night of leaving New York, westbound, I was privileged to address a magnificent audience in Carnegie Hall in behalf of the Little Falls strikers and Alexander Aldamas. The appeal resulted in a collection or $200. The splendid reception received at that meeting will long be remembered.

A night ride landed me in Pittsburg to speak in the Lyceum theater to a packed house. The feature of this meeting, which was arranged by the I.W.W. district council, was the part taken by the striking railroad men of the steel plant at Braddock. The collection of $180 covered all expenses and left a balance for the organizing fund. Next day had a small meeting at Canton, Ohio.

Pittsburgh’s Lyceum Theatre.

Another long jump and I reached Chicago with 1000 miles already covered. Held a good meeting at Pullman, the scene of the great A.R.U. battle. The following day had a fine crowd in Hodcarriers’ Hall, St. John acting as chairman at both meetings, which were marked by good sales of literature.

Peoria, III., was the next town en route. Here we have no local, but a few live wires managed a very good little meeting.

St. Louis fellow workers had unusual difficulties to overcome. They had secured Aschenbrodel Hall, extensive advertising had been done, when at the eleventh hour the board of trustees got the bug that the I.W.W. and the speaker was “undesirable.” On short notice the Symphony Hall was secured and a fairly good meeting held In spite of our saffron hued opponents.

Another town without a local where a good meeting was held was Wichita, Kansas, and the next day I arrived at Denver, Col., home to spend the holidays with my family. While there I spoke for the Socialist Party in Normal Hall, which was crowded to capacity.

After a brief rest. with 2000 miles made, I started for Salt Lake City, where we held a most successful meeting In Unity Hall. The I.W.W. locals of Zion have permanent headquarters and some live ones.

Left for San Bernardino. Cal., eight hours late. The sabotage of the striking shopmen made schedule time an Impossibility. The dynamo on the Los Angeles Limited was disabled. There was no electricity, so candles were used during the night. When we arrived at Yuma, Arizona, the engine was out of commission. With the spirit manifest among workers on the Harriman System it is safe to say that with I.W.W. solidarity a complete victory could be won in a very few days.

Reached San Bernardino on the crippled train 13 hours behind time, too late for the meeting, disappointing the large crowd that had assembled. Went on through to Los Angeles.

Next night. January 9, spoke at San Pedro. Here the Sailors’ Union refused the use of their hall and the Socialist Party held a dance. The Eagles’ Hall was secured and we had a good meeting. The many sailors that attended went away with a decided opinion of the need of One Big Union. The officials cannot much longer keep the workers divided.

At Los Angeles the Labor Council refused the use of the Labor Temple. I talked about the matter later with Antone Johannsen, who had just a short time before been denied Cooper Union Hall In New York, and in good natured raillery told “Jo” that the I.W.W. would be moving Into the Labor Temple in less than three years. For the meeting at Los Angeles the I.W.W. was forced to pay $250 for the Shrine Auditorium. The Traction Company guaranteed two minute service that lengthened into 20 and 25 minutes between cars. In spite or this combination of sabotage the I.W.W. had a banner meeting of over 2000. Jack Whyte, just released from the San Diego Jail, was chairman. In Los Angeles more commodious quarters have been leased and the locals are growing in fine shape.

Having negotiated the distance of 3400 miles, crossing the continent from coast to coast and making few stops. I now went back into Arizona to fill a few dates hurriedly arranged by Fellow Worker Charles Clinton. The first was Bisbee, the great copper camp. Here we experienced a new trick of the bosses. For years Bisbee miners had not worked on Sunday and it was expected that both shifts would attend the meeting, but to the surprise of every one orders were issued for the men to work on Sunday. The result was a comparatively small meeting. Miami was better. A small local of vigorous ones undertook the arrangements. The Pern Theater was crowded to the doors. Having a day to spare a snap meeting was called at Globe. The little meeting held there in the Miners’ Union hall revived interest in the One Big Union idea.

Bisbee, Arizona in 1910.

From Globe to Phoenix it a wonderful auto ride over the government road, passing the marvelous engineering project—the Roosevelt dam. Little or no skilled labor was required in building this great structure, as it is chiefly of concrete. Mexican laborers were largely employed. All these are eligible for membership in the I.W.W. Mexicans form a considerable part of the locals In Arizona, Had a fine meeting in Phoenix.

Miami, Arizona.

In all these Southern points the I.W.W. hat headquarters, some locals providing a place to sleep and “jungle up.” I learned while in Arizona that a constitutional amendment was pending to prohibit the employment of persons underground unless they can read, write and speak English. This, of course, it directed chiefly against the Mexicans.

From Phoenix I went back into California. The Oakland meeting was very good, considering the opposition. Also have had good reports from Palo Alto and Point Richmond.

San Francisco’s Dreamland.

The San Francisco meeting was all to the “unalloyed good.” Through Fremont Older, the “convicts’ friend,” Dreamland Rink was had free gratis. It was the biggest meeting on the trip. Every mention of the I.W.W., or One Big Union, was cheered to the echo. The second night following I spoke at the same place under the auspices of the International Defense League in behalf of the Little Falls victims and the striking Merryvllle lumber workers.

Portland, Ore., was one of the very best meetings. Here the locals have a foot press and the way they turned out advertising matter caused thousands to flock to the Gipsy Smith Auditorium where the meeting was held.

Tacoma had a fine meeting in Eagles’ Hall. The inhuman warfare of the lumber barons has but strengthened the determination of the lumberjack to build up the I.W.W. until every lumber camp Is organized.

At South Bend the mill owners were on the job. The mills at Raymond were run overtime, but still we had a good meeting.

Everett, Wash., got out over 500 people, which Is pretty good for a slow town.

Seattle’s Dreamland.

A downpour of rain was perhaps the only thing that kept the great Dreamland Rink at Seattle from overflowing. It was a grand crowd that listened to the message of the Industrial Workers of the World. The Merryville strikers were gladdened by a collection of $92. and more than $40 worth of literature was sold at this meeting. The multitude sang the Red Flag and with lusty cheers for the I.W.W. the meeting closed.

The initial trip under the Industrial Union Agitation Bureau of the I.W.W., while not In all Instances a financial success, has been the means of carrying to thousands of workers the I.W.W. message. Hundreds of dollars worth of literature have been sold and thirteen week subscription cards are pouring into the offices of the Industrial Worker and Solidarity.

At all places preparations are being made to continue the work for the other speakers to be routed by the bureau.

In all of the great territory covered by this trip of several thousand miles there are hopeful signs of a tremendous growth of the I.W.W. in the near future.

The Industrial Union Bulletin, and the Industrial Worker were newspapers published by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) from 1907 until 1913. First printed in Joliet, Illinois, IUB incorporated The Voice of Labor, the newspaper of the American Labor Union which had joined the IWW, and another IWW affiliate, International Metal Worker.The Trautmann-DeLeon faction issued its weekly from March 1907. Soon after, De Leon would be expelled and Trautmann would continue IUB until March 1909. It was edited by A. S. Edwards. 1909, production moved to Spokane, Washington and became The Industrial Worker, “the voice of revolutionary industrial unionism.”

PDF of full issue: https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/industrialworker/iw/v4n48-w204-feb-20-1913-IW.pdf

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