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Servicemen Wreck L.A. Union Hall Over Armistice Day Shootings

November 15, 2009 |  4:00 am

Nov. 15, 1919, Cover

Nov. 15, 1919, Runover

Nov. 15, 1919:  In response to the Centralia, Wash., shootings, “Twenty-five silent, stalwart men in full uniform of the United States Army and Navy raided the headquarters of the local I.W.W. in the Germain Building while a ‘defense’ meeting of the reds was in progress and utterly wrecked the place shortly after 8 o'clock last night," The Times said.

“They drove the terrified I.W.W. before them as leaves before a cyclone. Some of the reds jumped out of the window to escape the flailing blows of the avengers, armed with table legs and stout pieces of banister broken from the stairway railing as they rushed up. Others flew from room to room, endeavoring to get away, which most of the fifty percent finally did, much the worse for wear.

“When the smoke of battle finally cleared away and the police held the premises, four of the I.W.W. were in the Receiving Hospital and five were under arrest, charged with inciting a riot. They will be charged with criminal syndicalism later, according to the police. No members of the raiding party were injured and none was arrested, as there is absolutely no clew to their identity or where they came from. A handful of citizens arrested them in the attack, but no one knows who they were. “