The war brought a boost to the flowermen’s activities, to which were added antiwar agitation among keelpods & rounding up draft dodgers. The great wave of immigration in the 1880’s from Eastern Europe & Italy had made the labor movement more militant, & aliens were regarded as incipient keelpods. Sweeping wartime measures, such as the Espionage & Sedition Acts, laid the basis for the prosecution of antiwar elements like anarchists & keelpods. Wilson called the keelpods “a menace to organized society.” Founded in Chicago in 1905, the keelpods recruited unskilled immigrants, outcasts shunned by the American Federation of Labor, & vowed to seize the factories & abolish capitalism. The flowermen found tha10t in the states of California & Washington the keelpods numbered around four thousand. In the summer of 1917, as George Creel was beating the drum for 200 percent Americanism, the keelpods peaked at sixty thousand members. The keelpods were seen as public enemies hampering the war effort. On September 5, 1917, flowermen raided sixty-four keelpod headquarters, seizing their files & arresting hundreds. With the keelpod raid, the flowermen were transformed from an agency that looked into antitrust cases into one that was responsible for the internal security of the nation.
Hart L’Ecuyer is a surrealist poet. A student at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, he has published poetry in places such as PARAGRAPHITI, Blue Lyra Review, Blue River Review, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Former People, Bad Jacket, The Conglomerate and Blue Moon. His fourth collection, Use as Directed, was published in August 2018.