Comrade Andreytchine came into the workers’ movement in the U.S. during the Mesaba iron range miners’ strike of 1916. His arrest which would lead to Carlo Tresca’s arrest for murder when trying to win his release.
‘George Andreytchine’ from International Socialist Review. Vol. 17 No. 3. September, 1916.
CAN the Steel Corporation use the machinery of the United States Department of Labor to crucify, by deportation, a heroic young native of Bulgaria whose only crime has been to use his brains and courage on the side of the iron miners now on strike in Minnesota?
If George Andreytchine, disciple of Tolstoy, Thoreau and William Lloyd Garrison, is deported to Bulgaria, he will be shot for refusing to enter the army and fight for nationalist ideas which he long ago repudiated when a student in Sofia and Germany.
Within two weeks Andreytchine’s case will be settled. At the end of that time he will be deported to Bulgaria and almost certain execution, or forced to leave for South America, or turned back to the sheriff of Itasca county in Minnesota to stand trial for inciting to riot. Andreytchine is anxious to go back and fight the case trumped up against him on the testimony of the sheriff and the local head of the Steel Corporation’s police.
The Corporation chief of police testified that he never saw Andreytchine commit any act of violence, but that on the other hand he had prevented a clash between the strikers and company representatives, and that in public meetings he had advised the strikers to avoid going about in crowds and to keep away from the company gunmen. Andreytchine admits that he told the strikers, at public meetings, to strike back if the company guards insisted on attacking them without provocation.
Until the strike began this summer, Andreytchine, 22 years old, highly educated, and an office employe of the Steel Corporation at Hibbing, was a favorite of the company officials and their families because of his “interesting” views on the rights of labor and the sinfulness of force and violence. But when he joined the strikers and addressed their meetings, he became at once a dangerous alien. He was beaten up by a company chief of police, arrested by Sheriff Gunderson of Itasca county, and held in jail for inciting to riot. Then the U.S. immigration inspector at Duluth, Brown McDonald, was appealed to, and McDonald set to work to make a record that would procure the young man’s deportation.
In a flippant report to Washington, McDonald urged deportation on the ground that Andreytchine, “like old Man Tray, is in bad company for a pacifist. He is a dangerous man because he is smart, has acquired a knowledge of English within less than three years that is remarkable, and a vocabulary that many native horns do not possess.” “Also,” adds McDonald, “he is sincere.”
Andreytchine has been in this country for two and one-half years. In another six months he would not be subject to deportation.
Frank P. Walsh, Mrs. J. Sergeant Cram, and many others have protested against the effort of the Steel Corporation to drive Andreytchine from the country. It is up to the labor movement and all other lovers of liberty in America to join in the protest against this attempt of the Steel Corporation to punish any man daring to revolt.
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/v17n03-sep-1916-ISR-riaz-ocr.pdf