A ROUND-UP

From The Tribunal August 31 1916

This is a further update in a series of extracts from the No Conscription Fellowship’s journal, published in the UK between March 1916 and November 1918
For other extracts go to: http://nfpb.org.uk/tribunal

The police began last week-end taking active steps against the numerous absent lambs that still stray from the fold.

A garden party at Bow, which had been organised for the purpose of raising funds for the support of The Voice of Labour, a journal of strong revolutionary and pacifist tendencies, was interrupted by the police, who demanded documentary evidence from all the men present as to why they were not in uniform. Twenty-seven men, mostly members of the N.C.F., were found to be without the requisite documents, and as a result nine men were charged at the Thames Police Court on Monday. Two of them were remanded on their statement that they had an appeal pending, and the others were handed over to an escort, and removed amid the cheers of a large crowd of sympathisers.

Mr. H. Russell, a member of the N.C.F., who was remanded, states that he passed Saturday and Sunday nights in the cells, by which we may assume that anyone who cannot produce evidence on the spot is liable to be shut up until his case is heard in court, and not merely summonsed in the usual way.

Other Raids

Similar steps were taken over the week-end at Eel-Pie Island, Twickenham, from which about forty people were taken into custody, and at Liverpool, where the police closed the gates of a park and arrested a large number of men therein. We do not yet know the result of the Liverpool affair, but we learn that when the Pie was opened it was discovered that the police had drawn blanks.

We trust that in this democratic country such proceedings will be free from the stigma of class distinction, and that the sombre colour scheme of the week-end gatherings will be relieved by a just proportion of gladder garments. The drama of civic life will be greatly enhanced if the raids on Socialist gatherings in the East End are to be balanced by similar visits to West-End clubs.

(N.B.- This hope does not spring from a bitter feeling of class-antagonism; it arises solely from dramatic and aesthetic instincts.)

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