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Lucy E. Parsons: Rumblings of the Coming Storm

A short text from 1892 by Lucy E. Parsons: Rumblings of the Coming Storm.

Originally published in August 1892, Chicago.

What were those rumblings which have been heard in the iron mills of Pennsylvania and mines of Idaho the last few weeks? They are the rumblings of the approaching Social Revolution which will deluge this world before the end of the present century.

What is the world today but a vast hospital ward? The air is filled with groans and lamentations, and every form of suffering is to be seen twitching and turning on beds of poverty. What a spectacle in a world of plenty!

Go through the world and ask each country you come to, “Do peace, plenty, and happiness dwell here?” and from each the same reply will be made: “Pass on; what you seek is not here.”

Pause and listen at the borders of each, and the breeze will waft to your ears the same confused echoes of contention, tumult, revolt, and oppression.

How long can this condition of affairs last?

How much longer must the schoolhouse be robbed that the robbers’ factory may be filled with the fair roses that bloom at the firesides of poverty and fade in these hells?

How much longer must our sons be made tramps and criminals and our daughters prostitutes, so that a few may riot in luxury?

How long will the few be permitted to sit in exalted places and answer the complaints of the people in short, terse sentences like this: “We possess all rights; you all duties; perform them or we will have you clubbed by our police, hanged by our Sheriffs, and shot by our militia.”

Will these surrender their “rights” peaceably? Never! And they who answer that they will are ignoramuses and idiots and have read history to no purpose.

Lucy Parsons, 1892


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