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THE LONDON STRIKE., Issue 8027, 2 October 1889
THE LONDON STRIKE.
SYMPATHY IK SYDNEY. Sydney papers of the earlier part of the month are full of reports of meetings, lectures, and sermons on the subject of the London strike, showing how deep was the interest displayed there in tire movement. The ‘ Sydney Morning Herald ’ on the 9th, speaking of a mass meeting hold the previous Saturday afternoon, says:—“lt ia but seldom that Sydney witnesses such an outburst of popular enthusiasm as on Saturday afternoon, when an immense gathering of citizens assembled in the Domain, for the purpose of testifying in a practical manner their sympathy with the sufferings of tho dock laborers now on strike. The demonstration was not confined to the working classes, but was singularly catholic in its character, neither wealth nor social position, neither political opinions nor sectarian differences, being in the slightest degree recognised. Men of all shades of political and religious beliefs, of all degrees of wealth and social position, were to bo seen seated on tho platform, or standing amongst tho audience. Even the ladles did not disdain to attend in considerable numbers, as was testified by tho deep fringe of rad sunshades which bordered tho edge of the crowd. . . . There must have been
from 10.000 to- 15,000 persons present. ■ . . Financially, as well as in every other way, the meeting was a complete success, all classes contributing liberally, according to their means, so that nearly LI,OOO in cash and cheques was collected, and a large number of promises were, in addition, received.” The following is a quotation from one of the speeches delivered, and the tremendous applause which frequently interrupted the speaker testified that he was in perfect touch with his audience ;—“ Ho had heard it said that they wore appealed to to send this money Home as an act of charity, but he told them plainly that if they were only doing this as an act of charity they would not have seen him here. These men were living in the centre of a wealthy community, and why should they be asked to feed the men whom the capitalist had starved ? If it wore an act of charity alone, the wealthy men of London should subscribe and feed the dock laborers. The reason he was here to render what humble assistance he could was because he was always anxious to help these who were trying to help themselves. He came hero in the hope that this strike, and all the great feeling which it evoked, would prove the origin and cause of a movement in England—both inside and outside the Houses of Parliament —which would place the interests of the people before the extension of empire. Ihe advocates of this cause would preach this doctrine before all things else: that so long as there existed any large section of the working classes toiling for starvation wages, so long as there were large masses of the people living in imperial aud wealthy England who had no share in the greatness and wealth of the Empire, so long could England boast of no true greatness. The greatest, holiest, and most important work for the British statesman to tackle was not to vote twenty millions for extending tho Empire, but to make some serious effort to bring to the homes of the laboring millions of the psople some share of these great benefits which, we were told, had grown from tie magnitude of England’s empire. He was here, he repeated, because he believed that this strike was going to develop into a great movement for the alleviation of the condition of the working classes. Ho was here because he saw in the mighty outburst of feeling which it had ‘evoked fresh hope for the millions of the people; because he saw, in the action of tho Australian working classes, tho recognition of the great principle that the cause of labor was a common cause all the world over, and whether a man was working on the banks of the Thames or in Germany, or anywhere else, if ho were working at too low a rate of wages aud starving at hia work, the fact was a threatening one and a danger for every man in this country.” THE REVOLT FORESEEN. The event had not been unforeseen. It is not so long since Lord Meath uttered the following words, perhaps with but little idea how soon they might prove to have been prophetic : —“ Whatever else may be a matter for doubt, one thing is certain, that the present condition of the poor cannot bo allowed to continue. Something must bo done, or this country will find itself one morning landed in a social revolution. Unmistakeable rumblings in the lowest social strata are to be heard now. The superincumbent masses of the law-abiding, working, middle, and upper classes of society are at present too ponderous to be moved, but who can say how long it may be—if no vent be given for the dangerous imprisoned gases —before the volcano may burst forth in its fury and engulf an unprepared and unsuspecting world? ”
THE LONDON STRIKE., Issue 8027, 2 October 1889
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