The police of Cleveland
are to be commended for their action yesterday in preventing the
holding of a meeting of the “Liberty Association,” an organization
of avowed anarchists. It was this band of reds that taught Leon
Czolgosz the doctrines which later led him to assassinate the President.
It is considered a dangerous body and has been watched closely by
the police since the tragedy of September. Its effrontery in seeking
to hold public meetings is, perhaps, to be accounted for by the
fact that thus far the law has been unable to reach the reds in
any city, save in New York, where John Most was sentenced to a short
prison term for publishing an inflammatory editorial in his journal.
Chicago was impotent to hold Emma Goldman and her associates, and
since their release they have participated in more than one meeting
at which the radical beliefs of the anarchists were freely expressed.
The climax of this impudent defiance of the public patience was
reached the other night, when at a meeting of the central body of
Chicago anarchists the man Isaaks, who was arrested with Goldman
after the assassination, declared that he held himself below Czolgosz,
whereat there were cheers for the assassin.
If the law is so lax as to permit
such an exhibition of exultation over a deed which has horrified
humanity, its amendment is a matter of the most urgent necessity.
If on the other hand there are laws and ordinances in force in Chicago
to prohibit disorderly assemblage, or utterances calculated to incite
riot or crime, as surely there must be, why were they not applied
instantly upon the utterance of these sentiments, which called forth
the clamor of praise for Czolgosz? The leaders of the meeting were
all notorious anarchists. To permit them to continue unmolested
to defy public decency and the principles of order is to encourage
them to more flagrant outbursts of contempt for government, perhaps
even to sow the seeds of murder in many hearts. Chicago’s mayor
is the son of a man who, holding the same office, was killed by
a “crank,” a man without respect for authority, whose dastardly
inspiration came, in all probability, from the “red” company he
had been keeping. This country would respect Carter Harrison far
more than it does today if, at the first whisper of treasonable
applause for the assassin of the President, he had caused the arrest
of the leaders in the demonstration and their immediate prosecution
under any applicable statute or ordinance.