James Connolly




Workers’ Republic, 21 August 1915.
Recently republished in Red Banner, No.7 (PO Box 6587, Dublin 6).
Transcription: Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh.
HTML Mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Every day gives fresh proof of the gravity of the danger facing the workers of this country from the ever-increasing power of the military. In Belfast the military have been employed to do ordinary labouring work at salvaging in the docks. One of the docks was the scene of a great fire, and members of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union were afterwards employed to do the salvage work in sorting out the burnt goods and rescuing any material that could be saved. As these men naturally held out for proper wages they were informed one day last week that they would have to go, and next morning they found the military in their place. The soldiers did not want the job. They had not enlisted to scab upon their brother workers, but they found out that what they fancied they had enlisted for, and what they were really used for were two different things.

Would it be a fair question to ask if such military interference with Labour does not do more to discourage recruiting than all the anti-militarist speeches we could deliver?

In Barrow, in Glasgow, on the Tyne, in short in every great industrial centre, the same tale is being told. All trade union rights are assailed, all trade union liberties are denied, the working class is everywhere menaced by an unscrupulous master class in alliance with a military power in the hands of men who have grown up in hatred of democracy, and with a contempt for the class from which the private soldiers are drawn.

More than ever it is necessary for Labour to spring to arms in defence of its birthright.


Last updated on 14.8.2003