August Spies

August Spies, 1887

August Vincent Theodore Spies (1855–1887) was an American upholsterer, radical labor activist, and newspaper editor.


  • Anarchism does not mean bloodshed; it does not mean robbery, arson, etc. These monstrosities are, on the contrary, the characteristic features of capitalism. Anarchism, or Socialism, means the re-organization of society upon scientific principles and the abolition of causes which produce vice and crime.
    • Spies (1887 cited in: Lucy Eldine Parsons, August Vincent Theodore Spies (1969) Famous Speeches of the Eight Chicago Anarchists. p. 22
  • We did not want bloodshed, for we are not bandits. We would not be socialists, if we were bandits. /.../ When the preacher of the truth meets the death penalty, well - proud and defiant, I will pay the price.
  • The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today.
    • Cited in: Kenneth G. Alfers (1993) America's second century: readings in United States history since 1877. p. 43

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