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Tuesday, August 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

From our archives, 100 years ago

Charles H. Moyer, the president of the Western Federation of Miners, was present at the birth of the Wobblies (the Industrial Workers of the World) in 1905. At the time, he thought the original concept was sound.

Now, however, he believed the Wobblies were “the ungrateful child of the Western Federation of Miners.” 

“The original idea of the IWW was good,” Moyer told a Spokesman-Review reporter. “But the movement fell into the hands of the men who preached syndicalism, sabotage and direct action (that is, violence). It has never got anywhere and never will.”

The Spokesman-Review said on its editorial page that the IWW had only served to “discredit” and “obstruct” the progress of organized labor. The paper expressed its belief in the necessity for organized labor in the mines, where a worker “merits good pay, short hours and the safest possible conditions.” 

“He (a miner) cannot have these rights and blessings through individual action,” the paper said. “Nor can he win them on the paths of violence, disorder or contempt of law.”

From the trial beat: Leo Atento, a Filipino on trial in the murder of Dr. R.P. Sims, admitted his part in the crime.

While being led away, he said, “I guess I must go to Walla Walla. I will study there, and when I get out I will go back to the island and take the commission examination.” The nature of this commission examination was not clear.

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