The Riot Comes to a Point.
In the midst of an incendiary harangue to a crowd of 600 roughs and Anarchists at the corner of Desplaines and Randolph streets last night a dynamite bomb was thrown into a squad of police sent to disperse the mob. It exploded with terrible effect, fifty of the policemen being horribly mangled, many of them fatally. Shots were exchanged between the mob and the police, and a charge by a relief squad of officers scattered the rioters in every direction.
Perhaps some such monstrous act as this was needed to arouse public opinion in Chicago and unite law-abiding citizens in defense of their rights. Until recently the conduct of the municipal authorities in dealing with all Anarchist demonstrations has been pusillanimous, and the weakness of the City Administration has infected private citizens and corporations. The time has now come when it must be for the interest of all who believe in American principles to take a stand in defending them against the attacks of an incendiary and alien rabble.
There is no question of vengeance to be considered. But justice, law, and the good name of the city require that the blood of these innocent officers shall not rise up to accuse the people of cowardice. There must be an atonement. The scoundrels who murdered them must be punished. The associates of the murderers who again break the peace must be promptly and severely dealt with.
The cruelty of an indiscriminate dynamite attack upon the police will at once excite public attention. The officers are acting on behalf of the community. They are appointed to preserve the peace. They are under military discipline, and are taught to obey without question the orders they receive. While acting in this capacity they are the representatives of the whole people. Any attack upon them is an offense to everybody who is responsible for their official existence. To single out for murder a few officers who are in the discharge of their duty is a wanton and maniacal crime. These officers presumably are men of family and far more respectable and useful members of society than any of the ruffians engaged in the attack upon them. To slay them Tuesday because some other officers Monday defended themselves against rioters in another part of the city is to exhibit a degree of madness that we had not believed even the Anarchists to be capable of.
We hope and believe the murder of the police officers last night will instantly result in a consolidation of public opinion in favor of upholding the law and punishing those who violate it.
There ought to be a public meeting called and such an expression given to the feelings of honest men that no alien assassins can remain in doubt what side the power rests with in this contest.