Mass Meeting in Worringen (Cologne, 1848)

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Cologne, September 18. Yesterday a large public meeting took place at Worringen. From Cologne five or six large” Rhine barges, each with a few hundred persons, and with the red flag at the prow, made the trip down the Rhine. More or less numerous delegations were present from Neuss, Düsseldorf, Krefeld, Hitdorf, Frechen and Rheindorf. The meeting, which was held in a meadow at the side of the Rhine, comprised at least 6,000-8,000 persons.

Karl Schapper from Cologne was appointed chairman, and Friedrich Engels from Cologne secretary. On a proposal put by the chairman, the meeting declared unanimously, except for one vote, in favour of a republic, and in fact for a democratic social republic, a red republic.

On the proposal of Ernst Dronke from Cologne, the same address to the Berlin Assembly that had been adopted the previous Wednesday at the meeting on the Frankenplatz in Cologne (in which the Assembly was called upon, in the event of its being dissolved, not to give way even before the force of bayonets[1] was also unanimously adopted by the Worringen meeting.

On the proposal of Joseph Moll from Cologne, it was decided to recognise the Committee of Public Safety elected at the public meeting in Cologne and on the motion of a member of the meeting three hearty cheers were given for this Committee.

On the proposal of Friedrich Engels from Cologne, the following address was unanimously adopted:

To the German National Assembly in Frankfurt.

The German citizens here assembled hereby declare that if as a result of the resistance of the Prussian Government to the decisions of the National Assembly and the Central Authority a conflict should arise between Prussia and Germany, they will be ready to sacrifice their lives and property on the side of Germany.

Worringen, September 17, 1848

On the proposal of Schultes from Hitdorf it was resolved that the Kölnische Zeitung did not represent the interests of the Rhine Province.

In addition, there were speeches by W. Wolff from Cologne, F. Lassalle from Düsseldorf, Esser from Neuss, Weyll, Wächter, Becker and Reichhelm from Cologne, Wallraf from Frechen, Müller, a member of the Worringen Workers’ Association, Leven from Rheindorf, and Imandt from Krefeld. The proceedings concluded with a short speech by Henry Brisbane of New York, the well-known editor of the democratic-socialist New-York Tribune.

During the meeting, news came from a trustworthy source that it was intended “on Tuesday to send the 27th Regiment again to Cologne, to draw in also the remaining battalions of the regiment, to provoke conflicts between the soldiers and the citizens, and to take advantage of this occasion to proclaim the city in a state of siege, to disarm the civic militia, and in short to deal with us in the same way as with Mainz”.[2]

In case this report should actually prove to be well founded and a clash take place, the inhabitants of the areas around Cologne present at the meeting promised their help. In fact, the people from Worringen are only waiting to be called upon for them to appear on the scene.

Let the ex-commander of the civic militia, Herr Wittgenstein, take note of this.