Old Words on War Stirring a New Dispute at Berkeley

Kay McVey katsummerland at yahoo.com.au
Tue Jan 14 05:49:54 MST 2003


 

New York Times
January 14, 2003
Old Words on War Stirring a New Dispute at Berkeley
By DEAN E. MURPHY

 
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 years.

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 Iraq.
Candace S. Falk, the director of the project and
author of the appeal, acknowledged that the excerpts
were selected because of their present-day resonance.
But Dr. Falk said they reflected Goldman's views, not
the university's policies.

Full text:
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/14/education/14BERK.html


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