‘Con Foley Indicted’ from The International Socialist Review. Vol. 12 No. 8. February, 1912.
The grand jury returned an indictment against Comrade Con Foley of Pottsville, Pa., charging him with inciting to riot. REVIEW readers will recall the story published in the July number about the strike at the Coombe Garment Company at Minersville. It will be remembered that Gurley Flynn, Gene Debs and Con Foley addressed the striking girls and women and that Comrade Foley stayed right on the job to show the girls how to win. Of course he told them to organize into One Big Union and to stand together. The employers found that the girls were eager to listen to the socialist speaker, who has been known in every corner of Pennsylvania for a good many years as the man who is always ready to help in any working class skirmish. When the girls in the Coombe employ effected a general tie-up m the factory, Coombe threatened to move his plant to Brooklyn. But he didn’t, although he issued the following proclamation:
“After a period of twelve years uninterrupted operation at our factory in Minersville and during which time the best of good feeling between the employees and the management prevailed, we now find ourselves confronted with a condition which necessitates our closing down indefinitely. Why? Because one person gloating with vanity has managed to terrorize a portion of our employees. He has used force and to attempt to continue work would be to endanger the lives of our employees. and outside persons which we have no desire to do. The management begs to notify the 200 or more faithful employees who were anxious and willing to work and who were prevented by intimidation and threats, to seek work elsewhere, as our factory will remain closed until Con Foley withdraws from the issue. THE COOMBE GARMENT CO., Minersville, Pa.”
But Con Foley refused to withdraw. He kept right on with his splendid work of organization and education among the girls until a new spirit of solidarity awoke among them and they became imbued with a desire to have something to say about the conditions under which they worked and the pay they should receive for their labor power. A man may be known by the enemies he makes, and Con Foley stands before the workers of Pennsylvania as a fearless advocate for revolutionary political action and industrial unionism. Workers cannot remain docile and hear the ringing words of Comrade Foley. For this reason the Coombe people are determined to ”get him.” Contributions for the Foley Defense Fund should be sent to Joe B. Schubline, 505 Hotel street, Pottsville, Pa. Don’t lay this magazine aside till you have contributed something to the defense of this splendid proletarian fighter.
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/v12n08-feb-1912-ISR.riaz-ocr.pdf