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Wednesday, October 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Newspaper says Germans among Wobblies held for tribunals

The Spokesman-Review fanned the flames of anti-Wobbly suspicion with a front page story hinting that Germans were among the 27 men rounded up at the Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies) headquarters in Spokane.

The “hand of Germany might yet be bared,” said the paper, in connection with the “I.W.W. strike agitation.”

A military tribunal was holding hearings for each of the detained men. The fact that the hearings were closed did not prevent the paper from speculating about the results of these hearings. Major Clement Wilkins of Fort George Wright, who conducted the raid, “declined to discuss the disclosures made yesterday further than to authorize the statement that they were finding slackers (draft evaders) and enemy aliens.”

He said they would eventually be turned over to the Department of Justice.

Major Wilkins also said that five more men would probably be released — in addition to two already released — because “we would not class them as violent agitators.” They had only recently joined the Wobblies.

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