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This historical anecdote at the beginning of a chapter on race riots in America is from "Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume One 1884-1933" by Blanche Wiesen Cook ; pgs. 237-9

There are close parallels between the shrub (bush) and Pres. Wilson (USA PATRIOT act and the 1917 Espionage Act)
AND... Attorney General A$hcroft and the AG of the 1920s who helped initiate detainment of citizens "without warrants or due process"--sounds a lot like the gestapo powers that sick motherfucker A$hcroft and FBI head Mueller have gotten, at least temporarily.
- 1919-20: Race Riots and Red Scare, Grief and Renewal -

"The years 1919-20 were full of tumultuous upheaval, not only for Eleanor
Roosevelt personally but for the world. With the war in Europe over, the
battle for the future began. Everywhere profound changes in politics,
culture, and understanding were under way. Anticolonial movements
flourished. The Russian Revolution was greeted with "mad, glad joy"--and
unbridled horror.

The map of the world was being redrawn with abandon. National groups that
had histories of the most bitter hatred were herded together into newly
created countries with no cultural affinity or political unity. The great
and divisive schisms of the twentieth century were bing forged by the
contradictory visions that emerged at the end of World War I.

Nothing was stable; nothing was certain. German soldiers in uniform
marched beneath the Red flag and sang the "Internationale." British
minters went on strike to demonstrate their solidarity with the workers of
the world. In the United States, more than four million workers
participated in 2,665 strikes.

Women demanded the vote, power, a real voice in society. For fifty years,
in England and the United States, they had picketed, marched, petitioned,
demonstrated. They had been arrested, brutalized, and when they conducted
hunger strikes in prison, force-fed. English and American women thrilled
to the rallying cry of Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence: "There is no life worth
living except a fighting life." But during the war they had suspended
their militancy to support the troops, and expected now to be vindicated
and rewarded.

In every area, long-overdue accounts were to be redeemed, as sacred myths
about authority and control met the wrecker. Children of workers, serfs,
and slaves demanded education, economic security, political rights,
equality--and dignity. The colonized sought independence. Nationalists
wanted new boundaries. Racial and religious minorities called for an end
to violent repression. Workers organized unions. Everybody wanted freedom,
security, and self-respect. As feudalism in Europe ended, the titled
nobility and the ruling classes lost their prerogatives and prestige, if
not yet many of their crown jewels. The Hapsburg, Hohenzollern, Romanov,
and Ottoman Empires were smashed. The wealth of the resource-rich world,
including vast Arab oil fields, was once again up for grabs.

[U.S. President] Woodrow Wilson's sonorous phrases about peace with
justice, and open treaties openly arrived at, masked secret treaties
secretly arrived at. The Treaty of Versailles was punitive and imperial,
and mocked every one of Wilson's Fourteen Points. [...]

Revolution was met by counterrevolution and reaction. Repression greeted
every movement for social change. In the United States, a year of tyranny
and violence, of Red Scare and race riots, called America's constitutional
precepts into question. Freedom of speech, press, and assembly was buried
in an avalanche of superpatriotism led by vigilante missionaries of a new
"Americanism." The war to make the world safe for democracy ended with the
secret Allied Intervention against the Soviet Union and bloodshed in
streets throughout America, as Wilsonian crusaders declared war against
Bolsheviks and all their soft-minded liberal friends. The Red Scare carved
the heart out of American liberalism, and charted the course of
twentieth-century politics.

After 1919, most of the promises of women's suffrage and progressive
refrom fell victim to the repressive crusade. At the direction of Attorney
General A. Mitchell Palmer, all opponents of World War I--all pacifists,
anarchists, socialist, and political dissenters--became the target of a
massive campaign of arrests and reprisals. Thousands of foreign-born women
and men, as well as American-born unionists and thousands of other
perfectly innocent people who just happened to be in the path of Palmer's
dragnets, were arrested on no evidence of wrong-doing, without warrants or
due process.

Bolstered by the Espionage Act of 15 June 1917 and the Sedition Act of 16
May 1918, Palmer's agents were free to arrest all who gave aid or comfort
to the enemy; all who seemed disloyal in world or deed or attitude; all
who opposed the draft or who spoke ill of the president, his advisers, the
government, or the military. "Scurrilous" or "abusive" newspapers or
journals were denied U.S. mailing privileges. People were arrested for
"suspicious" postures, "disloyal thoughts," displeasing
"foreign" accents."

address: address: Corvallis, Ore.

Aliens and Dissenters 03.Jun.2002 06:46


A very good book about this is "Aliens and Dissenters: Federal Suppression of Radicals, 1903-1933" by William Preston. It was first published in 1963, but a new edition was published a few years ago.

Preston is a liberal, so keep in mind that he doesn't love anarchists. But within the context of the Constitutional rights and such, he Preston is sympathetic to those seeking social change and improvement in their lives. He describes the strategy of repression in the early twentieth century, as the Federal Government clamped down on immigrants and on domestic radicals. There's a lot of information on the IWW, as well.

I recommend it.