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James Connell (1852-1929) was an Irish socialist.


"One thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine was the year of the London dock strike. It was the biggest thing of its kind that occurred up to that date, and its leaders, H. H. Champion, Tom Mann and John Burns—aroused the whole of England by the work they did and the victory they won. Much occurred, however, before that to elevate me. Not many years previously the Irish Land League aroused the democracy of all countries. I am proud to be able to say that I founded the first branch of the Land League which was established in England. This was the Poplar branch and I remained its secretary until the League was suppressed, and was a member of the executive during the whole of the time. Those who played a prominent part in the business never knew when they were going to be arrested and indicted for murder. About the same time, the Russian Nihilists, the parents of the Bolshevists, won the applause of all lovers of liberty and admirers of heroism. Under the rule of the Czar, which many Englishmen would now re-establish if they could, the best men and women of Russia were deported to Siberia at the rate of twenty thousand a year. Young lady students were taken from their classrooms, and sent to work in the horrible mines, where their teeth fell out, and the hair fell off their heads in a few months. Nobody could possibly fight this hellish rule with more undaunted courage than did the Nihilists, women as well as men. It was my privilege to know Stepniak, himself one of the greatest of the Terrorists. I was in his company the night he was accidentally killed at a level crossing on a railway. His book, Underground Russia, produced a greater effect on me than any 'revelation' ever produced on a devotee. I was indeed 'raised above myself' by the dauntless courage of Vera Sassulitch and the 'endless abnegation' of Sophie Perovskaya. There happened also, in 1887, the hanging of the Chicago anarchists. Their innocence was afterwards admitted by the Governor of the State of Illinois. The widow of one of them, Mrs. Parsons, herself more than half a Red Indian, made a lecturing tour in this country soon afterwards. On one occasion I heard her tell a large audience that when she contemplated the service rendered to humanity, she was glad her husband had died as he did. Yes, I heard Mrs. Parsons say that. The reader may now understand how the souls of all true Socialists were elevated, and how I got into the mood which enabled men to write 'The Red Flag.'"—James Connell, "How I Wrote the Red Flag," The Call (6 May 1920)


"The Red Flag"

"Workers of the World"

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