|spread their doctrines broadcast, arrogantly and
Do you think all the I. W. W.
members and red-flag Socialists and pro-Germans who were convicted
of interference with our war program and of disloyalty, should be
released from the penetentiaries?
If you do, join the Non-Partisan
League of North Dakota, -- for all of this is included in its most
The Non-Partisan Leader -- the
official weekly paper of the league -- in its issue of November 30,
"What are we going to do with our
political prisoners, -- men and women who ran counter to general
public opinion of the sedition law during the prosecution of the
war? ** They are not criminals -- far from it. The great majority of
them are men and women of culture and conscience, with the courage
of their convictions. They are now in jail -- thousands of them --
some of them for terms as long as thirty years, because their
consciences would not let them shed the blood of fellow men, even
though those fellow men were Germans.
"You were more practical (italics
are ours) -- but the same God that gave you your conscience, gave
these political prisoners theirs, and their offense was merely in
being true to it. Now the war is over, the necessity for their
imprisonment is over. We can even afford to be generous. **
"If the offense was conscientious objection to the war -- or was
liberal ideas (italics are ours) which led him too far in
criticism --let us pardon him. Let us leave the locking up of
political heretics to the old world countries.
"Let us free our political prisoners."
its issue of December 7, 1918, the Non-Partisan Leader makes an even
stronger plea for the immediate release of these "political
prisoners." One of these "political prisioners' is Kate Richards
O'Hare. Judge Martin J. Wade, of Iowa, sentenced her to the
penitentiary. Mrs. O'Hare, in a speech in North Dakota (where the
Non-partisan League is in absolute control of the state government),
said, among other things:
"That any person who
enlisted in the army of the United States for service in France
would be used for fertilizer, and that is all he was good for; and
that the women of the United States were nothing more t=or less than
brood sows to raise children to get in the army and be made into
The same Non-partisan
League is now organizing in Iowa. What do you think about it -- you
loyal Iowans who love your homes and who gave your sons to fight --
perhaps die -- for the cause of democracy?
What do you think of it --you whose daughters served so unselfishly
as Red Cross nurses?
Just a year
ago the Non-partisan League of North Dakota sent forty of its agents
over our northern border to "organize" Iowa, and control the 1918
elections to our legislature. These forty agents scattered into
forty of our counties and began preaching their doctrines of class
prejudice. They told farmers that all merchants and manufacturers
and bankers were organized against the farming business --
and that it was time for the farmer to organize and fight back.
The Greater Iowa Association, representing as it does, all classes
of business, and having in its membership more farmers than any
other single class of business, realized that propaganda of this
sort was harmful to Iowa and was seriously retarding the various war
activities in which our people were engaged. It therefore held
community meetings in sixty counties, within forty days --turned the
spot-light of truth upon the misrepresentations of the Non-partisan
League organizers appealed to the fairmindedness of the people --
and the organizers went back to Minnesota and North Dakota,
Six months later, Jim Pierce,
publisher of the Iowa Homestead, thinking he could increase the
circulation of his newspaper and also establish himself as a
political dictator, undertook to act as sponsor for the Non-Partisan
League in Iowa -- and invited Townley to send back his organizers.
Within a week half a dozen counties were being canvassed by the
agents of the League.
As all of the officers
and employees of the Greater Iowa Association were at that time
giving all their service to the Third Liberty Loan campaign in Iowa,
we appealed to the State Council of National Defense to consider the
league as interfering with the prosecution of essential war work.
The Council of Denfense directed the league to discontinue its
propaganda until after the war. The league defied the Council of
Defense and refused to discontinue its creation of class prejudice.
In the meantime Jim Pierce, who was then a member of the Council of
Defense, grew bolder, forcing the council to expel him, through the
|| "Mr. J. M.
Pierce, a member of this council, has elected to oppose and
defy the honest convictions of every other member of the Iowa
State Council of Defense upon this matter. He has made
his choices between this body and the Townley organization,
and has elected to lead in the organization of the
Non-partisan League in Iowa, in defiance of the solemn appeal
of this council, to the patriotism of those interested in
establishing the league.
his real purpose and design to shield himself against the
stigma which must attach to the man who in these times will
support this league, he attacks the Great Iowa Association and
some of its members.
"This council refuses to have the
matter diverted into a controversy between the Non-partisan
League and the Greater Iowa Association. The question at issue
must stand upon its merits.
"We condemn the Non-partisan League and
those who would now force it upon our people by a campaign --
already organized by Mr. Pierce -- the very nature of which
cannot help but divide our forces -- arouse class hatreds and
weaken our fighting force.
"Mr. Pierce in order to hide his anxiety
he establishment of the Non-Partisan League speaks
more of 'Farmers organizations' than he does of the
Non-Partisan League. This council and no member of this
council to our knowledge has ever opposed the organization of
farmers. They would welcome any organization of farmers which
was patriotic and which did not have upon
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