“The massacres by which the Belgian government did answer in April last to the strikes of the puddlers at Seraing and the coal-miners of Borinage, have been fully exposed in the address of the General Council to the workmen of Europe and the United States (48). We considered this address the more urgent since, with that constitutional model government, such working men’s massacres are not an accident, but an institution. The horrid military drama was succeeded by a judicial farce. In the proceedings against our Belgian General Committee at Brussels, whose domiciles were brutally broken into by the police, and many of whose members were placed under secret arrest, the judge of instruction finds the letter of a workman, asking for 500 ‘Internationales’, and he at once jumps to the conclusion that 500 fighting-men were to be dispatched to the scene of action. The 500 ‘Internationales’ were 500 copies of the ‘Internationale’, the weekly organ of our Brussels Committee. A telegram to Paris by a member of the International, ordering a certain quantity of powder, is raked up. After a prolonged research, the dangerous substance is really laid hand on at Brussels. It is powder for killing vermin. Last, not least, the Belgian police flattered itself, in one of its domiciliary visits, to have got at that phantom treasure which haunts the great mind of the continental capitalist, viz.: the International treasure, the main stock of which is safely hoarded at London, but whose offsets travel continually to all the continental seats of the Association. The Belgian official inquirer thought it buried in a certain strong box, hidden in a dark place. He gets at it, opens it forcibly, and there was found – some pieces of coal. Perhaps, if touched by the hand of the police, the pure International gold turns at once into coal.” [Marx, Report to the Basle Congress: The General Council’s report to the September 1869 Basle Congress was drafted by Marx on the mandate of the General Council meeting of 31 August. It was published in the pamphlet ‘Report of the Fourth Annual Congress of the International Working Men’s Association, London, 1869] [(in) Karl Marx, a cura di David Fernbach, The First International and After, 1974] [(48) ‘The Belgian Massaxcres. To the Workmen of Europe and the United States’, written by Marx, IWMA III, pp. 312-18]