Brisbane March 3, 1894
THE EDITORIAL MILL.
Our Motto: “Socialism in our time.”
Charles Stewart and Henry M'Cormick leaders of the Adelaide unemployed, have been sentenced to 10 and 14 days' imprisonment respectively for leading a procession of unemployed through the city after it had been interdicted. Very hard on Stewart and M'Cormick, but a very excellent thing for the men out of employment. There's nothing like agitation, and one can't agitate nowadays without a risk of getting into gaol. Every unemployed agitator should recognise this, and be prepared for the worst. If unemployed men want work they must stand up and say so – not idle their time away at home making their wives miserable and themselves melancholy, or reclining in the parks gazing into the “blue empyrean,” or wandering aimlessly through the country seeking the one billet for which there are twenty applicants. This unemployed question must be forced under the notice of the people and the imprisonment of unemployed leaders for merely marching through the streets is one of the best methods of drawing public notice to he circumstances that thousands of men of all trades and occupations are destitute because private employers cannot or will not employ them.
The Governments of the different colonies will always object to a public parade of rage and misery because it is a reproach to them whose duty it is to find work for all willing members of the community in need of it. The present governments, composed of members of the employer class are interested in the existence of an unemployed army to keep down the rate of wages, and will use every means of preventing the unemployed from advertising their poverty and destitution. The people as a whole do not credit the existence of a large unemployed class, because it is kept out of sight. The plain duty of those who want work is, under the circumstances, to bring their case under the notice of the people whose great generous heart would not tolerate the mass of misery which is now lurking in all sorts of holes and hiding places in what ought to be a veritable “promised land.” Stewart and M'Cormick are in gaol. Someone must take their places, even if they have to go to gaol too. John Burns has “done time,” Hyndman J. W. Wilson, Lassalle, Karl Marx, and a host of other Labour agitators, so there's no disgrace attached to imprisonment for advocating the rights of the poor in defiance of the out of date parliamentary “statoota” and municipal by-laws which an employers' government will unearth to suppress a rising of the people against class government and a refusal to provide permanent productive employment for every man and woman who requires it.
We hope the Adelaide unemployed will continue to agitate and parade despite the South Australian Government. Let them force themselves before the public and the public will stand by them. Agitate,educate, organise! Nothing will ever be done by sitting down crooning over troubles. Meet early in the morning when the thousands of Adelaide workers who are fortunate enough to be in employment are going to work, and then parade so that they may see the prospects ahead of them.
Follow the practice of the Sydney unemployed and walk in a body to church. Do everything that is likely to bring your condition under the notice of the man who has a vote to turn out every government which does not believe it is the duty of a government to find work for all who need it. Do anything but sit down – unless perhaps you sit down in a body in the precincts of Parliament House when Parliament opens and refuse to shift until the Premier promises to give you the chance of earning not only an honest crust but a good square meal, good clothes and good shelter for yourselves and for those dependents on you.