Parade of 350 Arrested in Police Raids Starts Before Lazarus
LAST MINUTE NEWS
3 ARRESTED AT COMMUNIST HANGOUT
Three men, found at the wrecked Communists' school, 121 Haight st., were arrested this afternoon. They gave their names as Orlando Merrihew, 1347 Golden Gate ave.; Charles Foore, 507 Bush st., and Otto Rockter, no address. All were questioned by Capt. John O'Meara, of the police Anti-Radical and Crime Prevention Bureau, and charged with vagrancy.As police resumed their roundup of suspected agitators and Communists, a parade of 350 men arrested in the drive yesterday passed through the courts of Municipal Judges Sylvain J. Lazarus and George J. Steiger today.
Half a dozen men raided the already wrecked Workers' School, 121 Haight st., and seized Jack Bishop, caretaker, this afternoon, according to David Murray, who claimed to have routed the attackers with an old sword. Murray said the band kidnapped Bishop.
The Communist School, 1249 Grant ave., also was attacked and wrecked. Police found the doors locked and no one in the place, after a call for help had been phoned in. The interior had been demolished.
The first 201 to appear were charged with vagrancy. Of this number, Judge Steiger heard 121, dismissing two, holding two for immigration authorities, and continuing the cases of the rest until Friday, the men meanwhile being held on $2000 bond or $1000 cash bail.
Judge Lazarus heard 80 cases, sent one man to county jail, dismissed one, and continued the rest until Tuesday on the same bail.
Twelve men arrested last night for disturbing the peace were dismissed by police for lack of evidence.
The main jailed was Ignacio Lazardo, Filipino, arrested at 65 Jackson st.
Cases of four men charged with passing out communistic literature was continued to Aug. 15.
Atty. George Anderson, who said he did not know many of those held he represented, appeared for the first group brought before Judge Lazarus. He said his clients pleaded not guilty to the charges of vagrancy and disturbing the peace against them and demanded jury trials.
The $1000 bail was protested by Atty. Anderson as "unreasonable."Judge Lazarus countered with the assertion that the demand for jury trials was "ridiculous."
"I believe all these men should be tried at once and by the trial judge," said Lazarus. "If they do not like the verdicts, they can appeal."
Atty. Anderson declared however that a mass trial would be illegal unless the men had all been arrested at one time, adding "these men were following peaceable pursuits at the time of their arrests."
"Stepping out of my judicial role," said Judge Lazarus, "I say these men are probably acting to further disturb the industry of the city. They are undesirable citizens, ready to pounce down in time of storm. I recognize we are existing in a time of public peril and I am going to keep that in mind. These men are enemies of the state and government."
Addressing Atty. Anderson, Judge Lazarus aid, "and if you talk too much, you will be in contempt of court."
The judge said he was continuing the cases of those who filed through his court, principally in order to allow immigration authorities to investigate their records.
Before Judge Steiger started to hear the arrested men assigned to his court, Dist. Atty. Matthew Brady delivered a prepared speech in the courtroom on the subject of Communism, declaring: "Our policy should be to give the Communists little fuel to work with and see that they are given little cause for just complaint.
"Legal penalties should be imposed on Communists that break the law but free speech should not be restrained even when they advocate important changes in our political and industrial system, but those must be made within the framework of our laws," he said.
"We should protect the Communists in their right to assemble and air their views as long as they keep within their rights as American citizens, and if they go farther, it will merely be necessary for Uncle Sam to step in and say 'Brother, you have gone far enough: It might be well if you return to the land from which you came to carry out the principles you advocate.'"
Judge Steiger, saying he would set all other matters aside to hear cases of the arrested men, declared: "I will delve into their activities, their police records, their intentions and their agitations against the government with a view of helping to send them back where they came from. I have advocated this for months."
Atty. Anderson also appeared in Judge Steiger's court. He said he represented all those held. Judge Steiger instructed all prisoners who wanted Mr. Anderson to represent them to step to one side. About 10 did so. Mr. Anderson demanded a jury trial for them. Judge Steiger referred their cases to Presiding Judge Alden Ames to set date of trial.
The resumption of police activity today began as a squad of nine officers entered the lobby of the Seaboard Hotel, 226 Embarcadero, examined 200 men, arrested seven for investigation.
Civilian raiders also renewed activities, raiding and wrecking headquarters of the North Beach Workers' Association, Division 13 of the Communist party, at 1249 Franklin st. Police arrived after the raiders left and seized Communistic literature.
Hours after the arrests were made yesterday, the men were still being booked and fingerprinted at the Hall of Justice. Corp. Thomas Ritter worked 14 hours without interruption to list those arrested.
The drive was accompanied by raids conducted by a civilian squadron of about 30 men, who wrecked four meeting places suspected of being frequented by Communists.
Five persons were injured in these vigilante raids, including one policeman. Two were reported seriously hurt, and all were in hospitals.
Of the total arrests about 250 were made yesterday and 100 in a police roundup during the night. Most were charged as vagrants, drunks or with disturbing the peace.
Immigration inspectors were investigating records of those under arrest and, according to Chief Inspector W.E. Walsh, if any undesirable aliens or persons who entered the country illegally are found among them steps will be taken to deport them.
The drive opened yesterday when police raided the headquarters of the Marine Workers' Industrial Union, 65 Jackson st. Nearly 100 men were arrested.
The I.L.A. soup kitchen at 84 Embarcadero was raided next and 12 men jailed.
While these police raids were under way, five automobiles containing about 25 civilians drove past the office of the Western Worker, Communist organ, 37 Grove st., and threw rocks through the windows. A few minutes later the group returned and surged through the plant smashing furniture, doors, upsetting everything moveable, and tearing up literature. The raiders had left when police arrived. Officer Mervin Pratt suffered hand cuts picking up glass. Herbert Lord, 40 Farallone st., suffered a head cut.
The civilian raiders next descended on the Workers' School, 121 Haight st., following the same technique. When they invaded the place they thoroughly smashed everything smashable, threw typewriters out windows, burst through doors. Four occupants escaped by running upstairs, leaping from windows.
In rapid succession the raiders next visited a supposed Communist headquarters, 1223 Fillmore st., where they beat three men, and the Mission Workers' Neighborhood House, 741 Valencia st. In each case they wrecked the interiors of the buildings. After they left the Valencia st. offices a crowd of bystanders, including many women and children, invaded them and finished the wrecking job.
After the Fillmore st. raid police found Elmer Barry, 851 Van Ness ave., suffering a back injury, and Mark Thornton of Fresno suffering cuts about the head. Both were taken to San Francisco Hospital.
Police, meanwhile, continued their campaign, arresting 175 men at the Ex- Service Men's League, 765 Howard st and raiding a hall at 637 Linden st., where they seized Communist literature and four guns, which Donald McKee, whom they arrested, said were hunting paraphernalia.
A telegram addressed to Harry Bridges, longshoreman strike leader, at 65 Jackson st., was found there by police raiders. It was from the Home Relief Bureau Employees Association of New York city and endorsed the strike. This organization, it was revealed, was a radical group which expired recently.
The telegram read:
"The Home Relief Bureau Employes Association of New York city extends fullest endorsement of general strike. We join you in condemning the use of all strikebreakers or military forces. We urge you to fight for your demands until they are granted. Bernard Riback, chairman."
That's easy to explain said R. J. Mallen, publicity chairman of the International Longshoremen's Association local here, of which Mr. Bridges is a member.
"Mr. Bridges gets 500 letters and telegrams a day. They come to all kinds of addresses, particularly those from organizations in the east who do not know his correct address.
"The wonder is a dozen letters and telegrams to him weren't found there. However, this in no way establishes Mr. Bridges as a Communist, if he belonged to the Marine Workers' Industrial Union, we'd kick him out. Our constitution forbids members from belonging to other organizations."
Return to the Museum's General Strike Page.