Vermont Public Radio, “The Palmer Raids”

In late 1919, Federal and local authorities arrested more than two hundred individuals at New York City’s Union of Russian workers. On December 21st of that same year, two hundred and forty nine radicals, including anarchist Emma Goldman, were deported to Russia on the USS Buford, which was dubbed “the Soviet Ark” by the press. And on January 2nd, 1920, the most spectacular of all the so-called Palmer Raids occurred.

Without search warrants, Federal agents entered the homes of thousands of suspected anarchists. They also jailed labor leaders, and held an estimated three thousand citizens without access to legal counsel – many guilty of nothing more than having a foreign accent.

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