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Fun Facts On India
#21
Not really a fun-fact, but a rather dismal incident that assumes significance in today's world of immigration and outsourcing.

AMERICA'S ANTI-HINDU RIOTS OF 1907

<img src='http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/SSEAL/echoes/chapter4/4_2.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"The preservation of the Caucasian race upon American soil" was the constitutional objective of the Asian Exclusion League. To achieve that end they pressured lumber mills into laying off Indian workers, lobbied to stop further immigration, and fomented riots to drive Indians from their homes. While not condoning the crude methods of the Asian Exclusion League, still the United States Congress, Judiciary, and Bureau of Immigration were sympathetic to their objective and the immigrants from India found themselves confronted by a great white wall.

Having crossed the hurdle of admission to the United States, immigrants from India faced resistance from European and American laborers who were in competition with them for jobs and who feared they would be willing to work for lower wages. This resistance assumed tangible form in racist organizations such as the Asian Exclusion League.<b>The group was responsible for violent incidents in Canada and the U.S., such as the "Anti-Hindu" riot in 1907 at Bellingham, Washington.</b>

<b>On the night of September 4, 1907, a mob of between 400 and 500 white men attacked Bellingham's Hindu colonies. Many of the Hindus were beaten. Some escaped from their quarters in their night clothes. Several sought refuge on the tide flats. Others were driven toward the city limits or jailed. During the course of the disturbance, the indignation of the crowd was fanned to action by speakers who addressed impromtu audiences on the street corners and incited citizens to "help drive out the cheap labor." </b>

Unfortunately, the Bellingham riot was mirrored by similar assaults in California during the months that followed in Marysville, Stege, Live Oak, and other communities where the immigrants had settled.

These incidents, however, didn't reflect the attitude of the whole community. As the immigrants continued to work hard and achieve success some of their neighbors began to accept them. A retrospective account in the Daily Astorian gives an idea of how Indian workers were viewed in Astoria, one Oregon mill town. <b>"We thought they were terrible coming with their turbans," said Hattie Spencer. "We were afraid of them at first. But my dad said, 'They have to make a living same as the rest of us. We are foreigners too.' Chris Simonsen remembered the men in "Hindu Alley" making "chupatti pancakes" patting the dough between their hands. The Indians were especially well-known for their prowess and agility in wrestling. "They were light-heavyweight champions," Bill Wootton said. Helmer Lindstrom remembered that the Indians "never undercut wages" -- they wouldn't work for less than the other employees. And most of the Astoria community considered the Hindus "vastly interesting and peaceable." There were cracks in the great white wall.</b>
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From Punjabilok

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->1907 - ANTI-HINDU RIOT BREAKS OUT

"On September 4, 1907, a mob of about 500 men assaulted boarding houses and mills, forcefully expelling Hindus from Bellingham (Washington)in what is now known as the Anti-Hindu Riot.

It began as an attack on two East Indian workers on C Street and turned into a rock-throwing lynching, to 'scare them so badly that they will not crowd white labour out of the mills.' The small police force was overpowered. The next day about 300 Hindus fled Bellingham in fear.

The press, some civic leaders and churches denounced the riots. Threats were later made to other groups, though no major riots occurred."
. Picture Diagram: "This is the type of man driven from this city as the result of last night's demonstration by a mob of 300 men and boys." (5 o/clock extra, Sept. 5, 1907: p. 1&3)

"Driven From Town: ...recreation of an illustration that appeared in a local newspaper shortly after the Anti-Hindu Riot of Sept. 4, 1907. The day after the riot, about 300 Hindus fled Bellingham." (Source: Morning Reveille (Bellingham, Washington), January 27, 1999) SOURCE OF STORY: Bellingham Herald (January 27, 1999) Reprinted from: The Reveille & Chris Wolf

Other original sources from: 

Morning Reveille & The Evening American (Bellingham, Washington)

"Hindus are leaving city" (Sept. 6, 1907: p. 1&2)

"Hindus driven from the city" (Sept. 5, 1907: p. 1&2)




"Mob Raids Hindus & Drives Them From City" (Sept. 5, 1907: p. 1&3)

Other major source:

Hallberg, Gerald M. "Bellingham, Washington's Anti-Hindu Riot." Journal of the West. Vol(12)1: 163-75. 1973. (also reprinted in The Northwest Mosaic. edited by Halseth. J.A. Pruett Pub., Boulder, Colorado. 1977.pp. 140-155).

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