Eugene V Debs

Ankeny, IA

#1 Mar 5, 2013
Eugene Victor "Gene" Debs (November 5, 1855 – October 20, 1926) was an American union leader, one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies), and several times the candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States.[1] Through his presidential candidacies, as well as his work with labor movements, Debs eventually became one of the best-known socialists living in the United States.

In the early part of his political career, Debs was a member of the Democratic Party. He was elected as a Democrat to the Indiana General Assembly in 1884. After working with several smaller unions, including the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, Debs was instrumental in the founding of the American Railway Union (ARU), one of the nation's first industrial unions. After workers at the Pullman Palace Car Company organized a wildcat strike over pay cuts in the summer of 1894, Debs signed many into the ARU. He called a boycott of the ARU against handling trains with Pullman cars, in what became the nationwide Pullman Strike, affecting most lines west of Detroit, and more than 250,000 workers in 27 states. To keep the mail running, President Grover Cleveland used the United States Army to break the strike. As a leader of the ARU, Debs was convicted of federal charges for defying a court injunction against the strike and served six months in prison.

Debs read the works of Karl Marx and learned about socialism in prison, emerging to launch his career as the nation's most prominent Socialist in the first decades of the 20th century. He ran as the Socialist Party's candidate for the presidency in 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, and 1920, the last time from a prison cell.

Debs was noted for his oratory, and his speech denouncing American participation in World War I led to his second arrest in 1918. He was convicted under the Espionage Act of 1917 and sentenced to a term of 10 years. President Warren G. Harding commuted his sentence in December 1921. Debs died in 1926, not long after being admitted to a sanatorium.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_V._Debs#P...
Debs vs United States

Ankeny, IA

#2 Mar 5, 2013
In its ruling on Debs v. United States, the Court examined several statements Debs had made regarding the war. While Debs had carefully guarded his speeches in an attempt to comply with the Espionage Act, the Court found he had still shown the "intention and effect of obstructing the draft and recruitment for the war." Among other things, the Court cited Debs's praise for those imprisoned for obstructing the draft. In his opinion, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. stated that little attention was needed since Debs's case was essentially the same as Schenck v. United States, where the Court upheld a similar conviction. The Supreme Court decided against Debs, and maintained the power of the Espionage Act, sentencing Debs to ten years imprisonment, and a loss of his citizenship.

Debs went to prison on April 13, 1919. While in prison in Oregon, he ran for president in the 1920 Election for the fifth and final time, though he had lost his citizenship. He received 919,799 votes (3.4% of the popular vote),[1] the most ever for a Socialist Party presidential candidate in the U.S. and slightly more than his 900,672 total in the 1912 election,[1] which equaled six percent of the popular vote.(National women's suffrage in 1920 greatly increased the total number of votes cast.)

The Espionage and Sedition Acts were largely repealed in 1921, and on December 25, 1921 President Warren G. Harding pardoned Debs from prison.
Pullman Strike

Ankeny, IA

#3 Mar 5, 2013
Pullman Strike was a nationwide conflict in the summer of 1894 between the new American Railway Union (ARU) and railroads that occurred in the United States. It shut down much of the nation's freight and passenger traffic west of Detroit, Michigan. The conflict began in the town of Pullman, Illinois, on May 11 when nearly 4,000 employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company began a wildcat strike in response to recent reductions in wages. Most factory workers who built Pullman cars lived in the planned worker community of Pullman. The industrialist George Pullman had designed it as a model community, but he controlled it thoroughly. When his company laid off workers and lowered wages, it did not reduce rents, and the workers called for a strike. They had not formed a union.

Founded in 1893 by Eugene V. Debs, the ARU was an organization of unskilled railroad workers. Debs brought in ARU organizers to Pullman and signed up many of the disgruntled workers. When the Pullman company refused arbitration, the ARU called a strike against the factory, but it showed no sign of success. To win the strike, Debs decided to stop the movement of Pullman cars on railroads. The over-the-rail Pullman employees (such as conductors and porters) did not go on strike.

Debs and the ARU called a massive boycott that affected most lines west of Detroit and at its peak involved some 250,000 workers in 27 states. The Railroad brotherhoods and the American Federation of Labor (AFL) opposed the boycott, and the General Managers Association of the railroads coordinated the opposition. Riots and sabotage caused $80 million in damages; 30 people were killed.[1][2] The federal government secured a federal court injunction against the union, Debs, and the top leaders, ordering them to stop interfering with trains that carried mail cars. After the strikers refused, President Grover Cleveland ordered in the Army to stop the strikers from obstructing the trains. Violence broke out in many cities, and the strike collapsed. Defended by a team including Clarence Darrow, Debs was convicted of violating a court order and sentenced to prison; the ARU dissolved.

---Public opinion
was mostly opposed to the strike and supported Cleveland's actions.[15] Republicans and eastern Democrats supported Cleveland (the leader of the northeastern pro-business wing of the party), while southern and western Democrats, as well as Populists, generally denounced him. Governor John Peter Altgeld of Illinois, a Democrat, denounced Cleveland and said he could handle all disturbances in his state without federal intervention.[16]

Media coverage was extensive and generally negative. A common trope in news reports and editorials depicted the boycotters as foreigners who contested the patriotism expressed by the militias and troops involved, as numerous recent immigrants worked in the factories and on the railroads. The editors warned of mobs, aliens, anarchy, and defiance of the law.[17] The New York Times called it "a struggle between the greatest and most important labor organization and the entire railroad capital."[18] In Chicago the established church leaders denounced the boycott, but some younger Protestant ministers defended it.[19]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pullman_Strike
DSM Local

Ankeny, IA

#4 Mar 5, 2013
All unions are communist at heart

“The one and only Smart Liberal”

Since: Aug 12

Former MN Tax Payer

#5 Mar 5, 2013
DSM Local wrote:
All unions are communist at heart
The Communist Party USA web site is permeated with articles in support of Barack Hussein Obama and labor unions.

They boast of their intimate relationship with unions and how they are an integral part of the current labor union movement in this country.

http://www.cpusa.org/
DSM Local

Ankeny, IA

#6 Mar 5, 2013
What a great history lesson
DSM Local

Ankeny, IA

#7 Mar 6, 2013
Smart Liberal wrote:
<quoted text>
The Communist Party USA web site is permeated with articles in support of Barack Hussein Obama and labor unions.
They boast of their intimate relationship with unions and how they are an integral part of the current labor union movement in this country.
http://www.cpusa.org/
That was a disgusting website, never the less thanks for sharing it. Funny how the media has disorted the world today, look at the Pullman strikes and Hostess or any strike today and it is quite sad how we are destroying ourselves in the name of "progress"

Since: Sep 11

Rogers, MN

#8 Mar 6, 2013
Smart Liberal wrote:
<quoted text>
The Communist Party USA web site is permeated with articles in support of Barack Hussein Obama and labor unions.
They boast of their intimate relationship with unions and how they are an integral part of the current labor union movement in this country.
http://www.cpusa.org/
That's even funnier when you consider that the vast majority of union members I know, and probably the ones you know, would never want to be associated with the "dirty commies".

“The one and only Smart Liberal”

Since: Aug 12

Former MN Tax Payer

#9 Mar 6, 2013
cantmakeitup wrote:
<quoted text>
That's even funnier when you consider that the vast majority of union members I know, and probably the ones you know, would never want to be associated with the "dirty commies".
You are absolutely right. Most of the union members I know make me look like a Leftie.
DSM Local

Ankeny, IA

#10 Mar 6, 2013
DSM Local wrote:
What a great history lesson
For anyone who has read this, Thank You. I assumed this would go unlooked into Topix-Minneapolis archive world. This is an important look at the Pullman Strikes and how in today's world the politcal climate would alllow our destruction instead. Thanks for giving it a fair read, FAR more than I expected.

“The one and only Smart Liberal”

Since: Aug 12

Former MN Tax Payer

#11 Mar 6, 2013
DSM Local wrote:
<quoted text>
For anyone who has read this, Thank You. I assumed this would go unlooked into Topix-Minneapolis archive world. This is an important look at the Pullman Strikes and how in today's world the politcal climate would alllow our destruction instead. Thanks for giving it a fair read, FAR more than I expected.
Tnks for posting the initial information. It was a fascinating read, and as you said, a great history lesson.

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