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Posts Tagged ‘anti-communism’

“Mountain Prison, known as "Buchenwald” to the Sons of Freedom Sect, is situated five miles northwest of Agassiz, B.C. in the Fraser Valley on a prison reserve of one hundred and fifty-eight acres. The prison itself is situated at the foot of Burnside Mountain overlooking fertile farm land and just north of a section of the Fraser Valley which suffered considerable flood damage in 1948.

Construction of this $300,000 maximum security prison commenced in May 1962 and the prison was in operation by July of the same year. All buildings, and their furnishings are metal on cement slabs. The male and female sections are separated by an eight foot barbed wire fence and the two sections are encircled by an eight-foot mesh fence.

The female section is comprised of a combination washroom and hospital, combination kitchen and mess, and one dormitory; is built to accommodate fifty inmates, and has a population of 13. This section is staffed by 9 matrons and supervised by the male administration.

The male compound consists of four dormitories, combination hospital and washroom, and a combination kitchen and dining area. This section is built to accommodate two hundred inmates, has a population of 86 and a total staff of 22.

All administration buildings, including male and female staff quarters, workshop, two-stall garage, stores, visiting room and officer, are constructed outside the perimeter mesh fence overlooking the prison compound.

Immediately after the prison was opened in July 1962, the staff was confronted with a display of stripping and nude parading followed by a fourteen-day fasting which the rebellious inmates would not even pick up their own bedding. All buildings in both compounds are equipped with old fashioned, pot-bellied, wood-fired stoves. The inmates are expected to cut the wood which is hauled in four foot lengths from the nearby Experimental Farm to be used for heating, cooking, etc. This is resented by the inmates who do not believe they should be doing any work. As a result of their attitude, it has been impossible to introduce a proper inmate training programs and, consequently, the inmates are not provided with newspapers, books, radios, tobacco or sports equipment.

The Freedomites prepare and cook their own meals which consist mainly of vegetables, eggs, cheese, etc., and contain no meat or meat products. The majority of them eat more than is required and consequently are over-weight and flabby. 

They are a communal sect and during visits between the two sections which are limited to one half-hour visit each month, their general topic of conversation pertains to discussions on the welfare of their relations.  These unpredictable people refuse to think as individuals and all requests and demands made upon the administration are made as a group. 

Almost  one  year to the day after Mountain Prison  commenced operations, and after many meetings and a prayer service  by  the  inmates, they requested to see the Superintendent.  The officer in charge  realized the precariousness  of the tense situation and contacted the Superintendent immediately, who returned to the prison from Victoria.  Upon his arrival all  the  inmates gathered around him and their declaration of a ‘fast unto death’ was read by one member. This was received in writing and was later to become  a  legal document.

The subsequent fast which began on July 21, 1963, and lasted one hundred and two days hospitalized ten inmates and resulted in the death of one Freedomite. On the advice of the attending physician, the staff  was forced to feed one hundred inmates for approximately two  and a  half months. Because of the limited staff force and acts of violence by some inmates, it was necessary to call upon  the parent  institution, a medical team, and a number of prevailing
rate employees for assistance.

A crucial time during the fast period came with the arrival of approximately seven hundred trekking Doukhobors from Vancouver  and the  interior of B.C. They arrived in cars, trucks, and  buses,  and set up camp at the east entrance to the prison, less than one-quarter of a mile  from  the prison compound. Visits and corresponding privileges with the inmates are not allowed and the trekkers, therefore, resorted to climbing the nearby mountains from where the shout and signal greetings to the inmates. 

Now with winter approaching, activity in the tent town has been brisk. Approximately one hundred and ninety of their crude shelters are being covered with wooden frames, cardboard  and  plastic,  or any  other material that can be gathered from the countryside and from the nearby garbage dump. They are gathering wood for heating and cooking on the makeshift stoves with pipes from old one-quart fruit  juice and oil cans.

Weekends find the road to Mountain Prison and "tent town" jammed with Canadian  and United States tourists seeking a glimpse of these poor confused renegades who have defied all the laws of our land. 

What happens next to this radical  sect is unknown.  The forthcoming winter, with its rainfall and winds which could reach a velocity of sixty miles an hour will, no doubt, test the will of the trekkers to remain at the gates of Mountain Prison.

One thing appears certain, unfortunately. The leaders of the Sons of  Freedom Doukhobor Sect will continue more vigorously than ever to rule the rest of the sect by terror, threat  and  indoctrination. They will continue to despise man-made laws, destroy property,  and  seek public sympathy. All for a cause which we — or  they themselves — cannot understand.”

– Superintendent Raymond Wilson, Mountain Institution, “Mountain Prison’s Fanatical Sons,” Federal Corrections. Volume 2A – No. 4. September-October-November 1963.

Photograph shows two elders of the Sons of Freedom

‘trekkers’ outside of Mountain Prison, in the Agassiz camp, protesting the death of an inmate on fast. Source is

Doukhobor Genealogy Website. From the private collection of the George Henry (“Timothy”) Eaton family, West Vancouver, British Columbia.

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“Charge of Complicity In Breaking ‘Padlock’,” Ottawa Citizen. July 25, 1938. Page 03.

Two Men Who Tried to Wire Constables Inside Their Own Car Escape But Man Who Helped Them Charged With ‘Complicity After the Fact.’

Canadian Press.
QUEBEC, July 25. – F. X. Lessard, self-styled ‘only living Communist to break open a Duplessis padlock for Communists.’ remained in the cells today while friends considered means of raising bail of $1,200 set Saturday by Judge Hugues Fortier when the 40-yer-old carpenter appeared before him on a charge of ‘willfully breaking a provincial law.’

Behind bars also was Henri Beaulieu, the man police charged with ‘complicity after the fact’ in the escape of two men who tried to imprison guards in their automobile Friday while Lessard entered the home authorities padlocked two days before because of the carpenters alleged Communistic activities.

When police went to the six-room Lessard dwelling last Tuesday to advise the family the flat would be locked up for a year under the special law aimed at halting the spread of Communism, it was the authorities’ third visit to homes occupied by the carpenter. Twice before they had seized literature from Lessard’s dwellings.

Away at work when police told Mrs. Lessard the family would have to evacuate the premises ‘within 24 hours,’ the carpenter again was absent when two detectives arrived the following day to execute the withdrawal order. His blue-eyed, middle aged wife and two children were marched from their home singing the ‘Internationale’ and the ‘Young Guard’ after refusing to remove their furniture. 

Two policemen immediately were detailed to guard the abandoned flat, located in to the top of a tall building below steep St. Sauveur cliff.

Curious lookers-on frequently engaged the two guarding officers in casual conversation and the police saw nothing to arouse their suspicions when two men approached their parked car Friday ostensibly for a chat.

But the officers were startled suddenly to notice their ‘callers’ slyly were binding the car’s doors with strong wire and when the guards attempted to seize the men the pair fled – just as Lessard walked along the sidewalk, pulled open a street door, and ran up three flights of stairs to his former home.

Drawing revolvers, the policemen followed and on reaching the top of the stairs they found the ‘padlocks’ (official seals of Quebec province) had been smashed. Lessard, calmly walking about the kitchen, made no resistance to arrest.

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Crowds rush a police armoured car after news of the attempted assassination of PCI leader Palmiro Togliatti, Genoa, July 14, 1948. Source.

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“Soviet Tombstone Disgrace, Slap In Face, Says Veterans,” Toronto Star. July 14, 1948. Page 03.

Special to The Star
Kitchener, July 14 – Waterloo Mount Hope cemetery’s ‘Soviet’ tombstone brought a volume of protest at a general meeting of the Kitchener-Waterloo branch, Canadian Legion, last night.

One legionnaire termed it ‘a slap in the face to all veterans’ and ‘a disgrace to the Twin Cities.’

Several suggestions from the floor recommended that the tombstone ‘be blown up,’ ‘smashed with a sledgehammer’ or ‘pulled over with a rope.’

The legion decided to contact the Waterloo park board and request the board to keep them informed as to what action they were taking.

Indignation has been aroused in several quarters over the tombstone which flaunts the Russian hammer and sickle emblem. The radical philosophy inscribed on the stone first became generally known some days ago, when it was noticed by a Twin Cities minister.

Chris Schondelmayer, chairman of the cemetery committee of the Waterloo park board, said he intends to bring the matter before the park board commissioners at the next general meeting.

‘A thing like that should not be let stand in a Christian cemetery,’ a legionnaire said.

The hammer and sickle is surmounted by a five-point star set in the middle of the stone. Around the top are inscribed the words ‘Workers of the World Unite.’ The verse reads ‘Mourn not the dead but rather the apathetic throng who see the world’s great anguish and its wrongs, and yet dare not speak.’

The deceased man, Morris Wehansky, on whose tombstone the Russian emblem is inscribed, died several years ago.

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“Mountain Prison Near Agassiz, B.C. –
New Maximum Security, Fireproof Institution
Designed For Freedomite Doukhobor Inmates,” Federal Corrections.  Volume 2 — No. 3. June-July, 1962.

A new prison, especially designed to hold Sons
of Freedom Doukhobors sentenced to penitentiary
terms is now in operation. It is located approximately
five miles north of Agassiz, British Columbia.

Because of the fact that most of the convicted
Freedomites constitute a potential fire hazard, design
and construction of the new maximum security prison
has been made as fireproof as possible. 

Fireproof even to the paint, the new prison —
which has been officially named Mountain Prison —
has highly restrictive security features. 

To virtually eliminate any chance of fire or other
property damage, the dormitory buildings have been
constructed of metal, with concrete floors. Light fixtures
are high in the ceilings and are covered with
wire mesh. Windows are also grilled with heavy wire. 

In the dormitories, beds are double-decker steel
bunks, and stools are also of steel. Mattresses and
bedding are made of flameproof material. And, to
provide additional protection, oversize fire hydrants
are located at strategic points around the prison area
— outside the fences, so that inmates will not be able
to tamper with the water supply in any emergency.

In addition to these special security measures,

the prisoners will be under maximum security control.
As a maximum security establishment, the prison has
towers staffed with armed guards. Inmates will be
allowed only minimum privileges — a half-hour visit
once a month from members of their immediate families,
and permission to write only one letter a month.

Explaining the highly restrictive nature of the
$300,000 Mountain Prison, Allen J. MacLeod, Q.C.,
Federal Commissioner of Penitentiaries, said that it
was due to the nature of the Freedomite acts of
violence. 

“In other institutions, we emphasize a work program
for inmates”, Mr. MacLeod said. “Remembering
past experiences, no such program has been planned
here”. 

He pointed out that inmates who work are granted
such privileges as watching television, listening to
radio. playing carde. writing letters, playing baseball
and other sports. reading, and attending shows. Since
past experience has shown that the Freedomites refuse
to do any work while in prison they will receive only
minimum privileges. 

However. Mr. MacLeod said, if individuals or
the group as a whole ask to be allowed to participate
in a work program. and show a genuine willingness
to co-operate, consideration will be given to individual
transfers to the B.C. Penitentiary, or to establishment
of a work program at Mountain Prison itself.

Mountain Prison is on a 168-acre site, and has
accommodation for 250 men and 150 women, with a
fence separating male and female compounds. In
cases where a husband and wife are both inmates,
they will have their half-hour monthly visit in the
public visiting area. 

The Freedomites will sleep 40 to a dormitory.
They will cut their own firewood for their heating and
cooking needs, and will do their own cooking. They
will also maintain their own living quarters and do
their own laundry.

First inmates of Mountain Prison will be 49 convicted
Freedomites to be transferred from the British
Columbia federal penitentiary at New Westminster.
These will be followed by another 46 to be moved in
from other institutions in the province. 

Mountain Prison comes under the jurisdiction of
Warden T. H. Hall of B.C. Penitentiary. In charge
at the new prison itself will be Superintendent Raymond
A. Wilson. who has been with the Penitentiary
Service for 23 years, mostly in Saskatchewan. Under
him will be a staff of 22 men and 11 women.

Photos are from a latter date, late 1970s to early 80s, but showcase much of the still existing dormitory buildings and fence line – the workshop was a newer addition once the Doukhobors were mostly released by 1965.

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“Rioting Japanese Reds Tee Off On The Yankees,” LIFE. Vol. 32, No. 19. May 12, 1952. 

Photographed for Life by Michael Rougier and Jun Miki

On May Day in Tokyo, Japan’s newly restored sovereignity – formalized on April 28 when the U.S. joined in the ratification of the Japanese peace treaty – was challenged in a bitter, bloody outburst. It was led by Communists and directed against the U.S.

The trouble began in Meiji Park, three miles from the emperor’s palace, after 300,000 people gathered beneath the oaks and willows for a peaceful rally conducted chiefly by Japan’s biggest labor unions. The unions had accepted a united front with the socialists, left-wing groups and others in order to fight the Japanese government’s proposed anti-subversive bill, which they feared would throttle Japanese unions. The Communist party, impotent under the rules of the Occupation, was well represented by both Japanese and some North Koreans. One of the speakers at the rally, U.S. Socialist Norman Thomas (above, right), observed to a reporter, ‘These North Korean flags made this all a little embarrassing.’

His embarrassment, and the crowd’s surprise, increased as wild-eyed young Communists, in a well-planned move, seized the speaker’s stand, drove Thomas and other scheduled speakers off the stage and grabbed control of the rally. Moving from Meiji Park in a snake-dancing parade toward the heart of Tokyo, they whipped up the mob. Then, outside the main gates of Emperor Hirohito’s palace grounds, which are only a stone’s throw from Allied headquarters. 10,000 rioters, their leaders remarkably well trained in classic Red street-fighting tactics, fought outnumbered Tokyo police for 2 ½ hours. Next to the police their favorite targets were passing Americans and U.S. automobiles.

When the fighting was over, the square in front of the palace was strewn with wounded and debris. The government had been presented with a fine excuse to pass its anti-subversive bill and the labor unions, like the rest of the country, had been given a shocking lesson on latent anti-Americanism which was bound to exist after war, defeat and occupation. But next day many Americans in Tokyo were showered with profuse apologies and gifts of flowers from Japanese friends who were appalled lest Americans would think the rioters expressed the majority sentiment of the Japanese people.

Photo captions, page by page, from top left, clockwise:

1) Communist Rioters Hurl An Angular Piece of a Broken Police Barricade At American Army Vehicle, And The Driver Ducks His Head, From Allied Headquarters Roof (Top Left) Americans Watch The Battle

2) Speechless Socialist Norman Thomas was prevented by the Reds from addressing rally. He later called rioting ‘a minor dress rehearsal for revolution.’

3) Sloganeer Reds make their pitch with English-language signs. During the fight they removed signs and used the poles as weapons. Many were students.

4) Festive Beginning of May Day rally in Meiji Park featured dancing girls. Spectators sucked ice cream sticks, munched bean-curd cakes, waved their banners and cheered speakers attacking rearmament and the proposed anti-subversive bill.

5) Reds Swam to platform from ringside seats which they had strategically packed beforehand. They drove off sponsored speakers and called for march on the Imperial Plaze. ‘We can fight the police there,’ shouted one of their leaders.

6) The Battle Is Joined when the Reds arrive in Imperial Plaza from Meiji Park. Against background of U.S. headquarters in Dai Ichi buildding (left, rear), police and rioters clash. A policeman has just hurled back one of the Red’s homemade tear-gas bombs whole others smoke on ground. Rioters, armed with clubs, rocks, bags of offal and bamboo spears cored with metal, have drawn back to regroup for another attack. Reds’ expert maneuvering was directed by booming of drums.

7) Banners Are Waved on platform and Reds yell ‘Banzai!’ in a effort to whip up the throng to fall in line for the march toward the Imperial Palace. But by this time thousands of non-Communists in crowd had begun to drift away.

8) Yelling Students snake-dance along street near the Diet Building after leaving Meiji Park. Moving toward Imperial Plaza, they cursed Americans and screamed, ‘Yankee, go home!’ until their cadenced slogan became hysterical roar.

9) Police Boots trample a fallen Red leader while one officer’s legs clamp his head in a scissor grip. Outnumbered 10,000 to 40 at beginning and stone from behind by Communist infiltrators, the police fought back as savagely as the frenzied rioters, whose leaders screeched ‘Kill the Police! Kill the Police!’

10) Cop’s Club swings down on skull of a rioter who, on hands and knees and with his coat ripped off and his shirt pulled out, cowers under threats of new blows.

11) U.S. Sailor splashes about in center of Imperial Palace most where Reds had hurled him, then stoned him. Friendly Japanese eventually pulled him out.

12) Collapsed Cop is dragged from plaza through a clutter of bamboo poles and placards abandoned by the Reds during a police counterattack. Nails in ends of poles made nasty weapons. More than 1,400 were injured in riots. Cops fired over mob’s heads and only fatality was student hit by ricocheting bullet.

13) Locked in Embrace, wounded Communist couple writhes in gutter, moaning hussterically. ‘Let us die! Let us die!’ But police gave them first aid.

14) Hustled From Fray, battered students, his glasses amazingly still intact, is treated by one of the Reds’ aid teams which helped wounded evade arrest.

15) Americans Autos were overturned by mobs, then set ablaze by rioters skirmishing around Plaza. Scores of other U.S. cars were stoned and smashed.

16) Bloodied Student, the Communist ‘dove of peace’ symbol flapping on his jacket, is given first aid by his friends during a lull in the plaza fighting.

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“Consider the forceful idea of Red scares and the related mechanism of social control that swept nations and communities across the world from the geopolitical power center to the distant peripheries. The idea was adapted to specific local conditions, sometimes becoming more radical and destructive in the process of dissemination and developing into a massive force of anti-Communist state terrorism across regions from the 1950s to the 1980s. If kidnapping individual ideological suspects was a notable form of anti-Communist terror in places such as Chile and Argentina, the so-called collective-responsibility system mentioned earlier, which punished an individual’s thoughts by criminalizing his or her entire web of blood ties, was one of the most notable instruments of societal control in places under anti-Communist military rules, such as Indonesia and South Korea. The penal practices against alleged ideological crimes often had no rule-of-law boundary and distorted the traditional conceptions of social subjectivity and moral liability. The globalization of these pathological formations and their local variations are an important subject matter in the investigation of cold war political culture.”

– Heonik Kwon, The Other Cold War (Columbia UP, 2010), 30 (via your-instructions-from-moscow)

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