The Everett Massacre
On December 18, 1916, the I.W.W. leaders of the miners' strike left the Mesabi Range. The Duluth News Tribune could not restrain its joy. "The I.W.W. has gone from the Range. It is only a memory," it exulted.1 The rejoicing was premature. Ten days later, the I.W.W. was back on the Range, this time leading the lumber workers.
For weeks, I.W.W. organizer, "Timber Beast," Jack Beaton, and Charles Jacobson, secretary of the Virginia I.W.W. local, had been meeting with workers employed in the sawmill and logging camps of the Virginia & Rainy Lumber Co. which operated two sawmills in Virginia and camps in the nearby woods. On December 26, 1916, a committee of I.W.W. members was elected to meet with company officials to discuss the grievances of the sawmill operatives and the lumberjacks. When the officials informed the committee that there was nothing to discuss, the workers held a mass meeting in Virginia's Finnish Socialist hall and voted to strike.2 A red strike handbill was issued by the strike committee which listed the demands. The mill men demanded a wage raise of 25 cents, abolition of the Sunday night shift, an eight-hour day for Sunday day work, change of the day and night shift each week, and no discrimination against union men. The lumberjacks presented ten demands calling for a wage increase, reduction in hours, better conditions in the camps, no hospital fee, and again no discrimination against union men. The leaflet closed: "It is understood that the sawmill workers and lumberjacks are fighting together for these demands, and that neither the sawmill workers or [ sic ] the lumberjacks will go back to work until the demands of both the sawmill workers and the lumberjacks are recognized."3
Pickets were immediately stationed outside the two mills in Virginia and the camps, and they proceeded to distribute the strike handbill to