Articles in the New York Times
Anarchists Demand Strike To End War (May 19, 1917)
Great Gathering of I.W.W. and Other Agitators Rails Against Selective Draft.
Germans in the Audience
Emma Goldman Urges Workers to Follow Russia’s Lead — Police Take Notes, but Make No Arrests.
The Harlem River Casino, at 126th Street and Second Avenue, was the scene last night of a wild anti-conscription demonstration, in the course of which the Government of the United States was denounced and referred to as a tool of the capitalist classes. Young men liable to military service under the selective draft act were urged to defy the Government and refuse to serve if called to the colors. A general strike on the part of all working people as a protest against the entry of the country into the European war, and a nation-wide campaign to frustrate the efforts of the Government to raise armies for the defense of the country’s rights would be among the things the future has in store for the country if those who packed the Casino had their way. An appeal to the workingmen to follow the example of the Russians and form a workingmen’s committee to run the country was also urged.
The meeting was addressed by anarchists, I.W.W. agitators, and persons who styled themselves Socialists. Emma Goldman was one of them. Alexander Berkman, who served a term in the penitentiary for attempting to assassinate Henry C. Frick, was another. Leonard D. Abbott, well known as an I.W.W. sympathizer, was another. Harry Weissberger, who says no power on earth can make him fight, was another. Also present and among the talkers was Leonora O’Reilly, while among those listed but who did not speak was Carlo Tresca, the Italian I.W.W. leader, and Jacob Panken.
Outside the building and inside were about [1?]00 policemen, who had been instructed to preserve order. They made no arrests, although rumors flew about the hall that an arrest was impending, especially while Emma Goldman was talking. She was the one who predicted a nationwide strike to embarrass the Government and denounced the authorities in Washington as being on a par with the old powers in Russia. She begged the audience to make no hostile demonstration should anybody try to create disorder by “waving the American flag.”
Two police stenographers, sitting in the gallery, took down every word said by the speakers. These notes will be gone over today, and, if a digest of the speeches seems to warrant it, action against the speakers may be taken, either by the police or by the Federal authorities.
As each person entered the hall, he or she was presented with two circulars. In one, captioned “No conscription,” the “No Conscription League,” of 20 East 125th Street, exhorted young men to resist the enforcement of the selective draft. The other was an appeal to the workers of the country to follow the example of Russia and form a Council of Workers to act with the Council of Workmen’s and Soldiers’ Delegates of Russia against the war.
According to the public announcement of Emma Goldman, the meeting was not financed by German money. “The Kaiser,” she shouted, “has not put up a cent for the cause.” However, there were many Germans in the audience. An interested onlooker was former Coroner Gustav Scholer. Dr. Scholer had a seat in the wings of the stage, out of the view of the audience.
When Elihu Root’s name as head of the American Commission to Russia was mentioned by Emma Goldman, hisses came from every part of the hall.
Weissberger, who talked first, spoke until he became so hoarse he had to quit. After him came Louis Frana, introduced as a Socialist of nation-wide prominence. He said the motto of all the people should from this on be, “They shall not conscript.” He referred to the Wilson Administration as “the government of the classes, which is introducing into this country a system of government which, among other things, seeks to destroy individual liberty and expression of thought.”
Frana said the war was not a war for democracy, but a war to protect the war profits of the ruling classes. As he spoke somebody shouted that “it was a dastardly lie” to say that the United States went to war to save democracy, whereupon everybody, it seemed, shouted his or her approval.
The document circulated among those in the audience calling for a workmen’s council in America in part read:
Fellow-workers of the United States, why don’t you do the same thing here that your brother-workers are doing in Russia? Why shouldn’t the same “wonderful and heartening things that have been happening in Russia” begin to happen right here? Are we workers of America going to let the workers and soldiers of Russia do the only wonderful and heartening things that are being done? President Wilson has said that America stands supremely for peace. And yet today the only place in Christendom where a single step is being taken toward peace is RUSSIA. War has come to a standstill in Russia. The Russian workers are seeking for peace in this world.
Workers of America, what are you going to do? It isn’t enough for you to refuse to fight, to resist conscription, to denounce the Government. It is the business of American workers to do what their Russian brothers have done. The only enemies American workers have are in America, are the men who have taken the land, who are taking enormous profits from their toil, and who have them imprisoned or shot when they rebel — as has been done in West Virginia, in Colorado, in California, in Massachusetts, in a thousand places where the workers have rebelled against slavery and injustice.
Let the workers of the United States at once follow the “heartening” example of their Russian brothers and form a nation-wide “Council of Workers,” which shall work hand in hand with “the Council of Workmen and Soldiers” in Russia against a war that cripples or kills millions of working people and enriches a few capitalists, and inaugurate here, as in Russia, the reign of freedom, justice and peace.
The purposes of the No-conscription League were set forth in its circular in part as follows:
“We oppose conscription because we are internationalists, anti-militarists, and opposed to all wars waged by capitalistic Governments. We will fight for what we choose to fight for, we will never fight simply because we are ordered to fight.
“We believe that the militarization of America is an evil that far outweighs, in its anti-social and anti-libertarian effects, any good that may come from America’s participation in the war.
“We will resist conscription by every means in our power, and we will sustain those who, for similar reasons, refuse to be conscripted.
“Resist conscription. Organize meetings. Join our league. Send us money. Help us to give assistance to those who come in conflict with the Government. Help us to publish literature against militarism and against conscription.”
Other meetings similar to that of last night will be held in other parts of the city shortly, it was announced.
Anarchists Awed By Police Clubs (June 5, 1917)
Speakers at a Mass Meeting Carefully Avoid All References to Registration.
Riot Breaks Out Later
Ten Men and One Woman Arrested in a Fight Following the Abuse of Guardsmen.
What the police termed “the tamest anarchist meeting ever held in New York” was held by the No-Conscription League in Hunt’s Point Palace, 163d Street and Southern Boulevard, last night. The meeting had been advertised as one of protest against the selective draft law, but it turned out to be a very lame denunciation of the Government, of militarism which, all the speakers said, was about to grip America about the throat, and utterances along similar lines. Not one of the speakers advised anybody not to register today, nor did they ask their followers to refuse to join the colors, if they are drawn in the draft.
More than 15,000 persons were massed in the streets outside the building, but at least half of these were there through curiosity and not through sympathy with the I.W.W. anarchist propaganda.
It was after the meeting that the one big row of the evening occurred. It practically amounted to a riot for about fifteen minutes, and was precipitated when several anarchists and other agitators jeered a passing detachment of unarmed National Guardsmen. Some one shouted that the guardsmen were “a lot of bums,” and then others began to shout “Hit them!” The fighting followed, and when it was all over ten men and one woman were under arrest for the part they played in the demonstration. In nearly every instance the man arrested was of conscript age.
Those taken to the Simpson Street Station were Samuel Cohen, 26 years, 229 East Eleventh Street; Jacob Newman, 23 years, 157 East Seventy-eighth Street; Aaron Cohn, 26 years, 202 Washington Street, Jersey City; Samuel Gunsberg, 21 years old, 1,621 Madison Avenue; Leiger Klinetzsky, 27 years old, 69 East Twelfth Street; Peter Wolff, 22 years old, 814 East 163d Stret; Maurice Marks, 23 years old, 531 Kesciusko Street, Brooklyn; Jacob Axelrod, 383 Cooper Street, Brooklyn; Otto Hoffman, Harry Fritz, 33 years old, of 383 Elton Avenue, the Bronx, and Rose Rolys, 26 years, 809 Crescent Street, Brooklyn. Earnest Greenbaum, 22 years old, 442 West 164th Street, was also arrested during the evening for disorderly conduct in trying to force his way through the police lines into the hall while Emma Goldman was speaking. An old woman who tried to circulate pamphlets urging men not to register today was also in custody for a few minutes. She was released at the request of the Federal officials, who said they did not consider that she was responsible for what she was doing.
In the Men’s Night Court Magistrate Corrigan fined Greenbaum $1. Klinetzsky was sentenced to six months in the Workhouse. Rose Rolys was remanded for forty-eight hours for investigation by the probation officer after she had pleaded not guilty.
Crowd Packs Boulevard.
The crowds began to gather before dark and by 7 0’clock, when the doors of the Hunts Point Palace were thrown open it was estimated that at least 10,000 persons were jammed into Southern Boulevard for a distance of three blocks on either side of the meeting hall. To handle the crowd at that time Chief Inspector Schmittberger and Inspector Edward Walsh, the Bronx police commander, had on hand 150 uniformed policemen and about fifty detectives, in addition to an automobile searchlight detachment of four machines.
The police had anticipated a crowd of about 5,000, but when fully three times that number appeared Inspector Cray ordered out all the reserves from the Alexander Avenue, Simpson Street, and Morrisania stations. By the time these reserves arrived the crowd had forced its way forward in a shouting mass, those in the front ranks struggling with the twenty-five policemen who, with drawn night sticks, stood in front of the entrance to the hall and shouted the order “Stand back!” For awhile it seemed that the police would be overwhelmed, but the first of the reserves, those from the Alexander Avenue station, arrived in the nick of time and forced their way to the rescue of their comrades in front of the hall. Five minutes’ later 100 reserves arrived from the Simpson Street and Morrisania stations, and slowly the great throng began to give way.
Inspector Schmittberger ordered the boulevard cleared for two blocks on either side of the auditorium. To do this the little police automobiles which mount the big electric searchlights were called into action. Like “four little tanks” the machines started in. Two advanced toward Westchester Avenue and two went south toward Simpson Street. The searchlights were turned on, and the great shafts of light were focused on the faces of the protesting thousands. Behind the “tanks” the police infantry advanced, all the men with drawn sticks. The crowd realized that the police meant business, and what had at first been a slowly forced retreat finally became a rout. By 8:30 o’clock the boulevard zone was clear of disturbers, and the police formed a line through which only those persons who could show credentials were permitted to pass.
Inside the hall under Police Inspector Cray were 100 policemen and detectives drawn from all parts of the city in addition to a force of about 150 guardsmen from the Eighth Coast Defense Regiment. At the press tables with the reporters were Captain William M. Offley, Chief of the Department of Justice, Secret Service of the New York District; Assistant United States District Attorneys John C. Knox and Harold A. Content, United States Marshal Thomas D. McCarthy, and District Attorney Francis Martin of Bronx County.
The audience inside was for the most part made up of young men and young women, nine-tenths of whom, according to the police, were foreign-born. But not everyone in the audience was an anarchist, a fact that was proved on several occasions when the speakers approached the danger line and seemed about to say something which would have resulted in the arrest of the speaker. But the great majority was friendly to the Goldman-Berkman school. The applause was always loudest when the speaker said something disparaging of the man who wore the uniform of the United States Army or Navy.
Chairman’s Speech Mild.
Leonard D. Abbott, who has figured in I.W.W. activities for several years past, was the Chairman and also the first speaker. He looked very defiant as he stood up to start off. The Government stenographers who were present to take down the speeches set themselves to take down the no-conscription utterances that everybody was certain Abbott would make. But nothing of the sort happened. He said that “anarchists are not afraid to go on the firing line,” whereupon everybody, except the loyal hundred in the gallery, yelled and stamped his or her approval. He was very careful not to advise anyone present not to register.
Peter Kane, Jr., was the next speaker. He is of conscript age, and seemed to be sorry because of it. On one occasion when he shouted “Give me liberty or give me death,” somebody in the gallery dropped an electric bulb on the stage. The bulb exploded with a bang and Peter acted as if he had realized the last part of his wish. As Kane jumped a soldier in the gallery, said to have been a regular from Fort Totten, shouted, “Three cheers for the Stars and Stripes.” A few cheered, but a large number hissed.
As Kane was warming up in his harangue another bulb came through the air from somewhere up stairs and struck him on the shoulder. As did the first it exploded with a bang and again Kane leaped into the air.
“Will law and order give me safety?” he shouted at the police.
“I thought it was liberty or death you wanted,” a soldier yelled back. Kane ended by asserting that he was a conscientious objector, and that his conscience would not permit him to slaughter his fellow-men.
Robert H. Hutchinson, introduced as the headmaster of a liberty school up-State, came after Kane, and, like him, he is of draft age. He, too, gave conscription, that is the resisting of it by others, a wide berth. The authorities present took his name, and if his name is missing from today’s returns he will be asked for an explanation. The authorities also made a note of the fact that Kane is liable to conscription.
An old woman, introduced as “Mother” Yuster, spoke in Yiddish after Hutchinson finished. She does not believe in the selective draft law. Alexander Berkman, so excited that he learly lost control of himself on more than one occasion, came after “Mother” Yuster. Everybody was certain that he would say something about the No-Conscription League and its work, particularly as he is one of the founders. But, like all those who preceded him, he devoted his time to other subjects. He is very proud of the Workmen’s and Soldiers’ Delegates in Russia. He said so several times. At one point in his speech a soldier in the gallery shouted to him to go back to Europe where he belonged, and then another rude person threw a lemon at him. Berkman stopped a minute later.
Then came Emma Goldman. Even the Government officials present had an idea she would say something about conscription. Instead she told of her girlhood in Russia and how she has hated militarism ever since she was 9 years old. She said that the soldiers present had been sent to the meeting to break it up and that she was surprised that the police did not arrest them. She ended as did the others by denouncing militarism and intimating that the Government of the United States is worse than that of Germany. Her last words was a plea for contributions from the audience.
“Let us all sing the International,” she shouted in conclusion. But nobody sang.
Meeting of Reds Traps Slackers (June 12, 1917)
U.S. Marshal Arrests Thirty at ‘Protest Against Draft’ Without Registration Cards.
Warns Against Disloyalty
“I Will Arrest This Goldman Woman,” He Says, “if She Organizes More Such Meetings.”
Leon Samson, a pale-faced Columbia University Student, who when asked if he had a registration card replied meekly: “I am only 20 years old,” and Emma Goldman, the anarchist agitator, staged a mass meeting which they styled a “protest against the selective draft law by the Collegiate League for Peace and Harmony,” at 10 West 114th Street last night, and by so doing made it possible for United States Marshal Thomas D. McCarthy to round up a number of men of conscript age who had defied the law by refusing to register last Tuesday. The round-up came at the end of the meeting and took the anarchists and their youthful dupes, among them a score of girls still in their teens, entirely by surprise. The result was a wild scramble for the exits, but at every door stood one or two policemen and several National Guardsmen. Every man who was of draft age had to show his card and those that could not were taken into custody.
In all thirty men were detained pending an investigation of their status by the proper Federal authorities. At midnight two had confessed that they had willfully disobeyed the law and were ordered locked up. The other twenty-eight, who during the meeting had shouted and applauded when President Wilson was sneered at, the Liberty Loan denounced, and the army and navy referred to in jeering terms, were meek as lambs and pitifully begged for permission to go home. Some said they had left their cards at home, others said they had lost them, while still others insisted that they had given them to relatives for safe keeping. Seventeen were finally let go, but eleven were detained until their cards are produced.
“We are sick and tired of these disloyal meetings in New York,” said Marshal McCarthy as he surveyed the line of frightened men lined up in single file against the wall in the hall where the meetings at which all things American were denounced was held. “And, furthermore,” the Marshal added, “I want it clearly understood that in the future we are not going to permit these unpatriotic and disloyal gatherings. We can’t stop free speech as contemplated by the Constitution, but we can put an end to disloyalty, and we are going to do it.
“We would have been entirely justified in arresting every man who attended this meeting, and they can be thankful that we did not. The United States is at war, and the people who attend and applaud anti-American utterances are not good Americans. They are not friends of the United States. I have informed this Goldman woman that in the future we will not permit her to organize such meetings. If she does she will be arrested if I have to do it myself. This goes for all of her kind, too.”
Hates “the American Kaiser.”
The meeting place was a small hall on the second floor of Lenox Hall on 114th Street, near Lenox Avenue. Some other organization had used the hall for a meeting Sunday night, and those who attended happened to be of the kind who think the United States is a pretty good country and is worth fighting for, and they had put some American flags on the wall. The result was that the meeting was held under the Stars and Stripes, a fact that proved a matter of chagrin to those who applauded like wild Indians when Samson shouted that “as much as we hate the German Kaiser, we hate still more the American Kaiser.” Everybody present realized whom he had in mind.
As was the case at the anarchist gathering in the Bronx, a week ago the police were prepared to handle any sort of a demonstration last night. The four little searchlight automobiles were on hand early. Two hundred uniformed men were in reserve nearby, while an equal number were scattered in and about the hall. The police lines were established a block on either side of the meeting place and inside those lines only authorized persons were permitted to go. The hall will hold 1,000 persons when crowded, but the police did not permit more than 500 to enter.
At 8 o’clock Samson, who was then defiant of attitude and utterance, arose to open the meeting. On one side of him sat a young man named Rabinovich, who said he represented the College of the City of New York. Charles Francis Phillips, the former Columbia student, who goes on trial tomorrow for conspiracy to dissuade men from registering, was listed among the speakers, but Phillips, who has had a change of heart, did not appear. Owen Cattell, son of Professor Cattell of Columbia, under indictment with Phillips, showed up, however, but he took the advice of the police and negotiated a speedy exit. Miss Grace Grumbecker of Hunter College was also scheduled for a speech, but she was not there or she did not make her presence known. Daniel Cooper of Harvard, the other speaker, also failed to make his scheduled utterance.
Samson, in his opening harangue, devoted much of his time to the Workmen’s and Soldiers’ Council of Russia. He announced that he was about to organize such a council to run things in the United States, and when he said that the young girls and the young men of conscript age applauded for a full minute. He said the time had come when “we are going to refuse to stand up and shoot down our brothers.” The war, he declared, with great solemnity, is “a dollar war,” and he reached his climax by prophesying a draft riot which, he added, would be more than a riot. “It’s going to be a draft revolution,” he said. It was about this time that he mentioned the “American Kaiser.” He was careful not to mention President Wilson by name.
After him came Emma Goldman, who was so excited that her face looked like a prize red poppy at a flower show. She denounced everything in sight. She said the anarchists now on trial for conspiracy to defeat the purposes of the draft law are being rushed to prison “by perjured testimony.” The Home Guard she dubbed “a lot of parasites and police scabs.” The State is taking a census, she added, to draft men into the militia to shoot down the laboring men.
When the Goldman woman stopped speaking, as much from exhaustion as anything else, young Samson stood up and started a plea for funds. A tall, square shouldered man then walked down the aisle. He was Lieutenant Barnitz of the New York police force, who has devoted all of his time since the war started to running down and arresting persons who think more of Germany than the United States. Barnitz motioned Samson to stop speaking.
“How old are you?” demanded Barnitz. The young man’s face turned as white as a newly laundered sheet.
“Twenty, only twenty,” he murmured in a voice so low that only Barnitz heard it. Barnitz returned to the rear of the hall and had a conference with Marshal McCarthy, Assistant United States District Attorney Harold A. Content, and Inspector Ryan of the police.
“I don’t know of a better place than this to begin the roundup of slackers,” said Marshal McCarthy, as he looked about the room. Samson in the meantime was making a heroic effort to resume speaking, but he was very nervous, and his words were uttered with difficulty. Men turned in their seats and looked at the Federal officials in conference. Two or three started to leave.
“Return to your seats,” said a policeman at the door.
“I want to go home, I promised my wife I would be back at 9:30 o’clock,” one of the men said.
“Well, maybe you can telephone her that you are detained,” the policeman answered, and the men sheepishly returned to their seats.
“The meeting’s over,” shouted Samson suddenly and the crowd started for the exits.
“Women and girls may go, but all men of conscript age must show their registration cards,” Marshal McCarthy announced. A young fellow tried to edge himself out between two girls. A guardsman pulled him back.
“Where’s your card?” the guardsmen asked.
“I haven’t got it now, my mother’s keeping it for me,” the frightened man answered. He was escorted to a deserted corner of the room. More than 100 men were in that corner by the time the room had been cleared. Just one woman remained. Emma Goldman. Marshal McCarthy ordered her put out. She shouted her defiance, but policemen got behind her and gave her a push. A guardsman gave her another and she went out at express speed. Then began the census of the prisoners.
Samson was among those detained. He is said to have admitted being in doubt as to how old he is, but the police mean to be sure about it.
Herman Woskow, 21 years old, of 128 Second Avenue, said he was born in Russia, and had taken out citizen papers, but added that he had no intention of registering. He will be arraigned in the Federal Building this morning. Philip Levine, 2[?] years old, of 79 Division Street, also admitted he had not registered and said he had no intention of doing so. He will be arraigned with Woskow.
Hyman Bessner of 1,062 Southern Boulevard, had a card unlike any other seen by Marshal McCarthy. He said he received it from the official registrar last Tuesday, and is held while his story is investigated.
The anarchists announced last night that they will hold a mass meeting in Madison Square Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock. There is reason to believe that the meeting will not take place.
Anarchists Assail Mayer (June 15, 1917)
Hold Noisy East Side Meeting — Slackers Hunted Out.
The Goldman-Berkman group of anarchists and I.W.W. agitators, who for the last three weeks have been campaigning in Harlem and the Bronx, invaded the lower east side last night and held a noisy meeting in the Forward Building, at 175 East Broadway. Emma Goldman made a bitter speech. Judge Julius M. Mayer, who on Wednesday sentenced Louis Kramer and Morris Becker, two convicted anarchists, to maximum terms in the Federal Penitentiary at Atlanta, was singled out for [sentence incomplete.]
The hall where the meeting was held was packed to capacity with a yelling crowd of men and women. The audience indorsed everything that the anarchist said and the applause was loudest when the agitators turned their attacks in the direction of the White House at Washington.
More than 500 policemen, under Chief Inspector Schmittberger, were on guard inside and outside the hall. The hall faces Seward Park and the entire park was made a barred zone through which only residents of the neighborhood and people who could show the proper credentials were permitted to pass. It was estimated that at least 20,000 persons were massed behind the police lines. When Emma Goldman and Berkman arrived in a limousine they were recognized by the thousands outside and were cheered.
When Berkman called the meeting to order, among his auditors were Assistant United States District Attorneys H. A. Content and E. N. Stanton, United States Marshal McCarthy, and a large force of detectives. Scattered through the hall were regulars from Fort Totten and guardsmen of the Eighth New York Coast Artillery.
Berkman spoke first. His was the usual anarchist harangue. Another speaker was a pale-faced man named Abraham, who predicted, among other things, a general strike throughout the United States as a protest against the war against the German Government.
Emma Goldman made the last speech. The hall was stuffy and full of smoke when her time came. She was fairly livid as she began. Like Berkman, she denounced Judge Mayer, said that she defied law and order, and shouted that “a reign of terror was to sweep over the country.” Judge Mayer, she cried, “is going to hear from us.”
“Now is your time,” she shouted, “to do what you please. The time is coming here as it has already come in Russia, and when that time comes the Judges will be swept from the benches.”
Her speech, as well as those of all the other speakers, were taken down by Government stenographers and will be studied today at the Federal Building. It was said last night that several important arrests might be the outcome of the meeting.
After the meeting the police and soldiers formed lines in front of all the exits and ordered all men of conscript age to show their registration cards. About thirty were detained, and at midnight two of them had been arrested by the Federal authorities. One of the men under arrest gave his name as Nachman Rachlin. He said he was 26 years old, “worse than an anarchist,” and had no use for the United States. At 11:15 o’clock the police ordered the throngs about Seward Park to disperse. The order was obeyed.
Emma Goldman and A. Berkman Behind the Bars (June 16, 1917)
Anarchist Headquarters Raided and Leaders Held for Anti-Draft Conspiracy.
Many Documents Seized
Card Index of Reds in the United States Simplifies Secret Service Men’s Work.
Rioters Menace Soldiers
Some 200 Without Registration Cards Detained at Anti-Conscription Gatherings in This City.
Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, the two most notorious anarchists in the United States, who for weeks have been conducting a campaign against all the aspirations and activities of this Government, particularly against our part in the war and army conscription, in the course of which they have at times almost preached sedition, were arrested by Federal agents yesterday afternoon in the anarchist headquarters at 20 East 125th Street.
For several weeks Secret Service agents have kept close watch on Emma Goldman and Berkman, and it has been known for some days that their arrest would be made immediately the Government obtained evidence of an overt act on their part to interfere with the nation’s war program. Yesterday that evidence was forthcoming when the Government came into possession of copies of the anarchist publications known as Mother Earth, which is owned by Emma Goldman, and The Blast, the editor and proprietor of which is Berkman.
Important as are the prisoners to the Government, they are perhaps not nearly so important as is the mass of documents and other written matter which has come into the possession of the Department of Justice. A wagon load of anarchist records and propaganda material was seized, and included in the lot is what is believed to be a complete registry of anarchy’s friends in the United States. A splendidly kept card index was found, which the Federal agents believe will greatly simplify their task of identifying persons mentioned in the various record books and papers. The subscription lists of Mother Earth and the Blast, which contain 10,000 names, were also seized.
It was 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon when United States Marshal Thomas D. McCarthy was instructed to arrest Berkman and Miss Goldman. The complaint was signed by Lieutenant George D. Barnitz of the New York Police Department. It charged that since May 1 last, and until yesterday, the two anarchists had been conspiring “to aid, counsel, and induce” various men of conscript age not to comply with the provisions of the selective draft law. The complaint further alleges that Berkman and Miss Goldman, in the June issues of the Blast and Mother Earth, published signed articles meant to effect the conspiracy into which they had entered.
Slacker Arrested Also.
The raiding party which left the Federal Building at 4:10 P. M. under command of Marshal McCarthy included Assistant United States District Attorney E. M. Stanton, Lieutenant Barnitz, Deputy Marshals Doran, Hearne, and Meade, and Detectives Murphy and Kiely of the Police Department. A few minutes before 5 o’clock the Government automobiles arrived at 20 East 125th Street. In the publication office of the anarchist papers Marshal McCarthy and his aids found Miss Goldman, a Miss Fitzgerald, Walker Merchant, Carl Newlander, and a young man named Bales, who was subsequently arrested when it was discovered that although of draft age he had failed to register on June 5.
“I have a warrant for your arrest,” Marshal McCarthy said to Emma Goldman.
“I am not surprised, yet I would like to know what the warrant is based on,” the woman said.
Marshal McCarthy answered by producing a copy of Mother Earth containing an article on the so-called No-Conscription League signed “Emma Goldman.”
“Did you write that?” asked the Marshal.
Miss Goldman replied that she had written the article, and in answer to another question said she stood for everything in Mother Earth, because, she added, she was the sole owner of the publication.
Lieutenant Barnitz asked her if she knew where Berkman was, and she told him that Berkman was upstairs in another room. A few minutes later the man who in 1892 tried to murder H. C. Frick and subsequently served fourteen years in the penitentiary for his crime, appeared. He was taken completely by surprise and did not appear nearly so brave or defiant as his woman companion.
The young man, Bales, was busy in a corner of the room wrapping copies of the Blast and Mother Earth and addressing them when the officers entered. Mr. Stanton walked over and touched him on the shoulder. Bales looked up.
“How old are you?” Mr. Stanton demanded.
“I don’t care to make any statement at this time,” young Bales answered.
“Where is your registration card?”
“I have no registration card.”
A moment later Bales was under arrest and in the custody of a detective.
Miss Fitzgerald, who gave her address as the Hotel Brevoort, seemed completely upset. “I can’t understand it at all,” she said to a reporter, “for they (Berkman and Goldman) are fine and beautiful characters, and are hundreds of years ahead of their time.”
A big crowd quickly gathered in front of the anarchist headquarters and the reserves from the East 126th Street Police Station were summoned to keep order.
Arrayed in Royal Purple.
Marshal McCarthy told the prisoners to get ready for a quick trip to the Federal Building. Miss Goldman asked if she could have time to put on a more presentable gown. Permission was given, and she disappeared upstairs, to return a few minutes later dressed in royal purple.
In the meantime the Marshals and the police were busy searching the room. All the papers of every kind were seized, including some of George Bernard Shaw’s works. The Shaw books, however, were later ordered to be left on the shelves, together with other works not of an anarchistic character. The entire unmailed editions of Mother Earth and The Blast were seized.
The issue of The Blast on which the arrest of Berkman was based is, in the opinion of the Federal officials, one of the vilest things ever sent through the United States mails, for several hundred copies were mailed before the paper was brought to the attention of the authorities.
The outside cover to the issue shows an American carrying on his back a fat man in uniform, who is labeled “American militarism.” Nearby stands a Russian peasant. Russia asks the American who is carrying the man in uniform. “What’s the idea! and the American answers, “Democracy,” whereupon the Russian remarks, “Well, you know how I got mine.”
The article for the writing of which Berkman was arrested is captioned “Registration.”
It follows another article, captioned “To the Youth of America,” in which the men of the country are urged to refuse to go to war against Germany.
Berkman’s Offending Article.
The article on registration, which is the one specifically referred to in the complaint reads:
Registration is the first step of conscription.
The war shouters and their prostitute press, bent on snaring you into the army, tell you that registration has nothing to do with conscription.
Without registration, conscription is impossible.
Conscription is the abdication of your rights as a citizen. Conscription is the cemetery where every vestige of your liberty is to be buried. Registration is its undertaker.
No man with red blood in his veins can be forced to fight against his will.
But you cannot successfully oppose conscription if you approve of, or submit, to registration.
Every beginning is hard. But if the Government can induce you to register it will have little difficulty in putting over conscription.
By registering you willfully supply the Government with the information it needs to make conscription effective.
Registration means placing in the hands of the authorities the despotic power of the machinery of passports which made darkest Russia what it was before the revolution.
There are thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of young men in this country who have never voted and who have never paid taxes, and who, legally speaking, have no official existence. Their registration means nothing short of suicide in a majority of cases.
Failure to register is punishable by imprisonment. Refusal to be conscripted may be punishable by death.
To register is to acknowledge the right of the Government to conscript.
The consistent conscientious objector to human slaughter will neither register nor be conscripted.
Miss Goldman’s Proclamation.
The article in Mother Earth, which is mentioned in the Barnitz complaint is quite long. That part which counsels defiance of the Selective Draft law reads:
The No-Conscription League has been formed for the purpose of encouraging conscientious objectors to affirm their liberty of conscience, and to translate their objection to human slaughter by refusing to participate in the killing of their fellowmen. The No-Conscription League is to be the voice of protest against war, and against the coercion of conscientious objectors to participate in the war. Our platform may be summarized as follows:
We oppose conscription because we are internationalists, anti-militarists, and opposed to all wars waged by capitalistic Governments.
We will fight for what we choose to fight for; we will never fight simply because we are ordered to fight.
We believe that the militarization of America is an evil that far outweighs in its anti-social and anti-libertarian effects any good that may come from America’s participation in the war.
We will resist conscription by every means in our power, and we will sustain those who, for similar reasons, refuse to be conscripted.
The prisoners arrived at the Federal Building at 6:30. They were taken to the office of United States Marshal McCarthy, where they remained until Harry Weinberger, their lawyer, could be communicated with. It was 7 o’clock when Weinberger, who is a non-conscriptionist and often spoke at the same meetings with Miss Goldman, arrived.
Assistant United States District Attorneys John C. Knox and Harold A. Content informed the prisoners that United States Commissioners Hitchcock and Gilchrist had left for the day, and that, unless they insisted on being arraigned before a United States Judge, they would be arraigned before Commissioner Hitchcock at 10:30 o’clock this morning. Berkman and Miss Goldman had both denounced the Judges at a meeting held on the east side Thursday night, and they shook their heads in unison when Mr. Content offered them the chance of an immediate arraignment before a Judge.
Will Demand Heavy Bail.
“We will go to the Tombs and be arraigned before a Commissioner in the morning,” Miss Goldman said, after a whispered conference with Berkman.
A few minutes later a patrol wagon arrived at the Federal Building, and the prisoners were taken to the Tombs and locked up. They will be brought to the Federal Building this morning and arraigned at 10:30 o’clock. The Government will demand high bail in each case, it being rumored that the amount will be put at not less than $25,000 for each prisoner.
The Grand Jury does not meet again until Monday. The Goldman-Berkman case will be presented to that body as soon as it convenes, and it is believed the Government will ask for an indictment charging conspiracy to obstruct the operation of the draft law. A conviction will carry a sentence of two years in the penitentiary and the Judge may also, in his discretion, impose fines as high as $10,000. The indictment, if returned, may also contain several counts, which would make possible a sentence in each case of six to ten years in prison.
It was also pointed out yesterday that neither Berkman nor Emma Goldman is a citizen of the United States, and that if convicted they may both be deported after their prison terms are served. The laws of the United States provide that where an alien has twice been convicted of crime in this country he may be deported, no matter how many years he has been in this country. Berkman served fourteen years for the attempted assassination of H. C. Frick, and Miss Goldman has served a term of one year on Blackwell’s Island for inciting others to riot.
Miss Goldman gave her age yesterday as 48 years. She said she was born in Russia, but as a young girl migrated to Prussia. She came to the United States in 1886. Berkman refused his pedigree, and sneeringly answered when asked his age that he was 250 years old.
“Anarchist activities in this country are at an end,” said a Federal official yesterday as the patrol wagon in which the prisoners were taken to the Tombs sped away from the Federal Building.