We are free, truly free, when we don’t need to rent
our arms to anybody in order to be able to lift
a piece of bread to our mouths.
―Ricardo Flores Magón
Hellraisers Journal, Sunday October 27, 1907
Los Angeles, California – Mexican Revolutionaries Under Arrest
From the Appeal to Reason of October 26, 1907:
ANOTHER MOYER-HAYWOOD CASE
BY W. A. COREY.
Probably most readers of the Appeal have received some inkling through the capitalist press of the case of the four Mexican revolutionists now in jail in Los Angeles and fighting extradition to Mexico.
It is another Moyer-Haywood case; another attempt on the part of capitalist tyranny to put men out of the way who have become dangerous to it; another instance of capitalism’s cowardly Black Hand methods. As usual, the capitalist press has acted its part either by blackening the characters of the men or by refusing the case the space its importance warrants.
Three of the men-Magon, Villarreal and Rivera were arrested August 23, in the office of their publication, “La Revolucion,” in Los Angeles, while the fourth, De Lara, was arrested at his lodging September 27th. The first arrests were made without warrants or any show of authority whatever by officers of the Los Angeles police department, acting in conjunction with the Mexican authorities. The three Mexicans, who are powerful men, put up a stiff fight and were overcome with the greatest difficulty.
It was the evident intention of the police to hurry the men to a train and get them over into Mexico before legal steps could be taken to protect them. Once across the Mexican line they would be lined up against a brick wall and summarily shot. It was a case of kidnaping pure and simple; though not as simple as the kidnapers hoped, for they did not reckon with the Socialists, whose lawyers, Job Harriman and A. F. Holston, instantly took up the fight for the prisoners and forced the “persecution” to show their hand in the courts.
Up to the present time one faked charge after another has been disproved; one of them, a charge of libel, being so palpably false that even the republican governor of California refuse to authorize their removal from the state on the showing made. It is expected that the next charge will be one of violating the international neutrality laws-the specific charge being that of organizing within the confines of the United States an insurrection against Mexico, a friendly power. The long and short of it is that these men have proved themselves dangerous to the “established order” and the capitalist governments at Washington and Mexico City “want” them badly and propose to “get” them by fair means or foul.
* * * * *
Personally these four revolutionary comrades are interesting. Ricardo Flores Magon is a lawyer, a graduate of the National School of Jurisprudence in the City of Mexico. He is a writer of ability and has been such since his early youth. He has been in prison for his beliefs many times.
Antonio I. Villarreal is a native of Monterey, Mexico, and is a graduate of the preparatory school of that city. He also graduated from the National Military academy in the City of Mexico, and, many years ago, served on the general staff of the Mexican army, from which he resigned to cast in his lot with the cause of revolution.
Librado Rivera is an “intellectual” pure and simple. He is a graduate of, and was for a number of years professor of political economy in, the great normal school at San Luis Potosi. Like his comrades, he resigned his position to join the revolutionary political movement against the government of President Diaz.
G. Guittarez De Lara is a college-bred man and a lawyer and writer of note. He is the author of several revolutionary novels.
These men are all descendants of the ancient Aztecs, and they are a credit to their ancestry. They are all men of splendid parts, educated, refined and high-minded. Physically they are perfect types of robust manhood. They are in every respect worthy of their calling, the calling of the leader, the pioneer, and if need be, the martyr!
While they are all Socialists in sympathy, only one of them, De Lara, is a dues-paying member of the party. Like the revolutionists of Russia, they are working, as far as the immediate is concerned at least, merely to overthrow a tyrannical government, which, though called a republic, is, compared with the despotism of the czar, as a glimpse of hell to a ray of morning sunlight. They are working for what American Socialists call immediate reforms. They want a free electoral franchise. They want free public schools. They want child labor abolished. They want factory and mine inspection. They want the law’s protection for the toiler. And for advocating these things they are hounded as criminals in “free America,” and American officials are seeking to earn the $20,000 which is the price upon each of their heads in “our sister republic.”
Mexico in the last two decades has changed from an industrial system characterized by seventeenth century serfdom and a landed aristocracy to modern capitalism, with railroads, mills, mines and factories. Serfdom-or peonage-has given way to wage slavery. And the class struggle has been intensified with the change.
* * * * * *
Socialists of America! You have saved the lives of Moyer and Haywood by agitation and organization. You can save the lives of Magon and his comrades in the same way. Here is a chance to demonstrate the international class solidarity of the working-class movement. Will you say to the banded and bloody-handed buccaneers of two nations: “Shed the blood of these men without proof of guilt at your peril!” The price of liberty is eternal vigilance, and the liberty leagues that marched and worked so valiantly for Moyer, Haywood and Pettibone should not disband till the last tyrant is either disarmed or is hell.
Appeal to Reason
-Oct 26, 1907
The San Francisco Call
(San Francisco, California)
-Sept 29, 1907
“Men Arrested in Los Angeles Are Champions of Liberty in Mexico”
-Long interview with Magón by Ethel Dolsen
Note: I believe the “de Lara” mentioned is Lazaro Gutierrez de Lara. Search the following source with “de Lara.”
Land and Liberty: Anarchist Influences in the Mexican Revolution
-ed by David Poole
Black Rose Books Ltd., 1977
Also: Lazaro Gutierrez de Lara, AtR Aug 20, 1910
re arrest Sept 27, 1907
Ricardo Flores Magón, Archive (in Spanish)
Ricardo Flores Magón
Antonio Irineo Villarreal
Mexican Liberal Party (PLM)