The Children as Strikers

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Public officials required that children being sent away have the proper signed permission from their guardians. The strike committee created identification cards for that reason and every child leaving Lawrence wore one affixed to his or her collar. Even though there were over twenty languages spoken amongst the strikers, they brought a sophisticated level of organization to the strike. This unity and strength in organizing in the face of adversity allowed the strikers to ultimately win their demands.

Like their parents, children were affected by the difficult living and working conditions, low pay, and long hours working in the Lawrence mills. When it came time to strike, the children marched alongside their parents and made the country take notice.

The following poem by Jane Roulston appeared in the New York Call on February 15, 1912, titled “The Coming of the Children.”

Was it an army’s martial tread
That beat through the traffic’s sullen roar?
And was it the shouting of warriors’ dread
That the icy blasts of North wind bore?

Nay, ‘twas but the patter of little feet
And children’s voices clear and sweet
Loud rang their call o’er the city’s din
“We are the strikers, and we shall win!”