Helen Keller Reference Archive

Brutal Treatment of the Unemployed in Sacramento Star

Written: (Sacramento, CA) March 16, 1914
Source: Helen Keller: Her Socialist Years (International Publishers, 1967)
Transcription/Markup: Anonymous/Brian Baggins
Online Version: Helen Keller Reference Archive (marxists.org) 2000


I think their treatment was outrageous. It is not a crime to protest for your fellow. It is not a crime to be without bread.

They say that these men are IWW's and that means, "I Won't Work." I honor these men for their protest.

I am a socialist because I believe that socialism will solve the misery of the world — give work to the man who is hungry and idle and at least give to little children the right to be born free.

I believe socialism is practical.

You tell me these men out of work are unfit. Under socialism they will not be unfit becaue they will not be overtaxed. With the idle rich and the idle poor working and the work day four hours long their bodies will grow strong again and their minds sane.

There are so many in prison who should be out — with their minds and bodies given a chance to grow straight. There are so many out of prison who more deserve to be inside. There are those who enslave men and women and little children, paying wages that will not let them live.

It is them and the system under which they live that are responsible for the men who have been treated like inhuman things at Sacramento.