Update 13-21: Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013.

"US Officers Raid IWW Headquarters Over Nation." (Associated Press) [events of Sept. 5, 1917]  Collection of snippets from around the country in the aftermath of the Sept. 5, 1917 coordinated raids against the offices and officials of the Industrial workers of the World. Short reports here from Butte and Great Falls, MT; San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA; Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Spokane, WA -- the last mentioned the city in which these reports were published. Also included is a short interview with Attorney General Thomas W. Gregory, vacationing in Massachusetts, who declares "It is no secret that the Industrial Workers of the World have been under suspicion for some time. The Department of Justice conducted a quiet investigation until I was convinced that we were warranted in taking such action as this. I do not need to say the the raids will be followed quickly by indictments if we find anything to warrant them, and the men will be prosecuted to the extent of the law if they deserve it."

"The Government Stopping Sources of Disloyalty: Makes Many Arrests and Seizes Great Quantities of Printed and Other Documents." (Reading Eagle) [events of Sept. 5, 1917]  Uncredited wire service report, datelined Washington, DC, which details the massive coordinated raids against national and local offices of the Industrial Workers of the World and the National Office of the Socialist Party of America. The count of cities in which operations were conducted is given as "two dozen" and were said to be "part of a comprehensive plan worked out by the Department of Justice for a roundup of all forces which are preaching sedition, agitating peace in questionable ways, a promoting labor troubles and violence to hinder the production of war materials." This unsigned article, clearly written by someone with close connections to the Department of Justice, indicates that "many officials are confident German money has backed up a number of the IWW agitators who have been active in the West" and advises "that some prosecutions will follow is accepted as certain."

"Secrecy Shrouds Federal IWW Raids: Administration is Silent on Reasons for Spectacular Invasion of Labor Offices." (NY Call) [events of Sept. 5, 1917]  Ongoing coverage of the sensational simultaneous federal raids in more than two dozen cities against national and local headquarters of the Industrial Workers of the World and the National Office of the Socialist Party. The first report, from The Call's Washington bureau, indicates that authorities were remaining mum about the reasons for the raids, with Assistant Attorney General Fitts asserting merely that "we wanted to find out whether there have been violations of federal law." The writer strongly indicates that the mass raids indicate "the administration is going to go to the very limit of the autocratic powers given the President in the Espionage Act to crush the IWW in the mining and lumber industries of the West, and is going to do all that it can to disrupt Socialist organizations everywhere by suppression or intimidation of meetings." This report is followed by a brief summary of the 8 raids conducted in Chicago and a short report from Detroit announcing that a bomb was purportedly found during the raid of IWW headquarters there. The incident was being used by at least one US Marshal as a rationale for "the internment of all IWW for the period of the war."

"The IWW and the Socialist Party." (International Socialist Review) [events of Sept. 5, 1917]  Summary of the Sept. 5 Raids from Charles H. Kerr's glossing Chicago-based monthly magazine. The article indicates that raids were conducted against the national headquarters of the IWW and the Socialist Party in Chicago, as well as the sites of "some 20 branch offices of the IWW in different states." Included are the full texts of substantial official statements by both Executive Secretary Adolph Germer of the Socialist Party and Big Bill Haywood, Secretary-Treasurer of the IWW. Both see the raids as temporarily disruptive but also cause for redoubled organizational efforts that would ultimately lead to membership growth. Text of a lengthy report from the Western organ of the IWW, Industrial Worker, is also reproduced. The final section of the article provides details of an organized campaign of "persecution and misrepresentation" against the Socialist Party in the state of Minnesota, which included the breaking up of meetings and disruption of a fundraiser picnic by "a bunch of deputies, sheriffs, rowdies, etc., etc."

"Platform of the  Socialist Party of Pennsylvania: Approved by the State Convention, Harrisburg, PA -- May 29-30, 1920." [adopted May 30, 1920]  Fundamental electoral campaign document of the Pennsylvania state unit of the Socialist Party of America. The country is said to be "in the midst of a great national crisis, when the struggle was never more intense on the part of the masses of the people to wrest control from the powers of plunder." Such brashness is belied by the chronicle of repression which follows, including the passage of "anti-sedition" legislation and the use of injunctions to undermine labor organization and strike actions as well as the State Constabulary's "extraordinary armed force." Free speech and free press are said to have been "wiped out, orderly meetings have been barred or broken up, peaceful labor champions have been jailed, still others assassinated, all in the sinister design of the ruling class to overthrow by violence our customary liberties, so that they may more readily subject the people to their despotic control." Both old parties willingly colluded with the capitalist class in the extraction of super-profits, it is intimated, and election of a straight Socialist ticket is called for. A set of specific planks follows, touching upon political, fiscal, and industrial aspects. Loyalty to the principles of International Socialism and the national platform, declaration of principles, and resolutions of the Socialist Party of America are reaffirmed.

"The Comintern and IWW Bail Reimbursement," by Ralph Chaplin [events of Dec. 24, 1920-Jan. 2, 1921]  Rare participant's memoir of the secret 2nd Convention of the United Communist Party of America, held at a farmhouse near Kingston, New York from Dec. 24, 1920 to Jan. 2, 1921. IWW activist Ralph Chaplin was given the task of receiving financial reimbursement promised by Soviet Russia for those who lost money in the bail forfeiture associated with Big Bill Haywood's defection. Although not himself a true believer in the Communist vision -- in contrast to several of his IWW fellow workers such as Haywood, George Andreytchine, Charles Ashleigh, and Harrison George -- Chaplin nevertheless joined the UCP in order to attend the secret convention with a view receiving diamonds smuggled from Soviet Russia. The jewels were lost when John Reed was arrested and jailed at the Finnish border and Chaplin's mission was unsuccessful. Despite his failure, Chaplin did leave us with one of the only accounts of the Kingston convention -- reproduced in full here. Includes copious footnotes by Tim Davenport clarifying and correcting Chaplin's account, which was written more than a quarter century after the fact.


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