Library Collections: Document: Full Text


Creator: n/a
Date: April 7, 1918
Publication: Chicago Daily Tribune
Source: Available at selected libraries

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Praise of I.W.W. by Helen Keller Sent to School Teachers.


HELEN KELLER'S name was brought into the I.W.W. trial yesterday for the first time when federal officials were shown printed matter from the I.W.W. presses quoting Miss Keller, the blind and deaf girl, as giving them fulsome praise. This document has been sent out to school teachers throughout Chicago.


With it has gone a blank subscription list and from this has risen the stories of efforts to "get the children out of the schools to give their pennies" to the I.W.W. defense fund. Miss Keller, blind woman, is quoted in the circular as saying:


"Foreigners many of them are simply because the greater part of the unskilled labor in this country is foreign. 'Scum of the earth?' Perhaps. I know they have never had a fair chance. They have been starved in body and mind, denied, exploited, driven like slaves from job to job. 'Dangerous?' Maybe. They have endured countless wrongs and injuries until they are driven to rebellion. They know that the laws are for the strong; that they protect the class that owns everything. They know that in a contest with the workers employers do not respect the laws, but quite shamelessly break them.


"Witness the lynching of Frank Little in Butte, the flogging of seventeen men in Tulsa, Okla.; the forcible deportation of 1,200 miners from Bisbee; the burning to death of women and children in the tents of Ludlow, Colo.; and the massacre of workers in Trinidad. So the I.W.W.s respect the law only as a soldier respects an enemy! Can you find it in your hearts to blame them? I love them for their needs, their miseries, their endurance, and their daring spirit."