Wobblies hold Everett Massacre commemoration on November 5th

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West end of Hewitt Avenue, Everett, Washington. November 5th, 2022.

Several Fellow Workers from our branch traveled to Everett last Saturday to commemorate the November 5, 1916 EVERETT MASSACRE. We gathered with Wobs from Everett and Tacoma on the old brick pavement under the railroad trestle at the foot of Hewitt Avenue to tie 12 wreaths to the chain link fence. The wreaths are in memory of twelve IWW members murdered by a posse of drunken deputies and Snohomish County Commercial Club goons on a dock a couple hundred yards away. To learn more about Bloody Sunday, the Everett Massacre, check out the story just published in the IWW’s official publication, Industrial Worker. Wobs gather for this commemoration pretty much annually.

Sunday was a clear but chilly breezy day. We hung up the wreaths and sang some Union songs from the IWW’s ‘Little Red Songbook’. A young fellow read the poem written for the funeral of our murdered comrades back in 1916- ‘November Fifth’ by Charles Ashleigh.

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IWWs killed on Nov 5, 1916- Fellow Workers Hugo Gerlat, Felix Baran, William Colman, Fred Berger, Charles Taylor, John Looney, Gustav Johnson, Tom Ellis, Abraham Rabinowitz, Peter Viberts, Edward Raymond, and a Wobbly unnamed. Farewell, Fellow Workers.

Everett, November Fifth

by Charles Ashleigh

(“…and then the Fellow Worker died, singing ‘Hold the Fort’…”– From the court testimony of an eyewitness, referring to the murder of FW Hugo gerlot.)

Song on his lips, he came;

Song on his lips, he went:–

This be the token we bear of him, —

Soldier of Discontent!

Out of the dark they came; out of the night

Of poverty and injury and woe,–

With flaming hope, their vision thrilled to light,–

Song on their lips, and every heart aglow;

They came, that none should trample Labor’s right

To speak, and voice her centuries of pain.

Bare hands against the master’s armored might!–

A dream to match the tools of sordid gain!

And then the decks went red; and the grey sea

Was written crimsonly with ebbing life.

The barricade spewed shots and mockery

and curses, and the drunken lust of strife.

Yet, the mad chorus from that devil’s host,–

Yea, all the tumult of that butcher throng,–

Compound of bullets, booze and coward boast,–

Could not out-shriek one dying worker’s song!

Song on his lips, he came;

Song on his lips, he went:–

This be the token we bear of him, —

Soldier of Discontent


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