Bill Haywood's Book: The Autobiography of William D. Haywood

By William D. Haywood | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
"DEPORTATION OR DEATH"

THE Colorado Federation of Labor called a convention to be held in Denver. Three hundred and fifty delegates, representing all kinds of unions, gathered in the club building. There were delegates from the striking coal miners, from the striking miners of Telluride and the Cripple Creek district.

They discussed many things that had happened during the eight- hour struggle. They appointed a ways and means committee, the duty of which was to provide as much relief as possible for the many strikers and their families. A resolution was presented to the effect that the entire delegation visit Governor Peabody and demand the recall of the soldiers, the rescinding of the vagrancy order and the protection of all deported miners returning to their homes. It was finally decided that a committee should visit the governor with these proposals.

The committee met the governor in his office, a place that had become historic in the struggle of the miners. Governor Peabody blatantly informed them that no one had been deported except foreigners and rowdies. He could not see that in the committee were several who had been deported, among them Guy Miller, president of the Telluride Miners' Union, and he did not know that some of the best union men had been compelled to change their names in order to avoid the blacklist. He told the committee that all miners would be protected in their rights. Needless to say, the governor reserved the right of determining just what the miners' rights were.

The convention adopted the following resolution:

Whereas, organized labor in the State of Colorado is fighting a deathless battle for the right to organize and live; and

Whereas, the chief executive and the state administration have conspired and entered into collusion with the Mine Owners' Association, the smelting trust, the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, and the commercial allies known as the Citizens' Alliance in defeating the political mandate of the people, as expressed at the polls in November, 1902; and

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