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Particulars with regard to the recent serious conflict, resulting in the deaths of 14- people and many injuries, which occurred between .the Italians and Frenchmen employed at AiguesMortes,, show that the trouble arose under these. circumstances. Every year up to the present French workmen had been in the habit of working first for a salt company at Mourgues for.ashorb.time, after which they proceeded in a body to the Peceais salt works, where they were taken at once. This j ear, however, the Frenchmen were told at the latter works that they were not wanted, as some 600 Italian workmen had bsen engaged to work at much lower wages. Some 150 out of' the body of 800 French labourer.? were, however, taken on by the Peceais Company. A number of Italian workmisu attacked the French labourers with stones and shovels. The gendarmes arrived in time to prevent the 150 Frenchmen being massacred by their 450 Italian aggressors. To avenge this attack the Frenchmen in a body then attacked the Italians. The French, now a veritable army, assembled to the number of 500 men in the streets of Aigues-Mortes, carrying every weapon, from pickaxes to firearms and bludgeons. In vain the mayor, the prefects, and the procureiir sought to. calm them. The police tried to bar the way, and were swept aside. The Italians also were armed, but they were much inferior in number, Some frightful hand-to-hand fights ensued. Whenever an Italian escaped be was hunted like a rat, and done to death. The neighbouring Houses and the hospitals became full of the wounded. A company of soldiers and 50 mounted men of ths artillery arrived from Nimes, and another train brought more soldier?, and these troops set quickly about isolating the French and the Italians. Many of the Ifcaliaus had taken to the houses, and 50 of them shut themselves up in a baker's shop, where they were protected by the soldiers. Those who were the lest wounded were immediately sent off by train to Nimes, and thence to Marseilles, where they were given in charge of the Italian Consul. Even at the last moment ah the railway station some terrible scenes occurred. When the news of the conflict reached Italy great excitement was manifested. In Rome bodies of working men simultaneously left work and formed processions with draped banners, intending to march through the Streets iv solemn protest against the unpunished " assassiuafcion" of their brethren in France. Thtir passage was opposed by troops, who, in cases where they offered resistance, confronted them with fixed bayonets. The Piazza Colonna, the Chamber, and the French Embassy were surrounded by troops. Crowds of labouring men assembled and shouted, "Down with France " and " "Viva la Guerra." A telegram,

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Bibliographic details

LABOUR RIOTS., Otago Daily Times, Issue 9868, 13 October 1893

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LABOUR RIOTS. Otago Daily Times, Issue 9868, 13 October 1893