Events of May 14, 1902-Yidishes Tageblatt
Yidishes Tageblat, May 15, 1902, as translated by Paula Hyman
“We will not give away our last few cents to the butchers—we want to eat meat at 12 cents and not 16 cents a pound.” This is the cry taken up yesterday by women from Houston to Cherry streets, from Christie to Norich streets—the voices of housewives who are ready to fight. Mrs. Edelson became chairlady of the assembly. New York has never seen such a huge convocation of women before. The women this time let the men play at home with the children while they went to attend the meeting. They cried, “Our husbands work hard. They try their best to bring a few cents into the house. And we must manage to spend as little as possible.” Others responded, “We will not be silent—we will overturn the world.” They said, “The strike of the butchers was a trick. When they wanted something for themselves, they didn’t sell meat. We’ll show them that we know our business, too.” The women decided to hand out circulars all over the East Side, to call all women to have pity on their husbands’ hard-earned money, and to join the great women’s war. They decided to meet again tonight to organize all the women in the army for the great war. The women besieged the butcher shops and didn’t allow anyone to buy. The streets were thick with people. Many ran to the police station where Jewish women were being arrested every minute. The women didn’t hit anyone. All they were doing was preventing women scabs from buying meat. Hardly had anyone stepped out with meat when it was grabbed from her hands and dashed to the floor. Every time a police wagon came, it was filled with women who were taken to the Essex Market Court. There, the 80 women were treated as though they were the greatest criminals. All were fined the sum of $3-10….Mrs. Edelson the chief of the strikers, was arrested with great uproar.