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Continuity News
W. J. Sidis
Mimeographed newsletter
No. 2, June, 1938

The espionage system that is strangling all semblance of civil rights in Jersey City under the administration of "Franco" Hague has extended into new ramifications, as the fight against it by outside "liberals" has proved to be grossly misdirected. Great public demonstrations have been organised in Journal Square, on a scale to be compared with those ordered by Hitler and Mussolini in their respective countries, to prevent any attempts to express opinions labeled "un-American" by the city's Dictator. It is true that one indoor Socialist meeting was allowed, at Fairmount Hall; but all attempts before and since have failed?partly because they have attempted to deal with public speeches instead of the more fundamental issue of private espionage, an issue wherein the self-appointed defenders of free speech have left the citizens of Jersey City completely undefended.

Congressman Jerry J. O'Connell of Montana, who once gave up an attempt to speak in Jersey City, returned at a later date and attempted to take possession of Pershing Field, a municipal athletic field, for the purpose of making a speech. "Franco" Hague succeeded in drowning out his voice with a municipal band, after which the Congressman was deported from the Dictator's dominions by force, and with some allegation that at a "third degree" was used on him.

Hague also put on political pressure to force the eviction of the Jewish Community Center from their synagogue building at Bergen Avenue, mainly because the rabbi had appeared as character witness for a political opponent of Hague.

It is becoming painfully clear that Mayor Hague of Jersey City is supported by the protection of the White House, without which the Hague Terror could not operate. The Department of Justice has washed its hands of all criminal complaints made against Hague on the score of his violation of constitutional rights; and so has the President, who, in spite of his persistent muscling in on fields constitutionally reserved for individual rights or for State action has found the Hague Terror to be a purely local matter. The President has emphasized his support of Hague's policy by granting him the reward of obedient servants of the New Deal machine, an unusually large slice of public appropriation. The Jersey City Medical Center on Montgomery Street, already consisting of a skyscraper group capable of handling the needs of Chicago, is to get WPA appropriations to cover the building of a new 10-story unit. Frank P. Hague seems to be expecting enough casualties for a good-sized war.

Across the marshes in Newark, there have been a couple of similarly arranged riots on the attempt of a Socialist speaker (who had a permit) to speak on Military Park, a spot which is very central, though not as central as it was when the Hudson Tube terminal was located there up to last year. This speaker was refused a permit to speak there again, but was allowed one to speak in Washington Park, not over a block from Military Park; he was, however, particular about it, and refused to accept the substitute.

The Federal court for New Jersey being in Newark, it is there that an equity case is pending, applying for an injunction against Hague of Jersey City to stop him from interfering with civil rights in his bailiwick. Hague himself has freely testified to the extent of his repressive activities, resulting in his testimony being quoted with enthusiasm by German papers across the ocean, to whom it gives some hopes of America going dictatorial; while this was followed up in Rome by a joyful editorial in the "Giornale d'Italia" quoting Hague's testimony to prove that democracy is slipping.

Slightly more optimistic news is reported from little Manhattan Island, across the river from these cities. A man named Edmondson was arrested last year by order of Mayor Fiorello La Guardia on a criminal libel charge for printing and distributing a pamphlet criticizing the Jewish religion. On May 11, this charge was dismissed in a judicial opinion that re-affirmed the freedom of speech, of the press, and of religion, and stated that courts cannot be arbiters of religious truth. But it does remain true that New York's city administration shows an anti-Gentilism as strong as any anti-Semitism (so-called) ever was, and only America's tradition of limitation of governmental powers has prevented New York from being a city where none but Jews dare speak.

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