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Strikers [Image #:Nara 42-016]

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Erik Nordberg, MTU Archivist1/18/2010 8:35:24 AMThis shows a group of protesters on the steps of the former Calumet Armory, with the Calumet & Hecla Library just left of center. The American flag in the upper right of the image seems to have lettering on it. Something with "Toivo" and "Calumet, Mi." From the original print, one can read the signs: "We Mean Hietala, Brander, Mikko, Pietila, Alane, Warmanen, Reinikainen" / "No Red Flags For Us" / "We Mean What We Say" / "40,000 Finns Demand Mikko Must Go" / "We Want Work, Peace, Plenty Not Agitators" / "The Agitators Must Go" / "The Agitators Won't Deceive The Finns Again"
Anonymous1/20/2010 9:45:49 AMI think this photo is probably from the mostly Finnish Anti-sosialisti Liito, or Anti-socialist League. There were chapters in Calumet and Hancock for sure. The Finnish American Historical Archive has a minutes book from the Hancock organization and notes regarding the organization in Armas Holmio's collections. My personal take on the organization is that it was a way for those who were not sympathetic to the strike movement to reclaim the good standing of Finnish immigrant community members. Meaning, Finns were so associated with the strike, many Finns who were antithetical to the strike and its ideological foundations were looking for a way to distance themselves from the strike events and the Finns associated with the strike. This distancing took formal and informal forms, the Anti-socialsit League being a formal way to say the socialist Finns don't speak for all of us, and this was certainly true. In Hancock, Suomi College was home to many in this organization, and if I remember correctly from the minutes book, which contained lists of those signing up, there were a number of clergy from the Suomi Synod and business owners who were supportive of Suomi College. In Calumet, you might see more Suomi Synod members, and business owners and ascending middle class men and women like the Sorsens, O.J. Larson, Keckonen, perhaps Maggie Walz, and Charles Jackola, though not sure if any of these men or women were in the group. I write a little about the Anti-socialist League in the upcoming book, and I'm pasting below the text about the group: It was in this last hour of concession that the Finnish Anti-socialist League officially organized in the Copper Country. The first formal meeting of Hancock’s Anti-socialist League met on April 9, 1914, in Rouleau Hall. Calumet Finns organized a branch of the Anti-socialist League on May 10 of the same year, holding a large gathering in the Calumet National Guard Armory. The Hancock League’s first meeting saw 22 people attend. The second meeting saw Swaby Lawton, Hancock City Attorney and brother of Quincy Mine Superintendent Charles Lawton join the group as a new member of “good social standing.” The second meeting attracted 38 new members, the third meeting 41 new members, the fourth 63 and then by the fifth meeting women joined the ranks. This co-ed meeting drew 42 new members, but after that, numbers of new members began to drop-off dramatically. Altogether, the League’s ranks comprised roughly 285 members who met at the Rouleau Hall, Kauth Block Hall and after the fourth meeting, exclusively at Pohjantähti Temperance Hall. --- Gary Kaunonen, M.S.,Industrial Archaeology PhD candidate, Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Anonymous1/20/2010 9:46:17 AMPredictably, the group focused almost solely on socialist-unionist activities in Hancock. Whether the League was dog piling on Copper Country Finnish socialist-unionists after the strike or reacting to a perceived threat, the League seemingly was working to thwart any future twitches that might again bring about another strike-like event. Ever vigil, the group utilized the power of the mining companies through the local company influenced media: "We discussed the ball (dance) at Kansankoti. Secretary E. Saastamoinen suggested that we should make a petition for the city council of Hancock to keep an eye on the event. At this time, it was considered to be enough to write an article about it to the Mining Gazette. A. Braum took responsibility for the task. Secretary E. Saastamoinen was asked to write about the same thing to Amerikan Suometar." The Hancock League was however a short-lived organization, the last meeting entry for the Hancock Anti-socialist League occurred only a half-year later on September 12, 1915. Now, whether these people in the photo were affiliated with the Calumet Anti-socialist League, I have no way of knowing, but I would guess that there was some association between the group of people in the photo and the Anti-socialist League in Calumet. As you can read from the above book passage, in Hancock anyway, mining companies were supportive of the League. All those names on the signs are Finns associated with leadership positions in the WFM or the Finnish Socialist Federation locals. Sometimes they were referred to as "foreign agitators," and most were recent immigrants, as were many in the Finnish immigrant population, but one notable Heimer Mikko was a second generation Copper Country Finnish American. I've met a couple of Mikko's relatives, one who lives in Alaska. They donated an obit for him, and Mikko comes up in various histories of the Finnish American left. --- Gary Kaunonen, M.S.,Industrial Archaeology PhD candidate, Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Anonymous10/23/2012 12:07:56 AMI want to learn more about the Finnish American Anti-Socialist League. My great-grandfather was a member in Hancock, and I have his original membership card.
Anonymous10/23/2012 9:33:56 PMI want to learn more about the Finnish American Anti-Socialist League. My great-grandfather was a member in Hancock, and I have his original membership card.


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Bibliographic Information



Title: Strikers
Photographer: J. W. Nara
Date: 1913
Description: [A group of people stand in front of a sandstone building carrying signs that read: "We mean Hietala, Brander, Mikko, Pietila, Alane, Warmanen, Reinikainen" "No Red Flag For Us", "We Mean What We Say", "40,000 Finns Demand Mikko Must Go", "We Want Work, Peace, Plenty - Not Agitators".]
Source of Description: Nara Collection Guide [cataloger]
Subject(s):


 
Metal Trade - Copper Industry and Trade - Copper Mines and Mining
Buildings
Labor Movements - Labor Unions
Number of Pieces: One Piece(s)
Medium: photographic print;
Color: B&W;
Size: 10 cm x 15.1 cm
Polarity: ; Positive.
Contents Note:
Local Note(s):

 
Scanned from original print returned to donor.
Donor: Dr. Robert and Ruth Nara
Institution: MTU Archives
Collection: Nara Photographic Collection - ACC#-09-038A
Collection #:
Image #: Nara 42-016
Condition: Fair