Chicago Tribune

LABOR PICNIC CROWDS HEAR PEACE ORATORS
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Fifty Secret Service Men Attend Massmeeting of Pacifists.
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Denied the use of Cubsí park by Charles Weeghman, the delegates to the second peace conference betook themselves to Riverview park, where they were fortunate in pitching their stand to a large picnic given by a labor organization. Upward of 2,700 persons deserted the picnic grounds and surrounded the platform.

Fifty secret service men were present. The "spellbinders" tried hard to keep the soft pedal on, but at times it looked as if the sky alone would be the limit.

Plenty of Resolving

Resolutions demanding everything under the sun ser passed and indorsed and extolled. Opposition to everything but a generous slice of capitalistsí capital was voiced. A woman socialist from Canada said it was better to "be a martyr than a czar," while a man with a German name and a German accent and "a Pennsylvania ancestry of 200 years," said he did not fancy being a martyr and would rather have people say "There he goes" than "Doesnít he look natural."

As on Saturday, several terms of peace advocates were absent. Of the absent were Miss Jane Addams, Miss Mary McDowell, Jenkins Lloyd Jones, Mrs. Catherin Waugh McCulloch and Prof. Scott Nearing.

Boast of His Ancestors.

Only once was there promise of excitement. This was when James Maurer, president of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor, several times asked: "Who are you, to call me pro-German?" Nobody present had called him anything, but when he insisted on an answer about a score of scattered voices answered, "An American!" Maurer came back with a boast of 200 years of Pennsylvania ancestry, every male member of which had "fought in American wars, and as volunteers, not as conscripts." He boasted of being part German, part French, and the other part Irish, but the French and Irish accents were not noticeable.

William E. Mason, congressman from Illinois, the principal speaker, was introduced by the Rev. Irwin St. John Tucker. Mason, hailed as "the greatest man in America," waxed eloquent in denouncing the conscription law and said he intends that it shall be amended or repealed. Anent the food situation, he said they were selling flour and potatoes cheaper in Liverpool than in Chicago, and that the food manipulators are traitors. This got a "hand" from everybody.

Attacks Draft Law.

Because the draft law takes only those between 21 and 32 and exempts congressmen and others, he termed it unconstitutional, in that it did not fall on the shoulders of all the people.

"They say the volunteer system is a failure, but show me a war that ever was won by men not volunteers," he said.

Because President Wilson did not see fit to send Roosevelt and 200,000 volunteers to France when authorized by congress, Mason charged the president with not obeying the law.

Militarism and Autocracy.

"Keep your democracy strong and your militarism weak." counseled Miss Laura Hughes of Canada. "Militarism and autocracy are one and the same thing. They cannot exist alone. You have let your representatives believe they are ruling the country, whereas in a democracy the people are the rulers."

Seymour Stedman of Chicago held America up to ridicule because the Indian plotters were arrested in San Francisco and tried for conspiring to bring about a revolt in India. He lashed England for preaching democracy and at the same time keeping "abused India under her heel."

The resolutions "favor an immediate general and democratic peace," "urge the government to immediately announce it war aims in definite and concrete terms" "demand that this country shall not carry on war for the territorial and imperialistic ambitions of other countries," "demand that private mail shall not be tampered with," and "pledge the council to work for repeal of all laws for compulsory military training and service."

 

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