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Uprising of 20,000

November 22, 1909 — The Great Hall, Cooper Union, New York City


I have listened to all the speakers, and I have no further patience for talk. I am a working girl, one of those striking against intolerable conditions. I am tired of listening to speakers who talk in generalities. What we are here for is to decide whether or not to strike.

I am one of those who suffers from the abuses described here, and I move that we go out on a general strike — now.

And will you keep the faith? Will you swear by the old Jewish oath of our fathers?”

[Two thousand Jewish hands were thrust in air, and two thousand Jewish throats uttered the oath: “If I turn traitor to the cause I now pledge, may this hand wither and drop off from this arm I now raise.]



Source: Global Americans: A History of The United States, eds. Maria Montoya, Laura A. Belmonte, Carl J. Guarneri, Steven Hackel, and Ellen Hartigan-O’connor, (Cengage Learning, 2016), p. 487.


Also: What Eight Million Women Want, by Rheta Childe Dorr (Boston: Small, Maynard & Company, 1910), pp. 170-171.