POLICE CLUB ANTI-WAR
2,000 ROUTED AFTER MELEE IN GRANT PARK
"Peace Meeting" Broken Up When Speaker Curses Wilson.
An anarchistic mob of some 2,000 of the pro-German socialistic element, in overflow of the peace terms meeting in the Auditorium, came to grief yesterday when a riot call was sent out and police and secret service reserves scattered the participants, broke some heads, arrested eight, and took the ring leaders before the government investigation bureau.
It was Chicago’s first war riot. The scene was Grant park, just across from the Auditorium hotel. Michigan avenue’s thousands of Sunday promenaders came to an amazed halt. A steady flowing stream of automobiles pulled up short, blockading the boulevard for many blocks in each direction. At first the crowd seemed orderly and merely amusing. Then a large, bearded and mop headed Russian thrust himself above the heads of the others.
EPITHET STARTS TROUBLE
"Why should American workmen fight the workmen of Germany for say —— in the White House?" he bawled.
In an instant there was trouble. Police came from every direction. The air was filled with clubs, that cracked down upon the heads of the rioters. The members of the meeting shrieked deprecations, women bit and scratched the police, bull throated malcontents bawled threats and "Down with the government!" "Free speech!" and "No war."
In an hour the riot was quelled. Patrol wagons and hastily commandeered taxi-cabs darted in and out with their loads of prisoners and the remnants of the mob was galloping up the nearest alleys.
GRUMBLINGS BECOME SHOUTS
The affair started at the Congress street side of the Auditorium. Here were gathered crowds of those who failed to gain admittance to the Peace Terms conference. When the doors of the Auditorium closed and the policemen stationed there order back those nearest the doors. There was some disappointment voiced. The grumblings of several grew louder until finally it grew to a shout.
"Let’s hold an overflow meeting." cried a man. His call was taken up by several others and a movement was made toward Grant park. The leading spirits trotted the short block from the Auditorium to Michigan avenue and then across to Grant park.
Traffic instantly began to close up when the crowd warmed over the boulevard and took up a position in front of the bandshell. Already several of the leaders of the crowd had ??? the platform and were beginning to harangue. Chief among these was George Koop, a Socialist with a long record of arrests and misadventures.
POLICE DEMAND PERMIT
Not all of the overflow from the Auditorium followed to Grant park, however. Several thousand turned and went away, leaving only the more intemperate, it seemed, to follow in the wake of Koop and his aids. Koop started speaking. He had uttered only a few words when South Park Policemen Kelly and McCormick broke through the crowd and demanded to see Koop’s permit to speak in the park.
"I don’t need a permit to enjoy free speech," replied Koop in a loud voice. "That is what we are demanding — free speech."
The policemen went away and sought out Sergt. Thomas Markham of the South Park police force. While they were absent Koop resumed his speech.
"We demand that no men and no money be sent to Europe," he cried. "We demand less power to the capitalists."
RUSSIAN OPENS FIRE
A roar from the crowd greeted this. Koop concluded another outburst and then turned and drew forth another man.
"I will now introduce to you," he said, "a man who will talk to you from the viewpoint of the Russian workman."
This was the bushy headed, bewhiskered moujik who precipitated the real
(4) trouble. His name could not be heard above the noise of his welcome, but it was given out by the police as David S. Lyman. Lyman spread his hands for silence and then began.
"This is a war of capital," he said. "The workmen are the sufferers. Why should American workmen fight the workmen of Germany for — ?" And then followed an insult to the president so violent that it caused many to wince.
RIOT CALL SOUNDED
A gray old man in the crowd who had been listening patiently for something interesting, hear more than he bargained for. He passed his hand over his face and made his way out for air.
"When a man insults the president this way," he stammered in his anger, "I’m ready to fight."
It wasn’t necessary. While these things had been going forward Sergt. Markham had been notified. He telephoned to Capt. P. J. Lavin of the Clark street police station and to Chief James L. Mooney of the detective bureau, and there was immediate response. Capt. Lavin came tearing up with forty uniformed men, and Mooney with thirty-five detectives. Capt. Lavin, glancing over the turmoil, sent back a call for reserves, and in ten minutes there were between 300 and 400 policemen on the scene.
Agitator First to Go.
"Give it to ‘em, men," called Lavin, and Donnybrook fair faded into significance.
The bewhiskered Lyman decided it was time to take his hat and stick and bid adieu. He slid meekly out the back way of the speakers’ platform and was off down the parkway like a bat out of Sheol. The police army tore in.
"Free speech!" screamed the woman. "We want free speech!"
"You’ll get it," bellowed back a square shouldered policeman as he whacked another disturber over the head. Capt. Lavin possessed himself of an extra club and he plied it with a vigor most enthusiastic. Bing! Crack! Whang! his locust cam down on the crowns of the rioters as they scratched, and bit, and fought,
"Big Jim" Mooney had no club, but his fists were ample. He sang as he worked. A grin spread over his features as fists sawed away with uppercuts that lifted many a malcontent clear of the pavement and laid him calm and at least not unpatriotic for the moment.
As easy yell of "To hell with the government!" rose out of the surging throng a quick moving secret service man or detective reached in and plucked for the offended. Before he could utter another peep he was thrust into a patrol wagon or taxicab and whisked away. Twenty or more secret service agents under the command of Capt. T. B. Crocker flitted here and there and silently garnered in the black sheep as they endeavored to stir the others to more violent resistance. The yelling grew in volume and the clubs of the policemen were plied with a new and increasing vigor.
The Crowd Finally Quits.
Suddenly the crowd broke and ran. They had got enough. Throngs of the Sunday promenaders along the boulevard let up a lusty cheer. T. B. Wadeight of Oak Park, angered at the lack of patriotism, ran into the Auditorium hotel and presently fetched forth an American flag. It was the only flag in the whole gathering. Some hooted it, while others ran to get near it.
The boulevard was cleared, but this was not enough. The police detectives, and secret service men, urged on by the commands of Chief Mooney and Capt. Gavin, kept merrily at their task. Down Van Buren, Congress and Seventh Streets the small remnants of the mob ran, still calling imprecations upon the police and the government. The clubs of the police kept them moving.
Once into State street they were turned south. A soldier stood marveling at the fight. He was greeted by a volley of insults for his business and his uniform. Another rattle of the clubs on the heads of the anarchist was the response.
Last of Rioters Flee.
Finally, the alleys and handy doorways came to the relief of the few that remained of the mob of 2,000. Policemen stopped and puffed and mopped their foreheads.
In the meantime the secret service men in charge of Lieut. John Martin had been busy on their own hook. Two taxicabs were commandeered and a rush was made for a house at 2740 North Racine avenue. The house was surrounded and Lyman, he who had made his inglorious exit from the speakers’ platform, was dragged forth. He was taken before Hinton G. Clabaugh, federal investigator. Mr. Clabaugh refused to make known the course of questioning he applied to the Russian or what action was taken in his case.
A count of those arrested was taken in the South Clark street station. These were held:
Harry Leviton, 6808 Windsor avenue, Bermen.
Samuel Leviton, same address.
Herman Jacobson, 2607 Clyde avenue.
Fannie Yampolski, 1409 Evergreen avenue
Bella Yampolski, her sister
Jennie Stein, 1220 Lawndale avenue
Max Schneiderman, 1422 South Kedzie avenue.
Schneiderman was being detained in the outer room of Mr. Clabaugh’s office, but the charges against him would not be discussed. It was said he had been circulating cards bearing the legend "Do not register — others are with you." He was wearing a red insignia of the Socialist party.
Repudiate Rioters’ Meeting
The three women taken into custody stoutly avowed their innocence of any wrongdoing.
After the disturbance had quieted the Rev. Irwin St. John Tucker, chairman of the peace terms conference under whose auspices the meeting in the Auditorium was held, issued a statement in which any responsibility for the overflow gather was disavowed.
The Rev. Mr. Tucker’s statement follows:
"To the Public:
"The Chicago permanent conference on terms of peace is responsible only for the massmeeting held in the Auditorium theater and for the resolutions officially presented therein.
"On hearing that an impromptu massmeeting was being organized in Grant park, we sent, on the advice of Attorney Seymour Stedman, a message to them requesting them to disband, as massmeetings in the public parks without permit are contrary to law. The conference is determined, while exercising all our rights under the law, strictly to observe all our obligations under the same."