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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, April 18, 1912, Image 9

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1912-04-18/ed-1/seq-9/

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BROKEN HEADS ANDJAIL FOR THESE MEN.WHO ONLY,j
" WANTED TO SPEAK IN PUBLIC ,
San Diego, Cal., April 18.-
. Licensed brutality, jails full, "vig
nance committee busy deporting
men and beating back others who
seek to enter the' city that's
what San DiegtfV free speech
fight has brought in the last few
weeks, And the end isnot yet.
Others have declared that they
will come to keep,up the war.
They call it a free speech fight,
Jonn L. beton, boss of San
Diego's head breaking police
force.
hut that does not describe it ex
actly. A group of business men
made up their , minds that thev
wanted street speaking stopped
in a downtown district in which
are located most of the stores.
Then in petition form, the mer
chants went to. the "city council
asking that speaking on E street,
where for years the street speak
ers have held forth be stopped,
and that a restricted -district of
several blocks be created, - -J do with the rest that might be
Then came a counter-petition,,
just as long as the merchants',!
but signed by Socialists and oth-!
;rs believed that it was all right
tp speak in the streets as long asi
order was kept and traffic not'
hindered. But the citv councili
took the merchants' side, and
passed the new1 ordinance. ,
, "You're starting a needless!
fight," said some people to the
council. "Provide a place where
all can speak a forum or a little
park. If the speakers are hot-air
artists, just let them get it out of i
their systems. It wont hurt any
one. But if you stop speaking in,
the old place and do it arbitrarily,
there's gping to be trouble."
But the council couldn't see it'
that way. And Capt. John L.j
Sehon, army officer, and "great"
disciplinarian, who heads the po
lice, told his men to get ready.
Something was started. I
The night 'the ordinance went
into effect, 40 Socialists and In
dustrial Workers of the World
were arrested for street speaking.
But the violations continued
night after night, mainly by the
I. W. W. and those who went
outside the restricted district to
speak spent most of their time'
roasting the police, and the po
lice showed a willingness to mix
whenever there was a chance.
The city jail was soon filled;
with "free speech agitators."
Then the county jail was filled.;
Prisoners were sent to two other
counties to be boarded. What to
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