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Newspaper and Third-Party Accounts

Anarchists Assail Mayer
[Article in the New York Times, June 15, 1917]


Hold Noisy East Side Meeting--Slackers Hunted Out.

The Goldman-Berkman group of anarchists and I. W. W. agitators, who for the last three weeks have been campaigning in Harlem and the Bronx, invaded the lower east side last night and held a noisy meeting in the Forward Building, at 175 East Broadway. Emma Goldman made a bitter speech. Judge Julius M. Mayer, who on Wednesday sentenced Louis Kramer and Morris Becker, two convicted anarchists, to maximum terms in the Federal Penitentiary at Atlanta, was singled out for [sentence incomplete.]

The hall where the meeting was held was packed to capacity with a yelling crowd of men and women. The audience indorsed everything that the anarchist said and the applause was loudest when the agitators turned their attacks in the direction of the White House at Washington.

More than 500 policemen, under Chief Inspector Schmittberger, were on guard inside and outside the hall. The hall faces Seward Park and the entire park was made a barred zone through which only residents of the neighborhood and people who could show the proper credentials were permitted to pass. It was estimated that at least 20,000 persons were massed behind the police lines. When Emma Goldman and Berkman arrived in a limousine they were recognized by the thousands outside and were cheered.

When Berkman called the meeting to order, among his auditors were Assistant United States District Attorneys H. A. Content and E. N. Stanton, United States Marshal McCarthy, and a large force of detectives. Scattered through the hall were regulars from Fort Totten and guardsmen of the Eighth New York Coast Artillery.

Berkman spoke first. His was the usual anarchist harangue. Another speaker was a pale-faced man named Abraham, who predicted, among other things, a general strike throughout the United States as a protest against the war against the German Government.

Emma Goldman made the last speech. The hall was stuffy and full of smoke when her time came. She was fairly livid as she began. Like Berkman, she denounced Judge Mayer, said that she defied law and order, and shouted that "a reign of terror was to sweep over the country." Judge Mayer, she cried, "is going to hear from us."

"Now is your time," she shouted, "to do what you please. The time is coming here as it has already come in Russia, and when that time comes the Judges will be swept from the benches."

Her speech, as well as those of all the other speakers, were taken down by Government stenographers and will be studied today at the Federal Building. It was said last night that several important arrests might be the outcome of the meeting.

After the meeting the police and soldiers formed lines in front of all the exits and ordered all men of conscript age to show their registration cards. About thirty were detained, and at midnight two of them had been arrested by the Federal authorities. One of the men under arrest gave his name as Nachman Rachlin. He said he was 26 years old, "worse than an anarchist," and had no use for the United States. At 11:15 o'clock the police ordered the throngs about Seward Park to disperse. The order was obeyed.

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