On this day in 1919, the New York Tribune reported 19 anarchists were arrested for bombing eight cities simultaneously on the evening of June 2. Similar (though smaller) bombs were set off earlier in April. This series of bombings came to be known as the anarchist bombings of 1919, and helped fuel the red scare of 1919-1920 and anti-immigration feeling.
The perpetrators were followers of Luigi Galleani, an Italian immigrant who was part of a broader socialist/anarchist movement that bubbled up in the early twentieth century.
Driven by post-World War I social unrest, anti-capitalist sentiment, and inspired by their European counterparts (including the Bolshevik Revolution), Galleanist advocated for social and economic change through violent action.
They left a document entitled "Plain Words" at the cite of the bombings, signed "The Anarchist Fighters." Excerpted below.
"Now that the great war, waged to replenish your purse and build a pedestal to your saints, is over, nothing better can you do to protect your stollen millions, and your usurped fame, then to direct the power of the murderous institutions you created for your exclusive defense, against the working multitudes rising to a more human conception of life...
We are ready to do anything and everything to suppress the capitalist class, just as you are doing everything to suppress the proletariate revolution."