‘Kotoku Demonstrations in New York’ by Alexander Berkman from Mother Earth. Vol 5 No. 12. February, 1911.

Alexander Berkman reports on the New York demonstrations honoring leading Japanese revolutionaries Denjirō Kōtoku, Toshihiko Sakai, Sanshirō Ishikawa, Kōjiro Nishikawa, and their comrades murdered by the Japanese imperial state on January 24, 1911.

‘Kotoku Demonstrations in New York’ by Alexander Berkman from Mother Earth. Vol 5 No. 12. February, 1911.

THE terrible crime of the Japanese government— the judicial murder of Denjiro Kotoku and comrades—has roused the unqualified indignation of the libertarian elements all over the world. Throughout Europe, as well as in America, the conscience of humanity has been voiced in condemnation of the brutality and barbarism of the government of Japan and its atrocious, inhuman methods.

Progressive elements, without distinction of race or party, revolutionists, radicals, intellectual proletarians,— all joined hands in protest against the governmental assassination of the twelve Japanese Anarchists and Socialists. Everywhere the challenge to humanity has been taken up by the progressive elements: Free Mason lodges of Switzerland and France, members of medical societies, trade unions and syndicalist organizations met on common ground and unanimously condemned the judicial murders, thus proclaiming the solidarity of the international proletariat.

In America, the largest and most significant indignation meeting took place in New York, Sunday, January 29, at Webster Hall. The mass meeting, called by the Kotoku Protest Conference, (representing various radical and labor organizations) was attended by over two thousand people who voiced the sentiments of the revolutionary proletariat in the following resolutions:

“Whereas, Dr. Denjiro Kotoku and eleven of his comrades have been legally assassinated by the Japanese government; and

“Whereas, The only crime of these comrades was the effort to disseminate scientific thought among their people to the end of creating a movement for the overthrow of a social system that breeds misery and degradation for the workers, the charge of ‘conspiring against the throne and person of the Emperor’ being false and unproven; and

“Whereas, This incident is one of many incidents of a similar nature, it having a close relation to the so-called trial and legal assassination of Francisco Ferrer;

“Resolved, First, that we, the workingmen of New York, in memorial demonstration assembled, condemn emphatically the brutality and barbarism of the Japanese government and give it notice that the international revolutionary movement will avenge the death of the Japanese and other martyrs to the cause of social progress by the abolition of class rule and despotism; and,

“Resolved, That we express our appreciation and admiration of the intrepidly noble work of Dr. Denjiro Kotoku and his comrades and pledge ourselves vigorously to carry forward the emancipatory struggle for which they were assassinated.”

The Webster Hall meeting closed with a street demonstration, during which four men and one woman were arrested. One of the prisoners was discharged in the Night Court, while the woman was fined $10.00, which was paid. The other three comrades were thrown into prison, where they were held till released by friends on $500 bail, each. They are now facing trial at the Court of Special Sessions.

In view of this situation, the Defence Committee of the Kotoku Protest Conference is appealing to all friends of justice and liberty to aid in organizing a fund for the defence of our indicted comrades and also for the purpose of sending financial assistance to the many victims of Japanese reaction who are incarcerated at Tokio. Their families, hounded by the detectives of the Mikado and denied the right to work, are without the means of subsistence. Their many comrades are in a similar plight. Shall we allow them to starve?

Contributions are to be sent to the Treasurer of the Defence Committee, ALEXANDER BERKMAN, 210 E, 13th St., New York.

Mother Earth was an anarchist magazine begin in 1906 and first edited by Emma Goldman in New York City. Alexander Berkman, became editor in 1907 after his release from prison until 1915.The journal has a history in the Free Society publication which had moved from San Francisco to New York City. Goldman was again editor in 1915 as the magazine was opposed to US entry into World War One and was closed down as a violator of the Espionage Act in 1917 with Goldman and Berkman, who had begun editing The Blast, being deported in 1919.

PDF of full issue: https://archive.org/download/mother-earth/Mother%20Earth%20v05n12%20%281911-02%29%20%28c2c%20Harvard%20DSR%29.pdf

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