‘Eye-Witness Tells of Police Murder’ by Charles Moore from Industrial Worker. Vol. 4 No. 9. May 23, 1912.

Police turning hoses on I.W.W. protestors in San Diego.

Charles Moore gives the details of the police murder of I.W.W. member Joseph Mikolasch during the San Diego Free Speech fight on May 7, 1912.

‘Eye-Witness Tells of Police Murder’ by Charles Moore from Industrial Worker. Vol. 4 No. 9. May 23, 1912.

“Industrial Worker.”

Full details of May 7, are as follows:

630 a. m., city police and police citizens, or otherwise known as “thugs” arrested at Old Town, four miles from San Diego, 83 men, and fellow worker Neely, and escorted 72 of this body back over the line into Orange county.

Rounding up the I.W.W. in San Diego.

After being taken and imprisoned in Old Town school house, they were subjected to harsh treatment, vile language and abusive remarks, they were given a mock trial which was mainly carried out to make them confess they were I.W.W.’s, and believed in the RED FLAG, and if they believed in the constitution of the’ “United States,” and if they would uphold the United States in case of war, or fight for the said country against all its enemies.

After this farce was ended they were subjected to a search for papers, fire arms, literature, and anything they happened to possess. Their knives were thrown to the kids, blankets were confiscated by the Mexicans, and anything that was any use was all confiscated.

After this was over they were marched back to the knowledge box and kept there until the “vigilantes,” overpowered the good and true thugs of capitalism.

Attorney Moore tried to serve habeas corpus proceedings on the chief thug, J. Keno Wilson, after getting the rulings of the court, instructing the sheriff to comply with the court’s request, and of course the mogul thug could not be found, thus 72 men were escorted out of the holy limits of the city and kept going to the ends of this damn county.

I.W.W. held at the Old Town Schoolhouse.

8:30 p. m.—It was decided to start a street meeting in the restricted district, and a riot immediately followed, they were right there waiting for us. One of the fastest battle royals followed that I ever care to witness. Police and citizens from every direction came and fell into the slugging.

9:30—About six men were standing outside of the hall when down came two police in plain clothes, passed by four of us who were standing on the corner and stopped in front of one man and demanded to know what that s— of a b— was standing there for and started to pump lead as fast as they could get it out of the guns.

Joseph Mickolasch was standing directly in front of the guns, and was hit in the legs by the bullets. He tried to protect himself with an axe, and was completely riddled with bullets. He died May 8, at 4 o’clock and this was the end of one fine man.

Murderers. San Diego police during the 1912 Free Speech fight.

There were no guns in our body. The reason the other police was shot was because the other “thug” commenced shooting regardless of aim or who he was shooting, and therefore cracked a very good object in the form of a fellow thug.

The rest of the night was taken up by gathering in I.W.W.’s and all their sympathizers. The socialist hall was broken into and banners and emblems torn down, the president of the electrical workers was assaulted, business men who were with us were handed over to the vigilantes and walked out of town, the state guards were called out by a whistle blowing five times but they failed to respond, and the citizens had to get the guns and carried themselves like true “thugs” should.

Our men at the present writing are scattered everywhere and trace of these men are very scarce but they are here and will wait until the near future fortune will be with our men and San Diego shall see one damn fine fight for free speech.

Yours for Industrial Freedom. CHARLES E. MOORE. Member Local No. 56, Bakersfield, Cal.

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/v4n09-w165-may-23-1912-IW.pdf

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