Margaret Sanger, "The Fangs of the Monster at Lawrence," 15 Feb 1912.
Source: " New York Call, Feb. 15, 1912 Margaret Sanger Microfilm, Collected Documents Series C16:0018."
As soon as you board the train for Lawrence at Boston, you are aware that war is going on about you somewhere not far off. Dozens of soldiers in uniform, relieved for a few hours of such laborious work as waiting for trouble are seen strutting in and out of the railway trains, pompous and important as defenders of the bosses and private property.
When you get to Lawrence, on every corner are soldiers with guns bayoneted, ready at a moment's notice to plunge this deadly instrument into the living flesh of the working men or women who have rebelled against these degrading conditions of wage slavery which has reduced them and their families to human machines used only to pile up enormous profits for the bosses of the mills.
All of these soldiers were very young men, ranging in looks from 18 to 21 years of age, immature and unsophisticated, as characterless as any youth who longs for life and adventure at this age usually is. As they stood on the corners dancing up and down in the biting cold, it is hoped they may realize what tools they really are, and being hired assassins of the bosses is more adventure than they wish. One man told of the arrest of Ettor. A large crowd of people had gathered together when the cry of "halt!" came imperatively from the guards. The man said he felt the bayonet at his back, yet he was powerless to move. Had the crowd pushed him further this would have been plunged into his back.
Many of these young men are students of Harvard University.
The president of Harvard is said to be one of the mill owners.
Again many of these soldiers are sons of working men and women who are themselves going through the same poverty and struggles as the textile workers.
The time has come to educate these boys, to remind them to what class they belong, and when they realize this they will refuse to murder their working brothers, to serve as hirelings to prop up the profit system, which bases its existence upon the tears and blood of the famished workers.
The Lawrence strike is no ordinary strike. The mill owners realized this. They could see that it contained the essence of revolution, and knowing that, no time was wasted in sending the militia to the spot at once.
When the Religious Forward Movement can no longer shield it from the revolutionary thought, after arbitration boards have been discarded by the workers, then stripped of all pretense and hypocrisy, capitalism shows its fangs of despotism and murder by appearing upon the scene to protect its tottering structure with glistening bayonets and rapid-fire guns to mow down the workers, if necessary, in order to cling to its stolen property.
Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project