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You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Friday April 10, 1914
Southern Coalfields, Colorado - Senator Helen Ring Robinson Visits the Strike Zone

Colorado Senator
Helen Ring Robinson
Senator Helen Ring Robinson, has completed a two-day tour of the strike zone She arrived in the Southern Coalfields on Wednesday to began her investigation into the strike situation. At Pueblo, she met with Manager Weitzel of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company. Like his boss, J. D. Rockefeller Jr., she found him to be a man of fine manners, high ideals, and impeccable courtesy. An unnamed appointee of Governor Ammons was not, however, so easily impressed by such high-class affectations, and confided to the Senator that the brutality directed against the strikers has so sickened him that he wishes he had a few bombs to throw at certain people.

She made a tour of the mining camps and saw no sign of the bathhouses nor the  recreation centers, nor the  dance halls of which Mr. Rockefeller spoke so proudly during his testimony earlier this week before the House Committee in Washington. She did find plenty of saloons, however, along with dreary company shacks covered in soot near smoking piles of slack.

She also made a tour of the strikers' tent colonies, where she found the people enjoying the warmth of spring after enduring the long Colorado winter in the tents. The colonist, made up of twenty-two different nationalities, have grown close during the long cold months, especially the women and children. The Senator noted that the angelic children turn into "little fiends" when the militiamen enter the camps, shouting "scab-herders" and "Tin Willies" at them. Many of the older strikers have not forgotten the brutalities visited upon them by militiamen and company guards during the bitter strike of ten years ago.

Mary Thomas, camp greeter of the Ludlow Tent Colony, reports that the social life of the camp has greatly improved with the coming spring. Once again she can enjoy her morning coffee outside with her dear friends and nearest neighbors, Cedi Costa and Margo Gorci. The children are once again at play on the swings and see-saws. Many of the colonist plant flowers and vegetables around the tents bringing a festive quality to the camp.

Children of the Ludlow Tent Colony
Children of the Ludlow Tent Colony
Meals can once again be eaten outside at the long tables placed between the tents. Mary, Cedi and Margo continue to pool their resources in order to see that everyone gets something. An elderly disabled miner eats with the three families.

Cedi's husband, Charlie, camp peacemaker and overseer, always keeps everyone smiling. One day he came by to play a practical joke:

Charley brought a bunch of paper "telescopes" and set them up on our long table. Then he gathered us around and began to shout like a barker at a circus, "come one, come all, the show is just about to begin!"

"What are they?" we asked.

"Fighting Ants," he replied.

"Where did you get them?" Cedi said suspiciously.

"I bought them." Hearing Charley say this, Cedi became furious.

"What do you mean 'you bought them?' You have a lot of nerve spending money for fighting ants when we are nearly starving to death!" Then all three of us excitedly said, "Let's see them!"

"You'll have to pay me a penny each," announced Charley.

"You'll have to trust us until payday."

All right," he teased, "just until payday. Now," he said,"put these telescopes up to your eyes, or you can't see them." He helped us with them. We looked and looked. By now a crowd had gathered around our table, drawn there by Charley's spiel about fighting ants.

"We can't see anything," we muttered, and put the telescopes back on the table. When we looked at each other, we almost went to pieces with hysterical laughter. Charley had put charcoal on the end we looked through, and each of us had a big, round black monicle!

Mary Thomas describes Charlie Costa as always jovial, always doing something funny to lessen the tragic times. The children of the camp love him and follow him around like the Pied Piper.

Buried Unsung
Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre

-by Zeese Papanikolas
U of Utah Press, 1982

Those Damn Foreigners
-by Mary T. O'Neal
Minerva Book, USA

1). Helen Ring Robinson
2). Children of the Ludlow Tent Colony

L'italiano ( l asciatemi cantare ) Toto Cotugno

Buongiorno Italia
buongiorno Maria
con gli occhi pieni di malinconia
buongiorno Dio
lo sai che ci sono anch'io

Lasciatemi cantare
con la chitarra in mano
lasciatemi cantare
una canzone piano piano
Lasciatemi cantare
perche' ne sono fiero
sono un italiano
un italiano vero

Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Sexism and Patriarchy, Shamrock American Kossacks, In Support of Labor and Unions, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and History for Kossacks.

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