Palmer Declares Alien ‘Reds’ Are To Be Deported

The Ogden Standard/November 8, 1919

Determined and Prompt Action Will Be Taken Against Radicals Caught in Widespread Cleanup; Capture Bomb-Making Materials, Inflammatory Literature, Arms and Ammunition; Practically All Prisoners Were Russians; Had Laid Plans for “Reign of Terror” in Chicago.

 WASHINGTON, Nov. 8—Deportation of all aliens engaged in “red” activities has been determined upon by the Department of Justice, Attorney-General Palmer announced today.

Details of the widespread clean-up of radicals last night and today show that more than 200 were arrested in nineteen cities. Mr. Palmer has asked the Department of Labor to deport all of them.

Included among the material and literature seized by government agents in the raids were quantities of articles used in making bombs, a complete counterfeiting plant, a large supply of counterfeit bank notes, thousands of pieces of literature, described as of the most inflammatory nature, and scores of red flags, rifles and revolvers.

Agents of the Department of Justice and Bureau of Immigration have been collecting evidence in these particular cases for two months, Mr. Palmer said. Practically all of those arrested were Russians.

Plan “Reign of Terror.”

CHICAGO, Nov. 8—Activity in planning a nation-wide celebration of the second anniversary of the establishment of the Russian Soviet government, curtailed by raids on alleged radicals in many cities by federal Department of Justice operatives, centered in Chicago, operatives of the bureau here said today. More than 200 prisoners were taken in the Chicago district at the same time other hundreds were arrested elsewhere, Edward J. Brennan, chief of the Chicago office, said.

Most of the prisoners taken here were arrested at their homes as were those at Gary and Indiana Harbor, Ind; Milwaukee, Wis., and South Chicago, III. Chicago policemen were assigned to aid the federal officers

From circulars, pamphlets and letters sent through the mails and seized by the Department of Justice agents, they decided that the movement for the celebration received its impetus here. The circulars seized gave details of the proposed celebrations in various parts of the country, operatives said, and tended to show that they were distributed from Industrial Workers of the World headquarters here.

In addition to their efforts to check the reds, it was indicated the federal officers also were seeking persons engaged in promoting a proposed German branch of the I.W.W. Some of the circulars sent out were written in German and called attention to the campaign to forward a new branch of the I.W.W. starting in the east and working westward.

Mostly, “small fry” were arrested in the raids in the Chicago district, some of the operatives said. It was rumored that national leaders of the I. W.W. had been arrested but Mr. Brennan denied that William D. Haywood, national secretary of the organization, was among the prisoners.

Meetings for last night at half a dozen places in Chicago had been planned as part of the celebration which was to last through today, but the raids stopped them.

The officers working in Chicago used a fleet of taxicabs. As fast as the prisoners were questioned by Mr. Brennan, P. J. Rooney, his aide, and three Chicago city detectives, they were removed to outlying police stations. There they were held for further action.

Information regarding plans for “a reign of terror” in Chicago in connection with the celebration was said to have been obtained by a Department of Justice agent who ingratiated himself into the radicals’ councils.

Circulars distributed called upon “brothers and sisters” to join the movement. “Fellow workers, leave your children at home,” advised the announcement of the meeting.

Several alleged I.W.W. leaders came to Chicago from New York yesterday, announcing themselves as “representatives of the press committee, Der Klassenkampf, German propaganda branch, I.W.W.”

Raids at Akron

AKRON, O., Nov. 8—Department of Justice operatives, led by W.H. Kage, special agent, arrested forty men here early today in raids on alleged radical and IWW headquarters.

52 Arrested in New York

NEW YORK, Nov. 8—Fifty-two radicals arrested in raids here faced deportation proceedings today.

The raids, personally directed by Chief William J. Flynn, head of the bureau of investigation of the of the department, came as a surprise to the 200 or more persons assembled in the Russian people’s house in the Lower East Side. A class was listening to what the police termed a radical lecture but all the students hastened to inform the officers they were “leaning English.”

When the prisoners, with several women among them, had been heard today, it was found that many had received severe beatings.

Several truckloads of radical literature were found in the building.

(Source: Chronicling America,