Government Enemies Lists: A Long Tradition In U.S.

January 28, 2007

An Ugly Precedent For Troublemakers List

By JEAN P. MOORE
Hartford Courant
http://www.courant.com

January 28 2007

On June 27, 1919, two immigrant brothers were hanged at the state prison in Wethersfield, now the site of the Department of Motor Vehicles. They were my great-uncles. They were accused of murder, but their real “crime” was being immigrants whose names were on a subscription list for an anarchist journal. The list was obtained by the Bureau of Investigation, forerunner to the FBI.

Our family to this day is mortified about the brothers – and, I suspect, still a little afraid of what a government can do when it starts compiling such intelligence lists. As in the recent case of Ken Krayeske.

Earlier this month, Krayeske, a law student and political activist, was listed as a possible threat by a state police intelligence unit for suggesting there be a protest at Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s inaugural ball. He was arrested and held on $75,000 bond for merely taking pictures of the governor at her inaugural parade.

I wonder if any students of Connecticut history reading about the case were reminded of the political environment in Connecticut from 1917 to 1920, another time when fear of “enemies” in our midst caused significant repression of civil rights.

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    One Response to “Government Enemies Lists: A Long Tradition In U.S.”

    1. Anonymous Says:

      Great post, Andy.


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