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RSS FeedsRiots, raids and rounding up `enemy aliens´: how soldiers back from the front rocked Toronto´s Chinatown
(The Star Fashion & Style)

 
 

13 november 2019 16:21:32

 
Riots, raids and rounding up `enemy aliens´: how soldiers back from the front rocked Toronto´s Chinatown
(The Star Fashion & Style)
 




When the box shattered the window, the men inside Louis Long’s barbershop thought the world was ending. A raucous mob was running through the November night, targeting storefronts with Chinese characters.They ran up the stairs of Hop War Low’s café on Elizabeth St., stole $300, and smashed a mirror. The newspapers said it was revenge: one night before, a dozen soldiers were eating at that café when a “Chinese gambling dive” across the street was raided by police. The soldiers went outside to watch the arrests, and when they returned to their meals, they were told to scram, allegedly called “white dogs.” One of the soldiers, it was said, was “roughly handled” on his way out.The story made the rounds, indignation grew, and an angry crowd returned the evening of Nov. 17, hurling stones and breaking things as staff closed the doors and drew the blinds. Police came running, girding themselves for another run-in with soldiers, who, in addition to their reputation for sacrifice and bravery on the Western Front, had also gained a reputation for unruly acts of retribution.In the spring of 1917, a veteran who had been wounded at the Somme applied for a job at a Toronto munitions plant, and said he was rebuffed by a “Hun” (a derogatory term for Germans) who told him to “Get the Hell out of here.” A few days later, dozens of soldiers returned to raid the plant, “rounding up the alien enemies” to make a point about their employment. They then moved on to Parkdale, where they raided and interrogated German shopkeepers, forcing them to produce immigration papers. In August 1918, the city had descended into days of chaos after a returned soldier was kicked out of a Greek-owned café after a skirmish with a waiter. A group of soldiers destroyed that restaurant, smashing windows and throwing plates, and thousands of soldiers and civilian sympathizers tore through other Greek restaura ...
 
18 viewsCategory: Culture > Fashion
 
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