Riotous Strike On Coney Lines 1911
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The news that three strikers arrested earlier in
the day had been sentenced to five days in jail each
seemed to have little effect on the strikers, some of
whom demanded that they be arrested whenever they were
jostled or asked to move on by a policeman. The men who
received the jail sentences were James Ryan of 428 Union
Avenue, said to be one of the leaders in the strike;
John Manning of 228 Eighth Street and Cornelius Carter
of 225 Tenth Street. They were charged with inciting a
riot at Ninth Street and Third Avenue. Carter tried to
wrench a fuse out of a car.
More Police For Today
On all sides the scarcity of police sent to preserve
order in the strike zone was a matter of comment. Not
until dark and after the street car company had
announced that it would not attempt to run any more cars
until today did the police assemble in sufficient force
to control the great mob that made Ninth Street and
Third Avenue the base of its operations. Plenty of
police to handle any situation that may arise today have
been promised. It was said that instead of the handful
that failed to keep Ninth Street in order yesterday at
least fifty mounted and twice as many foot men will be
on duty after 6 o'clock this morning.
At 9 o'clock last night, three hours after the last car
had run the gantlet of excited men and boys, the crowd
in Ninth Street was apparently just as great as ever.
Boys in gangs of ten or a dozen marched up and down the
street singing, the strikers and their sympathizers
assembled on the corners and speculated on the outcome,
while thousands of idlers walked up and down between
Third and Fifth Avenues, fighting mosquitoes, hoping to
witness, some sort of a scuffle between the strikers and
the police before the night was over.
Several times the cry "a car is coming" went up and
immediately the street became the scene of a howling
crowd. In every instance what the crowd thought was a
street car turned out to be some other kind of a
vehicle. On two occasions the light that was mistaken
for a headlight, was on a patrol wagon. The other times
it was automobiles that fooled them.
Another matter that caused unfavorable criticism of the
police was the fact that many wagons loaded with rocks
intended for paving or concrete purposes were
continually passing through Ninth Street yesterday.
Between 5 and 6 o'clock in the afternoon, during which
hour the company tried to operate several cars, a Times
reporter saw no less than a dozen wagons loaded with
these dangerous cargoes rumble down the street past the
strike headquarters, at Third Avenue. Boys jumped on
these wagons, and when they got off they were not empty
handed, as was proved by the kind of rocks that were
hurled at the cars that swept past the headquarters of
the strikers at intervals during the hour that followed.
No effort whatever was made to make these rock-laden
wagons use some other street. A policeman who deplored
the fact that his comrades on strike duty were so few in
number dubbed these rock carriers "ammunition wagons,"
and the title was not inappropriate.
At the strike headquarters last night the leaders said
that pressure was being brought to bear on the motormen
and conductors of the De Kalb Avenue Line to strike
today. The strike leaders seemed to think they had a
good chance to get the De Kalb Avenue men out, but they
admitted that they were not certain of success and they
won't be much surprised if the De Kalb Avenue men hold
on to their jobs and refuse to go out in sympathy.
Want Electricians To Go Out
Leaders of the strike said they were doing all in their
power to get the electricians and other powerhouse men
to go out in sympathy, but the general impression seemed
to be that there was little chance of these men going
out. Their union is entirely independent of the car
men's and they are said to be satisfied with their
The big handicap against which the company is working is
said to be the scarcity of available strike breakers.
Last night the number who could be relied upon was said
to be sixty-four, and not all of these were experienced
men. The strikers claimed that at least forty of these
deserted their new jobs, and returned to Manhattan on a
Hamilton Avenue ferryboat. This, in turn, was denied at
the Ninth Street barns of the company.
There was not so much trouble on the Franklin Avenue
line as on the Smith Street, although all of the men on
this line are out. The only real trouble on that line
occurred shortly before 6 o'clock last night, when a
motorman, who had remained loyal to the company, decided
to be loyal no more, and deserted the car within a block
of the Franklin Avenue car barns.
Slow up the car, the motorman turned on full power and
then jumped off, taking the controller handle with him.
The car without a pilot shot ahead like a rocket and
crashed head-on with terrific force into another
Franklin Avenue car. Both were wrecked, and blockade
that lasted nearly an hour resulted.
The wrecked cars were surrounded by a mob of more than
2,000 men and boys, who amused themselves throwing
bricks, rocks, and bottles through the windows.
The men arrested, only two of whom were striking
employees of the company, were charged with disorderly
conduct. They were Frank Smith, 1717 Greene Avenue;
Edward Simms of Snyder Avenue; Alexander Moore, 1197
Flatbush Avenue and Martin J. Hennessey, 789 Franklin
Avenue. Another Franklin Avenue car was rocked at Second
Avenue and Ninth Street. One rock broke a big window in
a corner saloon, but nobody was hurt.
Late last night it was announced that an effort to
restore the Coney Island service over the Smith Street
and Franklin Avenue lines would be made at 6 o'clock
this morning. The police said that there would be plenty
of men on hand to protect the cars.