Hellraisers Journal: Frank Little in Butte, Speaks to 4,000 Striking Metal Miners & Supporters at Ballpark

Don’t worry, Fellow Worker,
all we’re going to need
from now on is guts.
-Frank Little


Hellraisers Journal, Tuesday July 24, 1917
Butte, Montana – Fellow Worker Frank Little Speaks

Frank Little, wiki

Fellow Worker Frank Little arrived in Butte, Montana, on July 18th as a representative of the Industrial Workers of the World. The Butte Metal Mine Workers Union is officially unaffiliated with the I. W. W., and yet, Frank Little, a leader of the Metal Mine Workers Industrial Union No. 800, was welcomed whole-heartedly by the striking miners and was invited to speak at a mass meeting held on July 19th at the Columbia Garden Baseball Park.

As he spoke, a light rain began to fall. Frank looked upward into the raindrops, raised his hands and remembered the miners left in the New Mexican desert following the Bisbee Deportation:

Oh man, if this rain could only descend upon that bull pen in the hot, sun-parched desert of New Mexico, and bring some relief to the two thousand noble men held there by the uniformed federal thugs, it would be appreciated.

Frank Little closed his speech with a call for Solidarity and Unity, the only means by which the working class can gain liberty from oppression.

The Great Falls Daily Tribune of July 20th, beneath a banner headline announcing the Draft Drawing being held that same day, published an article with a disapproving description of the speech given by Fellow Worker Little:

WWI, HdLn re Draft, Grt Falls Tb, July 20, 1917


I. W. W. Orator Says There Will Be Revolution
if Government Operates Mines.

Special to The Daily Tribune.

Butte, July 19.-Frank Little, Arizona strike leader, and vouched for by Tom Campbell, president of the Metal Mine Workers of Butte, before a mass meeting of 4,000 miners this afternoon, in the ball park, practically threatened the United States government with revolution in the event that an attempt was made to bring the mines under federal control. The soldiers, declared Little, were armed thugs of the capitalists; and he said that if the government took over the mines crafts of every kind would strike, and make it so hot for the government that it would be unable to send any men to France.

Little’s utterances were particularly rabid, and he shouted all kinds of imprecations upon the capitalists, and preached long upon what the workingman must do to free himself from the capitalistic grasp. Little announced to the Butte audience that he had warned the Arizona governor that the laboring classes all over the country would arise if he turned over the mines to the government.

Little’s arrival in Butte is believed to Herald the advance of an army of I. W. W.’s into Butte to make up for the desertions which have resulted from the miners quitting the new union and returning to work. New groups of strange men can be seen congregating on the street corners daily, and the police report wholesale arrivals of men from the south.

Socialist orators harangued the mass meeting and called on the miners to present a united front, or unionism would fail, urged the miners to stand together to the last, that the capitalists must capitulate and that the potatoes and other foodstuffs would be left to rot in the fields as all the men in the fields would respond to the strike call. Tribute was paid to the I. W. W. organization of harvest hands and the audience was told how the members would obey a strike order.

The copper would not rot, said one speaker, but the pressure and tie-up would force the bosses to do everything that the men demanded.



*I highly recommend this book, best book yet written on
the life of Fellow Worker and Labor Martyr, Frank Little!!

Frank Little and the IWW:
The Blood That Stained an American Family

-by Jane Little Botkin
University of Oklahoma Press, May 25, 2017

Great Falls Daily Tribune
(Great Falls, Montana)
-July 20, 1917

Frank Little, wiki
WWI, HdLn re Draft, Grt Falls Tb, July 20, 1917

See also:

Hellraisers Journal, Wednesday June 20, 1917
Butte, Montana – Metal Miners Organize and Strike
Butte Metal Miners Form New Union & Issue Demands; Spontaneous Walk-Out at Elm Orlu Mine

Note: The Butte Metal Mine Workers Union was an independent union, not affiliated with the IWW, nor the WFM, nor the AFL. (See source at link above: The Gibraltar.)

For short history of
Butte Metal Mine Workers’ Union, 1917

Tag: Granite Mountain-Speculator Mine Fire of 1917


Solidarity Forever – Tom Morello, Nightwatchman
Lyrics by Ralph Chaplin