All non-citizens were given the loyalty questionaire for female citizens, except that it was titled "Application for Leave Clearance." -- thereby asking them to swear sole allegiance to the government that excluded them from citizenship. On question 28, most were later allowed to swear to "abide by the laws of the United States" and "take no action which would in any way interfere with the war effort of the United States." At most camps, the two loyalty questions resulted in approximately 10% negative answers or refusals to answer, but it was 42% at Tule Lake.2 As a result, Tule Lake was made into a "segregation center" for "disloyals."
Tokio Yamane described the Tule Lake protests of November, 1943:
It was on November 4th, 1943, as I recall, that the Tule Lake Food Warehouse Disturbances occurred. A Mr. Kobayashi, a Japanese American on security patrol, discovered several WRA Caucasian personnel stealing food from the Internee Food Warehouse during the night and loading the food on their own truck which was parked alongside the warehouse. Mr. Kobayashi, who had the authority of a warder, remonstrated with the WRA personnel because they were taking the internees' food. Mr. Kobayashi was attacked by the Caucasian WRA personnel and a scuffle ensued.
As the scuffle was going on, the Organization for the Betterment of Camp Conditions, made up of representatives of the numberous internee blocks, was holding a meeting. As soon as news of this incident was brought to the Organization, Rev. Kai and Mr. Kuratomi, the heads of the Organization, asked Mr. Koji Todorogi and me, who were attending the meeting, to go to the scene and try to restore calm and keep the situation under control by bringing back the internees who had gathered at the scene of the incident.
As Mr. Koji Todorogi and I were heading toward the warehouse area, several Caucasian WRA personnel suddenly appeared out of the darkness and attacked the two of us, without any provocation on our part, with pistols, rifles, and bats, and finally took us to the WRA office.
As the two of us were being interrogated, Mr. Kobayashi, the warder, was brought in by another group of Caucasians. During his interrogation Mr. Kobayashi was hit on the head with such force that blood gushed out and the baseball bat actually broke in two. I was a witness to this brutal attack and remember it very vividly.
From about 9 P.M. that evening until daybreak, we were forced to stand with our backs against the office wall with our hands over our heads and we were continuously kicked and abused as we were ordered to confess being the instigators of the disturbance. We denied these accusations but our protestations of innocence were completely ignored by our tormentors. The beatings continued all night long and at day break the three of us were turned over to the Military Police and we were thrown into the stockade for confinement.
As if the camp authorities had been expecting this incident to happen, the Military Police Detachment immediately entered the detainee compound with tanks, machine guns, and tear gas, and started their repressive measures to cow the detainees, and to overwhelm the youth organization which was made up of unarmed and defenseless teenagers. The repressive measures and the martial law instituted by the camp authorites took the following forms:
1. The MP tanks and jeeps constantly patrolled the area in a show of force designed to harass and frighten the detainees.
2. Unannounced and frequent inspections of the detainees' barracks in search of alleged contraband such as kitchen paring knives, sewing scissors, carpenters' and gardeners' tools.
3. Firing of tear gas at small groups of unarmed internees assembling at bath houses and bathrooms to get water for washing, or standing at the coal pile to get coal or kindling for heating, or standing at the shower area waiting to bathe, or at the laundry area to do their laundry. These repressive measures lasted two or three months and resulted in nightmarish fear, particularly among the very young and the very old detainees.4
At Fort McClellan, Alabama, over 100 Japanese American soldiers refused combat training until their families were freed.1
On December 24, 1947, President Truman pardoned 282 Selective Service draft resisters.1