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November, 1931-May 1932; undated

Part of Herndon J. Evans Collection

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` .~,_».g_;·_· . ,, ,_ -. _. . · K, , ’ ` . ·* - Mi r - ` ‘ V Q _ `· ' ~ · L=i 'y;_;_' *3;:1 g,‘/.5-Yi 3 _‘ y Z_ _ From the National Qpmmittee_for_the Defense of Pplitical Prisoners l ; t` *`°-___—__.—°_°_°_°°__'_- i V y~ cnan—man: Theodore Dreiser _ T , Treasurer: Lincoln Storfens . so root glen ggyoot, Rm_45o i *f Secretary: Walter Wilson jew yoyy gg;y ‘ l M V id _ For lmmediate Release '\ ·" » _ mw _ ,_ , DRElSER T0 TE&@jjUMMAN*RULE»1N HAkLA§·»»·· { I • ·-rw h I _ New York, Nov. 2,- Theodore Dreiser announced today that the _ committee of writers which he will head on a trip to Harlan, Ky., j to investigate charges of official terrorism and gunman rule, will l· stage a free speech tes: for the miners' union in Harlan County, T Nov. 8. Committee members will leave Tuesday for Pineville, Ky. where they will meet Nov. 5 and proceed in a body to Harlan the j following day. The investigation is being conducted by the National _ T Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners. i The committee will consist of Nr. Qreiscr, author of "An American ;· Tragedy"; John Dos Passog, author of "Manhuttan Transfer" and "The 42nd Parallel'éOBr;§p,Crawford; editor of Crawfordfs Weekly, Norton, “ T \ · P r't¢_1 .· I I { Va.; Char!es"Rumfd `Valker, author of "Steel" and "Bread and Fire"; 1 Josephine Her s , aulnor o "Money for Love" and "Nothing is Sacrcd"; T Lester CohepJ author of "Sweepings"; damuel Ornitz, author of "Haunch, é Paunch and Jowl , now connected with thE'Metro-Mayer-Goldwyn studios; . i g and Anna Rochester, coal expert and author of "Labor and Coal." » 2 rz »i 1 ;_ iv ‘" *' Avi l·‘ #‘*~uL i In Pineville the committee will be greeted bv a mass meotingmof Q the National Miners Union, and thc International Labor Defense: lhe i. miners charge that armed deputies have broken up cvcry meeting they i y §»_ ., ,.>_ have tried to hold, efen raking;them with machine gun fire. ·-·~ 3 Mr. Dreiser, who is chairman of the National Committee for the T [ Defense of Political Prisoners, states that the delegation will hold Q an open inquiry into the following charges: 1; . T l; l. The denial of all constitutional and civil rights, as well as [ T ordinary human rights to l8,000 Harlan county miners and their fa¥g_ i 1 iiies. ‘_ . - · - is l { includes the driving of miners out of postoffices and withholding of E j their mail; compulsion to buy from company stores at high prices; 1 . ·invasion of homes without search warrants; arrests for possessing iv newspapers and magazines attacking the mine owners. L 2. The kidnapping of union organizers and local miners active in A l the union; the shooting of newspaper reporters; the arrest of theolog- ical students and defense representatives, bringing aid to imprisoned T miners' children, the dynamiting of relief cars and soup kitchens. l g v Q;_ 5. The eviction of miners from their homes and the death of \;‘ miners' families from a hunger disease known locally as flux. ld 4. The indictment of 34 miners for murder on "flimsy evidence". ,_ g E Q Trials have been set in counties 200 miles away so that the miners, Q who are penniless, cannot afford to transport witnesses. TQ 4. The murder of two miners operating a relief soup kitchen, i l; both shot in the back by imported thugs. One such thug is said to lj have been brought from Chicago to teach the newly sworn—in deputies yi the use of tear gas bombs and machine guns. lj "Sheriff Blair has announced since the formation of this commit- _ l tee that there is no terror in Harlan and he will welcome an investi- i· gation," declares Mr. Dreiser's statement. "We hear from authentic g . sources in Harlan, however, that the county is still as much an *armed ll‘ camp' as it was a month ago when Mr. Louis Stark of the New York Times li fled to Chicago before feeling safe enough to release his news. 1 l , _ _ _ . g "We arc informed that the miners, despite Sheriff bkair*s denial Q are still not allowed to hold union meetings; that as the strike it spreads in Straight Creek there are more arrests for *criminal syn- lol dicalism’ almost daily; and that even relief kitchens cannot function l 2 °' Illia ·· -· ·—- — ·r»—$..· , _ _ , A ri I A.) J it l A `> A w` if A V My