Sunday, December 01, 2019

Today -100: December 1, 1919: We refuse to renounce our right to revolution19: We refuse to renounce our right to revolution

The government responds to the hunger strike by alleged radicals at Ellis Island by speeding up their deportation hearings, and I mean really speeding them up.

Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge shows no interest in negotiating with Pres. Wilson or his surrogates about the peace treaty, declaring the Republican reservations the “irreducible minimum.” He says the 14 reservations don’t nullify the treaty, they “Americanize” it. FACT CHECK: they would totally nullify it. Lodge suggests that if Wilson wants the treaty passed, he merely has to accept every word of the reservations without change.

The reason Yugoslavia refused to sign the peace treaty with Austria (which the US Senate hasn’t even started on yet) is that it was expected to pay the indemnities due to Serbia itself. That is, the responsibility for war damages would be assumed by the territories that were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1914 but have since been absorbed into Yugoslavia. They’d also be responsible for the Empire’s pre-war debt.

Detroit Police Commissioner James Inches (a doctor, by the way) forces the band at an IWW meeting to play the Star-Spangled Banner (the Marseillaise and “a Russian anthem” had already played). Inches, who had prohibited Big Bill Haywood from speaking, also orders the crowd to stand during the song.

A Socialist just elected to the French parliament (representing Paris) says “We refuse to renounce our right to revolution.” That’s future prime minister Léon Blum. He does add that the French socialists don’t intend to adopt the methods used by the Bolsheviks in Russia, which had different circumstances.

James Weldon Johnson, field secretary and soon to be head of the NAACP, suggests blacks strike as a protest against lynchings. “The negro must discover the elements of force within himself, for he will get only so much as he will take”. He notes Pres. Wilson’s weak stance on lynching.

A grand jury in Baltimore orders the enforcement of the Sunday Blue Laws (enacted in 1723), but newsboys, confectioners, bootblacks etc. ignore it. Many ice cream truck drivers are arrested, released, and go right back to their business. Barbers are also arrested. Gas stations do close.

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