|January 14, 2003
Old Words on War Stirring a New Dispute at Berkeley
By DEAN E. MURPHY
New York Times
BERKELEY, Calif., Jan. 13 ? In her own day, the Russian-born anarchist Emma
Goldman roused emotions including considerable fear with her advocacy of
radical causes like organized labor, atheism, sexual freedom and opposition
to military conscription.
"Emma Goldman is a woman of great ability and personal magnetism, and her
persuasive powers are such to make her an exceedingly dangerous woman,"
Francis Caffey, the United States attorney in New York, wrote in 1917.
Goldman died in 1940, more than two decades after being deported to Russia
with other anarchists in the United States who opposed World War I. Now her
words are the source of deep consternation once again, this time at the
University of California, which has housed Goldman's papers for the past 23
In an unusual showdown over freedom of expression, university officials have
refused to allow a fund-raising appeal for the Emma Goldman Papers Project to
be mailed because it quoted Goldman on the subjects of suppression of free
speech and her opposition to war. The university deemed the topics too
political as the country prepares for possible military action against Iraq.
In one of the quotations, from 1915, Goldman called on people "not yet
overcome by war madness to raise their voice of protest, to call the
attention of the people to the crime and outrage which are about to be
perpetrated on them." In the other, from 1902, she warned that free-speech
advocates "shall soon be obliged to meet in cellars, or in darkened rooms
with closed doors, and speak in whispers lest our next-door neighbors should
hear that free-born citizens dare not speak in the open."
Berkeley officials said the quotations could be construed as a political
statement by the university in opposition to United States policy toward