Karl Marx and Works Frederick Engels 1872

Declaration of the General Council of the International Working Men’s Association

Source: The Eastern Post, February 24, 1872;
Transcribed: by Tony Brown.

The Swiss authorities have thought proper, upon a simple reclamation of the Russian Foreign Office, sent in violation of the Federal Constitution direct to a magistrate at Iverdun, to search the house of Citizen Outine at Geneva, under the infamous pretext that he might be implicated in the forgery of Russian paper money — a scandalous affair, in which, wonderful to say, the Russian State Councillor, Kamensky, charged to prosecute the forgers, figures at the same time as their ringleader. They seized the papers of Outine, and exposed all his Russian, German, and English correspondence to the scrutiny of a Russian translator, whose very name they refused to give. Citizen Outine, up to December 1871, was editor of the International organ, L’Égalité, and consequently his correspondence was for the greater part that of the International, and provided with the stamps of its different committees. Had it not been for the interference of his legal adviser, Citizen Amberny, to whom the Council tenders its best thanks, Outine’s papers and himself would have been handed over to the Russian Government, with which Switzerland has not even a treaty of extradition.

The Russian Government, met at home by a daily growing opposition, has taken advantage of the sham conspiracies of men like Netchayeff, who did not belong to the International, to prosecute opponents at home under the pretext of being Internationals. Now it takes another step in advance. Supported by its faithful vassal, Prussia, it commences an intervention in the internal concerns of Western nations by calling upon their magistrates to hunt down in its service the International. It opens its campaign in a Republic, and the Republican authorities hastened to make themselves the humble servants of Russia. The General Council considers it sufficient to denounce the designs of the Russian Cabinet, and the subserving of its Western helpmates, to the workmen of all nations.