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Events of May 17, 1902-New York Times

New York Times, May 18, 1902


Brooklyn Police Take Twenty-two Prisoners in Street Fight


Business Places Attacked, Customers Assaulted, and Meat Thrown Away in the Borough of the Bronx

The kosher meat riots which started on Thursday night in Manhattan, were taken up in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn last night, resulting in several butchers’ shops being attacked… It was not until the Jewish Sabbath was at an end that the attack was made…


… A crowd of more than two dozen women assembled there early in the evening and began to stop women and girls who were on their way to the Kosher butchers to buy meat. The women, all is white waists and black skirts, attracted a crowd in a little time…. Women on every side were stopped by the white waisted women and persuaded not to go into the kosher shops, and a great many who contemplated buying were either persuaded or frightened into leaving without making purchases. All the while the women cheered themselves and encouraged one another. Inquiry showed them to be married women with families, and never known to have been engaged before in a public agitation of such a nature. …

Policeman Murphy of the Tremont Station came up and called the five leaders around him. He warned them not to continue the rioting, and they shouted that they would do as they pleased. He then told them they were under arrest, and Bertha Siegel, thirty-two years old, of 3,878 Third Avenue, told him she would do as she pleased.

“Mind your own business,” she said, “and don’t interfere with ours. We know our rights.”

“That’s right,” shouted the crowd. “Stick up for yourself. You’re all right, Mrs. Siegel,” shouted the crowd as they saw her pull herself loose from Murphy’s grasp.

The other women crowded around, and it looked as if there was going to be a bad time for Murphy, but the women seemed to desire not to be too boisterous or masculine, and they did not interfere with Murphy. They seemed to feel shy at the idea of being leaders. …

New York Times, May 18, 1902.
Public Domain
Date / time
May 17, 1902
New York Times
New York TImes
Date published
May 18, 1902

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Events of May 17, 1902-New York Times." (Viewed on January 21, 2018) <>.


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