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Mark Simonson

September 1, 2012

Railroad strike in 1922 caused local clashes


“One man in the crowd, Lawrence Russell, assumed the offensive and replied to Farone and according to the latter made threatening   remarks to him.”
It resulted in Farone striking Russell, but after a brief scuffle the men were separated and Farone went back into his building.   Russell and numerous strike sympathizers then went to the city police and demanded Farone be arrested on the charge of assault.   Police arrested Farone but he gave bail at his appearance at police headquarters, then found at 242 Main St. Upon leaving   headquarters, Farone presented a charge against Russell of disturbing the peace. Russell was then arrested and made bail at   his appearance.
As the Star reported, “The incident resulted in many sensational stories becoming current and no little excitement was caused.”
That wasn’t the end of the strike tensions. The Star reported on Monday, Aug. 22, that the city and D&H police were busy over   the weekend.
“Numerous fights about the streets on Saturday evening and a revolver battle near Duane street last night ... kept the … departments   on the jump.”
Several strikebreakers on Saturday “came uptown. They were forcibly rejected from Dreamland hall and chased for a considerable   distance.” 
An identified strikebreaker was at the 20th Century Lunch, and strike sympathizers exchanged several blows before police arrived   to disperse the fracas. Another fight almost immediately broke out on Broad Street. As for the revolver battle, no one was   identified as hit after some strikers or sympathizers were reportedly throwing stones at some strikebreakers on the job in   the railroad yards.
On Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4, the local Federated Shop Crafts workers arranged a large parade in Oneonta, which ended in   Neahwa Park. Several speeches were made at the park pavilion afterward.
As was read in the Star, some of the text of a speech read, “We are fighting to retain for the rail workers decent living   wages and working conditions. Therefore this labor day should be wrought with determination on the part of every real workman,   whether organized or not, to help to win this great strike.” Nearly 1,000 marched in the parade.

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