Violence and State Troops
With the coal mine strike only three weeks old, the miners seemed in serious danger of losing not only the strike but any chance of regaining their old jobs. Slowly but surely the operators were obtaining the blackleg labor necessary to carry on and increase production. If the operators' strategy continued unchecked, the strike promised to end in the devastating defeat both of the union and its members. Many of the striking miners, realizing the threat that hung over them, knew as well that dealing with the blackleg problem did not constitute a choice of alternatives between legal and illegal methods. Only through intimidation could the blacklegs be driven out of the mines, and any effective action on the part of the strikers was dangerous to themselves and to their cause. Did the risks of using intimidation outweigh the risks of avoiding it? To some miners there seemed to be a chance of victory if intimidation were used; there was certain defeat if the strikers remained quiescent.