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Police Carry Out Order of Court Last Saturday and Secure Big Store of Chattels

There was considerable excitement in town last Saturday when the thoroughfare from the Doukhobor property to a warehouse on the corner of Winnipeg avenue and Second street was the scene of a continuous stream of motor truck loads of chattels seized by Government officers to recover fines of more than $4,000 levied by the court the previous Thursday on members of the Doukhobor Community for failure to send their children to school.

The seizures were in charge of Inspector W.R. Dunwoody, who had a squad of mounted police and regular officers, together with several score of special deputies. Five carloads of railway ties, ready for shipment and on which the freight is said to have been paid, were first seized; then the Doukhobor warehouse was visited and later the packing house on the ranch and great quantities of stores were brought to town. These are listed on page two of this paper and will be offered for sale by public auction next Wednesday.

The surprising feature was the lack of resistance of the Doukhobors, who usually put up quite a scap under like conditions. At the packing house one of the men started to take off his clothes with the remark that the Government could have them too, but a threatening whip which approached him helped him to decide in keeping his garments on. Out at the packing house on the ranch most of the chattels desired were concealed as much as possible. A whole bevy of women got in front of the entrance and for a time tried to fight off the police, but when they realized that the police meant business little resistance was offered. It was quite apparent at the time and since that the big forces used by Inspector Dunwoody had a most compelling effect and it is more than likely that a small force would have found the Doukhobors in real fighting mood.

Practically no incident has occurred since the seizures were made, except that the Doukhobors wired to premier Oliver to have him call off the police and he has replied that they must first send their children to school. He also states the government will build fireproof schools in future. Attorney-General Manson and Minister of Education MacLean also state, according to press despatches, that “war is on” with the Doukhobors to compel them to send their children to school.

As we go to press it is stated that legal representatives of the Doukhobors have filed a protest as to the seizure.

Source: "Seize Doukhobors’ Effects To Pay Fines," Grand Forks Gazette, April 17, 1925.

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