screening tonight: emma goldman – an exceedingly dangerous woman

Tonight at 20h00, Bolo’bolo in Observatory presents a free screening of a documentary about the life and ideas of Emma Goldman: anarchist, feminist and lifelong rabble rouser.

emma goldmanFor nearly half a century, Russian emigrant Emma Goldman was the most controversial woman in America, taunting the mainstream with her fervent attacks on government, big business, and war. To the tabloids, she was “Red Emma, queen of the anarchists,” but many admired Goldman for her defense of labour rights, women’s emancipation, birth control, and free speech.

Goldman’s life was indelibly marked by two violent acts: the attempted assassination of anti-union industrialist Henry Clay Frick by her comrade and lover Alexander Berkman (he spent 14 years in prison for the crime) and the 1901 slaying of President William McKinley by Leon Czolgosz, a young anarchist who claimed he had been “set on fire” by Goldman’s exhortations to political assassination and martyrdom. McKinley’s assassination led to widespread condemnation of Goldman and other anarchists. Fearing for her life, Goldman went underground.

In 1906, she reemerged as founder and editor of Mother Earth, an anarchist magazine devoted to politics and literature. Once again a public figure, she returned to the lecture circuit. Her talks on the struggling revolution in Russia, on the rights of workers, on civil liberties — even on anarchism — drew large, sympathetic crowds. For almost a decade, Goldman maintained a grueling schedule, spending nearly half of every year on the road. In one six-month period, she delivered 120 lectures in 37 cities.

An outspoken opponent of America’s entry into World War I, she was arrested and imprisoned for demonstrating against the draft. In 1919 she, Berkman, and 247 others were deported to Russia, just two years after the October revolution replaced the Czarist regime with Bolshevik tyranny. After two dispiriting years, Goldman and Berkman left the Soviet Union and dedicated themselves to revealing the truth about a revolution gone wrong.

“The State is the altar of political freedom and, like the religious altar, it is maintained for the purpose of human sacrifice.” – Emma Goldman

PS: Non-alcoholic drinks and vegan snacks will be on sale. You may bring your own beer or wine if you’d like. The screenings are free, but donations are welcome.

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