Salt Lake Tribune

7 March 1914

Page 6, Editorials



I. W. W. In New York



            New York City has lost patience with the Industrial Workers of the World after a brief experience and now wholesale arrests of the leaders and their followers are being made.  A few days ago one of the I. W. W. mobs entered a Presbyterian church and extorted money by threat, which is a crime.  They took the congregation by surprise and won some sympathy because the nature of their agitation was not understood.

            At the very time when they were engaged in their disturbances New York was covered many feet deep with snow and the street cleaning commissioner was facing the biggest problem of his career.  Everywhere men were in demand to help remove the snow.  When Frank Tannenbaum, leader of the I. W. W. mob, was asked whether his men would shovel snow, he said: “Not on your life- these fellows don’t want jobs shoveling snow.  Shoveling snow doesn’t solve this kind of a question.”  He declared that if his men didn’t get jobs they would” compel the rich to support them and support them properly.”

            It is likely that the patience of the public began to wane at this point and that most of the sympathy that existed disappeared.  Work is the last thing in the world that an Industrial Worker of the World desires.  Hs principles are based on the “general strike” and the “social revolution.”  It is a challenge to society that can be met only with retaliation.  The I. W. W. makes was upon society, refusing such a natural compromise as work and wages, and society can only defend itself by warlike measures.

            After the first invasion of a church by the I. W. W., the police commissioner of New York, through his detectives, warned the I. W. W. that they would be arrested if they entered a church while services were in progress.  In defiance of this order, a mob took possession of a Catholic church, mingling among the congregation.  The police attempted to eject them and immediately the church was the scene of rioting.  At length, however, practically all of the I. W. W. army were placed behind bars. 

            The I. W. W. do not limit themselves to the more or less passive resistance of strike methods, but go on to overt acts which are criminal and for which they can be arrested.  New York is dealing with the situation in the only way possible.  It is permitted the I. W. W. to continue their tumults and disorders, the gunmen and thugs would join the ranks of the disturbers and cause serious rioting and even bloodshed.