Update 12-03: Sunday, January 15, 2012.

"The Wheatland Boys" (International Socialist Review). [Dec. 1913]  Summary of the events behind the Wheatland Hop Riot, a strike meeting at the Durst Ranch in Wheatland, California raided by local authorities. Sheriff Voss of Yuba County fired his gun into the air in an attempt to break up the gathering, called by a strike committee consisting of members of the Industrial Workers of the World. A gun was dropped and in the melee which followed the district attorney and a sheriff's deputy had been killed by a Puerto Rican picker, who was also killed, along with a English-born bystander. In the aftermath the National Guard had been called out by Gov. Hiram Johnson and agents of the Burns Detective Agency brought in to track down and capture "witnesses." Arrestees had been held incommunicado for as long as 60 days without charges filed, access to legal counsel had been systematically denied, contact with members of the press prohibited, and physical used during the interrogation process, this article indicates. On prisoner, Nels Nelson, who had lost an arm during the gunfire, had committed suicide and strike leader Herman Suhr had been driven to attempt the same in the Alameda County Jail. A plea is made for funds for the defense committee to the aid of defense witnesses, who "ill paid and irregularly employed at best, must be housed and fed."

"Wholesale Arrests of Communists in Buffalo: Headquarters of Communist Party Raided: Many Men and Two Women Arrested: Other Arrests to Be Expected" (The New Age) [events of Dec. 28, 1919]  With the massive and misnamed "Palmer Raids" (planned and directed by J. Edgar Hoover) mere days their launch, the Lusk Committee of the New York Legislature conducted a raid of its own against the Communist Party of America's organization in Buffalo, New York. This article from the Buffalo socialist newspaper The New Age documents the operation, which netted the arrest of 20 men and 2 women at Communist Party headquarters, located on Main Street in Buffalo. Those arrested and all CPA members were presumed guilty by authorities of having committed the crime of "criminal anarchism" for "subscribing to the constitution and manifesto of the party," according to the news account. "The membership list of the organization is in the hands of the police and more arrests are to be expected," the article notes.

"UCP Unity Bulletin No. 2." [Nov. 27, 1920]  Text of a mimeographed bulletin from the Central Executive Committee of the United Communist Party to its membership, informing them of ongoing unity negotiations with the rival Communist Party of America. The bulletin notes the decision of the "small bureau" of the Executive Committee of the Comintern to require a unity convention delegated on the basis of dues paying membership for July, August, September, and October 1920. "This does not mean that we shall alter our determination to safeguard the Communist movement in America from those who would fasten upon it a decentralized federation form of organization and narrow, sectarian policies. We shall insist upon all the provisions regarding centralized organization and bona fide underground membership which we enumerated in our first communication to the CP and printed in our first unity bulletin," the second UCP bulletin notes. The bulletin discusses the "barefaced frauds" in membership counting by which "some federation leaders maintained their control in the past." The bulletin promises that "IT WILL NOT WORK THIS TIME" (emphasis in original).

"UCP Unity Bulletin No. 3." [circa Dec. 7, 1920]  Third mimeographed bulletin from the Central Executive Committee of the United Communist Party to its membership, informing them of ongoing unity negotiations with the rival Communist Party of America. Specific paid dues numbers are provided for the four months to be considered in apportioning delegates to a unity convention with the CPA, suddenly jumping from 2,906 in July and 3,289 in August 1920 to a highly unlikely 5,661 in October. An average for the four months of 4,350 is thus produced — although this appears to be inflated by nearly 25% from the organization's actual membership level. The CPA, playing the same inflation game, showed "growth" from a dues-actually-paid membership of 4,851 in July 1920 to 10,555 in September and 8,460 in October, producing an average of 7,552. Such numbers would ensure a "crushing" of the UCP in any convention delegated on the basis specified by ECCI. The UCP predictably follows by attempting to discredit the validity of the CPA's dues figures and to obstruct a proportionally-delegated unity convention. "The membership of the UCP must realize, with its CEC, what danger the communist movement would have to face if delivered into the hands of irresponsible comrades. The Communist International placed confidence in the UCP. It functions through the UCP in this country, publishes all its official documents through the UCP, pledges its material support to the UCP, and recognizes the UCP as the best expression of the communist movement in the United States. We must guard this trust by guarding the communist movement against the danger of being tied hand and foot to the stake of a communist inquisition," the bulletin melodramatically and self-servingly declares.


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