Editorial in the Seattle Daily Union Record on Tuesday, February 4th 1919, written by Anna Louise Strong announcing the Seattle general strike.
“ON THURSDAY AT 10 A.M. There will be many cheering and there will be some who fear. Both of these emotions are useful, but not too much of either. We are undertaking the most tremendous move ever made by LABOR in this country, a move which will lead - NO ONE KNOWS WHERE! We do not need hysteria. We need the iron march of labor.
LABOR WILL FEED THE PEOPLE. Twelve great kitchens have been offered, and from them food will be distributed by the provision trades at low cost to all.
LABOR WILL CARE FOR THE BABIES AND THE SICK. The milk-wagons and the laundry drivers are arranging plans for supplying milk to babies, invalids and hospitals, and taking care of the cleaning of linen for hospitals.
LABOR WILL PRESERVE ORDER. The strike committee is arranging for guards, and it is expected that the stopping of the cars will keep people at home. A few hot-headed enthusiasts have complained that strikers only should be fed, and the general public left to endure severe discomfort. Aside from the inhumanitarian character of such suggestions, let us get this straight -
NOT THE WITHDRAWAL OF LABOR POWER, BUT THE POWER OF THE STRIKERS TO MANAGE WILL WIN THIS STRIKE.
The closing down of Seattle’s industries, as a MERE SHUTDOWN, will not affect these eastern gentlemen much. They could let the whole northwest got to pieces, as far as money alone is concerned. BUT, the closing down of the capitalistically controlled industries of Seattle, while the WORKERS ORGANIZE to feed the people, to care for the babies and the sick, to preserve order — THIS will move them, for this looks too much like the taking over of POWER by the workers.
Labor will not only SHUT DOWN the industries, but Labor will REOPEN, under the management of the appropriate trades, such activities as are needed to preserve public health and public peace. If the strike continues, Labor may feel led to avoid public suffering by reopening more and more activities. UNDER ITS OWN MANAGEMENT.
And that is why we say that we are starting on a road that leads — NO ONE KNOWS WHERE.”