I. W. W. Puts Paterson Strike on Stage

IWWpaterson.JPG
Beinecke_DL_10189909_1440646.pdf

Dublin Core

Title

I. W. W. Puts Paterson Strike on Stage

Subject

Labor, Politics, and Journalism

Description

Dodge’s Involvement Counteracts Opposition

Overdramatic demonization of the efforts of the I. W. W. at the Paterson Pageant and other strikes can be seen in newspapers in the city during the days of the strike and production of the pageant. Dodge’s support in other publications, as well as through public statement, therefore helped to counteract the negative depiction of the sympathizers, strikers, and even the I. W. W. from newspapers like this one. The article’s focus on the demonization of socialism and the article’s presentation of the efforts of the strikers as anti-American both work to paint the strikers as dangerous, while figures like Dodge use their social and economic status to present a different, less threatening depiction of the labor reform movement that ultimately assisted the movement in gaining more upper class support.

The present article only interviews the sheriff and therefore is already biased by not presenting any of the opinions of the strikers or organizers themselves. The sheriff’s tone would frighten the public because he presents the strike and the pageant as public threat. The article crafts a depiction of the labor reform movement as anti-American when the piece states, "‘I will not stand for any insult to the American flag,’ Sheriff Harburger was saying about this time. ‘If necessary I’ll come to the Garden to-night armed. I am the chief of peace officer of this community and my office goes back to antiquity.’" Harburger’s combative tone would be frightening to a civilian, especially one of New York’s elite. Also, the sheriff’s comments distance the pageant from the actual cause of the strike and therefore draw the reader’s attention away from thinking about the reasons why laborers are taking the actions they do.

Through repetition of the word “red,” the article continues to create a frightening depiction of the demonstration. The publication reads, “There were red Socialist banners hanging from the balconies, red shoulder sashes on the white gowned girls selling the 'cause' pamphlets and newspapers, red carnation in striker’s buttonholes, little daughters of the strikers dressed all in red, even to the shoes: red hair ribbons and the red; red ribbons and rosettes of the I. W. W. flaunting everywhere.” The author pairs the words “red Socialist” to cause alarm to the reader and even chooses to depict “white gowned girl” with red sashes in order to depict the labor reform movement as perverse. The repeated use of the “red” description also creates that illusion that the reader is out-numbered and therefore seeks, again, to paint strikers as un-American. By using the terms “red” and “socialist” the article continues to distance the reporting from the real issues which the strikers wish to raise through their demonstration.

Dodge’s public statements published in other publications seek to counteract frightening depiction of the reform movement. In one article, Dodge seeks to take down both the fear of socialism and the news’s tendency to neglect to address the reasons for the strike. Dodge says, “I think that the unemployed are justified in doing anything to call public attention to their condition,” while also noting, “I am not an Anarchist. I do not belong to the Socialist party. I am not a member of the Industrial Workers of the World. I am not a person who joins anything. I am a student.” In this statement, Dodge humanizes the strikers, making them a subject of pity rather than fear, while also distancing herself from labels like “socialism” which cause the public alarm. In this statement and similar ones, Dodge essentially gives permission for the public to sympathize and assist the strikers without associating themselves with the ideologies like anarchism and socialism that they fear.

Creator

John Reed

Source

Mabel Dodge Luhan Collection

Publisher

Beinecke Library

Date

1913 June 8

Contributor

Mabel Dodge

Rights

Mabel Dodge Luhan Collection

Format

Image of newspaper clipping

Language

English

Type

Newsprint

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

Headline:
The I. W. W. Puts the Paterson Strike on the Stage
Paterson Pageant Packs the Garden
Article:
“Tell the Sheriff that he can’t sit upon the stage,” said Big Bill over his shoulder, Big Bill being too busy at the moment to answer the telephone call personality.

Night fell and all the thousands went below stairs to eat sandwiches and bananas and things that Manhattan sympathizers had supplied to the Paterson folk in quantity sufficient and then some to =feed the army twice, once at 1 o’clock and again just after the thunderstorm.

“I will not stand for any insult to the American flag,” Sheriff Harburger was saying about this time. “If necessary I’ll come to the Garden to-night armed. I am the chief of peace officer of this community and my office goes back to antiquity. You newspaper boys you’re my friends can elaborate this as you see fit.

“Harburger will stand for no monkey business by anarchists. It is Harburger’s pledge to the people of this great country to suppress riot and duress. I give warning that I will by among you newspaper boys in a front seat to night wearing my badge and armed if necessary. I’ll wear the badge that is the mark of my authority.”

Jesse Lynch William in his other suit, Link Steffins, Upton Sinclair, Our Sherrif, Ellis O. Jones, who writes the funny department of Life, Art Young cartoonist and always again the Government; Inez Haynes Gillmore founder of the Scituate School of Literature who came all the way from Scituate, which is up where Will Irwin is to be present; Thompson Buchanan Big Bill Haywood, Grace Potter, Julius Hopp, Franklin P. Adams, a recent convert to the I. W. W. cause; Ernest Poole, Arthuro Giovannitti in a new Panama hat and trimmings, were but a few of the celebrities who arrived early.

Sherif Harburgers still scorning a free seat, came into the Garden half an hour before the pageant began. He searched the hall with eagle eyes. There were red Socialist banners hanging from the balconies, red shoulder sashes on the white gowned girls selling the “cause” pamphlets and newspapers, red carnation in striker’s buttonholes, little daughters of the strikers dressed all in red, even to the shoes: red hair ribbons and the red; red ribbons and rosettes of the I. W. W. flaunting everywhere.

From a balcony rail up near the Fourth avenue side of the Garden hung a banner that read “No God—No Master.”

“That” Cried Sheriff Harburger is a sacrilegious banner, newspaper boys! Have a cigar, Give me a match, please
[PAGE CUT OFF]


Original Format

Newspaper