Emma Goldman

AZL flag holder TransparentEmma Goldman (June 27th [O.S. June 15th], 1869 – May 14th, 1940) was a Jewish anarchist known for her political agitation, writing, and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in the first half of the 20th century. Emma Goldman’s Orthodox Jewish family lived in the Lithuanian city of Kaunas (called Kovno at the time, part of the Russian Empire). Goldman emigrated to the US in 1885 and lived in New York City, where she joined the burgeoning anarchist movement in 1889. The panic of ’93 was the worst economic depression the United States had ever experienced at the time. On August 21, Goldman began speaking to crowds of frustrated men and women in New York she spoke to a crowd of nearly 3,000 people in Union Square, where she encouraged unemployed workers to “take everything … by force”. A week later she was arrested in Philadelphia and returned to New York City for trial, charged with “inciting to riot”. She was sentenced to one year in the Blackwell’s Island Penitentiary. Goldman planned the assassination of US President William McKinley that took place on September 6th, 1901. Goldman was arrested but released after two weeks of detention insinuating lack of evidence. In 1906, Goldman started an anarchist publication called Mother Earth. For the next ten years, Goldman travelled around the country nonstop, delivering lectures and agitating for anarchism. Goldman aggressively supported Margaret Sanger who advocated abortion and viewed the Bolshevik seizure of Russia in a positive light. She wrote in Mother Earth that despite its dependence on Communist government, it represented “the most fundamental, far-reaching and all-embracing principles of human freedom and of economic well-being”.

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