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Law and Order


H. H. Broach

From an address before a public pro-
test meeting held in the South.

Now I come to this question of law and order—this condition of affairs where "citizens" committees and well dressed mobs are allowed to go forward behind the torch and dagger, driving innocent babes and pregnant mothers from their homes in the middle of the night, and swooping down on defenseless men of principle, beating, whipping, tarring and feathering them and leaving their bleeding bodies by the roadside.

You have just read of the fiendish, dastardly crime where known sympathizers of the railroad shopmen were horsewhipped, strikers beaten, jailed and shot, their families driven from Arkansas like cattle without food or shelter, and the lifeless body of the union official, E. C. Gregor, left swinging from a railroad trestle. Thus we are given another glaring example of the kind of one-sided justice that exists in this country today; thus another "victory" is recorded for law and order, and thus are the beauties of order and law again revealed with outraged mothers and babes made homeless, and with a pile of swollen, slashed, and bleeding bodies riddled with bullets, left behind.

Here is one mother's story:

After they had whipped my husband until he was raw and bleeding, they took the quilt from around me, and I just had on my nightgown, and they began whipping me. When I began screaming they put their hands over my mouth and I fell unconscious. When I came to I was all wet with blood.

Another mother was roughly handled when the mobbers came to beat her husband, and as a result her baby was born prematurely and died a few hours later. A helpless old man was lashed because he said he would not join the mob. A young father who refused to be led off for a whipping was promptly shot to death, the bullet passing through his body and killing his three year old baby. Others were whipped and beaten until they were bleeding and raw, and many staggered away ruined for life.

That's law and order for you, that's the work of the holierthan-thou, law and order apostles, the protectors of our morals and the defenders of the community. These are the well dressed, loyal 100 per centers who are eager to pawn themselves off as ardent supporters of order and law, but who are the first ones on hand whenever a working man is to be whipped or lynched. With their lies and fake cries, they fan the flames of hate and prejudice, wreck home upon home, and thus gain support for cheats and hypocrites, for schemes and greed, which the leaders are too cowardly and spineless to support out in the open.

Every defender of labor, every one who is not ashamed to let you see his face, every one who insists on speaking out plainly, has had this gang of genteel, yellow, and blood-thirsty morons on his back, because they hate the light of day, they despise facts and reason, and bitterly oppose investigation. The history of practically every one of the leaders reeks with ignorance, cowardice and corruption; they are all companions of hypocrisy and greed, and will go down on their knees and lick your boots at the sign of a dollar; they are all cowards, because any man who joins a mob is a narrow, intolerant fool and a low coward.

And what chance has a man against these murderous law and order mobs of our “best citizens" bent on "protecting" the community? They swoop down on him like so many cowardly buzzards in the night, drag him from his loved ones and beat, whip, tar and feather him and leave his raw, quivering body cut and bleeding by the roadside. And history does not tell where any “respectable” citizens ever had the whip applied to their bodies or the rope placed around their necks, or where they were driven from their homes like so many dogs. Such treatment has always been reserved for the wage workers, their sympathizers and spokesmen.

But the pages of history are filled with such incidents as have been described here today; they are filled with support for the assumption that all these law and order mobs are organized and controlled by the same influences that control the courts and the government today. And if such bands of sneaks and scoundrels are going to be allowed to go on their way, then we should be honest about it and do away with police and the courts, the churches and the government, and turn over all their functions to these herds of tyrants and cheats and be done with all this mockery, all this pretense about truth and justice, liberty and freedom.

Of one thing we may be reasonably certain, and that is, that unless something is done to check these law and order fakers, then the organized workers will some day refuse to be beaten, slugged, hanged and shot down in cold blood. Even they, like the French workers, can be goaded beyond human endurance, and unless these outrages are stopped, they might declare an open season for shooting and lynching; they might refuse to be lynched without doing some lynching themselves; they might refuse to be shot at without shooting back, as they did at Herrin, Illinois. And when they do this there will be Hell to pay. God grant that American civilization shall not move in that direction!

About Lawyers


H. H. Broach

From a talk given before a political

The gentleman who is the candidate of the business and commercial interests for the United States Senate, has just been recommended to you chiefly because he is a lawyer of considerable training and skill. And I believe all of us readily concede this—that he is a highly trained and skilled lawyer, a very good one of long experience. So this being the case, and having little time at my disposal, I shall confine myself to a brief discussion of lawyers in general—the breed—not to this one in particular.

In the first place— (and this is said in all respect to the lawyer gentleman mentioned here tonight)-lawyers, being lawyers, will argue any way you want them to argue; they will paint any picture you pay them to paint, and as Thomas Jefferson said, “They question everything; yield nothing and talk by the hour.” So I believe I may properly ask, “How can you expect them to do any worthwhile business when brought together in a legislative hall ?" Yet they rule the country today—over two-thirds of Congress are lawyers—and they have dominated this body so long that it is now referred to as a "Soviet of Corporation Lawyers.” And the facts show that they rule the country today for those who pay them the most.

There are Fall, Palmer, Daugherty, Lodge, Kellogg, and a long weary list of others, and these are but representative of thousands of other attorneys of the same stripe. So I doubt if there is any other profession or calling in the entire countrynot even the bankers—that could begin to produce such a wholesale lot of unholy disreputables, polished and legal pick-pockets, within-the-law thieves, and cheap, low-down crooks as does the legal profession. Of course there are exceptions, but they are few, pitifully few. And this gentleman might prove an exception. I don't know. Neither do you know. But we do know what his life training as a lawyer has been; we know what his connections have been; we know who his friends and his supporters are; we know where he gets his money, and anyone who is half-way willing to reason the matter out, knows that all this makes him totally unfit to represent any one except those who now pay him.

In our early days, we are told, the lawyers were the ablest defenders of our liberties. Now most of them are simply footmen and bootlickers for greed and absolutism. But this is not in the least surprising. Just reason it out. The lawyer leaves college with the approved brand of canned learning. He seldom has a business of his own. He is paid to look after the business of other people. That's his way of making money. He works for those that pay him most—the banks and railroads, the corporations and monopolies. Here is where he gets his training. Looking after their interests becomes a habit with him. So when he is elevated to the bench or goes to Congress he cannot get over the habit. He still looks after the interests of those who paid him most.

It cannot be otherwise. It is only the natural result of his training. After a man has represented these interests for ten, fifteen or twenty years as has this gentleman, he cannot turn squarely around and represent the people. This is asking too much of human nature. Men are simply not made that way. Besides, lawyers do not want to lose their liberal paying clients. That, too, is expecting entirely too much of human nature. So it would be better, far better, to send Charles Schwab, of the Bethlehem Steel Company, to the United States Senate instead of sending his lawyer. And it would be much better to send J. P. Morgan there instead of the lawyers representing him. At least we would be more honest about it.

But there was a time when we could carry on our affairs without being besieged on all sides by all brands and breeds of lawyers. Then the people wrote the laws, and they didn't need a phrase-worshipping lawyer to tell them what they meant or what they wanted. They knew. They understood. And the people will never write the laws until the people or their true representatives are sent back to the places where the laws are written and the schemes hatched, and until something is done to rid us of the lawyers. The voters who do this will render a great service to a suffering people.

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