Library Collections: Document: Full Text

Paterson Jury Convicts Pickets

Creator: n/a
Date: June 6, 1913
Publication: Chicago Daily Tribune
Source: Available at selected libraries

Page 1:


Striking Weavers, Numbering Thirty-eight, Face Prison or $1,000 Fine.




Paterson, N.J., June 5. -- -Special.- -- Thirty-eight strike pickets of the silk workers who were arrested for unlawful assembly in front of the Harding mill on April 26 were found guilty today by a jury in Judge Klenert's quarter sessions court. They will be sentenced tomorrow or on Monday. The penalty may be from one to three years in prison or a $1,000 fine, or both.


Among those convicted are Hannah Silverman, the 17 year old picket leader, and Benjamin Hagedorn, a local leader of the I.W.W.


Miss Silverman has been arrested so many times that the police are exhausted. After two days in jail for interfering with a policeman she got out with a writ of certiorari.


This morning she went to Recorder Carroll's court as a spectator at the trial of Harry Price, a striker arrested last night for beating two women mill workers. In the course of an argument between the recorder and Lawyer Isadore Klenert, appearing for Price, Miss Silverman tittered and then hissed.


Given Twenty Days


"Come up here," ordered the judge. "You're getting altogether too fresh around here. I commit you to the county jail for twenty days as a disorderly person in a public place."


So Hannah is in jail, and seems likely to stay there until the strike is ended. She was to have starred in the I.W.W. pageant in Madison Square garden on Saturday. She said as she went to a cell:


"I guess I jumped from the frying pan into the fire."


Price was sent to jail for three months.


In summing up the trial of the picketers today Assistant Prosecutor Force said that public sentiment demanded their conviction, and that it was for the jury to decide whether Paterson is governed by law or a mob. Only there -sic- of the forty-one prisoners were acquitted.


"Their Cause My Cause."


The strike committee received today from Helen Keller, the blind girl, a check for $48.08, to help "in their brave fight for the most elemental justice -- the right to live." In her letter she said:


"The accounts I have read of the strikers' self-sacrifice and indomitable courage fill me with admiration. Their cause is my cause. I feel their hunger, their privation, in my eyes starved of light. I feel their bondage in my own physical dependence, and I cannot be happy while conditions exist that make childhood bitter and motherhood a sorrow.


"To think there should be men who will obey orders and fire upon their brothers at command of an officer! What a comfort such blind obedience must be to the minds of the masters!


"It is the duty of the plainest kind for every one of us to hold out a helping hand to our comrades in Paterson. Much depends on their fight. If they win it will be easier for other workers to stand up and claim their rights."


William D. Haywood and other Industrial Workers of the World leaders will be tried on Monday by a "foreign jury," drawn from talesmen impaneled from another county in order to insure the defendants a fair trial.