Events of May 25, 1902-New York Times
The New York Times, May 26, 1902
BUTCHERS APPEAL TO POLICE FOR PROTECTION. East Side Dealers to Keep Their Shops Open. AN ANTI-TRUST STATEMENT. Allied Conference for Cheap Kosher Meat Seeks Public Sympathy and Condemns Violence.
Practically all of the kosher butchers or the east side, served notice yesterday on the Captains of the various police precincts that they intended to open their shops to-day and asked that the police protect them against any attacks that may be made by the women rioters who have been attacking the shops for selling meat, and the customers for buying meat, when a boycott was on against the prevailing high prices.
The Anti-beef Trust Association during the past two weeks raised a fund of more than $500 to bail out those who are arrested on the charge of inciting riot, but at the Eldridge Street Station it was said last night that the attorneys for the Anti-Trust Association had agreed to advise their clients not to bail out any more prisoners. The police believed this action would tend to discourage the rioting that is likely to result form the reopening of the shops. A conference was also held late Saturday night between the Anti-Trust Association committee of fifty and some of the butchers in an endeavor to patch up existing differences, the rabbis to decide which shops should be permitted to resume business. At a late hour last night the Anti-Trust Association committee of fifty was trying to decided whether to accept the proposal of the butchers or not.
During the day, however, a circular, printed in both Yiddish and English, was distributed, showing that the matter is by no means settled. The circular, signed by four of the association leaders, representing the committee of fifty, is as follows:
“Women, victory is near. Order and persistence will win the struggle against the butchers. Do not buy any meat. All the organizations fighting against the Jewish meat trust have now united under the name of the Allied Conference for Cheap Kosher Meat. Brave and honest men are now aiding the women. The conference was decided to help those butchers who will sell cheap kosher meat under the supervision of the rabbis and the conference. The trust must be downed. For the present do not by [sic] any meat. Patience will win the battle. Seek the sympathy for your cause of old and young. Respectfully, Dr. D. Blaustein, the Rev I. Zinsier, the Rev. P. Joches, Mrs. Shatzburg, and the committee of fifty.
At last night’s meeting it was said, however, that part of the circular, referring to those who will sell cheap meat, was premature, and would be considered during the evening. A statement was issued during the evening form the headquarters of the Anti-Trust Association, 199 East Broadway, explaining the stand taken by the association in the meat troubles. This statement was in part as follows:
“The spontaneity of this movement for cheaper meat is the best proof that the grievances of the poorer classes on the east side against the Jewish Kosher Beef Trust are very real and serious. Prices have been raised 6 and 7 cents a pound. Born of the clouds, the movement has spread throughout Greater New York, and has enlisted the sympathies of all the people.
“It is conservatively estimated that 50,000 Jewish families have been abstaining from the use of meat for over two weeks. The people feel very justly that they are being ground down, not only by the Beef Trust of the country, but also by the Jewish Beef Trust of the City, which has now as its ally the retail Butchers’ Association. The people realize the seriousness of the situation, and are ready to fight the trust for months if necessary.
“The conference wishes to state most emphatically that the leaders of the movement do not countenance any violence, but it desires to state also that the sensational report of violence committed on the east side is a libel upon the good name of a peaceful, honest, and industrious section of the city. The committee desires to emphasize the fact that the few instances of outbreaks on the part of some hysterical women are not instances of a prevalent condition of affairs, but rather the only instances that have occurred.
“The people of the east side feel that the unwarranted summary action of the police on refusing to allow the people to assemble peaceably under police protection is tantamount to an attack on the right of free speech. It is to be admitted, however, that such unprecedented action was due to the sensational reports of the newspapers. The conference wishes to enlist the sympathy of the public at large in this cause.”