‘Inside’ by William D. Haywood. International Socialist Review. Vol. 18 No. 5-6. November-December, 1917.

‘Inside’ by William D. Haywood. International Socialist Review. Vol. 18 No. 5-6. November-December, 1917.

AFTER twenty-three days of arduous work on the part of the Grand Jury, indictments were returned containing five counts. Upon these indictments, one hundred and sixty-six members of the I.W.W. have been or will be arrested. At headquarters, every man in the general office, hall, editorial rooms and publishing bureau were arrested without warrant, be it understood, hustled into waiting autos and rushed to the federal bldg., where, after some delay and a perfunctory introduction to U.S. Marshall Bradley, the warrants were then read.

We were handcuffed together two by two and marched down to a waiting patrol wagon; nine of us started for Cook county jail.

Clang, clang, a bell rang out, big iron doors slid back, the auto patrol wheeled up to the rear entrance of the Cook county jail, nine of us, federal prisoners, piled out thru a barred gate past the fumigator where clothes and mattresses are cleaned of vermin and disease.

Thru another iron door which was noisily locked behind, we stood in the receiving room of the prison, where thousands of culprits that enter this institution of capitalism are examined and decorated. The guard removed the handcuffs from our wrists; we were placed in small detention cells. From a runner we ordered and paid for our first meal in this jail; sandwiches, pie and coffee were the menu which were later, with the evening papers, slipped thru the bars of the cells which were assigned to us.

Before we had the opportunity of eating our delayed supper we filed out one at a time, seated before the clerk who took our names, were recorded atheists, agnostics; these replies have been a protection from the Sunday invasion of preachers and Salvation army scouts.

After being carefully searched, receipts were made out for personal property taken, to be held until our release, then, to the shower baths with skimpy towels and brown soap furnished. We put on our clothes without the process of fumigation.

This is the old jail; a room about 60 by 60 with a double row of cells four tiers high; our cells face the alley to the west. Cells are 6 by 8, about 8 feet high with ceilings slightly sloping to the rear.

This cell is parlor, bedroom, dining room and lavatory all in one. Decorations black and white. That is— the interior is painted solid black on two walls, black half way on the other two walls, the rest is white. Wash bowl, toilet, water pipe, small bench, a narrow double decked iron bunk, flat springs, straw mat tresses, sheet and pillow case of rough material, blanket, two spoons and two tin cups constitute the furniture of our temporary homes, where we spend twenty hours out of every twenty-four in involuntary idleness—parasites—doing no more service for ourselves or society than the swell guys who loll around clubs or attend the functions at fashionable resorts. Our needs, limited to be sure, are attended by the “runner,” a prisoner ordered to do this task, and his only recompense is small tips.

“See our numbers still increasing;
Hear the bugle blow.
By our union we shall triumph
Over every foe.”

And triumph we will, while victims at present of the most infamous outrage ever perpetrated in American history. Charged with having printed the Preamble of the I.W.W., our prosecutors have made that document as historic as the declaration of Independence. The Preamble is still nailed to our masthead.

Yours for Industrial Freedom, WM. D. HAYWOOD.

The International Socialist Review (ISR) was published monthly in Chicago from 1900 until 1918 by Charles H. Kerr and critically loyal to the Socialist Party of America. It is one of the essential publications in U.S. left history. During the editorship of A.M. Simons it was largely theoretical and moderate. In 1908, Charles H. Kerr took over as editor with strong influence from Mary E Marcy. The magazine became the foremost proponent of the SP’s left wing growing to tens of thousands of subscribers. It remained revolutionary in outlook and anti-militarist during World War One. It liberally used photographs and images, with news, theory, arts and organizing in its pages. It articles, reports and essays are an invaluable record of the U.S. class struggle and the development of Marxism in the decades before the Soviet experience. It was closed down in government repression in 1918.

PDF of full issue: https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/isr/v18n05-n06-nov-dec-1917-ISR-Harv-gog-ocr.pdf

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s