To the Editor of the CRIMSON:
As an active participator in the recent demonstration on behalf of Edith Berkman, the writer has been much chagrined to see that the controversy centering around this affair in the CRIMSON has been too much occupied with the errors made by her sympathizers and too little concerned with the more vital issues in question.
The arrests, following the "riot" which has been outrageously exaggerated were a startling surprise to the participators who witnessed an hitherto peaceful band of cops metamorphosed into almost brutal "arrest-hunters." But aside from this, the point that should be emphasized is the attitude of the immigration authorities toward the much mistreated Edith Berkman. Mrs. Tillinghast and Sub-Commissioner F. S. Abercrombie have tried to suppress knowledge of the fact that those in no way connected with Communist or Socialist organizations are active in Miss Berkman's case and they have played the whole affair up as a "Red Riot" to give it the stigma of radicalism.
To cite another example of this gross unfairness, the writer through a personal interview with Miss Berkman has discovered that she is on a hunger strike for the purpose of focusing attention on her present position. Yet the information given out is to the effect that being a consumptive, she is on a "special diet," which, of course, obviates all beneficial results to Miss Berkman and greatly damages the sincerity of her cause in the eyes of the public. The facts in the Berkman case are too well known to repeat, but it seems that anyone who is acquainted with them must realize that Miss Berkman is being made an example of, as a warning to those who might in the future have spirit enough to protest a wage-cut.
Miss Berkman is guilty of nothing but being a leader in the Lowell Mill Strike and of membership in the National Textile Workers Union, and since when has it been a crime for labor to organize for the protection of its rights? Yet she was jailed on a false charge which was afterwards changed, held without opportunity for ball until she contracted tuberculosis, and now is awaiting possible deporation as an "undesirable alien" to Poland, where there is a strong probability that she will face the dangerous persecution of the unfriendly Fascists. Sooner or later the public must realize this miscarriage of justice and force the authorities to release Edith Berkman! Clarence M. Agress '33.