Grafton Riot

The (Grafton) Daily Sentinel
June 29, 1909

Machinists Explain Their Side of the Riot of Saturday Night

Claim That Members of Their Union Took No Part in the Latrobe Street Fight.

Editor Sentinel: - Being advised that some people have construed the newspaper articles and the street tales relating to the disgraceful disturbance in Grafton on last Saturday night, as associating the striking machinists with having aided and abetted the fight, we wish to ask your valued paper to aid us in correcting any such wrong impressions as may now be entertained.

This order, on behalf of itself and every one of its members in good standing, disclaim any connection whatever with the Saturday night fights, and so far as the most careful investigation discloses, not one of our members had any part of itnerest [sic] in the disturbances. The party arrested as one of the principals in them, is not a member of our order and has not been an employe of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad company for a long time past. Not one of our members aided or encouraged the party arrested, so far as this order can ascertain, and none deplores the unhappy occurrence more than the striking machinists themselves.

Ours in an orderly strike based upon principle. Our fight is against unreasonable and tyranical demands of unprincipled officials of the Company, and not against the misguided laborers who through choice of necessity are temporarily filling our places and thus unwillingly aiding the company's officials in their fight against us. We want the people of Grafton and the world at large to know and see that we stand for principle, for law and order, and if any one or more of our members should overstep either, none will be more active in bringing such to punishment than this order.

And we want the people to know too, that our members are not dense enough in mistake the travelling public for "scab" machinists. While we do not make any pretense of superior intelligence, we have enough common sense and discriminating intelligence to distinguish between a horseman and a machinist, real or pretended. And while we reserve the constitutional right to argue with those who now fill our places and try to enlighten them sufficient to see matters as they present themselves to us, or order is above violent and unlawful methods to bring about such results.

All the information at hand convinces us that the parties hurt on Saturday night were the aggressors, and that the party struck by the man arrested used language that was so vile he demerited all the punishment dished out to him, and the striking machinists will not assume to protect black-guards whose sense of decency is so low that self respecting men resent their insulting remarks with blows.

I. A. of M., No. 618.
Grafton, W. Va., June 29, 1909.


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